Do lace fronts cause women to lose their hair?

A tongue-in-cheek “anti-lace front” video has gone viral on YouTube and social networking sites. As of Thursday, the video, featuring a group of African-American women, was viewed nearly 40,000 times on YouTube.

The video called, “Anti-Lace Front PSA”, rallies women to take the lace off. Its commentary says “there’s nothing wrong with letting your naps show” and urges women to save “one scalp at a time” until “every real hairline is revealed.”

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE:

But with so many high-profile celebrities wearing hair extensions, black women are keen to get the “good hair” look. It is, for example, well-known that the likes of Beyoncé, Tyra Banks and Kelly Rowland, all wear extensions or weaves.

The problem is not everyone has the hard-earned cash to get hair done to Tyra’s immaculate standard. Badly fitted lace weaves are a walking disaster.

There is even anecdotal evidence, hair extensions, including lace weaves, damage the hairline and weaken afro-hair, especially if the glue is improperly applied.

Others say if wigs and hair caps are tight with unbreathable fabric, the friction of it rubbing against hair will damage the hairline.

Photographs have even surfaced on the Internet of “Naomi Campbell’s (a self-confessed hair-extension addict) receding hairline”:http://bossip.com/18359/when-weaves-and-lace-frontin-goes-wrong/.

Campbell’s long term friend and fashion photographer, Huggy Ragnarsson, told a UK tabloid newspaper the supermodel is going bald. “The hair stylist Sam McKnight said to me in the ‘90s, ‘She’d better be careful with those weaves, she’s going to lose her hair,’” said Huggy Ragnarsson.

Naomi, like many black women suffers from Traction Alopecia — hair loss caused by constant pulling and tension from weaves and/or chemical damage.

But it seems many African-American women will go to any length to wear “straight hair” even if it costs them their own natural hair.

Black women’s hair has been a long-standing topic of discussion and subject of intense debate.

Critics attack the multi-billion dollar industry and say “weave” has become a passage to acceptance within the dominate cultures’ perception of beauty. The majority of black women, though, would say they are not trying to look “white” but wear fake hair to look “good” and give their real hair a break.

Oh! My Nappy Hair, a salon in Atlanta, specializes in the styling, care and maintenance of Nappy Hair but also offers chemical hairstyles.

Erica Blevins-Richardson, the co-founder, says they deal with all types of hair from nappy to finer textures. “We try to explore different types of hair products and creative styles for natural hair which few salons take time to do,” she says.

“Wigs and weaves are not the only option,” Blevins-Richardson says. “You can braid, twist, cornrow, have curly sets or even wear hair in dreads. There are so many choices.”
The debate between natural hair versus wig, weave, relaxer and hair extensions is a sensitive topic which generates much heated discussion.

The whole subject was reignited following Chris Rock’s comedy documentary, Good Hair, which explores the extreme lengths black women are willing to go through to look a certain way.

But the “weave hair culture” is not confined to black culture. Caucasian women, like Paris Hilton, also wear weaves and permit stylists use “dubious” chemicals to obtain a certain look.