How young is too young to get nails done?

I don’t need to sit next to your child at the salon, thank you

By Kelly Hockenberry, Columnist, The Times

UTNuKellyColumnTuesday morning I was watching the TODAY show and they did a segment on current topics for debate.  My ears perked up when they started talking about “Pamper Parties” for little girls.  The question posed was “at what age should girls be allowed to get their nails done?”  NOW, before I reveal what the masses voted, let ME weigh in with my thoughts…

I understand that going to a theme party complete with manicure, hair and make-up is the trend these days (creepily similar to “Toddlers & Tiaras” if you ask me….although, the person who came up with this idea is making a MINT! Kudos!)  But, I think the regularly scheduled mani/pedi with mom is absurd.  What does a young girl have to look forward to if she has a standing appointment starting at age 5?  I think it should be a rite of passage to indulge in a luxury like that.

Go ahead and leave me a nasty message in the Comment box, but when I have an hour to sneak away and get a mani, the last thing I want to walk into is a salon full of children!  I’m there to GET AWAY FROM MY CHILDREN…not to sit next to yours in a pedi chair stealing my US Weekly.  Good grief.

The same applies to high-end salons for haircuts!  Perhaps I’m bitter because I spent my childhood being photographed with butchered bangs or the indentation marks from sleeping in foam rollers.  Shouldn’t little kids have ugly hairstyles?  If they grow up looking perfect, how can they age gracefully?  Will this be a whole generation of women who peaked in pre-school?  I look back at my high school photos where I never knew the benefits of plucking my eyebrows or proper eyeliner application and I appreciate that I have gotten better with age!  I worry that this adage will fade away…

And, in case you were wondering, fifty percent of people polled thought that manicures should be reserved for ages 13 and up.  (I would have said 16, but I’m a stick in the mud, obviously)


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  1. Dondi says:

    Agree, as I post this I am sitting beside two little anxious girls getting a pedi. Where is there mother I ask myself??? I just want to relax!!!!

  2. Steph says:

    Totally agree with you. I think they shouldn’t be in the salon until they are teenagers. Heck the first time I ever got a mani I was a teenager and paid for it myself.

  3. BabyCakes says:

    I believe it’s a good bonding moment lain an simple.

  4. cat says:

    I disagree! I think if a parent wants to allow their child to get a mani/pedi,Then they should be allowed to , just like anyone else. Whenever I see my boyfriend’s daughter (about twice a year) -she is six- I take her to get a mani/pedi with me. She only gets her nails trimmed and painted, while i go for acrylics. I also only go places that use water-based polishes such as “piggy paint” because it is not harmful to her. We use this time going out to bond as “step-mom” and daughter. I love her so much and the time we spend getting our nails done together is something that I could never put a price tag on. So priceless 🙂

  5. Rachelann says:

    I agree I think if your going to get your little girls nails done take her to the appropriate salon they now have salons just for kids they shouldnt be going to a place full of chemicals

  6. Concerned Mother says:

    Nail polish is toxic and has been linked to cancer. Children shouldn’t be exposed to it. I myself just researched this and threw out all the toxic nail polish in my home. I do not frequent nail salons due to cost and the toxic fumes, My daughter, who is nine, her friends and I like to paint our nails. I plan on only purchasing nail polish that is non-toxic. There are many more articles out on the internet regarding toxic nail polish.

    Please read the supporting information;

  7. Tanya says:

    I think it a little girl wants to get her nails painting while mommy gets her nails done I see nothing wrong with that. I took my 6 year old daughter with me when I got my manicure and a lady there asked her if she would like to paint her nails. It was fine it is only nail polish I am sure mothers do it at home for there daughters. What is the big deal. I don’t understand. I am a mother of 4 and I see nothing wrong with taking young girls to a nail salon to get their nails painted. I am sure mothers put nail polish on their daughters nails at home. There is no problem with it I don’t think.

  8. Kelly says:

    Thanks for the comments, ladies! xo

  9. Sandy Beach says:

    I coulnd’t agree more….not because I mind kids at the salon as much as every rite, ritual and passage is being pushed down. There won’t be anything to look forward to as they grow up. Isn’t it special enough to have Mom or Grandmom give a little girl a manicure? I’m with you, Shelley, on the good haircut. However, why do so many little girls have to have color and highlights on a regular basis? I would worry about the chemicals being used starting that young. It’s another thing when you are covering gray! And the expense….wow! Bottom line…let little girls be little girls for as long as you can, and let them have something to look forward to! They all grow up too fast!

  10. Shelley Mincer says:

    Kelly – I agree with you! Oh I think it’s cute if a little one get their nails painted while Mom is drying at the salon, but a full-fledged manicure & pedi is insane! How can people even afford it? As you said I go to get my nails done and relax — not be with a bunch of little kids — I stopped going to one salon because of so many little kids and having to wait… However the haircut is a bit different… I had nightmarish haircuts growing up b/c I was taken to the barbershop in Kennett – Burtons!! I didn’t get into a salon until I could drive myself and pay for it myself. I always took my daughter for decent haircuts at Cliffords!!

  11. Janet McGann says:

    I think that anyone who wants a mani pedi should have one (if the parents allow them to) also I know I’m a little bias here because I am part of the under 13 group. I think that the reason that story was on the news is because they had nothing better to do than to nag about children. This is america So can we at least have the right to get our nails done please.

  12. Andrea Fitzgerald says:

    BRAVO! 🙂

  13. Turk182 says:

    Hey you kids, get off my lawn! 🙂

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