Every once in a blue moon, I get a request that seems odd to me and it probably seems that way to because I don’t have any children and don’t understand why a parent or guardian would want to place extensions in a young girl’s hair. I know what some of you may be thinking–oh, Glenna doesn’t understand the struggle of getting little ones up early in the morning and started for their day. That may not be a struggle I have personally experienced, but I do have some idea through the mothers that I do know.
I do perform extension services (braids, twists, crochet braids, loc extensions) on adults and some of the questions I ask are:
1. Have you worn extensions before?;
2. What was your extension experience like?;
3. How was your hairline before, during, and afterward?;
4. What is the general health of your hair now?; and
5. Most importantly, what is your hairline like now?
I have performed extension services on children before. They have been twists, done with Marley hair and not tightly at all. Those questions above, are the same ones I ask the parent or guardian regarding the child they plan on scheduling an appointment for. The first thing I ask the parent or guardian is why the “need” for extensions on their young child. Most of the time, it’s to save time in the mornings, which I think most people can understand. However, if the wrong stylist/person is hired to do the job, the child’s hairline may be in serious trouble and the future of that hairline may be in jeopardy.
Recently, I was in a situation where many people were getting their hair done at once. While, I was working on an adult, I was asked by another person, if I would be able to do a young girl’s hair with extensions. The child was about maybe 7-9 years old, which is young, but not that young. I had to decline, as she had already showed signs of damage along her hairline. I explained why I wouldn’t do the service, and I offered to do a style with her natural hair. The guardian wasn’t too happy with me and got another person in the room to perform the service instead. There wasn’t much I could do. I advised that the child shouldn’t be wearing extensions. Those decisions must be made on an individual basis. I didn’t care about losing a dollar, as it was more important the education was passed along. Now, although, she didn’t take my advice, it was delivered and that was all I could do. What I should have done was put on my superhero cape, grab my comb, and done a somersault across the room, and landed between the child and the woman who had been designated to cause further damage to the young one’s hair. Although, the way I install extensions doesn’t damage one’s hairline, I wasn’t comfortable performing the service on the young girl and suggested an alternative. I do more than just enhance one’s looks with my services–I also provide education as to why I do what I do, on an individual basis.
I am not an advocate of performing extension work on kids (I am referring to braid or twist extensions), but I will after asking the right questions and considering the age of the child. It breaks my heart to see young girls with damaged hairlines/hair. For the most part, an adult is responsible for the upkeep of the child’s hair. It is our jobs as adults to ensure that they have a healthy hair or, for goodness sakes, until they at least get to high school! Countless times, I see preteens and teens wearing weaves or tightly installed braids or twists. Now, before all the people who perform weave services flood the comments section, let me explain. I don’t know many people who can install a great looking weave without damaging one’s hairline over time. So, if you can do a great job or weave is your thing, and your hairline is still looking great, more power to you. I am just not a proponent of weave, as it’s hard for the scalp to breathe and can cause damage.
I just really feel that we are responsible for what goes on with girls hair. We have to educate them on proper hair maintenance, so that they can carry those good habits forward. I know because I have these people as adult clients and for the most part their story is the same–their parent/guardian had tight extensions installed when they were kids or they didn’t know how to properly care for their hair. I believe that there are many resources available to people now and the excuses hopefully dissipate. If anything, people now at least have more access to natural hair stylists, in their cities, who are knowledgeable and can help to educate their clients on home maintenance.
I was pleasantly surprised to read an article written about how I care for the hairline during my services. Check out, blogger, Bee Quammie’s article on her latest single braid extension service with me this Summer!
If you have any questions or would like to book an appointment, please do not hesitate to contact me!
Hair By Glenna