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True Life: My Niece’s Hair was Texturized at 2, Big Chopped at 4

Avatar • Jul 16, 2010


K rocking her big chop
This crazy, sad, cute and heartening story (I know… I was in a glass case of emotion when I read it!) was submitted by reader Jarquisha…

A couple years ago my sister decided that she just could not handle the natural texture of my 2 year old niece’s hair. So she let my mother put the Just For Me Texture softener (texturizer) in her hair which, coupled with her scalp eczema, caused her hair to break off severely.

K, texturized
jpg151
Lucky for her she has a natural aunt, ME, who was willing to take care of her hair… Here’s her big chop! I’m so proud of her because she’s only 4 years old and handled it like a big girl… she LOVES her hair now!

I’m glad, but I’m also sad — sad that black girls are socialized so early to be unfamiliar with their hair texture. Why do you think black mothers are choosing to relax their babies’ hair so early? Is this a trend?

I also want to thank Jarquisha’s sister for giving BGLH permission to post her baby’s pictures, for the sake of discussion. Of course, the baby will remain nameless.

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E. Lewis
E. Lewis
10 years ago

She’s such a doll!! The sad thing is that this is becoming a norm in our society. You have no idea how many moms I had to turn down to “fix” their little girls’ hair. It’s saddening. Thank God she has a great aunt!!

Jarquisha Hollings
10 years ago

Thanks for posting this story. For the past 2 yrs my sister has regretted making this decision when it came to my niece’s hair, but the decision to do the big chop was just too much for her to process. When I did my big chop in January after a nearly 2 year transition and became the local spokesperson for Natural hair, my sister gave me the charge of caring for her hair. The coming years will be a challenge but in the end I hope to teach her to appreciate her texture and the power of what’s in her… Read more »

Katie
10 years ago

What a cutie-pie! She is lucky to have an aunt who can help.

It is sad to see very young children with relaxed, and often very badly damaged, hair. Every time I see that, I have to stop and think of the hundreds of moms I have heard from who not only have the courage to go against the tide and keep their children’s hair natural, but who are working hard to learn how to keep hair and scalps happy. That gives me a lot of hope.

Vonn
Vonn
10 years ago

My niece has a head ful of natural hair that tangles very easily. Ever since she was almost 2 my sister has been complaining and threatening it with a texturizer. Being the concerned aunt that I am (:) ) I volunteered to take full responsiblity for her hair. I have been the only one combing, washing, styling and buying products for her hair for one year. However, it is not enough. My sister is still ready to “put something in her hair”, because she says she cannot take fighting with my niece. She is very tender headed and combing her… Read more »

Leslie
10 years ago

I never understood why my mom felt the need to relax my hair. I mean, she grew up in the 60’s and 70’s. Her senior pic had an afro in it. She could have taken care of my hair naturally. However, I would have probably been made fun of in school, as the girl with the ‘nappy’ hair.

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[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Bliss Davis, Charyjay and Black Girl Long Hair, Black Girl Long Hair. Black Girl Long Hair said: True story: Texturized at 2 years old, big chop at 4 http://bit.ly/9gjCDb #naturalhair […]

jlowman1
jlowman1
10 years ago

She’s is such a beautiful little girl and I’m glad she had an aunt to intervene. I was relaxed at a very young age and its sad because as a child you have NO control over what happens to your hair. I wish you and your niece the best of luck and I hope you can teach your sister as well throughout her little girls journey.

justicefighter1913
justicefighter1913
10 years ago

Whooo Weee!!! Go auntie! Go auntie! I’m glad that she has and auntie like you to educate your sister and save her head/hair before any further damage was done 🙂

Bianca
Bianca
10 years ago

How cute is she! YOU GO GIRL!

Cheeky
Cheeky
10 years ago

What a cutie pie!!!! Although it is unfortunate that mom believed that she could not handle her daughter’s hair, that belief is not uncommon. With companies marketing relaxers for children and to children, it is clear that many people just do not understand that it is still a chemical process that you are putting on your child’s head and that it is completely unnecessary. I applaud the mom and the natural auntie for doing the BC on sweet little K. I think it’s great that mom realized that this was a mistake and made a change. That’s all anyone can do.

Jasmyn
10 years ago

Like Jarquisha said in the post, her sister couldn’t handle the natural texture. That’s always the underlying reason why little girls are permed at early ages. Mothers often don’t want to put so much time and effort into a small head. It all goes back to being acknowledged on the proper way to care for natural hair.
Reflecting upon this, I hope to be like her for my friends and family members: the one to help them appreciate their hair and realize the importance of patience and dedication when it comes to natural haircare.

donna
donna
10 years ago

She is so cute! And what a wonderful auntie she has to care for her hair.

LaNeshe
10 years ago

That is where our hair hate comes from. So early in life we hear “Your head so nappy, you need a perm (relaxer)” and then it takes a long time for most people to understand (if they ever do) that that isn’t the only way to deal with hair, and that hair can be beautiful when not straight. It is so sad.

Janay
10 years ago

I can relate to this story, this past January my mother put the same just for me texturizer in my then 6 year old sisters hair. She claimed it would be easier for her to manage it. Now every morning she flat irons her hair, and does not use any heat protectant at all.My sisters hair has broke off tremendously and is very uneven. Every time i try to say something about it, either my mom or my other sister tells me to mind my business and say i think i know everything since i went natural, which was the… Read more »

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Mavis
Mavis
10 years ago

Thanks for sharing I wish the best for the cutie and her family! I remember when my mom put heat on my hair at the old age of 10. It seemed like a right of passage and I was so excited about all the approval and compliments I received. Looking back though, I cringe at the thought that adults praised my hair in its unnatural state rather than its natural healthy state. hmm. My friend just launched a line of natural (certified) hair care products for kids. I with her the best and hope that parents take the route of… Read more »

thelady
thelady
10 years ago

this is how the self hate starts and I’m glad her aunt was able to intervene on her behalf

D
D
10 years ago

And this is the very reason I sometimes HATE being a Black woman, because of this utter retardation on the parts of Black women. Ridiculous. My mother put a perm in my hair at 10 and did not teach me how to care for it nor did she pay for regular touch ups. As a result of the perm I suffered irreparable breakage to the edges of my hair and I am still bitter to this day about it.

CashmereCurls
CashmereCurls
10 years ago

This is a vicious cycle. When you are raised on relaxers and hot combs and weaves/extensions and have no idea what your real hair looks like or how to take care of it, there is no way that you can pass that knowledge onto your daughters. I’m sorry to say that I have seen worse than this. I saw a little girl sitting in a stroller who had ratty extensions braided into her hair. The really cheap looking ones that are like $4 a pack. How that is better than natural hair I will never understand but I wish that… Read more »

LBell
LBell
10 years ago

I wasn’t going to respond because I didn’t know if I could do it without ranting, but then I saw D’s comment and had to say something. D, I’m sorry about what happened to your hair. I don’t know how old you are, but PLEASE understand that 1) not all black women are hair-retarded (to borrow your term) and 2) the actions of black women who are hair-retarded doesn’t have to reflect on you unless you LET it. Being a black woman is a WONDERFUL THING. Don’t let other people’s effed-up thinking and effed-up acting sway you from that. Now…deep breath…… Read more »

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michelle
michelle
10 years ago

I can relate to this article, before I dedided to go natural at 30 years of age, I too used the same hair softener that was used on the child above. I had to ask myself how did the product make my hair more “manageable”. The maintenance that I endured trying to keep the “wet and curly” look was more than if I just would have learned how to take care of my own coils. I used to look at coily/kinky/afro hair like something was wrong with it..and that is truly what the problem is amongst “us”. We have to… Read more »

Ari
Ari
10 years ago

I don’t know any other race of people, besides blacks, who put such corrosive, highly dangerous chemicals in a toddlers hair. The scalp is one of the thinnest areas of skin and can absorb products easily. These little childrens scalps and brains are not even fully developed yet but we are placing sodium hydroxide on it. Just for Me and all of these other “kiddie perm” brands should be shut down my the FDA immediately! These companies are in very high demand and will do anything for a buck. It’s like they are capitalizing on black peoples insecurities about their… Read more »

Tiffany
10 years ago

Wow I wouldn’t do at all. I would let her make her own decision when she was aware and understood the consequences.

Peace, Love and Chocolate
Tiffany

Jade
Jade
10 years ago

Ari,

The reason why blacks are most likely to use such corrosive chemicals on hair is because are hair is the most different from the so-called “standard” of straight, sleek hair. Many other ethnicities who happen to have extremely coily hair get relaxers as well!

Black Married Momma
10 years ago

This is a great example for all those who condone, apply or support “texturizers” to see the true damage being wreckoned on the hair. They are no less damaging or any more palatable than an all-out relaxer, and there is absolutely no reason for these chemicals to be applied to a child’s hair.

Nina
Nina
10 years ago

Man, I should not have read this post. It sent me straight to Facebook to check up on a family member who was threatening to relax her 5 year old’s hair. She did it :(. I warned her against it, as did her mother (albeit backwardly because she called the child’s hair nappy in the same breath) and her sister was dead-set against it and even called her on the fact that she (the mother) did not have a perm as a child and had no idea what it was like. I sent the mother links to many natural hair… Read more »

Crist
Crist
8 years ago
Reply to  Nina

Brilliant

Leo the Yardie Chick
Leo the Yardie Chick
10 years ago

This is also part of the reason I’m on my Journey to the Big Chop after 15 years of relaxers (Mum sent me off to do it when I was 11). If I’ve ever blessed with a daughter, I will be able to show her than there is nothing wrong with having naptural hair AND I will be able to use the knowledge I’ve gained to care for both her hair and mine.

Ari
Ari
10 years ago

@ Jade I know other ethnicities do use relaxers, but I don’t know of any besides those of African descent, who apply it to the scalp of their 2 year old baby. These kiddie relaxers such as Just For Me are marketed to little black girls and their mothers. You can tell from the colorful packaging to appeal to younger customers and the pictures of young African American girls with straightened or loosened hair from the chemicals. Not one little girl on the relaxer/texturizer box has natural afro textured hair. The products promise to “.…mildly loosen curls and kinks that… Read more »

Melissa
Melissa
10 years ago

Yikes! Too bad the little girl had to go through that. I have a two year old and cant imagine putting a relaxer in her hair. Yes it can be a challenge at times (not b/c of her texture so much) but b/c she hates to have her hair combed or washed. Sigh. Anywho, what ever the challenge it is not enough for me to want to dump a bunch of chemicals on her hair. I can’t even comprehend that. BTW my little lady’s hair is growing really nicely and very healthy despite the long stretches with out combing or… Read more »

beadgyrl
beadgyrl
10 years ago

First I want to say, what a little cutie! She is adorable and I loved how she posed for the top picture. Secondly, I will say I don’t know why young black children have to be conditioned so early to not be familiar with their natural hair texture. I think in my youth, (as an almost 40 year old). Most, not all black moms were more willing to deal with their daughters hair. My mom never relaxed me and my sister’s hair. She let us make our own decision when we became older teenagers, and of course we did, because… Read more »

Angel
10 years ago

Gosh I felt really emotional when reading this, poor little cutie I am so glad she is loving her BC.

When will we stop harming our children with these dangerous chemicals. At least give them the chance to decide.

April
10 years ago

THIS is the VERY REASON why I went natural…I was perming my hair one day when @ 2 my oldest said “Mommy,I want str9 pretty hair like yours” I NEVER realized how when I TALKED about my “naps” or very coarse hair..that she listend and internalized my wack thinking at iwas talking about hers…BOTH of my girls were blessed with very Curly THICK, GORGEOUSE HAIR… that might take us the whole weekend to stlye, braid or pigtail out..but NOW they both appreciates that MOMMY’s hair looks like theirs!

LHDC
10 years ago

I don’t know if this is a “trend” but I have two daughters of my own and have NEVER, EVER thought to put any type of chemical in my girls’ hair. In fact, I have made it a point since day 1 to make comments and remarks about how beautiful their hair is each time I wash it, detangle it or style it. I engage my husband as well & often times he compliments their hair on his own. My girls are a bit older than 4, but I can clearly see how much both of them love their hair —… Read more »

serenissima
10 years ago

@beadgyrl: ‘My mom never relaxed me and my sister’s hair. She let us make our own decision when we became older teenagers, and of course we did, because we though having straight hair would be cute, and thus started relaxing to fit in with others. But as children, mom always washed, conditioned, combed, greased, and braided our hair every Sunday night so it would be ready for school on Monday morning. We wore scarves to bed to keep it neat and she re-braided it as needed.’ this is my EXACT story. i have a TON of hair and i am… Read more »

Nettie
10 years ago

As a mom of two girls (and two boys who I want to choose partners based on something better) this makes me crazy!! My oldest is 9 and she is already exhibiting feelings of wanting to be like her straight haired friends. Some of these girls have moms who take care of their relaxed hair well, but some have hair that is tragically broken like the little girl above. The worst is when they slap heavy extensions in to “save” it. This was the main reason I was glad I was natural when she was a baby. But I didn’t… Read more »

Joy
Joy
10 years ago

She is SUCH a cuteeee! I’m glad she handled her BC like a big girl, and I hope she rides this wave of naturalista beauty, confidence, and strength like the Black princess she is! From all the other concerned aunties out there, thanks for stepping in there when you did!

EbonyLolita
10 years ago

Your niece is gorgeous. Thank God for auntie!!! By your hands her hair will grow healthy which makes it “Good”

dora97129
dora97129
10 years ago

bonjour,je la maman d’une petite filles de 8ans,ces cheveux sont naturel j’ai demander conseil a un magasin qui revendait les produit just for me!,j’ai demander a la vendeuse un lait coiffant elle ma proposer cette marque la mais j’ai utiliser le produit y a 2 jrs et j’ai coiffer ma fille pour l’école et se matin je la décoiffe ses cheveux fument je ne conprend pas pourquoi ‚pouvez vous m’aider s’il vous plait a trouver une solution .je vous remercie

Andrea
Andrea
10 years ago

@dora97129, A quelle produit just for me avez-vous utilise? Aussi, je pense qu’il n’est pas beaucoup de gens ici qui parlent francais, donc ca sera difficile a obtenir une reponse. pourtant, j’espere que je puisse trouver une response pour vous.

Jaz
Jaz
10 years ago

she is SO lucky to have an aunty like you! It only takes 1 person in a child’s life to make them feel special, to teach them that they are naturally beautiful. she is beautiful

The Beautiful One
The Beautiful One
10 years ago

Awww, what a beautiful little person, so cute. 🙂

Le Le
Le Le
9 years ago

I wish she’d do an update post on how the little girl’s hair has grown, how she feels about her hair, and how the mom feels about her daughter’s hair, too, with pictures.

Jarquisha
Jarquisha
9 years ago

I will very soon!

Byoteenapp
Byoteenapp
9 years ago

Unfortunately I have a best friend who put a perm in her god-daughters hair before the child was 1 year old. I couldnt believe it! I kept asking her if she was for real,…until I saw the little thing at church one Sunday. I was so upset! The sad thing is her mother is a beautician who doesn’t believe in natural hair or it’s upkeep. I gave her a jar of Kimmaytubes leave in conditioner that I’d bastardized, but she threw it away. The girl just turned two and she now has less hair than she began with! I won’t… Read more »

Charmaine
Charmaine
9 years ago

It hurts my heart to see very young girls with relaxers. When I was pregnant with my daughter I vowed to never put chemicals in her hair regardless of what her texture may be. Unfortunately, when I was deployed and she was with her god mother she put a texturizer in her hair, which she didn’t even need, and her hair was terribly damaged. Thankfully I was able to not have to cut so much and just nuture her hair better myself. My daughter is the reason I’m natural because I want to set that example. I can’t teach her… Read more »

Larrisha
Larrisha
6 years ago

First I would like to say that this little girl is a cutie pie ! She would be beautiful no matter if her hair was chemically straightened or natural. Beauty is NOT hair nor is being “black” wearing natural hair. The comments about how can you teach a black girl the beauty of her ethnicity if you straighten her hair is SICKENING! I am 23 years old and my hair is RELAXED and I LOVE it it has been that way since I was two and I never had a problem with my hair growing it has always been long… Read more »

Taylor
Taylor
6 years ago
Reply to  Larrisha

Love your comment! I have the same problem with my daughter and I hate to see her in so much pain whenever I comb her hair. Can you recommend any products and if you have texturised your daughters hair do you have a brand and make you could recommend please.

Many thanks!

cubanflowers
cubanflowers
5 years ago
Reply to  Larrisha

asinine.….….….believeing that a perm is ok.…to put for a babys hair… is so..asinine.…. .….….…if you people.. feel it was going to be a struggle to comb hair.. you should have kept the hair between your legs.. glued shut… making it difficult for anyone to come part your lips.. and plant life inside your womb!.. .…..what would you or your mother do if.. no perm or texturizer existed!.….…?… .. i will have to assume.. she would do what you have done.. buy NON chemical to comb your baby’s hair!… hair doesn’t determine .. pride.. or race… but give the babies a… Read more »

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