First we hear about little girls getting pedicures, then bikini waxes, and now, at the tender age of 6, it's chemically treated hair. The New York Times reports that today's moms are paying for their daughters to get highlights. (Full disclosure: I was a hair model in high school, and for a good four years my hair got dyed every color of the rainbow. But I made money doing it and I was 15. The girls in the Times are much, much younger.) Says Tammy Curris of Toadly Kool Me salon in Fayetteville, NC, "We've had girls as young as 6 in for highlights, but 9 and 10 is more the norm." Echoes Mark Goodman of Hair Designers of Hilton Head, SC, "Five years ago, the rule of thumb was 15- to 16-year-olds would come in for their first color. Now, that girl is 10."
Is Mr. Goodman horrified by this emerging trend? Hell to the no! "I tell stylists to get more involved in school and community events to reach out to these younger girls. They may not want to think in those terms, but these girls are our future business." Barf.
Ouidad, who owns a Manhattan salon where she is also a stylist, says:
"These girls want flexibility to imitate the styles of their idols, and they need it to look right. Girls as young as 10 come in with little support groups of friends who wait with them hours. And when I turn them into Hannah Montana or whoever they want, they literally jump and cry and scream... I wonder what message we are sending the girls."No shit! Adds former Miss Virginia Nancy Amanda Redd, "Pregnant women can't get highlights, what makes it safe for little girls? These girls are going from baby to mini-adult. They feel naked without their highlights. I think we need a giant dose of realism here."
As for the mothers? They're basically enablers. Says Jane Ordway of New York, "Originally, we went to the salon because [12-year-old daughter] Olivia wanted me to have my hair colored to cover the gray, which I did. But then it turned out she wanted a highlight herself. She does have a really good fashion sense and some of her friends have done it, and I felt we were in the right place to have it done well so I let her." Wait, what? They were at the salon to begin with because the daughter told the mother to get rid of her grays? Fuck. It's not about the parents any more. This nation's youth cannot be saved. When you can buy a tramp stamp for your toddler, you know the end is nigh.
A Girl's Life, With Highlights [NY Times]
Lower Back Tattoos for Your Toddler [Babble]
Earlier: Why Let A Girl Play When She Can Be Made Over Like JonBenet?
How Many 8-Year-Olds Have To Get Bikini Waxes Before We All Agree The Terrorists Have Won?