Weave shields real mane from harm

People rarely say, “Girl, your pony yaki looks good!” or “Is that Kanekalon Black Number two or One B?”

To some, this sounds almost like a foreign language, but to many, it is all too familiar. This is the language of the hair weave.

The decision to wear weave can be for a number of different reasons.

“You don’t have to wake up and do your hair in the morning” says Nastassja Dean, a sophomore nursing student from Miami.

The weave also carries levels of flexibility of style without the added stress on the hair.

“I find that it is a lot more convenient, and I can style it more ways than I could with my natural hair,” said Jahri Wilson, a junior chemistry/ molecular biology student from Milwaukee.

“It also helps to protect my natural hair from over processing, too much heat from styling and those sort of things,” Wilson said.

Along with convenience and flexibility, weave can also be used to grow back damaged hair.

“When a person has experienced hair loss, or has a thicker kind of hair, maintenance can be hard,” explains Eunice Spriggs, a stylist with the JCPenney Styling Salon.

“They weave their hair in order to allow the natural hair a chance to grow back, or to tame their already natural hair,” Spriggs said. “A lot of people don’t want to cut their hair, but at the same time, they want fullness.”

The weave allows for that fullness. It also gives the natural hair a break from being pulled and tugged, which will ultimately result in hair loss.

However, along with the positive benefits of weaving, there are some consequences that wearers should be aware of.

“I don’t do weaves,” said Desia Demous, a stylist with Rattler’s Edge Styling Salon and Barber Shop. “I’ve seen the hairline become bald, and the crown gets thinner.”

Demous, who has been a stylist for 17 years, warns against bonding hair. “In my opinion, I think that in the long run it damages and weakens hair” Demous said.

Her opinion is shared. “Glue damages hair. I refuse to do bonding because it is so dangerous to the hair, and I am for healthy hair,” said Spriggs who has been a stylist for 10 years.

Both stylists agree that most breakage and damage from weaving is due to several factors, and they offer some tips on how to maintain healthy hair while wearing a weave.

“Never get braids, sew-ins, bonding or anything else directly after a chemical treatment on your hair. Chemicals leave your pores open, and if the hair is stressed, it will come right out” said Spriggs.

“I would suggest a protein treatment once a month, and do not wear weaves, braids, sew-ins or bonds for longer than a month,” said Demous. “Also, if you are going to get a sew-in, make sure that you have enough new growth that can carry the stress of the weave, because processed hair cannot” she said.

“Also, consider getting your weave tightened once every six weeks if you’re going to wear it for a long time,” Spriggs said.

“And condition and moisturize it once every two to four weeks. If the hair is sewn-in or bonded, do not try to take it out yourself, and go to the same stylist always.”

As far as appropriateness is concerned,” It’s always acceptable, as long as it looks good,” said Dean. “You can always wear it, but don’t go overboard and look like Halle Berry in the movie ‘BAPS’ said Spriggs. If you can do it, then do it.”

Contact Jacquelynn Hatter at famuanlifestyles@hotmail.com<i/.