In past generations little girls were encouraged to wear natural hair. In fact, many weren’t allowed to wear anything but - no heat, no chemicals, etc.; just pom poms, ponytails and braids. When heat and chemicals became “the easy fix” (we were trying to fix something that wasn’t broken) and increasingly popular in the 1960-70s we, in large numbers, jumped on the bandwagon without much protest. Unfortunately, many took the children on that ride, too. If we’re honest the heat and chemicals altered our natural hair with detrimental side effects. Following that trend, our youth have been allowed to wear weaves, extensions and even dye. It’s sad to see young girls with broken edges and hair loss due to unhealthy hair care practices.
Everyone benefits from Sisterlocks, especially children. The sooner the appreciation for our natural hair is instilled in children the less likely they are to want to alter their texture. It is not recommended to establish Sisterlocks in children younger than 5 years old, however, many moms have. (A Consultant will be able to advise appropriately on a case by case basis).
Are there challenges with locking children? Yes, there can be, as there can with anything you do in life. The most common challenge children must overcome is sometimes being “the only one” with locks. Their peers sometimes do not understand the benefits and tease because the child with locks is “different.” Sometimes, this teasing is further spurred by a “green eyed monster.”
Here are some tips to making life easier:
1.) It’s usually best when a child chooses locks for themselves rather than the decision being made for them. This is best accomplished when they are pre-educated and made a part of the decision making process. Show them photos, the Sisterlocks videos and calendars, etc. Attend Sisterlocks and natural hair events where they can interact with other children/adults who have them also.
2.) Explain the benefits of having Sisterlocks, i.e. being able to participate in sports and exercise (track, swimming, etc.) without worrying about the hair reverting; having versatile styling options and having unlimited hair growth. The list goes on and on.
3.) We’ve discovered children have an easier time when other family members also wear locks and encourage their decision. This is often a family affair and children feel there’s safety in numbers. A strong community of support helps to build a child’s self esteem.
4.) Address bullying, immediately. If a problem arises, discuss the matter openly and offer to educate those in authority (teachers, administrators, etc.). Lack of knowledge can worsen any situation. Bullying is often seen around the middle school ages - when their peers have weak, damaged hair (from heat and chemicals, braids too tight, etc.) and haven’t been taught the beauty of natural hair and Sisterlocks. Meanwhile, your child’s Sisterlocks are “down their backs.” Help your child to recognize that this is not a reflection on them, at all - translation: haters gonna hate!
So, spare your child the unnecessary heartache of burns on her ear and neck; hair loss and pain and suffering. Teach them that their hair is beautiful! Besides, “...learning to love yourself, it the greatest love of all!”
For more information on all things Sisterlocks and to order products go to www.sisterlocks.com and thank you for sharing.