We all have one thing in common.. wanting to feel beautiful. And what better way to feel beautiful than a fresh hair-do? We make hair appointments to get the latest styles and our confidence is boosted to level 10! Feels amazing, right? But the question most of us avoid is "is this hairstyle healthy for my hair?". The truth is, a lot of these trendy hairstyles may be stunting our growth journey and causing damage to our hair. I had to get real with myself and take a good look in the mirror. The styles that I thought were protective were in reality, causing my hair to become thinner and broken in some areas. Now, I take pride in my hair and I try to keep it very healthy so when I noticed I was experiencing damaged hair I immediately stopped with the trendy styles. A lot of you may not want to hear this, but a lot of styles we wear are damaging if we aren't extremely cautious of several factors: How long we keep them in, how much tension is being used, was the hair properly prepped before the style, does my stylist have a passion for keeping the client's hair healthy, and the list goes on..
Let's talk about these styles. There are many such as crochet, braids, sleek ponytails, quick weaves, micro links, sew ins, frontals and many more. But these are the most popular in our society right now.
"How are crochets compromising my hair?" well simply put, the braided foundation can often times be too tight causing a lot of tension and eventually can lead to scalp damage. When you pair that with heavy crochet hair and a scalp that cannot breathe, you have the formula for hair damage. If you notice your edges are thinning or your scalp is tender, take it out immediately and stay away from this style. Stop going back to the same style that is causing damage to your hair.
We know that braids can be damaging for the same reasons and it is one of the most common ways people experience hair damage. I love braids but I made the decision to stop getting them every 3 months or so and only get them maybe once a year. I noticed my hair was shedding excessively when I would take them out and even saw some hair coming out from the roots. It freaked me out! I know the problem was going to braiders who didn't properly detangle my hair and braided too tight. Once I noticed my growth was being jeopardized, I eliminated the problem and decided to slow down on how often I get braids.
Now for me, I find sleek ponytails can be damaging when the hair is pressed to achieve the style. I know my hair and pressing my hair is a no-no. It can cause my hair to thin and my curls to be damaged so that style is not made for fine hair like mine. If you have very thick hair and can handle the heat, it may not be damaging for you. But if you notice damage after removing the style, don't get that style again. Stop ignoring the issue.
Quick weaves can obviously damage the hair because sometimes the glue gets stuck to our real hair. As a licensed stylist I can honestly tell you anytime glue gets on your real hair, some of your hair is going to come out with it every single time. So if you get quick weaves regularly and notice your hair isn't getting thicker or looking any better than it did six months ago..well, you know the rest.
Micro links are becoming the new trend. They look amazing and they give versatile options for styling and they also allow your scalp to breathe while wearing extensions. I will not say this trendy hair style will always damage your hair but I will say it can cause thinning or breakage if your stylist is not a micro link trained stylist who practices excellent technique. I experienced extreme heat damage and hair breakage with this style, but that may not be the case for everyone. I will say, please access your own hair and not just listen to what your paid stylist says. Make sure your hair is still as full as before or more full than it was before. If you don't want heat damage, make sure your curls bounce back healthy. You know your hair. Be sure it is at your standard of healthy before you continue to get this style.
Now we have sew ins! We love a good sew in don't we? Sew ins can be damaging similar to braids and crochets. Make sure the foundation braids aren't too tight and be sure to treat your scalp while wearing your sew in. Getting shampoos every few weeks help to keep the scalp clean and safe. Lastly, we have frontal wigs. Personally, I'm not a fan. I've seen cases where people have a lighter, hairless hair line from the glue and of course I have seen missing edges from improper gluing techniques. This is one of the most trendy of the styles but it's a no for me.
One of my missions is to help bring awareness and accountability to the hairstyles we wear and how we treat our hair. I'm not saying these styles will always cause damage but I have seen first hand the damage a lot of hairstyles we wear cause on many people. Like anything, if you want it to grow you must be patient, loving, and water it daily. We must learn to stop neglecting our hair because it is too difficult or we just don't feel like dealing with it. It won't grow that way. If your goal is to have healthy hair that can grow, we have to address the elephants in the room. When we know better, we must do better. Now let's grow together!