Our beauty team investigates the best hair extension practices. From the quality of the hair to the technique, we give you the breakdown on weaves. Is your weave wreaking your hair?
I'm just a tad concerned about Black women not having any hair in a few years....due to weaves. It's not that I wake up every morning thinking about hair weaves, but I write a lot of hair stories, which means I talk to a lot of experts. They're pretty much all saying the same thing, that hair loss, due to the tension or glue from weaves (and lace fronts actually) is common today. And it doesn't seem to matter whether I'm talking to a stylist, dermatologist or trichologist (scalp expert), they're all seeing, regularly, compromised hairlines, bald patches, or major thinning, from weaves. I asked Kim Kimble, kimblehaircare.com (stylist to Beyonce, Mary J and plenty of other gorgeous-haired celebs) to enlighten me on this particular issue. She started off by letting me know that, for the most part, hair weaving isn't taught in beauty school. You need a license to color or relax hair, but you don't need a license to weave. And most stylists learn to weave by trial and error.
Adrin Washington, a weave pro at the Ted Gibson & Hela Spa, helaspa.com, in D.C., says he has a host of weave-wearing clients with healthy heads of hair. How so? Washington says you need a great stylist (one who knows what your hair can take and will weave accordingly) and quality human hair. Sounds simple enough, but this combination just isn't the norm. A great stylist will make sure your scalp remains clean and healthy. She/he will give you plenty of deep treatments, regular trims and more than likely suggest you give that weave a break every now and then. FYI, a lot of talented stylists get their quality hair from Extensions Plus, extensions-plus.com and email@example.com,
Many of us turn to celebrities for weave inspiration. But do we spend the time, energy and money that they do to keep their weaves in check? Solange was on "Oprah" a few weeks ago, admitting that she spent between $20,000-$30,000 on her hair last year. She also mentioned that her sister spent even more... Now I'm certainly not saying you have to spend thousands of dollars in order to have beautiful, healthy hair, but, know that their level of beauty management is on a whole other level. If you're realistic about your hair, and lifestyle, then you and your stylist should be able to come up with a look that you can manage and will not compromise your hair, or budget for that matter.
Black women certainly aren't the only women loving and rocking weaves right now, but, (and I know I've said this ten thousand times) Black women have the most fragile hair on the planet. Our hair can easily snap from simple brushing and combing, or tossing and turning on a cotton pillowcase. So it shouldn't be all that surprising that major breakage often follows persistent weaving. And the truth is, those of us with the weakest and finest hair and hairlines, run to the weave, over and over again. I think the solution here is quite simple. Everything in moderation, if you eat fattening foods, every day, month after month, year after year, you'll eventually have a weight problem. If you weave over and over again, you'll eventually have a thinning or hair loss problem. I'm not saying you shouldn't weave, just like I'm not saying you shouldn't eat your granny's macaroni and cheese or fried chicken. Just think about what you're doing. Hair is like fabric. And our hair is like delicate fabric. You're not throwing your cashmere sweater in the washer and dryer or hanging it out in the sun. You have to treat it with care.
If you've worn a weave for some time and have a healthy head of hair (hairline included), please let us know your style secrets via firstname.lastname@example.org. In the subject box, please put "Healthy Weave Ideas."