Braids, Twists, Weaves are all considered protective styles that are worn to protect your hair from the weather, elements of the environment, during transition from relaxers to natural, from thinning caused by illness/medications, chemical damage, or to just give you a break from daily grooming. If done correctly, these are VERY HEALTHY choices of styling that could be worn for a month or more at a time WITHOUT DAMAGING YOUR HAIR!
Unhealthy Installation Techniques
Unfortunately, most times these styles are done with the unhealthiest of installation techniques. Techniques learned from the neighborhood, taught in cosmetology schools or learned from someone who said they were a professional. Almost universally, the same unhealthy technique (knot braiding) is used. There is so much tension/tightness/pulling during installation, it becomes very clear your hair was not PROTECTED based upon the amount of hair loss you suffered when you took your hair down. Sadly, your hair doesn’t grow back.
What makes someone a PROFESSIONAL?
A professional stylist doesn’t necessarily mean a licensed cosmetologist because many times they are the very ones who are taking your hair out. A professional is any stylist who loves hair and the health of hair. Not someone who repeatedly gives you damaging styles just because you’ve asked for and paid them to do it. Professionals research their craft for the healthiest ways to grow and properly maintain hair. African Braid shops are the biggest culprits when it comes to tearing out your hairlines with their braids. Yet, they are considered the “professionals” in most every neighborhood. That is not a bash against Africans, however they have set this unhealthy and damaging standard when it comes to braids/twists/weaves.
What about WEAVES???
When it comes to weaves, glue and wax are never kind to your hair. I don’t care how many products are on the market that say you can remove a glued or waxed track without hair loss. It is glue/wax in your hair! Think about that. With the most careful removal, you will lose some strands. Over time, that amounts to a lot of hair lost! A professional knows when to suggest a net, when to add hair to reinforce your tracks and protect your hair, and the best parting & sewing techniques that are not damaging to your hairlines, etc. They will discourage glue and wax altogether.
OMG those KNOTS in your HAIR!!!!
Professional braiders know that knots, excessive amounts of hair and tension will result in hair loss; often times irreparable hair loss to your crown and most always to your HAIRLINES. Those horrible knots at the beginning of your braids that are too heavy for your hair strands, allow products, elements, dirt, etc., to build up and pop your hair off when you take them off. Let’s not forget the damage you caused to your scalp from the pulling and pain.
Professional braiders learn trade techniques that do not result in hair loss or hair thinning. There should be no pain, no breakage, no thinning when a true professional braids your hair. Most importantly, when your hair is braided by a true professional, your hairline is intact after every style.
The winter months are upon us and this is usually the time that women opt to wear protective styles. Whichever style you choose, before you let anyone touch your hair, make sure they are truly a professional who cares about the health of your hair.