Bristol Palin’s oldest child has an artsy streak, as proven by his freshly dyed blue ’do. The mother of three unveiled Tripp’s new look on Instagram yesterday when she shared stories depicting his hair journey from brown to blue.
She first shared a photo of him in the salon chair wearing a leopard print smock with foil in his hair as the dye set. Palin expressed a bit of disdain with a bunch of face-palm emojis. We’re guessing that meant she wasn’t too thrilled with the fact that her 9-year-old son was dyeing his hair. The next photo shows his freshly bleached hair, a necessary step to dye his darker locks. The final video shows him modeling his brand-new light-blue locks. She accompanied this one with even more face-palm emojis. Yikes.
Regardless of her apparent frustration, she gave Tripp the freedom to do this. But was that the right move? Well, she’s not the first mom to give her child the choice to dye his or her hair. In fact, compared with other mothers who’ve ventured down this path with their little one, Tripp is rather old. There was the mother who shared on Instagram how she dyed her daughter’s hair pink; and tattoo artist Amy Lyn, who made headlines for allowing her 2-year-old to have a head full of dyed purple hair. Earlier this year, Amber Rose posted a photo of her 4-year-old son, Sebastian, wearing a high-top version of his natural curls with a section of his hair highlighted blond. And all of these instances sparked parenting debates.
“I would prefer that children focus on something other than their appearance at such a young age, because girls have a tough road ahead of them in terms of so much emphasis being placed on their appearance,” child and adolescent psychologist Barbara Greenberg told Yahoo Lifestyle. Greenberg can appreciate a parent giving his or her child creative freedom, but, she said, “in general I would prefer … that our children wait until they’re a little bit older to focus on that.”
Then there are the dangers of damage from hair dye. Latanya T. Benjamin, medical director of pediatric dermatology at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, doesn’t advise using such dyes. “There are many chemicals that a child could potentially absorb or have an adverse reaction to,” she tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
However, if you are determined to allow your kid to express his or her creativity, there are safe ways to do it. First, don’t dye before a patch test. “A person can be sensitive to color at any point in life. Therefore, there is no safe age to start experimenting without prior patch testing to chemical ingredients,” says Benjamin.
You can compromise with a small section of colored hair. Highlights or a sectioned pop of color “doesn’t require color to touch the scalp,” says colorist Maddison Cave of Rita Hazan Salon in New York City. And avoid trying this at home. “Most color has ammonia or peroxide, so it is best to do color in the salon with good ventilation and off-the-scalp application.”
Certain dyes are safer for kids, like Redken City Beats or Shades EQ glosses, because they are “less invasive to the hair follicle, so those types of hair-color options would be the best introduction to hair color,” Cassondra Kaeding, Redken brand ambassador and colorist at Mare salon in Los Angeles, told Yahoo Lifestyle.
We can’t help but wonder what Tripp’s grandma thinks.
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