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Braid extensions land North Carolina woman in the ER

Avatar • Jul 13, 2010


Photo courtesy of digtriad.com.

Thanks Norm for sending me this story. From digtriad.com;

Greensboro, NC — What started as a trip to the beauty salon to get her hair braided, ended with two trips to the emergency room, according to Veronica Carter.



Carter said at first she liked her braids, which took about six hours to get done.



But a few weeks later, that changed.



“I got up and I was crying in the middle of the night and I was praying and crying like God please don’t let me die,” said Carter.



“The braid came out and it was like a little white bump,” she said. “The headaches became just on one side and it was migraines and it was like a heat sensation.”



“My whole face was swollen, my eye was absolutely shut,” said Carter.



She went to the emergency room twice and paperwork she was given on the second visit states she may have MRSA, an infection that doesn’t respond to the usual antibiotics. She said she is taking four antibiotics, though.



“He told me it’s because the braids was too tight,” said Carter about her hospital visit. “He said her nails, anything up under the nail, if her nails was sharp or if she took it and tried to braid it and maybe cut me right here and I didn’t notice it.”

Click HERE to read the rest of the story.

This is crazy. What are your thoughts?

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Yas
Yas
10 years ago

wow! thats crazy.. i never understood why they braid your hair so tight @ the african salon.

eccentricyoruba
10 years ago

this is super scary esp as i was thinking of getting braids done this thursday.

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[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by eccentric yoruba and others. eccentric yoruba said: RT @bglhonline: Braid extensions land North Carolina woman in the ER http://bit.ly/awEFZs #naturalhair @clutchmagonline @blackvoices @TheRoot247 […]

Daja
Daja
10 years ago

I know how she feel. I got headaches from braids too tight so my mom took them out right away. As well as the nails. I hate when stylist have nails on (especially excessively long nails). Everytime I got my hair done I could count how mamy times the stylist’s nails scratched my skin. Like dang if I can feel it I know you can too.

Nicole
Nicole
10 years ago

A prime example demonstrating why some sort of certification is needed, even if it’s not a full cosmetology license…stories like this make me hurt just thinking about it.

aJwitaFrO
aJwitaFrO
10 years ago

Wow, this is crazy..thanks for sharing the story. I don’t think it’s anything to panic about though. Just don’t get ur braids done too tight!

apoint2bemade
apoint2bemade
10 years ago

I dont think the salon is to blame. Ladies, it is so important the scalp is kept clean. Even with braids. Braids can be lightly shampooed or the scalp cleaned with witch hazel or Seabreeze. Don’t keep them in more that 4–5 weeks. And avoid scratching the scalp. Look at the photo the woman’s nails are quite long. it is possible she may have broken the skin. the infection developed WEEKS later. I hope she is recovering well. Love light and health to all!

exotikink
exotikink
8 years ago
Reply to  apoint2bemade

I agree. That was a bad experience, but there had to have been some indication of a problem prior to her going to the E.R. I cannot wear human or synthetic hair for more than 2–3 weeks at a time due to experiencing severe itching and burning sensations up to one week after removal. This always occurs at the top of my head which is noticeably thinner. It doesn’t matter how often I clean my scalp, the longer I keep the hair in, the worse it gets. It is the same with wigs. I hope the yarn braids I’ m… Read more »

serena
serena
10 years ago

why tolerate excruciating pain for the sake of braids? They don’t have to be that tight to stay in tact!

Alyce
Alyce
10 years ago

*gag*
I also ended up in the hospital after getting braids done. I had my neck bent in an awkward position for too long while they were working on my hair, and the next day I had excruciating neck spasms that got so bad I couldn’t move. They even gave me a spinal tap! When they realized it was nothing too serious, they sent me home with muscle relaxers. You have to remember that your hairdresser needs to move around you; don’t twist your body to where he/she is. And if you are in pain, SPEAK UP!

danielle
danielle
8 years ago
Reply to  Alyce

I totally agree about speaking up as soon as they are hurting you. Braids shouldn’t hurt. I had to find out the hard way.

Monica
Monica
10 years ago

When I was transitioning, the licensed stylist who had cared for my hair weekly for 3 years did my first set of cornrows. This woman braided my hair so tightly, I couldn’t turn my head the next day. Add to that, she overcharged me. After calling and writing the national office of that chain of salons, I was able to get a complete refund. Needless to say that was the last time I went to her for anything. After a couple misses, I found a lovely Malian woman who braided my hair to my liking: thicker cornrows tight enough to… Read more »

Von
Von
8 years ago
Reply to  Monica

You are SO correct!! Thank You Monica!!!!

MsLadyNatural
MsLadyNatural
10 years ago

I agree with the them making them get their license, if you are doing anything with hair there are things you should know to prevent cases like this if you love doing hair and helping people in that way you owe it to them to get the education.

Libby
10 years ago

It’s sad when these things happen in a “salon.” This is why I pay more to go there…because I’m trusting that the people working there have more expertise in the hair industry.

Some years ago my own doctor testified that there were more medical issues among black women because of having braids too tight. (i.e.) Swollen lymph nodes, especially in thin-framed women, were more noticeable only because the cornrows were pulling the skin that taut! This is a shame, but just like with every other service, you gotta do your research before sitting in the chair.

AdriB
AdriB
10 years ago

A similar infection can occur from improper waxing. On phone so long story short: woman gets Brazilian wax in salon. Develops rash. Turns out some skin was ripped off in wax and she was infected by flesh eating strain MRSA sometime during that day. that woman no loner has arms or legs. Yikes.

Monica
Monica
10 years ago

@MsLadyNatural

Wouldn’t braiding for years under the tutelage of experienced braiders count as education.

Making braiders get certificates will not stop ladies from braiding, it’s going to drive the practice underground and instead of parlors and salons, they will start seeing clients in kitchens and living rooms.

We all know all know kitchen beauticians.

target queen
10 years ago

this is why I never got my hair braided, everyone I know who got braids on a regular basis, now have NO hairline.…because the braids were too tight, but they kept going back so its a two way street. if it hurts it aint RIGHT!…tell the braider they dont need to hurt to be done good and they dont have to be so tight they pull out the entire hair follicle, after that, get up and LEAVE. I beleive there should be some type of training course on health and safety, there are so many black women walking around with NO… Read more »

Monica
Monica
10 years ago

Another point to consider regarding certificates for braiders: what curriculum or training will be required for this braiding license. We know that cosmetology schools don’t properly train students to care for natural hair. Now, they will be entrusted with the responsibility of instructing experienced braiders on how to do care for natural hair.

Also, a number of braiders aren’t proficient in English (a lot of braiders are French speakers) will the state provide a bilingual test or translators for these braiders or will they need to take the TOEFL to braid hair.

I’m just saying…

Britney D.
Britney D.
10 years ago

I feel so sorry for the poor woman. 🙁 It’s sad that the woman who braided her hair wouldn’t own up to her mistake, and she had to go through so much pain because of some tight braiding. Actually, MRSA-related infections can take awhile before symptoms start to begin, so it’s entirely possible that the woman braiding her hair scratched her and gave her the infection. And those long acrylic nails can hold a lot of bacteria in them if you aren’t too careful with handwashing… I don’t think that braiders should be required to have a certificate in order… Read more »

Leslie
10 years ago

This story made me cringe.

jadedpoet
jadedpoet
10 years ago

If I’m not mistaken its hard for me to believe MRSA is caused by braiding to tight, alopecia yes. Germs, fungi accumulating under unclean, unkept nails and breaking the skin causing an infection, yes, but braiding? Come on now, I think the bad thing here is the braider possibly didn’t practice good hygiene because for me honestly after two weeks if the braids are to tight they begin to loosen naturally as hair grows in. If they are to tight after braiding and for some reason I didn’t speak up, I wash my scalp, and/or use witch hazel on it.… Read more »

Samya
10 years ago

You have to know who des your braids…if it hurts leave and know what technique works on your head. I have one hairdresser for braids she never hurts me, its never too tight and it always lasts. Do your research.
I am really sorry for that woman, that’s just horrible.

Aeleise J
10 years ago

Anyone putting their hands/implements into the hair can cause infection/infestation. If the braid was too tight, causing small tears or if she was scratched, MRSA could have been transmitted by the stylists unsanitized hands, combs, clips, or any number of items that were placed in the clients hair. When I was six I contracted tinea capitis (look it up) that caused temporary hair loss from an unclean unlicensed hair braider. Proper tension and sanitation is taught in licensing courses and should be required.

Laetitia (french reader)
Laetitia (french reader)
10 years ago

it’s awful !! oh my gosh, i’m so glad i’m far away from this insanity

Kk
Kk
10 years ago

This is why I learning to do my hair myself, by God’s grace! To much unknown things are going on out there!

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[…] Braid extensions land North Carolina woman in the ER Posted on July 14, 2010 by Paige F Braid extensions land North Carolina woman in the ER. […]

Nana
Nana
10 years ago

This confirms my new decision — I will never go to a braider again and will do my own braids if I feel the need to.

BrownSugahChild
10 years ago

Today’s blog ties in with Monday’s blog about beauty schools and how natural hair is ignored. I believe that if natural hair care, braid care, etc. is implemented in cosmetology situations like this will lessen. Of course as Monica stated there will always be “kitchen beauticians, but if current stylist and future stylist are taught safe practices during regular schooling or through continuing education, black women will be able to keep their hair and not go through this painful experience.

Stacey
Stacey
10 years ago

I’ve never had an infection from braiding (thank God), but I have lost some hair before straight from the root. I am not a fan of tight braids of any kind. I have always been a DIY type girl even in my relaxer days. This is really scary and is possibly why there is now a hair braiders license in NC. Sheesh! I hope this sister recovers well.

kingsmomma
10 years ago

At what point do WE realize that it is our hair, our scalp and our health? I would never sit and have my hair braided so tightly and then wake up nightly with headaches…and STILL keep those braids in. She also says she may have received a nic while her hair was being braided…I would most definitely feel when my scalp is being pierced, hell i feel it when they grab a stray hair. This lady lacked common sense and this story is also reflective of a general sentiment that we ought to sacrifice certain things (like hairline or healthy scalps)… Read more »

Jennifer
Jennifer
10 years ago

This is exactly the reason why I stopped getting my hair braided and twisted, its just too tight. Even after continuously asking them to braid looser, they still braid tight. The last time I got my hair kinky twisted I had a headache and couldn’t lay on my head to sleep for a week, it was terrible. Last month my sister got her hair braided and when I saw how tight she had pulled her scalp, I cringed!!!! She had to get it re-braided looser by one of her friends.

Susan
10 years ago

I doubt this problem was caused by the braiding itself. The infection must have come from the stylist especially since the woman talked about long nails and being scratched. It might also have come from another source, I have seen MRSA awareness posters in the gym. I have learned that if it feels too tight in the chair, it probably is, speak up. If the person does not listen, then it’s better to stop them instead of getting headaches or losing hair. This just emphasises the importance of hygiene in the salon or barber shop.

Liz
Liz
10 years ago

I feel sorry for this woman. I myself am actually battling MRSA also, so i can really understand the pain with that. I don’t think that people need to get licenses to braid. I think many people have said it already, even if they have the license, they will still probably braid to tight.. Truthfully it is wrong to say the mrsa came form the shop. Someone else also said to look at that woman’s nails and how long they are. she may have had the bacteria under her nails and while scratching or rubbing her hair infected it. If… Read more »

Vonmiwi
10 years ago

Dayum! Braids don’t have to be that tight and if her hair is less than an inch then she needs to let it flow with a fro!

princesstp
10 years ago

this is why i never went to an african salon to get my hair braided the hair is braided so tight and most of the time all u see is baldness and scalp cause they make sure to get every strand smh then they have the nerve to charge you $200

Ms. Haiti 1982!
Ms. Haiti 1982!
10 years ago

And they refuse to give her the money back! wow! that is crazy! My cousin got a bad sew in that caused a massive scap infection to where she had to shave off all her hair and stay on antobotics for a few months. She still has thin spots on her head. she sued and was given 2,000. She went back to the store and asked for her money back also, they refused, so she got 10 times that back! Most african braid shops are unclean and very unprofessional.

Lissa
9 years ago

In the complicated world we live in, it’s good to find simple suolitnos.

crgrlnzeo
9 years ago

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Marci Walker
10 years ago

This seems to be a situation that could have been avoided had this woman spoken up about how the braider was hurting her. I do not to want to place blame on either but I do want to say that education is so important to our industry. I have owned a natural hair salon for sixteen years and I have been teaching the Art Of Braiding @ community college for 13years. Essence Magazine named my salon as one the top ten salons in the country, (Aug’08) As a result I decided to develope a program for natural hair stylists. We… Read more »

beadgyrl
beadgyrl
10 years ago

I feel so bad for this lady and I pray that her hairline recovers/heals after this. I felt after my last braiding session I was done getting them for a while. I actually saw the little tiny bumps at my scalp, and I was also sore for a couple days after getting them. It seems when you tell them to braid it looser, they either don’t listen, or they just continue to pull it tight!

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[…] Bglhonline.com, StyList.com, […]

Nicole W.
Nicole W.
8 years ago

And THIS is why I only trust my momma and my aunt to braid my hair…

Bow
Bow
8 years ago

I used to wear micro braids on the regular. I never went to Africans to get my hair braided because they don’t care about your real hair, they only care that the braids look nice at whatever cost. I found a wonderful licensed hair stylist who also did micros and knew the importance of my real hair and scalp. She took great care of me and never braided my hair tightly, they always turned out nicely and I never had any problems

Von
Von
8 years ago

First of all, BRAIDS are not suppose dto be HEAD BANGING TIGHT! Just tight enough to make the style LAST! What folk need to realize is that LICENSE has NEVER made ANYONE professional. Its just a piece of paper stating that you took some hours to learn a craft! Some people were BORN with it..like ME! Im a NAtural hairstylist and has been doing hair since I was 12! I know all about the safety techniques and bacteria, this and that. There is NOTHING that a school can teach me about braiding b/c guess what? THEY CANT BRAID! I have… Read more »

Von
Von
8 years ago

If you want, you can check out my website at aroundofapplause.webs.com
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yamaha hs 80
8 years ago

Hello, this is a great blog!

Shy
Shy
8 years ago

Another thing is bring your own COMB. I DONT care if its aseptically clean or not I prefer using my own comb.

Berniece
7 years ago

Your style is really unique in comparison to other folks I have read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I’ll just book mark this blog.

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This is so sad whatever happened with you. I think everyone should be careful while getting all this stuff done and should get it done from only professional hair stylists.

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