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The Time a Stranger Wondered if My 2‑Year-Old Had Extensions…

Avatar • Sep 8, 2015

I’ve heard strange comments about my hair before, but recently I heard something that made me want to fall out my chair.

I styled my two year old’s hair in a gorgeous twist and curl look for church. She looked amazingly adorable and at two years old she takes after both her Ghanaian and Haitian roots and has thick natural hair that looks relatively long for her size.

2 year olds thick natural hair

A gentleman looked on to compliment her, then stroked her head and asked, “Is that all her hair?”

My BGLH sisters, I was confused as all get up because, really?! Is it that impossible for a clearly brown baby girl to have beautiful, natural afro-textured hair WITHOUT the help of extensions.

Y’all please don’t get me wrong here, I’ve got no issue with extensions, wigs, etc, and neither do I believe the gentlemen was trying to be unkind, but the question begs the reply, “So black babies are so deprived  from having the blessing of thick, long hair, that the assumption must be that even at two years old, if their hair looks like this then it must be extensions?”

Friends, the ignorance is appalling. one need not be mixed or have a lighter hue in their complexion to naturally have the capacity, without the help of extensions to retain long, thick hair.

What’s the craziest thing someone has ever asked or assumed about your child’s natural hair?

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About Cassandre

Just another naturalista playing by my own rules! Got hair that doesn't seem to grow past your shoulders? Check out my free Grow Your Hair Faster Video Course

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Sarita
Sarita
5 years ago

I agree, it is a shame when people fail to realize that we had thick, long, growing hair long before extensions. But, because of the over use of them, most people have come to think that the only way we can have hair longer than a TWA is to have extensions. For that I blame those of us who have over used them. I was nearly 40 the first time I got a weave or used a wig. And that was because my own, very think and long (although relaxed) hair had fallen out. I know naturals swear by ACV,… Read more »

Leah
Leah
5 years ago
Reply to  Sarita

It’s not them simply asking because they are curious it’s them ASSUMING THAT you can’t have thick or long hair if your black and you have to be mixed with something! They don’t do that with other races and other races use extensions and wigs as well !! That is the problem !!

London Girl
London Girl
5 years ago

Most two year olds- black or white- don’t have long thick hair. You are making way too much of the comment. It sounds like your daughter has a lot of hair for such a young child.

Sarita
Sarita
5 years ago
Reply to  London Girl

I don’t know if I’d say “most”. I was one with thick and long hair from very young. In fact, I had so much hair when I was born, people used to ask my parents, “who’s Indian in your family.” So, don’t generalize and stick us all into one box. Many of my friends also had long and thick hair. Our Mothers really took care of our hair back in the day. It looks like we are beginning to take great pride in our hair again. To that I say: Hoorah!!!

maralondon
maralondon
5 years ago
Reply to  London Girl

This is what I thought. It’s not that big a deal someone asking if your hair is real or not. I got asked this question a few times when I was younger. Unfortunately mothers putting extensions in babies hair is common place where I am. Just this week a Polish lady, whose daughter is in the same school/class as my daughter commented on my daughters hair telling me that it is beautiful, plentiful and thick. She then went onto to say that her neighbour spends lots of money getting her daughter’s hair done with extensions and she’s only 7. Apparently… Read more »

IDGAF
IDGAF
5 years ago
Reply to  maralondon

whoa thats bad and the Polish lady said it is beautiful.. and a sister says all that negative stuff to another rather than building on that and using that moment to say something positive… passing to our children and greenlight to others to look down on us.. African men and women are quite attractive..

CC
CC
5 years ago

I think 2 years old is too young for extensions. I have actually NEVER EVER seen a 2 year old with extensions. As a parent it would be irresponsible to do so and could potentially damage the child’s hair growth. Next problem with that question was the assumption that, that babies hair just couldn’t be that long because of her complexion. My best friends daughter half black/half white with a light complexion and was nearly bald headed until she was almost 4 years old, I mean like Homer Simpson bald. It still took its time to growing when it finally… Read more »

marie
marie
5 years ago

It’s not that weird. I live in ghana and get asked that question all the time as if it’s a conversation starter. Also a lot of people from little kids to grown women wear some form of extensions so you can’t always tell if a beautiful mane of her is actually growing from a persons scalp. Don’t get offended, some ppl think the question is as harmless as ‘Is that a genuine leather bag’ (random example I know)
Some ppl even think it’s a compliment like ‘ur hair is too good to be true’

cryssi
cryssi
5 years ago

Preach! My father asks me this same ridiculous question everytime he sees me.…and I grew up with long hair. It’s like he can’t figure it out because I cut my hair before.

Shak75
5 years ago
Reply to  cryssi

OMG, I go through this with a family member as well, every single time I get asked if it’s all mine. Before it was “why are you always cutting your hair?” Then when I stopped doing that I get questioned like I’m trying to pull one over on everyone. What the freak?

thatsilvergirl
thatsilvergirl
5 years ago

You said just what I was thinking! Much more succinctly too. With all the sew-ins and gluing and weaving up we do, why are we so shocked and appalled when someone asks if the hair is real. Other cultures expect that it’s a weave because so often it is. Take pride in the fact that it’s not, but don’t act like its so far fetched for someone to ask or even assume otherwise.

DeepCherrish
DeepCherrish
5 years ago
Reply to  thatsilvergirl

We are in agreement!

SimplePseudonym
SimplePseudonym
5 years ago

As long as a great percentage of black women (and now a decent number of children) are wearing weaves and braid extensions, it’s not an irrational question/assumption.

However…Did no one teach him that ist’s impolite to ask a someone if their hair is real or fake?

Cosita
Cosita
5 years ago

agreed. I consider asking someone you don’t know personal questions like if their hair is real as impolite. Even if one woman is not bothered by it that doesn’t mean the next one isn’t so why take the risk of offending them. I know quite a few women who have had boob jobs so it’s not uncommon. What if this man had gone up to a woman and asked are those your real breasts? Has our society determined we are somehow entitled to know other people’s business.

IDGAF
IDGAF
5 years ago

and he touched the baby’s head.. like who is he to do that lol?! I have been thru that..ppl try to root you and they don’t even know you!!

Alternatively...
Alternatively...
5 years ago

I wouldn’t call the man outright ignorant. Black people are really just beginning to figure out how to really care for our hair. I’m sure he’s seen little girls with extensions or chemically-altered hair before because… surprise, surprise it’s not all that uncommon. You’ve got to realize that some of the stereotypes about natural black hair have been perpetuated by our own knowledge deficit in caring for it. I think the more the black community embraces natural hair, the less people will go around assuming that a beautiful head of hair on a black person is fake. Up until now,… Read more »

AfroQueen
AfroQueen
5 years ago

You’re right. Unfortunately, I’ve seen little girls with box braids. They were like, 4 or 5 years old. Under 10, I find box braids too heavy and relaxers too dangerous for such a young child! I even saw a little girl with damaged, brittle relaxed hair…Some people ask “who does that?”… Well when the mother doesn’t know how to figure out with her own hair, she will put the same crap on the child’s hair…

Cosita
Cosita
5 years ago

I personally have NEVER seen a two year old baby with extentions or chemically treated hair. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen but I can say if it’s common some places then it’s not common everywhere. Most mothers I know even those with relaxers would frown on that and a mom who did would likely be chastised. I have seen some four year olds but I can usually tell the difference a 2 year old toddler (bottles, many still wearing diapers) and a 4 year old child (pre‑k and able to read) because of the huge amount of development. But… Read more »

ebaiden
ebaiden
5 years ago

imho we did this to ourselves.
We’ve worn weaves for so long that now its engraved in our subconscious minds that real thick natural hair exists only as extensions.
It didn’t take us over night to have this mentality, so it will not take over night for us to break from this god-aweful spell.
#myopinion

Sarita
Sarita
5 years ago

As with so many things, extensions were not created for us! White women have access to them for ages. But it somehow became a problem when we started using them. It was as if we came up with the idea. But that’s was another excuse for some to say we hate ourselves. As if we cannot love our skin, hair and culture without reservation unless it in some way reflects love of the eurocentric. Please.They forcibly shaved our heads back then, and told it was dirty; but it didn’t stop them from appropriating it as their own.

OXxo
OXxo
5 years ago
Reply to  Sarita

Actually extensions were used in Africa like many other places for centuries so they aren’t a new phenomena. 

Also not everyone had ancestors who had their heads forceably shaved. 

In fact White Europeans in centuries gone by used to shave their heads and put wigs on because of lice!

guest
guest
5 years ago
Reply to  Sarita

Because we just have to go overboard with EVERYTHING — that’s why. I was in a store with a friend while she was buying a wig, and despite that fact that there were many, and I mean many women in that store, only me and the Korean guy wore our own hair, everyone else wore wigs, and I just stood there and watched him, while he was on this ladder sitting and looking down on everyone else. I’ve also seen women with fake eyelashes on, but now what i’m seeing is “black women” with fake eyelashes so long that you… Read more »

Cosita
Cosita
5 years ago

Your baby’s hair is beautiful. Some of my cousins had long thick hair at that age. I can see why the mother of a two year old would take issue with being asked if her child’s was wearing extentions. I mean who does that? most people would consider that inappropriate. I mean if her two year old baby’s eyes were green would he ask if they were contacts, did she dye her hair if it was blonde. My friend was blonde as a small child and her dad said people would accuse him of dying it. Some things are best… Read more »

Claudette UK
Claudette UK
5 years ago

Both my little girls hair looked like this. I’m sure my hair looked like this when I was a toddler. I suppose I take it for granted that this is what a two year old’s hair looks like. It seems we need to educate a few people out there.

DeepCherrish
DeepCherrish
5 years ago

Sigh…All the things we’ve done to our scalps to assemliate do make it suprising for some people to imagine such lovely hair on a child. Whose ignorance is appalling here? We need to be more compassionate towards each other and all that we have been through. Yes, we have been deprived of the opportunity to have healthy hair of our own for centuries in this country. Now we are taking that opportunity by force and people are entitled to an adjustment period. Say with pride that yes, this is your childs hair, and all you will hear is how beautiful… Read more »

Brianna
3 years ago

Maybe he should have chosen his words more carefully. I can understand the hurt that comes from working so hard on your hair just to have someone discredit you by implying you’ve had some “help”, but at the same time, I also live in a world where everyone of every race adds color extensions and every other possible thing to their heads in the name of fashion. Had you actually put extensions in her hair, which some women do to their daughters, you would not have been so insulted. And had this been another time, this poor man would have… Read more »

Wadalineko
Wadalineko
3 years ago

Personally I think persons are reading too much into that comment. I mean I live in the Caribbean and its common for someone to ask you that question. Hek, I have done that myself. I have even had persons (friends, family and strangers) both male and female ask me that and to me I take it as a complement. Its like they are saying wow your hair looks so good it can’t be real.  I have been natural most of my life and before time I did not know how to properly take care of my hair so my hair was… Read more »

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