8 Year Old with Hair Highlights - Really? Do People Do This?

Updated on July 29, 2010
M.M. asks from Wheaton, IL
22 answers

My daughter's 8 year old "friend" will be having her hair highlighted before the start of 3rd grade. Do people really do this? It always amazes me how people overindulge their children and then are baffled by their demanding and materialistic ways as a teen (or younger).

What "out there" things are going on in your neighborhood or school yard?

EDIT: I know this might be abit judgement but sometimes I am just amazed. This particular child in question seems to always have "the latest and greatest stuff" which leaves my child in awe of said stuff. We work hard to bring our child back to center and discuss our family's priorities. It usually works but it is always an uphill battle to fight against the consumerism/materialistic ways of our society.

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answers from Chicago on

Eh. It's only hair. It can always be changed or fixed. I am a hair stylist so I actually just put in a few thin blond highlights in my 8 year olds dirty blond hair. So it is funny that you bring this up. I wouldn't bring her to a salon to pay for it to get done at 8...but since I can do it for free...
There are always going to be some kids who get all the latest toys and electronics at a "too young age". I think that each parent just has to decide for her own child what is acceptable and what is just too much.

(My mom did hair while I was growing up and I had perms by 4th grade! I have a college age client who has been coloring her hair since 4th grade. So I don't think the hair thing is anything new..)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Erie on

not judgemental in my opinion. yes this is just settign them up to worry about their looks. my daughter's little friend 4 yo had hightlights, mom was a beautician and a piece of work. to be honest you could tell they were hightlights and in my opinion not very pretty. Her's weren't a one time thing either,

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answers from Seattle on

<Laughing> Oh.... I'm an "out there" mum. For personal appearance (which is about as superficial as a person can get) I think it's fun. :) For the others, I find them to be practical considerations.

Personal Appearance Schtuff:

- In public K my son wanted green hair for St Patrick's Day, so I dyed his hair green. He won the "contest" for "most spirit" that day. Green doesn't wash out very well, btw. But boy's hair gets cut often and grows quickly.

- Since my son was a toddler he gets "tattoos" when he wants them (his best friend's parents at the time were tattoo artists, so they'd even do the "buzzer" (sans needle) for him and his friend. We'd do the "tattoos" with sharpies. Or superglue and glitter. Frequently he wants and entire sleeve or his back done.

- I've let my son play "dressup" with my makeup. Either the whole eyeliner/rockstar thing or the Cirque du Soleil full face makeup.

- We've spiked, faux-hawked, shaved, and braided (corn row'd) his hair as requested.

- If I'm highlighting my hair, I have no problem also highlighting his if he asks.

- We wear halloween costumes in public on days that aren't halloween. And by we, I usually mean HE wants to wear a costume to the grocery store, or wherever. Sure. They're in the box.

- He's worn both a tux, and jammies to the opera and ballet, as well as street clothes. He gets the most approval from other patrons in Jammies, but gets gracious nods and treated "like a gentleman" (aka is allowed to hold doors, or help with wraps, etc.) when in a tux.

- We go to late night rock concerts all the time. ($10 drummer's earplugs are worth 1000x the price for protecting fragile ears & hearing)

- In hot weather I could care less about a shirt. Heck *I* wouldn't wear a shirt if I could get away with it. He'll also wear a sarrong. But I nix those more often than not because I've found no matter how I tie the knots he's "naked boy" 30 minutes later. I don't personally mind naked, and have no problem with it in the house. I DO have a problem with it in public. He doesn't.

Other things slightly outside of the norm:

- He's had his own cell phone for a couple of years now. For us, it's a practical consideration. It not only has GPS tracking in real time, and not only does it mean that he can (and has been taught to) call us when at other's houses, and not only does it mean that we get to teach phone etiquette so that it's ground in young (the way that we were taught phone etiquette instead of *poof* teen-with-phone), but MOST importantly... we don't have a landline, and payphones practically don't exist anymore. So in case of emergency, he can call 911. This winter, when we bump his allowance, he's also going to be responsible for paying his own bill. If he doesn't do his chores (and so doesn't get paid) his plan will get set to block all calls except 911, mine & dad's numbers. (He'll still have to carry it for the GPS/Emergency aspect, but all the "fun" stuff will be gone until he pays his bill + late fee)

- He has his own debit account. Again, it's a practical consideration "learning how to use money responsibly" thing. It's a child's account so it has far more guidelines on it than a standard account. But his allowance, birthday money, etc. all gets deposited. We run over the monthly statements as well as checking things online, etc. I didn't get plastic until I moved away from home, and it was a bit of a nightmare. ((Immaturity, much?)) I'd never been taught to use plastic, nor to use it responsibly. That's a mistake I'm not repeating with my child.

- He has his own laptop. He paid for 1/2 of it. It also took him over 2 years to save for.


For me this is rather the opposite of materialism. We either do things for fun or for practicality. Materialism is basing your self worth on "Stuff" when "stuff" is just a tool ... it loses it's power.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I've shaved my 8yo son's hair into a mohawk every summer for the past 5 years. It lets him feel original and special but also cuts down on the battles we have during the school year when he has to wear a uniform and blend in with the other 'robot children'.

There is a difference between catering to your child's materialistic demands and allowing your child to find their own sense of style and self. We are currently struggling not with image indulgences in other kiddos but technology. My son is always coming home jealous that a boy in his daycare has a PSP, DS, and DSI complete with all the newest games and accessories just by throwing a tantrum while my son has to save up his allowance money for weeks to get a new game for his DSI (which he had to front 50% to buy).

It's natural for kids to want everything (I'd love a million dollars to drop in my lap right now).

Different families have different rules and it isn't fair to judge at a glance that a parent that lets their kid have something you child doesn't must be spoiling them. Maybe that little girl gets those things because she is an angel that cleans her room, plays nice with siblings and never throws a tantrum. Maybe her parents work a lot and feel bad so they overcompensate. The truth is you just don't know.

Good for you in trying to keep your daughter centered. Parents who discourage their children from trying to "keep up with the Joneses" end up raising kiddos with more self confidence and satisfaction with the blessings they DO have.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Ha.. When Our daughter was about to turn 13, she decided she wanted blue highlights.

I explained all of the cons.. She had dark hair, so they would have to bleach her hair, then have it colored. Strong colors like that fade quickly, the process would take hours and it was expensive. Also no colored hair was allowed at school, so she was only going to have the color for about 6 weeks and have to reverse the entire process..

She still said she wanted it and was willing to pay for it or have it be her only birthday gift.

We had it done and all of the above was true along with swimming and being out in the sun would also cause it to fade even more quickly..

She enjoyed it for those few weeks and was really excited it about it but...
she has NEVER had any process done on her hair again! She is also the person other moms send their children to, so our daughter can tell them a what a pain it is and sooo expensive!

Sometimes, you pick a battle, but sometimes they need to experience it to truly understand.

Our daughter really never asks for anything. She has always been very practical and serious, so this was such an out of the box requests, we granted it for her. I know it was a good lesson for her also.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

Why did I paint my 3 year old daughter's toenails blue? Because mine were painted blue and she liked them and so I sat her on the edge of the tub and gave her matching toes.

IF I were a mom that highlighted my own hair and my child had the same color hair and wanted to look like me...yeah, I might let her get her hair done too.

I guess it depends on why the hair is being highlighted...if is purely for "social status" then yeah, maybe too much...but I plan on taking my daughter with me to get an occasional manicure and pedicure as fun mommy and daughter time, probably starting around the age of 5 or 6.

Thinking about it, my daughter is a blond...and I was looking at her hair tonight and wondering about if she was going to want to lighten it as she gets older if it darkens.

Growing up I had a friend who had the latest and greatest...but I ended up feeling sorry for her because in time I realized...she had stuff, but no parents that really were there for her...your daughter will see the situation if you keep her grounded.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Don't judge until you walk in another persons shoes! Pick your battles. When my son was in 5th grade he wanted to highlight his hair. I thought it was silly, but he really wanted to and there were few things he really wanted, so yes, I indulged him. I figured I would save the "no's" for more important battles. When he got older the days would come when I would have to say "no." He respected that because I didn't do that very often. He was never spoiled or overindulged. He paid for his own highlights with saved money.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Yes people really do this. In Pre-K one of my sons school mate's hair was highlighted with blonde streaks. That day the dad picked her up and the teacher said"Mr. Smith is Lauren dying her hair" Oblivious dad says "oh, no she is too young she lays in the sun with her mother and they both gets streaks" Daddy didn't know mommas hair was salon tinted not sun tinted(lol).

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answers from Chicago on

OMG...I'm sorry, but this is insanity IMO. There is no way - NONE- that I would let an 8 yr old get highlights in her hair. I mean, don't kids start worrying about that stuff at too young an age anyway? My mother wouldn't let us get our ears pierced until we were 13 or 14. I got my first perm (70s - this was in) when I was 16. I didn't wear makeup except lip gloss until I was in high school. I didn't highlight my hair until I was 18 or 19.

I think an 8 year old should be focused on playing and learning - not on whether her hair looks cool. She'll have the whole rest of her adult life to "express herself" when she can afford to pay for it and learn the value of $. In addition, I can't believe parents pay $ for this stuff. If I have extra $, it's going to go for something like school clothes or college saving - not on 8 yr old's highlights.

Finally, be aware that all that stuff - nail polish, makeup, hair dye - has chemicals in it that they are now finding out get into our systems. For kids this is especially bad because some of the issues are related to hormones and development.

I really think parents have gone off their rockers these days.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

one of our friend's daughter has dyed her hair pink since she was little. She's thinking of stopping, though, now that she's in 2nd grade and the other girls are starting to copy her. :-)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

Usually when I go get my highlights done, I take my 6-year old daughter in to show my hairdresser the kind of highlights that I would like to get. Young children usually have the most perfect hair color for their complexion. And do you notice how us mom's have to use a whole lot of make up to achieve the "natural look" that our young daughters already possess. As for other things, I do like my daughter to dress nicely but I do allow her to pick out her own outfits on most days and her choices are not always that great but they are original. And I do allow her to wear lip gloss and I have been known to put a very light touch of make up on her every once in a while for fun.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I would say under 16 is ridiculous to let them do that to their hair. All the ones I have seen have looked foolish and the teachers do talk about it and the moms with disbelief LOL. It reallly is a parenting issue--imagine how they will be in their teens---OMGosh!

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answers from Chicago on

I have a three year old daughter and I would NOT alow her to have highlights at eight! Eight?really? I just think as parents we need to be very careful not to let your little girls grow up to quick!! Good luck :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Orlando on

My daughter is 8 and has been wanting to do some highlights in her hair. I don't know. I think it's all in fun.


answers from Phoenix on

my daughter is almost 11 and has naturally dirty blond hair. She wanted black streaks like Lady Gaga. Uh, no. I told her maybe at 13 we will consider doing something to her hair. She does put lemon in it in the summer so it gets lighter so she has natural high and low lights.

My son (7) has said he wanted a mohawk like a kid in his class. I have always said no. Well, yesterday he was going to get his hair cut and I told him he could get a mohawk if he wanted. With big eyes he said "really?". I said yes! But he chickened out and didn't do it!

I was shocked at the young girls getting acrylic nails! I think they were 11 or 12, maybe even younger. I didn't get them until I was out of high school.

I think it just depends on the parents and the reason the kids wants whatever it is they want. We don't have any kind of game station or computer at our house. But the kids dad does and they play non stop every other weekend. So we choose not to have that option at our house. I think it's just a personal choice. We are debating about getting the Wii since it's more active but have not completely decided.

Good luck!!!



answers from Toledo on

When my daughter was in SECOND grade there were several girls who had gotten highlights! I was astonished when my 8-year-old daughter came and asked me if she could get it done because various "so & so's" had it! I did use it as a teaching opportunity with her though. She has amazing tones and highs and lows in her natural hair. I pointed all of this out to her and explained that she has the hair that some moms (me included, lol) pay LOTS of money to get. Now anytime she hears any of her friends talking about highlights and hair color, she points out to them that she has highlights AND lowlights, and she got it for free, lol.



answers from Augusta on

We did my 8 yr old's hair pink for the summer, it was something fun , but we did it at home , not taken to a salon to do it. School rules won't let her have it pink during the school year. so we did it during the summer.
I don't see a problem with doing non hair color colors but taking to the salon on a regular basis to get high lights , it's like these kids that get their eyebrows waxed in elementary school. I can't tell you how bad I want to do that for my daughter poor baby has a horrible unibrow , but she hasn't had any trouble with kids making fun of her for it so I won't put that image issue into her head already.



answers from Chicago on

Luckily for us my kids school has a policy that your hair but be the way God intended. (they go to Catholic school) But there are many kids with ipods,cell phones in the 3rd grade it is just a little crazy if you ask me. I still would not let a child color their hair in any way until they were about 16 I do not think they the chemicals around them.But hey that is me in my conservative ways Good Luck



answers from San Francisco on

I don't know if she is overindulged. Often, parents are the ones wanting their kids to have it all, even if the children don't care.

As for the highlighted hair, my daughter is 15 months and doesn't have much hair yet but they are very curly on her neck. Once, at the park, another om told me "she is so cute with her blond curly hair. In a couple of years you can highlight her hair and she will look so fabulous! How lucky you are to have a littler girl to paper!:" Really? So if this mom would be the mother of my daughter, she would highlight her hair even before pre-K!



answers from New York on

i don't know if i would have a problem with an 8 year old having highlights. it will start one day no matter what.
my 6 year olds talk about the day when they can color their hair. they mainly talk about having red hair, the color i use for mine, and i participate in their 'daydreaming.'
but if they were to really ask for it (not now, but in a few years) i'd say sure.
i just don't see a problem with it.
i don't find it overindulging children. i look at it as allowing them to be and look what they want to. i am ok with it.



answers from Savannah on

Wow!! That is nuts!! My daughter is going into 5th grade and I'm dreading all that so and so has this that and the other stuff!! But highlights at 3rd grade shouldn't shock me! When my daughter was going to Head Start from Pre K (a federal funded program based off your income) I'd see parents with expensive cars with 'spinners' for rims and 4/5yr old little girls with full extensions in their hair!! I just don't get it at all!

My daughter has a Nintendo (for 2yrs now) and now wants the XL cause it's the newest thing. She wants a Touch mp3 player cause we have one and the 12yr old neighbor boy has one too! Never mind she got a shuffle and a nano for her B-day last year (her step dad and I got her one and her bio dad got her one too)!!! Kids are always going to want what they don't have, it's just up to us as parents to draw the line!




answers from Denver on

A neighbor girl down the street, age 9, has fake nails. I'm like WTFlip. Not the press on kind from the store. The kind you have put on at the salon.

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