by Sherrell Dorsey of

I mention all the time the Just For Me story that too many of us recollect. That dreaded moment of sitting in our mama’s kitchen saturated with the creamy crack waiting for the burning to begin before she would wash it out. A ritual that’s been practiced in the black community that has dire consequences I’m sure that if our mama’s knew then what we know now about chemicals, especially the harmful effects of relaxers, they would have skipped the kit and just given me my Cleopatra braids from the jump.

Thank God that we’re waking up as a community, going natural, teaching each other how to go natural and creating products that cater to our natural hair.

If you’re still not convinced to leave your child’s hair alone here are my top 4 reasons why you shouldn’t relax her precious mane:

You’re Lazy

Yes I said it. Parents that relax their children’s hair because it’s more “manageable” haven’t taken the time to learn what products and techniques can help them best maintain their child’s hair. Brands like Curly Q’s, Curls, Kinky Curly Kids, Mixed Chicks and Carol’s Daughter Princess Collection cater specifically to children’s hair. You can find detanglers, shampoos, conditioners, curl enhancers and everything you need to tame the “un-tameable”. If you’re not that interested or have the time to invest, do like my mom did and enlist the help of an auntie or hair salon.

It Can Kill Your Daughter’s Self-Esteem

When we relax our children’s hair, what is it that we are really saying to them? That your hair is so bad we have to completely change the texture! Why isn’t it cool for them to rock their afro loud and proud? I officially went natural the first time in elementary school. I rocked twists and braids and you know what? I had more hair on my head than most of my friends with relaxers. Being of African decent we should be proud and honored of what grows naturally from our head. Not change it to fit into a European image of beauty. Think deeply about your own subconscious ideals about beauty before you make an impact on your little princess.

You’re Exposing Her To Long-Term Health Effects

We all know that relaxers no matter if they’re made for kiddies, no “lye” or olive oil. They are still toxic! Not only do you risk scarring your child’s scalp but there have been studies linking long-term use of relaxers to breast cancer in African American women who’s products are dominated with estrogen-containing chemicals. Please tell me: Is it worth it?

You Could Ruin Their Hair Before It Get’s A Chance to Grow

Kids are still new to the world with their skin and hair being very fragile. Adding chemicals to their hair at a too early age can damage their fresh new hair. Just like braiding too tightly. Let your child decide at an older age if they want to go the relaxer route but don’t press it when they’re strands are already delicate.

Remember, you can always straighten her hair and allow her to rock different looks. Instill in your daughter early that there is nothing wrong with her natural hair and she is beautiful in all different types of styles.

How do you feel about the child hair relaxing issue?

Sherrell Dorsey is a natural beauty expert, writer, speaker and advocate of health, wellness and sustainability in communities of color. In addition to creating, Sherrell writes beauty articles for Tyra Banks’s beauty and fashion site, Jones Magazine, and Posh Beauty. Follow Sherrell on twitter at and connect with her on facebook at