Through the propagation of myths and misinformation (“trimming the ends will make your hair grow”), the hair industry has kept us hairless for years – and the popularity of weaves has made our condition worse. Why not fall in love with your hair and experience the hair you were born to love? Being African American does NOT mean you cannot grow your hair past your shoulders. African American hair AKA “dry” hair grows at the same rate as other ethnicities.
The key to increasing your hair length is to reduce breakage. All women, regardless of race, have a cuticle and a cortex. The key difference is the presence of curls/kinks. These curls/kinks impact how the sebum (natural moisturizer produced by the skin) travels down the hair shaft. The sebum quantity produced in people of African origin is actually thought to be higher than in Caucasians. Caucasian hair tends to distribute the oil better down the hair shaft, which actually makes hair of African origin oilier at the scalp while Caucasian hair is oilier down the shaft. Our hair thrives on moisture and oils, and when it receives this moisture, it is less prone to dryness and breakage. To obtain length, it is important to invest in quality products that help reduce and eliminate breakage.
Wearing a weave is a sure way to get a totally new look without subjecting your natural hair to a cut or instant color change, but have you considered the damaging effects that these two processes are causing your scalp and natural tresses? The results are far from pretty. A new study has found that weaves and braids contribute to a type of permanent hair loss known as central centrifugal cicatricle alopecia or CCCA, a form of baldness that begins at the crown of the head and leads to scarring. This permanent hair loss appears to be common among African American women.
Weaves are known to add volume, thickness and length. There are a variety of ways in which weaves can be applied and depending on the method that you choose, weaves can also lead to hair loss or thinning. The main downside of having hair weaves is an all-too-common problem of damage to the scalp and your natural hair as bacteria builds up through the weave. Wearing a weave blocks your hair from receiving any nutrients from the scalp, which makes your hair very dry. Moisture is needed to grow healthy hair and it helps to avoid breakage and dryness.
Anytime a sew-in/glue-in weave is put in the hair, one increases the chance of experiencing hair loss as a result. The glue used in bonding hair weaves can cause damage to the scalp and the natural hair. Over time, hair glue can and will destroy the hair, causing baldness in the areas where the glue is attached to the hair! In addition, the glue tends to become dry and tangled with the natural hair, making it difficult to remove. As a result, the tangled hair is removed along with the glue, causing additional hair loss and breakage.
The time has truly come for African Americans Women to remove the wool which has been pulled over our eyes by the hair care industry for so many years and wear the hair we were born to love! Let’s take responsibility for our hair’s health by educating ourselves and using our purchasing power to demand healthy, affordable products, formulated not to mask our hair, but match our hair care needs!