9 Year Old Wants Highlights in Hair

Updated on March 17, 2012
S.G. asks from Levittown, PA
15 answers

hi im a step mom to a great 9 year old girl. my husband has primary custody.She stays with her mom every other weekend and mon/ wed dinner visit. well her mom wants to take her to get 3 chunky highlights in hair I think she is too young 9 and in 3rd grade. my husband and i talked and he agreed with me. now her mom wants 2 small blonde streaks in her hair cause she already told my step daughter she could do it. Im still against it but my husband told me to give it some thought His daughter means everything to him so he hates to tell her no i think she is still a "baby" she has plenty of time to do this hair thing like maybe when she is a teenager. well... am i being overprotective? or just trying to be a responsible parent i have had my step daughter in my life since she was 15 months old is 9 too young she still needs to be reminded to brush her teeth and doesnt always rinse her hair correctly when washing it i think she needs to grow up alittle before we allow this but what are your thoughts??

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answers from Reading on

I think 9 years of age is far too young to be highlighting hair. If the mother is willing to allow her to have that done now, what will she be looking for next year? Maybe a visit to the hairdresser for a new haircut of her choice (within reason for her age) is all that would be necessary to make her feel special. Save the visit for highlights, light soft highlights, not chunky ones, for a special birthday gift when she's a teenager.

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answers from Erie on

I would say No, that she is too young.

I feel so bad for this little girl,
I edited this, I have no positive suggestions.

Good luck resolving this. I hope you can find a way to set precedence for all the rest of the issues that will come along the way.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Dear S.,
To me, the highlights are not a huge problem, but the conflict it is creating is a sign of future bigger problems coming down the pike. Let the girl get the highlights and get her involved in a sport or a musical instrument ASAP! to turn this tide and give her a healthier self asteem and something to focus on other than her looks. And above all give the child lots of recognition and approval for the things that are important.
Good luck,

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Sounds like you & hubby are on good terms with this kid's mom. Can you all discuss it together (NOT in front of her of course)?
IMO she is too young for highlights though. (If it was my daughter--I agree with you.)



answers from Philadelphia on

It is sad that at her age she is already asking. If you give in on that it will escalate. Next she will be asking for piercings...lol! I think i am a very open parent...but even i made my older 2 wait until 11 and 12 for just "sun-in" (hair lightener).


answers from Pittsburgh on

I 2nd the prior poster to pick your battles. This won't hurt her but a big fight over it with the mother will.
I have seen girls this young with highlights, fake nails, ect.
I remember I shaved my legs when I was this young and got in trouble for it. I still don't know what the big deal was.



answers from Los Angeles on

I think you should let her at least have 3 or 2 SMALL ones. And then when her mom sees the hair dresser puts so much bleach in her hair her mom WILL regret this. Or what you can do is get WASHABLE highlights and then when she takes a shower it will come right off, thats what i would do if my daughter wanted highlights.



answers from Scranton on

I have an adopted Korean daughter who we have had since she was 5 1/2 months old. She first requested blonde highlights as a first grader. I felt she wanted to fit in with her adopted family (I am blonde, so is her brother, father is brown); and to better fit in with her mostly caucasian class mates. Even though I was not thrilled with the idea, I allowed it because I felt it was just hair, not worth a battle, and maybe she would feel better about herself. Everyone loved it, after awhile she decided she did not like them (a year later), and we rehighlighted with a dark red that blended better. She rehighlighted one more time, but now has gone back to her own color recognizing on her own that her hair color does nothing to change how people like her or perceive her.

I would suggest not making this a huge deal. Facilitate conversation between yourself and the birth parents so that all of you are supporting the daughter in whatever challenges she is encoutering now. The struggles once faced in middle school now hit in elementary school and we parents need to recognize this. Support her!



answers from Allentown on

personally i say no to my 9 year old.

Just making sure, your the step mom? not your decision then. Up to her father and her mom.



answers from Allentown on

What about temperary washable highlights that only stay for a few washes. That way if you or your step daughter dosn't like if they can be fixed. I don't think A few highlights should be a big issue that could cause problems between families. As lonf as her bio mom isn't overdoing it to some scary hair do then it sould be fine.



answers from Philadelphia on

We used sun in as little kids, so I don't see the harm min a couple of small highlights. I would use it as a reward though. Any areas need improvement? Room clean?



answers from Harrisburg on

i really don't think that a few highlights are out of reason for a Mother to do with her daughter. If she were bleaching her platnium,t hen that would be different. My niece is 4 and has already went for mani pedis with her Mom. If her Mom is paying her child support vs. being a non paying non-custodial paernt, then she should be entitled to a little special girl items with her daughter.



answers from Pittsburgh on

My advice, for what it's worth, is to try to compromise. My daughter asked for highlights early, also. We compromised by using a semi-permanaent dye first. She ended up not liking it, and 28 washes later, it was gone. The difference in my situation was that she wanted red. We are revisiting this subject in my home now that she's 13. She wants to dye the front red. We've decided she can try the semi-permanent again, as long as she buys it herself.
I agree with the poster who said to pick your battles, this may not be one that is worth it for your family situation. Think on it and speak with your husband again to see if you can come up with an alternative.
Good luck!


answers from Allentown on

Hi S.,

It sounds like that there is going to be a tug-of-war with this girl from now on.

Have you thought about having a family group decision making conference to see how you all can come together to raise this girl without so much conflict developing between you, your husband and the mother of this girl.

Let me know if you want to set something up.

Good luck. D.



answers from Philadelphia on

Somehing I'm sure you obviously know, but here goes anyway, it's hair, it grows out and she will eventually get it cut. Highlights can be pretty and natural looking.

All I'm trying to say is think about it and pick your battles very carefully. Will it hurt her? No, but you can create a lasting battle with her and her mom. Do you really wan to fight over this? I don't think you should give over everything please don't get me wrong just pick your battles carefully. If it will make her happy and not hurt her in any way I say let her have the highlights.

Think about this, do you not want her hair doen because you think she is to young or you are mad becasue her mom made the decision without you and your hubby. Good luck with your decision.

Next question: Highlights- How Young Is Too Young?