GARYS child haircut is the new trendy hairstyle in India.
But the new haircut is being accused of making it harder for parents to raise their children.
As many as 70 per cent of parents in India suffer from a fear of growing up.
“The kids will grow up to be too tall and they’ll be bullied, which is a very real problem,” says Shubhul Thakur, who has raised his three children with his wife in the village of Thakuri in south Delhi.
For parents like Thakurs, the new hairstyle has come at a cost.
Thakur says his son has a long, thick black mane, and he feels the hair is becoming too short.
He says he’s been told by his teachers that he is too short, which has made it harder to speak in class.
And while the hair can be cut shorter, he says, it’s hard to make it look natural.
GARYS, who now lives in Germany, says his parents are still afraid of growing old and he worries about the impact of the new style on his children.
“My dad says the haircuts are like the black manes of old, that we have to grow up with them, and they are going to make him feel like a child again,” he says.
The latest report by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, which deals with child welfare, estimates that up to 50 per cent in India have a fear about growing up and a third of these children suffer from some form of anxiety.
While the report says children should be taught to respect the elders, it adds that it is important to “support children in the best interests of their families”.
The commission recommends that “child grooming and hair styles are taught to the children at an early age” to help build respect and confidence.
It also says parents should be trained to help their children cope with their fears.
But there is growing evidence that the new styles are causing some harm.
Dr Kavita Nair, who studies child and adolescent development at the University of California, Los Angeles, says many people with mental health issues, including anxiety and depression, are afraid of hair growing out of place.
Nair says there is a lack of research into the effects of the hairstyles on children.
Dr Nair says it’s possible that a child’s sense of shame, fear or embarrassment can cause them to avoid wearing their hair in the same way that they avoid wearing shoes.
She says it can also affect the way they behave, and it’s also possible that the haircut is reinforcing an unrealistic expectation that children should wear a long and thick hair.