Adding a weave to your natural hair

A woman’s hair is often seen as a symbol of her beauty and personality.  For decades, women have been using hair extensions (weaves) to enhance the natural beauty and uniqueness of their hair.  Hair weaves have always enjoyed popularity among women of colour.  In recent years, as more stars and celebrities begin to experiment with new hairstyles, hair weaves have become omnipresent. Like hair colouring, a hair weave is a relatively easy and non-invasive way to change your appearance.  However, if you are considering adding a weave to your natural hair, it will be very important to explore your options and understand the different effects that certain hairstyles can have on your natural looks.  In a braided weave, your natural hair is braided along your scalp in tiny horizontal cornrows.  These braids are done in the middle of your scalp and should not be noticeable. The top area of the hair, known as the crown, will cover the highest braid, making it invisible.  Next, the hair you have chosen is sewn onto the braids with heavy weaving thread and your own hair is combed over the extensions so that they blend in. 

The number of braid rows will be determined by the amount of hair you want to add and how your stylist thinks the weave will best simulate your own hair.  A braided weave usually lasts about two months and if cared for properly can actually stimulate hair growth assuming it is not too heavy and pulls your natural hair. Another advantage is the absence of any chemical or heating process, which can cause damage to the natural hair. It is, however, important to care for this type of weave meticulously.  If the braids are too tight, or if the extensions are too heavy, there is a high risk of pulling out one’s own hair. You must also be careful to keep the areas around the braids from drying out and becoming brittle.  It is advisable to apply oil to the areas of the scalp around the braids to prevent breakage and premature balding Bottom Line although hair extensions are a great way to enhance naturally beautiful hair, they can also cause hair and scalp damage. 

In addition, many women do not realize that while length can be beautiful, having long heavy extensions also puts additional pressure on the scalp.  This pressure can pull hair out, and may cause long-term damage in the form of thinning and pre-mature balding. Therefore, if you are trying to grow your hair long, you might want to think seriously of the potential hindrances hair extensions could pose to your longhair quest. However, if you simply wish to have a new look for a few months and are prepared to possibly lose some of your natural hair along with the extensions, a hair weave can be a great solution. If you are a woman of colour, you will agree with me that weaves provide a way for you to experiment with new styles and current hair trends in a unique way.  It is important to visit a professional before you have extensions applied.  Weaves provide new looks which are usually easily cared for, but you must be aware that these procedures have a limited life cycle. It is important to take care of your hair during this time, and to do proper upkeep while you experiment with your new look.

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