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Weaves, wigs and extensions are all the rave with women- especially black women.  They’re great on one hand, because they can be used for protective styling while letting you maintain an incredibly fabulous look. But on the other hand, if worn incorrectly, they can (1) make you look a hot mess while (2) slowly but surely balding you in the process.

Last week I read an article in The Grio about a recent study that concluded very tight weaving is linked to a permanent type of hair loss that affects black women. The clinical term is central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia, which means “scarring hair loss.” It is something that occurs only in black women. And to date, there is no treatment for it.

As a doctor, I wasn’t surprised by this recent study. I’ve shared this information about weaves with family and friends for years. Prolonged pulling at hair strands, which primarily happens when wearing tight weaves/wigs, causes scalp inflammation, hair breakage, and ultimately balding. And if going bald wasn’t bad enough, black women also add insult to injury when we rock hair pieces that also look a hot mess because we choose not to pay attention to important things like styling, maintenance and hair hygiene. We’ve all seen those ratty, bird nest-looking weaves and wigs. Not a good look.

Weaves, wigs and extensions are not just something you should slap on your head without much forethought, care, or even precaution. A lot can go wrong if you do. But does this mean that you can’t rock a fierce weave, wig or hair extensions? No- of course you can! But if you do, you have to pay very close attention to your hair, as well as the styling and maintenance of your weave/wig. It’s all your hair- even the part you paid for 😉 So take care of it- and love it! Here are six tips on how to rock a weave and not look a hot mess or go bald in the process.

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