When I was heading into grade seven, I hated my hair. I also hated my body, my clothes and pretty much everything else about my appearance. I figure it goes with the territory. But back then, changing that appearance wasn't all that much of an option.
But this isn't 1980: it's a new era of girlhood. Back then, we looked up to Olivia Newton-John and Lady Di:
Today, their role models are Katy Perry and Lady Gaga:
Now there's a whole post in here about the over-sexualized influences of pop culture on our young girls, but this isn't it. This post is actually about hair.
More specifically, my daughter's hair.
Now Katy Perry and Lady Gaga might be a bit extreme, but take for example Disney superstar Selena Gomez sporting blue and purple streaks:
Or YTV star Ariana Grande, who my girls both admire:
With images like these everywhere, is it any wonder that my girls have asked to have their hair coloured, curled, straightened, streaked and even feathered? And while my first instinct is to say, "absolutely not!" it would seem that young girls everywhere are changing their hair in ways unheard-of thirty years ago. The other girls in my daughters' circle have had highlights, streaks of pink, blue and purple (both temporary, permanent and extensions), and feathers. Many have also used semi-permanent dyes in wild colours like orange, pink and purple.
So when my older daughter wanted to change her hair up, it wasn't that big of a surprise. And what she wanted isn't that surprising either. No, not blue or purple, not feathered or streaky. Just long. -er. Longer. Her chin-length locks seem to grow in slow-motion, and it seems all the girls these days have long, straight tresses.
So: extensions then. I took some time to think about it myself, and then consulted the pros at my hair salon, and settled on clip-in extensions: they're not permanently attached to the hair so they can be worn - or not - whenever you like. They're made out of real human hair, they can be matched to your own colour and can be curled, straightened and worn in any style. My stylist tipped me off to a local store where the salons buy their extensions and in the end, I was able to buy them for not much more than a regular haircut.
After a bit of practice, we've mastered putting them in her hair in under five minutes, and she's worn a pony tail, braid, bun and lots of pretty clips. I can't remember her loving her hair like this in - well - EVER. And in the end, although instantly-long hair was unheard-of when I was eleven, I think I love them as much as she does.