Q: I have been a hairdresser for over 30 years and I had someone ask me a question today and I couldn’t believe it. Her
daughter is 9 years old and wants a few highlights and someone asked her if she had started her menstrual cycle yet and said they
weren’t suppose to if they hadn’t started? Am I right to say that it is rubbish? Please email I am dying to know.
A: You are correct in that there is nothing to indicate that a girl should be post menstrual before she can have her hair chemical
altered. The reason this “old wives tale” came about was most likely because many cultures consider a young girls beginning menses as
a sign of maturation. However, since children today are developing earlier and earlier, the onset of menses happens often as much as
4-5 years earlier than a century ago.
This isn’t to say that I’m a big fan of allowing children to begin getting chemical services that
alter the natural texture, color or wave pattern of their hair. But my opposition to doing so is that children often want something
without knowing all the extra factors involved in caring for the hair afterward. However, each child is different, and if the parent
is willing to take responsibility for making sure the child cares for the processed hair properly, I say, “go ahead”.
So, to summarize, your instincts are correct. The idea that the child must have begun her
menstruation before she can have her hair highlighted is pure rubbish. Just make sure that all the proper guidelines are followed
for patch testing, and strand testing to ensure that the process is safe for the individual child.