A lot of women who choose to grow out their natural hair are impatient, especially if they do the big chop and have to rock a TWA for the next couple of months.
This is one reason many of us resort to wearing weaves and wigs. This is the next best thing to having your own hair, or so we think. But what if the extensions and wigs you’re wearing are actually halting your hair growth progress and causing other unwanted side effects, like balding, hair thinning and traction alopecia?
These aren’t any of the things you signed up for when you decided to return natural, but it could very well be what’s in store for you if you’re not careful when wearing weave. If you’re insistent on using weave as a protective style, make sure that it’s actually protecting your hair and not ruining it.
To help you determine if wearing weave is worth the risk or to see how you can lessen the risk, here are the different ways weave can stop your hair growth.
You’re a serial weaver
You know the type — she takes out her weave, washes her hair and then throws weave right back in. Wearing weave excessively has damaged black women’s hair for decades.
If you know anyone who has worn weave non-stop, you’ll notice that their real hair is, well…less than healthy. It is wearing thin and if it’s really bad, they’ll have extreme hair thinning in the middle of their head and around their edges.
Wearing certain types of weave back to back (braids, pinned in ponytails and sew-ins) can stress out your hair. These styles tend to pull on your strands, which will eventually start to break off.
Your hair also wears thin because your arrector pili muscle (what holds your hair at the scalp) is destroyed or goes dormant, both of which can stop hair growth. Like with any muscle in your body, it needs a break. So consistently weighing it down with weave can do a lot of harm.
You wear braids that are way too tight
Braids are a popular choice for those who are looking for a protective hairstyle. The issue is that a lot of stylists are a bit harsh when it comes to the braiding.
This also goes for those who wear sew-ins. If your hair is being braided too tight, it’s obvious that the hair is being pulled right out of your scalp. For a lot of women, this has caused permanent hair loss.