Hair Care with Weaves and Extensions

What is a hair weave?
When you integrate hair — human or artificial — with your own, the result is known as a hair weave. The additional hair can be interwoven with your own, or it can be placed on top of the latter. People make hair weaves for various reasons — some may want to enhance the colour of their hair without having to put in chemicals, which can be harmful, or radically change their hair texture. They may also want to give their hair more volume or length, or hair weaves may simply be in fashion in a given place at a given time. Some people wear them to conceal hair loss, although hair weaves can themselves be a cause thereof, as we shall see.

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Starting with a brief history…
The use of hair weaves dates back at least to the time of the ancient Egyptians, who used extensions of various sorts to make their hair look more elegant. Wigs, made in a variety of shapes and styles, were popular in Europe and the colonies beginning in the seventeenth century. Hair weaves as such did not, however, become popular until the 1950s.

Examples of hair weaves
There are a variety of hair waves for people with varying tastes and styles, such as Remy and Indian. Some dark-haired packages look great on people with light skin.

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Others look just fine for those with darker complexions; this “Brazilian ombre” hair weaves contrasts beautifully with the skin of the wearer:

For quite some time, Indian and Latina locks have been especially popular because of their structural similarity to white hair and their low cost compared to Euro technology hair.

There are also companies that specialize in providing hair weaves for customers. International Hair Company is one such place, and they perform ECO Indian hair, Remy hair (closures and blond), clip-ins, tape and styling tools. One good book on the topic is Hair Weaves for Dumb Girls by Tanika Torrice.

Traction alopecia
Sometimes, wearing a hair weave — or any style — for prolonged periods can make the hair just above the ears or along the fore hairline fall out, a condition known as traction alopecia. Black American women are particularly vulnerable to this kind of thing, which can cause scarring in (and is also the chief cause of hair loss among) such people. The fact that hair weaves can cause traction alopecia sounds ironic, given that so many people wear them expressly to conceal that condition; but it can be avoided if the wearer takes care to perform regular maintenance on the weave.

Traction alopecia takes place because the hair of the braid to which the weave is attached continues to grow, and because the tight braiding and the snug fit can create tension on hair when the risk of it falling out is already great, putting pressure onto the follicles.

The longer the follicles remain dormant, the more conspicuous the hair loss will be in those areas that have been subject to the stress that the weaves put on them. The braids, being confined in the hair, create their own “tracks” that enable them to stand out therefrom.

To prevent traction alopecia from occurring, you should take the weave off regularly, re-braiding your natural hair and snugly reattaching the piece.

Further information
To learn more about the different styles of hair weaves, and how to decide which one is right for you, watch the slide at “Different Types of Hair Weaves: How to Choose a Hair Type and Style to Suit your Face and personality.”

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October 30, 2015 – 6:22 PM - | Posted in beauty, Hair Products | No Comments »

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