Little girl gets creative to prevent brain damage from hair bows


CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — It’s an injury you may have never thought possible: a fractured skull from a hair tie. But it happened to one little girl right here in the Cape Fear, and it may be more common than you think.

“I fell on a hair accessory and had a head injury,” said seven-year-old Mya Bartlett.

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Mya doesn’t like to talk about the accident that fractured her skull and left her with traumatic brain damage. It happened on April 8, 2010. She was kicking a soccer ball, fell backward and hit her head. The Hello Kitty ponytail holder she was wearing damaged her fragile skull.

“As the doctors said, it was as if she had a rock and a knife in her head when she fell,” Mya’s mom Tristen Waters said. “The rock was the plastic, and the corners and edges acted as a knife.”

Waters said she thought it was a freak accident, but after doing some research, she learned that injuries from hair accessories are fairly common, especially for girls who are very active.

“Girls under the age of 14, their head is still growing and developing,” Mya’s sister Kyra said.

Kyra is Mya’s sister and business partner. That’s right, this duo is turning an injury into an investment; an investment in the lives of little girls around the world. They are making and selling safe hair accessories.

“They got no plastic and no metal,” Mya said.

Mya and Kyra design and sew the bows themselves, with a little help from mom. Waters says Mya struggles with ADD, ADHD and memory loss among other things as a result of the injury. But she’s proud that her girls are helping to prevent similar problems one hair bow at a time.

“The product that they are making is going to save lives,” Waters said. “And because it’s saving lives, they are saving the world.”

The girls used the money they made from the bows and bands to pay for summer camp. Now they are deciding what charity to help out with the rest of the money they made.

Mya and Kyra’s ‘Safer Hair Accessories’ have been chosen to be featured on MSN’s segment “Kids Saving the World.”