More and more, weaves and braids are becoming an indispensable part of the daily routines of today’s women of color. When handled improperly, weaves and braids can be a painful experience, but when handled properly and done well, they can be a highly positive experience.
It cannot be denied, however, that weaves and braids still demand a certain level of care. To develop a successful hair maintenance plan, however, it’s important to understand the natural characteristics of your hair type.
When considering weaves and braids…
- 6 weeks is the maximum amount of time braids or weaves should be kept in your hair. Your hair needs a chance to breathe and be treated.
- Bulky and/or tight weaves puts a great deal of stress on your hair, particularly near the hair line, which can lead to breakage and even hair loss.
- If you have a sensitive scalp, you may experience irritation on your scalp thanks to some of the chemicals used in treatment of synthetic and 100% human hair. This can result in excessive itching which can cause scabbing, scarring and potentially even permanent hair loss.
- Using a good quality netting cap when weaving will help to creates less stress on your hair while the weave is in place.
The key is routine
Research shows that many women tend to forget about their natural hair when it’s tucked away in braids, a weave or under a wig. This is a mistake. Natural hair needs care and maintenance even when wearing a wig or weave. This is why it is important to develop a regular routine for caring for your natural hair, which should include running your fingers through your weave rows or braids.
The most important thing is to not let your natural hair dry out. For example, Eu’Genia Shea makes the case that Shea butter is a phenomenal natural product that can assist in keeping your hair strong and well-conditioned.
There are also a number of other natural products that can assist greatly in maintaining your natural hair while it’s in a weave or braids or under a wig.
Natural Products Can Help
Grape seed oil
Grape seed oil has been used for over 6,000 years and is cultivated by crushing the seeds of grapes and extracting the oil. Grape seed oil is a great sealant with excellent moisturizing properties. It also contains large amounts of linoleic acid, which is an omega-6 fatty acid that can combat dryness and protect against moisture loss. This makes it a great product for afro hair care. As an added bonus, it contains vitamin E – an essential vitamin for healthy hair that also promotes growth.
Hemp seed oil
Like grape seed oil, hemp seed oil is obtained by pressing the seeds to extract the oil. Hemp seed oil has been in use even longer than grape seed oil, however, dating back 8,000 years to China, where it was first discovered. Recently, with a rise in focus on Hemp in Western medicine, it is being used more and more in modern commercial products.
Hemp seed oil contains essential fatty acids (EFAs) such as omega-3, omega- 6, omega-9, and gamma linoleic acid (GLA). It is commonly known for promoting hair growth and strengthening hair structure due to its varied fatty acid content. GLA helps to retain water and protein in the hair structure and can even repair hair fibers resulting in stronger, healthier hair strands by conditioning and improving elasticity all at once.
Categories: Hair Care