Well that answer is easy. Yes and no. Let me explain. There are several facts to consider before pinpointing the cause of baldness on a particular hairstyle. Sure there are some serious concerns you should consider before retreating to braids or weaves as an alternative to more traditional hair solutions. On the other hand, braids and weaves have also been given suggested to women who are looking to grow their hair out. So which one is it? As with everything involving hair, it’s always a matter of opinion. I’ll dive into the facts and you can be the judge for yourself.
We all know at least one woman who has worn braids repeatedly and as a result has seen her natural hairline recede over time. This is known as traction alopecia. The reality is poor implementation of braids or weaves can cause this problem. Poor implementation could be too tight braids and the use of too much hair. This problem could also be a result of wearing the same hairstyle for an extended period of time. Obviously, these are all fixable problems with the right consultation. Unfortunately, braiders and stylists who install weaves often skip this step to avoid unpleasant confrontations with paying customers. Hence, there is a downward spiral of activity resulting in a loss hair and hope.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, you can find women who have worn braids and weaves for many years who have healthy growing natural hair. They have found the happy solution of wearing the hair styles they desire without compromising the overall health of their hair. By insisting on quality installations over cheap fixes, many of the aforementioned problems simply vanish. Remembering you have a choice and demanding proper care starts with self-education. This is one lesson you don’t want to learn at the hands of experience.
For example, requesting braids that aren’t so tight and requiring ample moisturizing treatment is essential to your experience. Also, knowing you family genetics is important. If the women in your family have a propensity to lose their hair, you may want to stay clear from any hair style that could accelerate that process.
In the end, it’s not the hairstyles that are guilty of causing baldness in black women. It’s the choices that are being made. It’s the lack of education and consultation with stylists and doctors. Take it from my experience as a salon owner; this is one issue you want to address on the front end. Most of the pain and anguish I see on a daily basis from balding women could have easily been prevented.
So remember, healthy hair starts with healthy choices. Choose to work with professionals that care about your well being (hint, they sometimes cost more). Choose to avoid repetitive hair styles that stress your hair. And lastly, choose to be proactive in taking care of you. Until next time, happy hair day to you!
CaMia Hopson is the owner of Dreamweavers Studio in Atlanta, Ga. Dreamweavers specializes in making hair fantasies come true everyday at an affordable price. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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