Are Hair Weaves and Braids a Good Idea?

Are hair weaves and braids a good idea?
(Photo : pixabay)

Some people are concerned about what their hair looks like and so they may choose to wear a weave or style their hair in a particular way such as wearing a braid. Braids are particularly popular among certain ethnic groups, and in the past have been a common way for African American women to wear their hair. There are some advantages to having braided hair such as the fact that it saves you time (especially if you braid your hair at night before you go to bed), keeps your hair looking neat and helps to trap moisture in the hair.

There are some disadvantages to wearing braids though, in that they can cause strands of hair to break ( If braids are very tight and hair is pulled too tight then this can cause a condition that is known as traction alopecia. This is a form of hair loss that is caused by wearing your hair in a style that is too tight and that puts too much pressure on the individual strands of hair. In fact, wearing your hair in tight pigtails and buns can also lead to this same problem.

Traction alopecia can be reversed if it is stopped in time before damage is too severe. The actual roots of the hairs, the hair follicles, can be damaged over time which then makes the condition much harder to undo.

Indications that you may have traction alopecia include the presence of missing hair, itching and redness on the scalp, a receding hairline, and small pimples at the base of your braids. These signs should not be ignored and mean that something should be done before it is too late.

Hair weaves are extensions in which artificial or real hair is attached to the person's pre-existing hair. The weave may be glued in place, and can give a person lovely, long hair. The problem is that weaves can also have a pulling effect on your natural hair which can potentially cause hair loss. Similarly, to braids and tight pigtails, weaves can result in traction alopecia.

What can be done if you have traction alopecia?

The first and most obvious thing to do is to stop wearing your hair in the style that is putting strain on your hair and causing hair loss. This means you need to stop the braiding of hair or wearing weaves, especially if you notice the signs of traction alopecia.

If caught in time the condition is fully reversible and your hair will grow back. Of course, you may be unlucky and find that you are left with thin hair and bald spots.

If this is the situation then you can investigate options for regrowing hair, such as having PRP therapy or laser light therapy done, or even getting a FUE hair transplant done. These are all possibilities which you can discuss by consulting with a hair loss specialist at a clinic. You can also try prescription creams and foams such as minoxidil and finasteride, which could help to regrow the hair that has been lost by traction alopecia.

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