Should Kim Kardashian be straightening five-year-old North’s hair?

Ciara Sheppard
Contributor Yahoo Style UK
Kim Kardashian has caused controversy by straightening her young daughter’s hair. [Photo: Getty]

Kim Kardashian has found herself at the centre of controversy after straightening five-year-old daughter North West‘s hair, opening up conversations about black hair, identity and mum-shaming.

The eldest of the Kardashian-West children is naturally blessed with brown curls, but ahead of her fifth birthday on Friday, North was seen with a poker straight high ponytail with a braid on the crown.

Days later, the mother and daughter pair were snapped out again, this time with North wearing her newly-straight hair down.

The 37-year-old’s decision to modify her daughter’s hair in this way has been met with varied opinions.

North West was first spotted with straight hair ahead of her fifth birthday. [Photo: Getty]

What are people saying about North’s straight hair?

The overwhelming criticism against North West’s straight hair is all to do with her age.

There’s a lot to be said for the argument that children should be raised to believe they are perfect the way they are, and on the cusp of five-years-old, North is far too young to be dabbling in appearance-altering beauty regimes

Is the act of straightening North’s hair only telling her she’s not good enough the way she is?

Some have even suggested North is damaging her young supple hair by straightening it well before its years.

It’s true that a child’s hair is usually much finer than that of an adult, making it more susceptible to damage from chemical and heat factors.

“A child’s hair changes a lot,” hair expert Bonnie Harmon told She Knows. “Colour, thickness, texture and curls can go through several changes from birth until puberty.

“Before puberty, a kid’s hair is typically thinner and more fragile and can be easily damaged.”

Kim Kardashian and North were spotted a few days later, with North wearing her newly- straight hair down. [Photo: Getty]

Another argument against Kim Kardashian straightening North West’s hair is tied into the highly politicised discussions around black hair and beauty ideals.

One Twitter user wrote: “Ever since they’ve been straightening her hair people have been acting like she just grew into this supermodel overnight . STRAIGHT HAIR DOESN’T MAKE YOU BEAUTIFUL.”

It’s worth noting that Kim Kardashian has always been vocal about embracing her daughter’s natural curls.

Speaking to Interview magazine Kim Kardashian said: “She’s obsessed with her curly hair, and if she finds someone who has the same hair, she runs to them and is like, ‘You have curly hair like me?’ And we get to talk about it.”

Kim Kardashian even revealed she took braiding lessons to help style North’s biracial hair. 

“North is so proud of her curly hair, and she’s very opinionated on how she wants to wear [it],” Kim reportedly said in an old ‘Keeping Up With the Kardashians’ episode. “As a mum, you don’t wanna have to tell her, ‘I don’t know how to do your hair’. It’s such a prideful thing to make her look pretty and make her look confident; it’s important to me.”

Is Kim being mum-shamed?

Some believe the act of straightening North’s hair is harmless, and the backlash Kim has received is a form of mum-shaming.

One Twitter user wrote: “As a mother I will do whatever I want with my child’s hair!!! Maybe North wanted it straightened like her Mama’s for a day or two” (sic).

While another said: “The comments about North’s hair being straightened is tired. First of all, mind your own children” (sic).

This all assuming that it was Kim Kardashian herself sat her daughter down and suggested they straighten her curly hair.

Perhaps North made the decision herself asking for straight locks, ahead of her big birthday.

As parents, don’t you just want to do whatever makes your child happy?

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