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‘That’s Just Abuse’: Video of Hairstylist Braiding Hair of Screaming, Kicking Child In Salon Chair Draws Mixed Reactions Online

By Nicole Duncan-Smith 

A viral video showing a little girl getting her hair styled is getting much attention on social media.

While the post was intended to show why some braiders charge more to do young children’s hair, other comments ask if the child’s well-being is valued more than how cute she will look when her hair is done.

The one-minute clip, posted on Facebook by Kenya Mariah, shows a little girl of approximately 3 or 4 years old in a tie-dyed shirt in a salon chair, squirming and crying as a woman tries to braid her hair. The child attempts to wriggle out of her seat, communicating with all of her miniature body, voice, and might that she doesn’t want to get her hair done. But the adults filming her and the stylist are stern. She is going to get her head cornrowed.

Screen grab
Screen grab of Facebook video of hairstylist braiding small girl’s hair. (Photo: Facebook/Kenya Mariah)

While Mariah applauds the braider for her patience and her tenacity, the comments explode with people crying, “That’s just abuse,” as they watch the child screaming and kicking her legs on the video.


One person asked in the comment section, “Where was the parent who booked the kid to keep the kid distracted?”

A few people asked why the daughter’s wishes were not being considered or respected, commenting, “Maybe I’m misunderstanding, but they are braiding the kid’s hair even though she hates braids? So why do them?”

“I mean, you could allow the child to forego braids and the obvious traumatic feelings it triggers for her until she’s matured,” one asked.

One person was frustrated at the parents, wondering if their child was not “ready” to have her “hair professionally done,” why wouldn’t they do it themselves instead of going along with the stylist to wrestle with the child to be still. The same person said they believed the girl was “way too old” to have carried on as she did, calling the entire situation “ridiculous.”

The parents continued to be under attack as people wondered why she needed the braids versus ponytails, “Some are legitimately tender-headed and can’t tolerate that.”


“Listen, I don’t care how ‘tender-headed’ your child is —  that is theatrics,” one comment read. “Literally, that’s her momma’s fault for allowing her to act up like that.”

The child in the video is not like most children. Marlo Beauty Supply polled a wide range of beauty professionals and salon owners for advice on this subject. According to their research, when dealing with youngsters at the hairdresser, you must recognize that “the salon can be a little overwhelming for young children.”

Her tip is for all people around to focus on the needs of the children and try to make them comfortable.

But what about when a child is squirming, like the young girl in the video, one might ask.

Marlo has that covered, sharing, “Seasoned experts make sure to literally and figuratively get down on the child’s level to make sure they are aware of what the haircutting or nail polishing process will entail. Crouching down to initially talk to children, even sitting on the ground, can help them see what you are doing eye-to-eye.”


She also suggests treating them like VIPs, keeping them distracted, and adding some flair to the experience, like adding clips and barrettes.

If that doesn’t help, heed the advice of some of the comments: just wait until the kid is old enough.

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