To Weave Or To not Weave
From the Baltimore Solar, “Discovering the root of the issue with hair extensions: Improperly accomplished, they can cause a raft of problems, dermatologists and stylists say,’ on 14 December 2011, by Andrea Okay. Walker — Hairstylist Reggie Dowdy has found himself time and time once more doing emergency hair repair on girls whose tresses have been broken by weaves and extensions.
They are available with bald spots, also referred to as alopecia, and thinning hair brought on by heavy weaves pulling at their scalps. Generally their real hair is so unkempt underneath the weave that it turns into matted and breaks off if they try to comb it. Or they break out in rashes due to the glue some stylists use to use weaves.
Dowdy does not oppose weaves and extensions — the hair observe makes up 50 p.c of the business at his salon, Geometrics Hair Studio in Canton. If finished right, he stated, weaves permit women to put on totally different styles that would be taxing on their actual hair. Dowdy’s shoppers usually see their pure hair grow below their weaves and extensions, he stated.
But dermatologists and stylists say too many women will not be getting their weaves and extensions correctly carried out. Many of them also should not taking good care of their weaves or are leaving them in too long, inflicting irreversible harm to their hair follicles.
“As lengthy as the weave appears to be like good, they don’t care about what is going on underneath until it is just too late,” Dowdy said.
Even celebrities, who continuously sport long, luscious locks that are not their actual hair, can endure injury from weaves. An image of Naomi Campbell made the Web rounds this summer, bald spots peeking out from underneath a wig that fell unfastened from her head. In a television biography of her life, Countess Vaughn, who starred in the television show “The Parkers,” talked in regards to the damage weaves did to her scalp and hair.
While the anecdotal evidence shows a strong relationship between weaves and hair loss, the scientific proof is slim. What research has been accomplished hasn’t explored what it’s about weaves that causes the harm, mentioned Lutherville dermatologist Dr. Dakara Rucker Wright. More analysis must be accomplished to determine if weaves are the offender or if underlying points exacerbated are by weaves.
Wright, who works for Kaiser Permanente, studied hair loss in young African-American women and found an affiliation between hair loss and people who wear cornrows, or hair braided closely to the scalp. She believes hair weaves may cause a few of the identical injury in older ladies.
She mentioned tightly sewn-in weaves can cause conditions together with traction alopecia — gradual hair loss caused by pulling of the hair — and central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia — scarring and balding that starts on the crown of the head and spreads out.
The problem appears to be extra widespread in African-American ladies as a result of their hair tends to be drier and the form of the follicle more susceptible to breakage, some dermatologists believe. But people of all races put on weaves and have suffered hair loss.
“I am not saying all weaves are dangerous,” Wright stated. “However women do want to grasp the dangers and early indicators of hair loss.”
One current examine by researchers on the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio discovered that braids, weaves and different forms of hair extensions could also be contributing to scarring of the scalp and hair loss in African-American ladies. They surveyed 326 black women and found hair loss in the center of the scalp and clinical signs of scarring in 59 % of the girls.
Type 2 diabetes was also increased within the women with hair loss, suggesting that metabolic irregularities might contribute to the issue. Bacterial scalp infections and braids and weaves additionally seemed to contribute.
Vera Alexander of Baltimore started sporting weaves about five years in the past and observed her hair began breaking off early on because she wasn’t correctly caring for it. The 45-year-previous switched hairdressers and now has her weaves executed by Dowdy, whom she visits no less than each two weeks for hair upkeep.
“The folks I went to beforehand were not concerned concerning the health of your natural hair,” Alexander said. “The biggest thing is maintenance and hair care.”
Marquis Gonzalez, who owns Model Lab Salon in Mount Vernon, mentioned he most often sees damage when women who haven’t got strong natural hair cannot take the heaviness of some weaves. The weaves end up pulling on their pure hair, inflicting it to break off.
Other ladies make the mistake of getting their natural hair chemically relaxed then putting a weave on high, Gonzalez said. The relaxed hair doesn’t get the moisture and maintenance it needs, and it dries out and breaks off. Gonzalez has had ladies come in with bald spots alongside the edges of their hair. He has a client now who has misplaced all of the hair within the crown of her head due to overuse of weaves.
Whereas Gonzalez mentioned all weaves should not unhealthy, he teaches girls at his salon how to care for their natural hair.
“The weaves and stuff are good, however it is not yours and it by no means will probably be, though you pay for it,” Gonzalez said. “Sooner or later you must deal with your own hair.”
Wright mentioned it could also be hard to get ladies to get rid of their weaves, which may value anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to more than $1,000 for the initial course of.
“I like bob lace wig to make use of sweet as an analogy,” she mentioned. “You can’t inform someone you may by no means eat sweet again. So I attempt to present ladies options.”
Wright encourages ladies to take several “weave holidays” to offer their hair and scalp a break. Or she urged ladies alter the course of the “pull” of the weave so that the tension on the hair is at totally different points.
And she said women should instantly see a dermatologist after they see early signs of issues, resembling scalp itchiness and tenderness or hair breakage. Caught early, patients could be handled with cortisone creams and different strategies. Wait too lengthy and the damage may be there perpetually.
“Once you’ve gotten to the superior hair loss, the therapy options are very restricted,” Wright stated. “Hair transplant might be the one approach to go. But when you don’t have sufficient hair follicles, you will not even be ready to try this.”
However many ladies do wait too long. Hair is usually a sensitive topic, and women may discover it laborious to acknowledge there’s one thing fallacious.
“They typically come to see us further into the condition then we might like,” mentioned Dr. Mark Lowitt, a dermatologist at Higher Baltimore Medical Heart. “They come at some extent where they’ve lost numerous hair. Once we get to that time it’s exhausting to carry it again to the original thickness.”
Hair stylists stated women are slowly becoming more aware of the way to take care of their weaves. And safer weave methods have advanced.
Dowdy places a lightweight internet over a lady’s scalp, and the weave is connected to that. In another course of, a thin layered silicone cap is placed on a ladies’s head and the weave is attached to that.