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To Weave Or To not Weave

From the Baltimore Solar, “Finding the basis of the problem with hair extensions: Improperly finished, they may cause a raft of problems, dermatologists and stylists say,’ on 14 December 2011, by Andrea K. Walker — Hairstylist Reggie Dowdy has discovered himself time and time again doing emergency hair repair on ladies whose tresses have been broken by weaves and extensions.

They are available in with bald spots, also called 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 becomes matted and breaks off in the event that they try to comb it. Or they break out in rashes because of the glue some stylists use to apply weaves.

Dowdy would not oppose weaves and extensions — the hair follow makes up 50 p.c of the business at his salon, Geometrics Hair Studio in Canton. If finished proper, he said, weaves allow girls to wear totally different styles that could be taxing on their actual hair. Dowdy’s shoppers typically see their pure hair develop below their weaves and extensions, he stated.

However dermatologists and stylists say too many ladies should not getting their weaves and extensions properly finished. Many of them also will not be taking care of their weaves or are leaving them in too long, causing irreversible damage to their hair follicles.

“As long as the weave seems to be good, they don’t care about what is going on beneath until it is just too late,” Dowdy said.

Even celebrities, who often sport lengthy, luscious locks that aren’t their real hair, can endure injury from weaves. A picture of Naomi Campbell made the Web rounds this summer, bald spots peeking out from underneath a wig that fell loose from her head. In a television biography of her life, Countess Vaughn, who starred in the television present “The Parkers,” talked in regards to the damage weaves did to her scalp and hair.

Whereas the anecdotal proof reveals a powerful relationship between weaves and hair loss, the scientific proof is slim. What research has been executed hasn’t explored what it’s about weaves that causes the damage, stated Lutherville dermatologist Dr. Dakara Rucker Wright. Extra analysis needs to be performed to find out if weaves are the culprit or if underlying issues exacerbated are by weaves.

Wright, who works for Kaiser Permanente, studied hair loss in young African-American ladies and found an association between hair loss and those that put on cornrows, or hair braided carefully to the scalp. She believes hair weaves could trigger some of the same different hair types natural hair injury in older ladies.

She stated tightly sewn-in weaves can cause situations together with traction alopecia — gradual hair loss brought on by pulling of the hair — and central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia — scarring and balding that begins at the crown of the top and spreads out.

The problem seems to be extra common in African-American women because their hair tends to be drier and the form of the follicle extra susceptible to breakage, some dermatologists believe. But people of all races wear weaves and have suffered hair loss.

“I am not saying all weaves are unhealthy,” Wright mentioned. “But women do need to understand the dangers and early indicators of hair loss.”

One current study by researchers on the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio found that braids, weaves and other forms of hair extensions could also be contributing to scarring of the scalp and hair loss in African-American girls. They surveyed 326 black women and located hair loss in the center of the scalp and clinical indicators of scarring in fifty nine percent of the women.

Kind 2 diabetes was additionally greater in 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 began sporting weaves about 5 years in the past and noticed her hair started breaking off early on because she wasn’t properly caring for it. The 45-yr-outdated switched hairdressers and now has her weaves done by Dowdy, whom she visits not less than each two weeks for hair upkeep.

“The individuals I went to previously were not concerned concerning the health of your pure hair,” Alexander stated. “The largest thing is maintenance and hair care.”

Marquis Gonzalez, who owns Model Lab Salon in Mount Vernon, mentioned he most frequently sees harm when girls who don’t have sturdy pure hair cannot take the heaviness of some weaves. The weaves end up pulling on their natural hair, inflicting it to interrupt off.

Different girls make the error of getting their natural hair chemically relaxed then inserting a weave on top, Gonzalez stated. The relaxed hair doesn’t get the moisture and upkeep it needs, and it dries out and breaks off. Gonzalez has had ladies are available with bald spots alongside the edges of their hair. He has a consumer now who has misplaced all the hair in the crown of her head due to overuse of weaves.

Whereas Gonzalez mentioned all weaves will not be dangerous, he teaches girls at his salon how you can care for their natural hair.

“The weaves and stuff are good, however it is not yours and it by no means can be, although you pay for it,” Gonzalez mentioned. “In some unspecified time in the future you need to deal with your individual hair.”

Wright stated it could also be hard to get ladies to eliminate their weaves, which can price anyplace from a number of hundred dollars to greater than $1,000 for the preliminary course of.

“I like to make use of candy as an analogy,” she said. “You can’t tell anyone you may never eat sweet again. So I attempt to offer ladies alternate options.”

Wright encourages girls to take several “weave holidays” to present their hair and scalp a break. Or she instructed women alter the route of the “pull” of the weave so that the tension on the hair is at different points.

And she said girls ought to immediately see a dermatologist after they see early signs of issues, equivalent to scalp itchiness and tenderness or hair breakage. Caught early, patients could be handled with cortisone creams and other strategies. Wait too long and the harm could also be there perpetually.

“Once you have gotten to the superior hair loss, the treatment choices are very restricted,” Wright mentioned. “Hair transplant may be the only method to go. But when you do not have enough hair follicles, you will not even be ready to do this.”

However many women do wait too lengthy. Hair could be a delicate subject, and girls may discover it exhausting to acknowledge there may be something flawed.

“They often come to see us further into the condition then we would like,” said Dr. Mark Lowitt, a dermatologist at Greater Baltimore Medical Heart. “They come at some extent where they have lost a lot of hair. As soon as we get to that point it is laborious to convey it again to the original thickness.”

Hair stylists said ladies are slowly turning into extra aware of the way to take care of their weaves. And safer weave strategies have developed.

Dowdy places a lightweight web over a girl’s scalp, and the weave is connected to that. In one other process, a skinny layered silicone cap is positioned on a women’s head and the weave is connected to that.

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