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Mother accused of 'neglect and cultural appropriation' for letting daughter, 3, have dreadlocks

A mother accused of 'neglect, abuse and cultural appropriation' for letting her daughter, 3, have dreadlocks has revealed that the tot is now an Instagram sensation.

Karaoke MC and mother-of-three, Kristin Miller, 34, from Maui, Hawaii, has had dreadlocks for the last two and a half years following decades of thin hair struggles.

Her daughter, Loretta, 3, was in awe of the style and so Kristin let the little one stop brushing her hair and have her own dreadlocks.

And despite negative comments accusing Kristin of 'neglect and cultural appropriation', the youngster has amassed a staggering 11,800 followers thanks to her mother sharing her hair journey on Instagram.

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A mother accused of 'neglect, abuse and cultural appropriation' for letting her daughter (pictured), 3, have dreadlocks has revealed that the tot is now an Instagram sensation

Karaoke MC and mother-of-three, Kristin Miller (seen with her daughter in the background), 34, from Maui, Hawaii, has had dreadlocks for the last two and a half years following decades of thin hair struggles

Kristin decided to share Loretta's hair journey on Instagram under the handle, @dreadyloretty, to normalise children with dreads.

Yet despite the account's growing popularity, Kristin has been accused of neglect, abuse and even cultural appropriation from trolls who don't think Loretta should be able to choose her hairstyle. 

Kristin said: 'I had seen many journeys shared [on Instagram]. Loretta's was special. I knew there was some stigma attached and wanted to help normalise "kids with dreads". I wanted to show it was just a part of her life and how she lived it.

'The reaction is not always positive,' she admitted. 'Some people have accused me of neglect, abuse, and cultural appropriation. 

Her daughter, Loretta (pictured together), 3, was in awe of the style and so Kristin let the little one stop brushing her hair and have her own dreadlocks

And despite negative comments accusing Kristin of 'neglect and cultural appropriation', the youngster (pictured) has amassed a staggering 11,800 followers thanks to her mother sharing her hair journey on Instagram

'Everyone is entitled to their opinion I suppose and not everyone will be convinced one way or the other. It's not about them. It's about what Loretta wants.

'I also let her dress herself in what she chooses. Children should be forming and discovering their own identities as early as they desire.' 

Kristen explained that Loretta hated having her hair brushed and found the experience traumatic and painful as her active outdoor lifestyle of rambling through mountains and bodyboarding meant her locks were constantly in knots. 

After seeing Kristin's new hairstyle form, Loretta, who was two at the time, was in awe and her mother let her make the decision to stop hair brushing and have dreads of her own. 

Kristin has now created a Kindle children's book inspired by Loretta's choice, Dready-Loretty: No Time to Brush, about a little girl who loves adventures but can't find the time to brush her hair. Pictured: Loretta on the beach

The three-year-old, pictured balancing on her mother's feet, used to hate brushing her hair as it got knotted easily because of her active lifestyle

Kristin recalled: 'I always thought dreads were beautiful and my hair was very thin, hard to style and always worn up, so dreads seemed like a good idea.'

She added: 'I was not surprised at Loretta's interest in dreads. She would cry when I would suggest it was time to brush. 

'She would throw the brush, cry for her brother to hold her hand. I was trying to be gentle. I even used a detangler. She wasn't having it. I gave her the choice and at two she vocalised: "I keep the dreads".'

Since then, Kristin says Loretta has never been happier and is in love with her new faff-free hair which doesn't interfere with any of her favourite activities. 

The parent added: 'Loretta is a very smart little girl and as a two-year-old was very clear in dictating her desires to opt out of brushing and embrace her already naturally forming dreadlocks.

Loretta (pictured) loves her dreadlocks as they fit in with her active and outdoorsy lifestyle

Loretta as her dreads started to form. Her hair is washed once or twice a week with a special eco-friendly dread shampoo

'Loretta loves her carefree hair. She was never into me styling her hair or wearing little headbands. She lives on a mountain and spends weekends at the beach. She is always on the go. Dreads work for her.'

Loretta's hair is washed once or twice a week with a special eco-friendly dread shampoo. 

Kristin has now created a Kindle children's book inspired by Loretta's choice, Dready-Loretty: No Time to Brush, about a little girl who loves adventures but can't find the time to brush her hair.  

The mother said: 'I think parents should listen to their small children. Be open minded. Ask themselves, "Why not?" Don't push your own anxiety and fear of judgement on your children. They will have plenty of that as an adult.

Loretta (pictured left) with her brother Julian (right) as the two of them enjoy a day at the beach

Loretta (pictured left) with her brothers Julian (centre) and Wyatt (right) as the three of them play outdoors in their hometown of Maui

'Let their natural desire to be an individual come out if they so choose, kids aren't trying to stand out and be different, they are trying to be themselves.'

She added: 'I love to write and rhyme, I wanted something for Loretta to look back on and remember her dread journey and that's where the idea of the book came from. 

'I wanted other parents to see her decision was not a philosophical one but a practical one. I wanted to promote dread acceptance and understanding.

'It's important to remember people choose to have dreads for many reasons; religious, culture, or love of the style. 

I think dreads are one of those things that help us practise respect, love, and understanding for things or people we don't necessarily understand.

'Always keep an open heart and mind for your earthly brothers and sisters. We are all in this together.' 

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