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Hair extension: Yes or No?
That’s a common question among mothers of black girls and it has become a heated debate as is everything related to African hair, specially in the US.
I found the matter of black African hair much more open in European countries, there is less criticism and nobody really cares much about how black people, men and women, style their hair.
Here however, it seems as if you can never do something right, hair is too short, too long, too dry, etc. Certain styles are also polemic as dreadlocks, or big afros, and specially relaxed hair and hair extensions.
I think that for an adult, you can do whatever you want with your hair, if it pleases you and if it makes you happy, it’s OK.
Regarding children, unless what you do damages the hair, compromises the health of your child, or the style looks so extreme as to make other people laugh at your kid, then, it’s OK too. Use common sense, as in everything in life.
Hair extensions have to be treated in the same way. It’s just another style you can use.
Do I use it in Feven? Yes I do. Not very frequently, and not because I think her hair isn’t good enough. I use it because I think it’s fun, she likes it and there are certain things that really look good and you can’t do with just her natural hair.
I only do extensions with yarn, not hair. Usually we play with different yarn colors, beads, ribbons, etc. Acrylic yarn is really light, much lighter than many hair accessories, and won’t damage her hair; it can be washed or taken off after a few days.
When we were in Argentina for example, the day the Argentinean soccer team was playing against the Mexican team and everybody was watching the match, I made a special style on Feven’s hair: two long braids with black, white and blue yarn (these last two the colors of the Argentinean flag) held together by a fabric flower.
Argentinean flag hair style with yarn extensions 
Sometimes I just make an only braid with black yarn and then tie around red or pink ribbon, or any other color matching her outfit.
Feven loves her hair in any way possible, if she has braids, she plays with them, if she has beads or a loose afro, she will shake it all day. She asks me to comb her hair everyday, even if it isn’t really necessary, and I don’t think using extensions will make her hate her natural hair, on the contrary, she has learned how versatile it is and how beautiful it looks in any way.
Hair is quite appreciated in Africa and they can really do amazing styles that can look like sculptures. Also certain hair styles convey certain meanings, and you can see how much time some Africans spend styling their hair.
So I don’t know why we can’t do here the same and appreciate and play with hair.
People in Argentina loved Feven’s hair and styles. Her hairdos were a breath of fresh air to the usually boring styles they see everyday in everybody: short hair, pony tail or simply loose straight hair… Yawn…
Enjoy your children’s hair along with them; experiment, have fun, don’t be afraid about what others think and in this way you’ll teach them to be free.
Your little girl will grow up fast and by then you won’t be part of her choices of hair styles anymore.