Johns Hopkins researchers are urging black women to avoid weaves, braids and hair extensions because of the risks of permanent hair loss.
Researchers say that these hair styles, which can pull on the scalp, can contribute to traction alopecia, a form of gradual hair loss, which about one-third of African-American women suffer from.
They are advising women against tight weaves and braids and recommend that braids be taken out after two or three months at the most and that weave extensions be removed every three or four weeks. These steps, they say, will help to prevent hair loss by allowing hair time to recover.
The healthiest hair style, they say, is a natural one.
“We see it literally every day,” says Yasmine Young, who owns Diaspora Salon in Charles Village section of Baltimore. “We are the only licensed natural hair salon in Baltimore.”
“Usually traction alopecia occurs on the hairline. That’s usually the most fragile,” she added.
Young went on to say that while the damage from traction alopecia is irreversible, it is also easily avoided.
“It’s usually from weaves or braids pulled too tight and someone has a bald spot. Then, they keep going back to the same style.”
“I wouldn’t do anything that would compromise the integrity of someone’s hair.”