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Beauty Vlogger Jessica Pettway Speaks After Being Criticized for Giving 2‑Year-Old Daughter Crochet Twists

Avatar • Jan 29, 2016

Last week natural hair vlogger Jessica Pettway posted an adorable photo of her two-year old daughter, Kailee, wearing crotchet twists.

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Responses to the image, however, were mixed, with some fans questioning the safety of using of using a protective style on a child so young. Pettway insists, however, that the the style is not only safe, but a great option for busy moms.

BGLH: Why did you choose to put crotchet twists in Kai’s hair?

JESSICA:  Well  because her hair needed a break. It’s always out. I saw a few videos of moms doing crotchet braids on their kids, and I found that they had done crotchet braids with twists. I didn’t have to physically twist her hair, and it gives her hair a break.  We also have a lot workshops and events we’re going to be doing this year and I need her hair to be healthy and strong, so I needed to put her hair away.

BGLH: Tell me more about these workshops.

JESSICA:  I host a series of workshops called Handle with Care, where we provide information and tips for how to do your child’s hair. Moms are busy and it gets overwhelming…I give tips that I use with Kai that help me with styling her hair.

 

dallashandlewithcare

BGLH: Can you share some of those tips with us?

JESSICA: I always make sure she’s well rested, has snacks, and a movie on. I make it a positive experience.

You don’t want to do it at time when they are extremely tired, either. The experience depends on their mood. 

BGLH: So tell us more about the process. Did it take a long time?

JESSICA: The whole process took no more than three hours. Felicia Leatherwood braided her hair, and I installed the crotchet twists.

BGLH: Did she sit still the whole time?

JESSICA:  Yes. She’s so used to it, and it’s not a traumatic process. I make the experience fun for her. She loves getting her hair done. She goes to the cabinets and gets the brushes…I make sure she enjoys doing it. I want her to enjoy getting her hair done. It’s a bonding experience for us. 

BGLH: How did Kai feel about the crotchet twists? 

JESSICA: She loved them! When the style got old we unraveled the twists and cut the hair into a twist-out.

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BGLH: Last year Christina Milian got a lot of flack for styling her daughter’s hair in crotchet twists. What do you think about some of the comments you’ve both received?christina-milian-iG-600x437@2x

JESSICA:  People need to understand that this style isn’t anything new. I had  them when I was a child. Adding extensions to a child’s hair isn’t new. I think because it’s the age of social media and people think they can say anything.  We all have our perspectives…People may not parent the way I parent my child, and that’s fine, but don’t try to force your philosophy on someone else. 

Watch Kai get her hair done here:

What do you think of Kai’s crotchet twists? Share your thoughts below!
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About Lisa Jean Francois

I'm a Lipstick-obsessed Journalist and Fashion Blogger. You can find me over on my blog or youtube channel swatching lippies and strutting around in 5-inch heels. I'm a also a brand coach, specializing in video marketing and digital brand development. Find me @lisaalamode.

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Tiffany Spencer
Tiffany Spencer
4 years ago

Too much for a 2 year olds fragile/delicate edges and hair overall pulling a crochet needle in and out the braid/twist is causing tension in my opinion. How hard is it to throw it up in a puff and go. Or if she can sit through 3 hours of that do cornrows with beads maybe or no beads could be a better alternative. 2 years old is to young for crochet in my opinion at least wait till she is 5 or 6 years old. From the look of it looks like she may have some breakage in her edges.… Read more »

CocoaGoddess
CocoaGoddess
4 years ago

We never really know how it feels because we aren’t Kai. So, even if it looks a little heavy, we can’t say anything because we are not Jessica’s child. And Jessica did say that Kai’s hair was always out and needed a break.

S. Williams
S. Williams
4 years ago
Reply to  CocoaGoddess

thank you! so many comments “what is she teaching her child?!” she’s teaching her that it’s ok to sometimes give your hair a break. Jessica herself does protective styling, fun ones might I add, she shows her daughter. what I see is a bunch of people who are sooo natural these days that they deem it appropriate to govern what a parent does to his/her child’s natural hair.

Sandy
Sandy
4 years ago

There nice but I would think they would be quite heavy for their little head to take all the weight of hair on there heads…*shrug* that’s my opinion.

Truth Hurts
Truth Hurts
4 years ago

This is wrong on so many levels, why is she putting the heavy a$$ hair on a 2 yr old head?! Her edges look weak already. What is this telling the child, that her real hair isn’t good enough. If she trying to grow it out why wear the corn rows. And, this Q & A was a softball interview, why not ask her what’s wrong with the child hair that she puts fake hair in it.

fromanotherplanet
fromanotherplanet
4 years ago
Reply to  Truth Hurts

DEAD @ her edges look weak already.

Ediyemade
Ediyemade
4 years ago

The interview was seriously soft ball. But yeah, it’s her baby, she knows her best. Crochet I think is a great style for kids but I would say something shorter or closer to their real length. So long as it’s crochet. As for the milian lady, that hair was just too much for a baby. Crochet or not. I know how annoying it is sleeping with long braids. How much more a baby

Elodie Careme
Elodie Careme
4 years ago

Something I don’t like with vloggers and bloggers (especially the Beauty and/or Fashion ones), they loooove receiving the “you are so beautiful”, “your hair is gorgeous” and “I love your GRWM video” but as soon as they receive criticism, they apply the “I do what I want philosophy”, “it’s my hair”, “it’s my kid” policy. If you like the praising you should be ready to accept the criticism too even if it hurts your ego. If you receive a huge backlash maybe you should question yourself and your practices. It takes a village to rise children so it takes more… Read more »

Opiner
Opiner
4 years ago
Reply to  Elodie Careme

Sure, it’s good to be open to constructive criticism, but the person’s ultimate choice is still their own, especially when it comes to their children. There’s a difference between being open to advice and implementing advice. Being a beauty vlogger does not obligate you to behave in accordance with other people’s opinions merely because they voice them.

Cosita
Cosita
4 years ago
Reply to  Elodie Careme

I agree. I notice some people want to put themselves out there to get “fame” and attention but don’t want to deal with all that comes with. When you invite people into your business don’t complain about criticism that’s not rude. Expect criticism. As for this story. Yes extensions for children are not new. I had them in fifth grade but if she is going to act like this weave on toddlers/babies is all so common then how come I have NEVER SEEN IT. I don’t agree with it. I don’t see how just the cornrows wouldn’t accomplish the same.… Read more »

Yurilyte
Yurilyte
4 years ago

I just don’t think it’s necessary to introduce young girls to weave at that age. Encourage them to appreciate their own hair and opt for all-natural protective styles.

Blair
Blair
4 years ago

When I was younger I wore extensions in my hair so I wouldn’t keep messing with it throughout the day and it would last a while. I don’t disagree with what she is saying, you make the decisions for your family. & The hair actually isn’t heavy at all. A head of beads is more heavy

S. Williams
S. Williams
4 years ago
Reply to  Blair

exactly! so much more tension with beads than with crochet

kia
kia
4 years ago

again, her child’s head and nobody else’s business except for hers.

uhoh-ohno
uhoh-ohno
4 years ago
Reply to  kia

Um … The tag line at the bottom of the interview is literally, “What do you think of Kai’s crochet twists? Share your thoughts below.” If Kai’s mother didn’t want anyone in her business or anyone commenting about her daughter, then she shouldn’t have agreed to the interview.

kia
kia
4 years ago
Reply to  uhoh-ohno

the writer asked me for my opinion; however, i didn’t ask for yours. My opinion still stands.

uhoh-ohno
uhoh-ohno
4 years ago
Reply to  kia

Lucky for you, I didn’t have to ask permission before exposing your faulty logic, because you automatically opened your remarks up to debate and opinion, the minute you posted comments on a public message board. Now that you know how this process works, I’m sure you’ll do better next time.

You’re Welcome, BTW.

kia
kia
4 years ago
Reply to  uhoh-ohno

I didn’t open the floor up to anything because I responded with a statement and not a question. You should learn the difference between the two. You can thumb thug all day honey, but as I’ve already stated — my opinion still stands and I didn’t ask you for your opinion.

StraightShooter
StraightShooter
4 years ago

If her hair needs a break put it in some twists. Two years old is way too young to be installing a weave on a child.

trulylovelyone
trulylovelyone
4 years ago

This, in my opinion, is no different from sewing an actual weave into a child’s head. Unnecessary tension on the scalp and edges, and much too “grown.” Let children be children. They have all of teenage years and adulthood to take more experimental risks with their hair.

MalagasyGirl
MalagasyGirl
4 years ago
Reply to  trulylovelyone

It’s cute and all, but this could destroy the child’s love for their OWN hair. At such a young age, this will have an impact on future scenarios. Save it for later, but not when she’s two! When i was two, we shaved my hair off to make it more dense & coarse; didn’t glam it up.

Nunahya
Nunahya
4 years ago

This hair style is inappropriate for a child that young, and there are no two ways about it. The hair looks heavy and unbecoming on both kids. What should be photos of absolutely adorable girls learning to enjoy their beautiful God-given kinks, coils, curls, and waves are instead replaced with some poor parenting decisions when it comes to that mass of fake and heavy hair. On another note, I find this site incredibly hard to navigate on an iPhone. It’s always difficult to find the comments or to add one . Not sure if I’m the only person who has… Read more »

Kay Ro
Kay Ro
4 years ago

well i agree with the sentiment that she can do whatever she wants to her child’s head. i also don’t think the style is particularly “grown” nor is the hair heavy. my only issue is that is doesn’t look that great on a toddler for some reason? like it just looks like a bad wig. baby is adorable though. not trying to shame!

S. Williams
S. Williams
4 years ago

crochet is nothing new for little girls. my sister got them once a month once she turned 3. the hair itself is super lightweight. people are making judgments on the appearance of heavy-looking hair. in the end, she knows what’s best for her child and her child’s hair care needs

Elle P.
Elle P.
4 years ago

I think Jessica is in many way teaching her child to love her hair at a young age. I’ve seen most of her videos… Granted when I saw the post of Kailee with the Crochet Twists, I knew there will be backlash. In hindsight, the style is a bit too mature for her but that is her kid. I remember wearing a weave growing up and it wasn’t in my hair for a long period of time to prevent damage to the hair. I’m assuming the same applies in this case.

thisworld
thisworld
4 years ago

LORDT!

lis
lis
4 years ago

It looks very sophisticated for a 2 year old..but her kid.

Taneesha Culture Clash Thomas
Taneesha Culture Clash Thomas
4 years ago

I don’t like seeing children’s hair styles with synthetic hair…it’s too grown in my opinion

NaturallyMe
NaturallyMe
4 years ago

If the child’s hair needs a break, braid or twist the child’s hair. Don’t put some fake hair hat on a young, impressionable child…especially such prosthetic that is hardly representative of the child’s natural texture. Forcing their young, revert follicles to bear such weight could lead to problems down the road (just because YOU don’t think it’s heavy, or a child CLAIMS is not heavy, does not mean it is too much for a child’s follicles to handle). I mean, it truly looks ridiculous…like going out with a mop on your head because you want to emulate something you are… Read more »

fromanotherplanet
fromanotherplanet
4 years ago

DEAD @ the gel-ed down edges. I cannot. I will not.

afrovocative
afrovocative
4 years ago

Do what you with your kid, who am i to judge? BUT since this is a forum i will say that weaves for kids under 5–7 are so unnecessary. Kids hair getting “a break” for us 80s/90s kids were platts with the beads on the end. KID STUFF. Cornrows for a week was a protective styling, not weave. I didn’t start getting medium small box braids in my hair until i was probably 6/7. My mother wouldn’t allow me to get anything other than box braids or cornrow braids with weave. Even Christina Milian knows damn well all that weave… Read more »

LC
LC
4 years ago

It’s a shame, plus it looks so unnatural, let children be children..

Cherubiel Cherub
Cherubiel Cherub
4 years ago

it’s very beautiful:) what do people mean a hairstyle is too grown? when did crochet twist had a starting age. black american hairstyles never had anything to do with age nor status. if her real hair was twisted in the same style it would look no different. her hair will only become stress if it’s done like this more often. anyway such a very beautiful child. I think it’s lovely.

Dr.Rue
Dr.Rue
4 years ago

This child looks older than my 13 year old niece with that crap in her hair. This is a look for older children — 13+ and adults.…not a 2 year old baby. Good Lord.

Camille
Camille
4 years ago

That receding hairline look is REALLY depressing to see on children. Is having a smooth, neat hairline worth all that pain and scalp tension? There are a LOT of hairstyles on little black girls that make me think of the pain those girls have adjusted to. If that’s what you think braids feel like you don’t know any better. I’m thankful my mom would always ask my sister and I if they were too tight and adjust them.

MyFluffyPuffs
4 years ago

Her child looks great! This style isn’t “too” grown at all.

maralondon
maralondon
4 years ago

Too much fakeness for a 2 year old. It’s unnecessary. It’s as if parents these days want their children competing with adults. Can’t we just leave them to be children?

Sistaaaws
Sistaaaws
4 years ago

Its a lovely style, but a bit much for a child. For a 2 year old’s hairline to be receding, the style is definitely wrong. Simple single plaits are good enough for a child, but crotchet twists are heavy whether you deny it or not.

Rocki
Rocki
4 years ago

i dont believe in weave on even me so def not down for it on a kid. we as afro women have enough issues with accepting out hair. adding weave feeds into the “my hair isnt good enough” issue. she had cornrows under the twists right? STOP THERE!

trackback

[…] defended her choice in an interview on Black Girl Long Hair, stating that she had worn extensions as a child and her daughter’s hair “needed a break” […]

Cosita
Cosita
4 years ago

Ridiculous!

Katya
Katya
4 years ago

To some degree, I can understand the use of crochet braids on children, but there’s a limit. How did this get by without her mother (and Milian, apparently), not being able to tell how terrible the styles look? Goodness, what’s wrong with people lol If you’re going to do it, at least do it in a way that’s flattering to the child’s face and body size. They’re supposed to be rocking the hairstyles, the hairstyles aren’t supposed to be wearing them.

Chocolate drop
Chocolate drop
4 years ago

It’s cute. I don’t wear extensions but every time I turn around we are always getting criticized about our hair. I bet if it was natural mfs will call it nappy it’s your hair do what you want with it.

LaShon Renee
4 years ago

People wouldn’t have a problem with the style if it didn’t look so grown. She has the hairstyle of a 15 year old. Simple braids with her own hair would have sufficed as she’s only 2.

Carmyne Revolver
Carmyne Revolver
4 years ago

I just don’t think that a two year old should be wearing any type of extensions. The follicles themselves aren’t strong enough to withstand that type of tension. They may not be heavy for an adult, but for a two year old child’s neck? Just cornrow her hair, do some ponytails…she didn’t have to put a weave in the child’s hair. It’s too much. Given, the experiences with relaxers, and too tight styles, I would think we would have evolved from putting extensions in children’s hair (under age 9)

trackback

[…] defended her choice in an interview on Black Girl Long Hair, stating that she had worn extensions as a child and her daughter’s hair “needed a […]

Philly Jawn
Philly Jawn
4 years ago

its her daughter

Kylasbibi
Kylasbibi
4 years ago

The child is adorable, but that hair style and the subsequent twist out are hot messes. What really is the reason to put such unnatural looks on a two year old. However, it’s her child she can style the way she wants.

Lolalao
Lolalao
4 years ago

The hairstyle is too grownup for her…I think. They have the little donuts she can use to make cute styles. I guess I’m old school. She’s only two!

Serene
Serene
4 years ago

Black girls need to learn how to love their hair especially when they’re younger! While I think this style for a child’s hair is extreme and unnecessary, I don’t know what people mean when they say it’s too “grown” It’s so important that black girls learn to take care of and style their own hair, so they don’t ever have to wear extensions and so they do have “grown” hair when they get older and don’t have to worry about wearing EXTRA hair to make it look “long” because it already is. Isn’t that the point?

tinabobina
tinabobina
4 years ago

After reading reports and studies on the prevalence of traction alopecia in black women, I cringe when I see such heavy-duty protective styles done on young girls, especially toddlers. Their scalps are more sensitive than adults’. I still have some bald spots on my head from damaging practices (extensions, relaxers) used on my hair as a little girl.

I think twists and plaits are fine when done with the child’s own hair. But the extensions do place too much weight on the young girl’s hair.

tinabobina
tinabobina
4 years ago

I stand corrected because apparently it’s crochet braids…well, as long as the cornrows are not tight, who am I to judge?

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