My ten-year-old daughter, Julia, whom I have to remind to brush her hair each morning, wants to get highlights in her hair. When she first approached me with this I quickly said no. I have to dye my hair every six weeks because of premature gray. I hate that I have to expose myself to harsh chemicals. Admittedly, my vanity overrides any health concerns. But hey, I’m an adult. I can make that choice for myself.
Preteens getting highlights seems to be the trend. When I told Julia I didn’t like the idea she said the usual adage, “But mom, all my friends are getting highlights!” I seriously doubted all her friends were getting highlights and I had to refrain from rolling my eyes. But then when her friends came to our house to play I saw that, well, maybe not all, but many of her friends are getting highlights. So I started to think about the idea. I mean, it does look cool and I’m a free-spirited mom who wants to encourage my children to express their indiviualality. When my son, John, grew his hair long, his teachers and grandparents hated it, but I supported his choice to wear his hair the way he liked. “Leave the kid alone”, I’d say. “Let him be who he wants to be for Pete’s sake!”
But is this the same, or is it merely my daughter wanting to be like everyone else? Perhaps this isn’t a case of expressing individuality at all. Honestly, Julia is no fashion setter. Every morning she throws on a T-shirt and shorts and forgets to brush her hair. Even though she loves to paint her nails, she is not what I would term a “girly-girl.” So, I have to question her motive for wanting highlights.
Even though I’m leaning more against it, the question still remains: Should I let my preteen dye her hair, or not?
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