Summer is approaching and that means plenty of protective styles for women of color. Whether you’re going for a poetic justice look with your thick braids or Beyoncé slay with long extensions, any look that keeps your hair wrapped up in braids is sure to provide the protection you need. This has been the mantra for many women of color who seem to always choose to hibernate their hair for the summer in efforts to protect it from the chlorine found in pool parties or the heat from those flatirons when humidity refuses to let you be great. Unfortunately, this concept has left many women looking like this…
When a young woman visited a salon in Atlanta, she was distraught. For years she had worn braids, extensions, and wigs in efforts to protect her hair. Instead, she ended up with major hair loss around her edges and breakage everywhere else. While this woman was brave enough to share her struggle with the internet, there are many women who deal with the same problems and have no clue how to fix it.
Natalie McNeil, Owner of Ends Hair Design & Spa, has dedicated her life to hair loss taking many courses on the subject from Dermatologists and Trichologists. Her salon features many tools to prevent and treat hair loss including laser hair therapy, laser combs, and even supplements.
“When a client reaches out to me about hair loss, I always schedule a free consultation where we assess the damage and get to the root of the cause.”
Many of the causes for hair loss in young women involve poor protective styling. There are many things you should look out for before throwing in that Brazillian or snatching up that Marley hair. Unless you want to spend your winter regrowing your edges, I suggest you watch out for these things.
- Tight Braids – you do not, I repeat, you DO NOT have to have tight braids pulling your scalp in order to have a nice style. If you have a stylist who is snatching all of your edges then you need to advise her not to or take your dollars elsewhere
- Your friend’s house – Yes your girlfriend does the best braids and sure she does it for cheap. Know that if you continue to keep going to her for your protective styles that you will pay for it later. Your friend isn’t aware of the techniques to retain your hair growth, that’s why its best to go to a licensed cosmetologist and get your style.
- Expired styles – Every hair style has an expiration date on it. A wash & curl only last for 2 weeks and short hair cuts tend to only last 1 week. Unfortunately protective styles have an expiration date on them also. You should only be wearing an install in for 6 weeks then get it redone to give your hair a good wash and a good breather
- Skipping washes – You should also be keeping up with your biweekly washes. DIRT DOES NOT MAKE YOUR HAIR GROW! Even when installing extensions, you should still be going to the hair salon to get a shampoo so that your scalp stays clean. There are many shampoos out there that do not require water that you can use for your braids.
- Skipping Trims- You may think by keeping in that weave for three months and then switching to another style without getting a trim will help retain your growth but it will only make it worse. You have to get rid of the dead hair strands and breakage before it works it’s way up. The longer you wait, the more damage you will cause
Good hair starts with you. Make sure you locate a good stylist that cares about your hair growth and not just only your bank account. Ask your friends for recommendations and call to schedule a consultation with the stylist to see if they are the right choice. Feel free to ask to see their work and watch them as they style other client’s hair. Basic hair maintenance is a big impact on whether you have luscious locks or struggle strands.