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2 Reasons To Abandon Hair Extensions

• Jun 20, 2012

By Jc of The Natural Haven

I know this one is controversial because many of us love our braids with added hair, weaves and wigs. Yes, I really am saying stop using them (eek don’t stone me!).

When are extensions ok? 

Let me contradict myself for a moment and say that using extensions as a temporary style to ‘save’ your hair/mind from damage is perfectly fine. The possible scenarios

1. You are transitioning, one day you become convinced that you have to chop your hair which you do only to panic because you are not comfortable with how you look — slap on that wig, put in some extensions, don’t drive yourself crazy over it. Work on the mental transition first before the physical.

2. You have been battling your hair for a few weeks, you are not sure what techniques work for you and the only thing growing is frustration. Sure cover your hair up for a short time (1–2 months)

When do Extensions Become a Problem?

In priniciple extensions are fine if used for a short period of time or for temporary styling. If they become part of a daily routine, they can seriously hinder your progress towards great hair. Why do I say this?

1. When hair is in extensions, you forget about it. You don’t need to worry too much about handling it or keeping its moisture balance.….……the key skills necessary for natural hair. 

If it is your intention at one point to simply wear your own hair and nothing else then the best way to gain experience in this is to actually start doing it. I know that some people will say,

Oh but I moisturise my hair even when it is under a wig’ or ‘I still wash and condition my hair in braids’.

My response is that of course you do but you don’t have to deal with fuzz or shrinkage or even handling your hair when wet. Get the full natural experience, learn what your hair likes and dislikes.…deal with your hair

The Ultimate Benefit of Abandoning Extensions 

2. The top benefit of wearing your natural hair 100% of the time is beyond the physical experience but rather a mental one. You have to love the person in the mirror and you have to see her as beautiful (failure is not an option if you want to be happy with your self image).

It is a life altering experience to know that your beauty does not rely on what others tell you but rather what you see. This has been my experience and I can confidently say that yes I am cute all day, every day 🙂

Ladies, what are your thoughts??

About The Natural Haven

Scientist on a hairy mission!

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141 Comments on "2 Reasons To Abandon Hair Extensions"

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Stephanie
Guest

Agreed. 🙂

dh
Guest
I agree, too. Lots of ladies are hiding behind wigs as “protective styles.” The only way to embrace your natural beauty is to see it. All the time. Normalize it. And then you’ll see it free from social context and realize that it’s beautiful. I know black ladies love their wigs/weaves, etc… but, honestly, that ish looks really crazy, and kind of sad. You know how people laugh at white guys with toupees and plugs? You think your wig is any less obvious or funny? It isn’t. I’m a black woman and I do my share of snickering. It ain’t… Read more »
Sheri
Guest

Naw, that wasn’t harsh, that was hard core truth. I know VERY FEW women rocking a weave that looks like real hair. My sisters always have some neighborhood beauty supply hair sewn or glued on their heads and they look absolutely ridiculous. It reminds of the hair on those Barbie Dollheads we used to get when we were little back in the day. It does not look real (or good)!

Jessica
Guest

I know black ladies love their wigs/weaves, etc… but, honestly, that ish looks really crazy, and kind of sad. You know how people laugh at white guys with toupees and plugs? You think your wig is any less obvious or funny?”

I really agree, though this statement is mad harsh. I hate seeing us walk around with shiny plastic on our heads. Eekk.

dh
Guest
I know, it does sound harsh. But I guess my position is that sometimes the truth hurts. We’re all going around chasing some false ideal of beauty, and not seeing what’s actually true — that it looks ridiculous. The truth is that black women are BEAUTIFUL just the way God made us. And denying that is silly. It looks silly. And sometimes it’s kinda funny. Forgive my callousness. But, shoooot! Sometimes this stuff needs to be said. If others don’t agree, that’s cool. But I hope people take my little comments as an invitation to look at themselves with fresh,… Read more »
J
Guest

I agree with you comment.Truth ain’t meant to be feel good!

Kinky hair will never be shiny it has a low refelction of light called SHEEN so if weaves are used then the more realistic the better. My take on it is that the hair under the wevae should be thriving and longer than you thought it was. LOL

Rukiyat G.
Guest

+1

Many ladies are wearing weaves/ braids/ extensions as a “protective style” but they stay in an eternal state of cover-up and rarely show their own hair. Healthy hair is important, but a healthy self image is even more important. I think the key component of a healthy hair journey is gaining comfort and happiness this what we are working with naturally and improving upon that. Not knocking anyone wiggin’ or weavin’ it up (hey, I do it too), but a lifestyle of that is not celebrating what we were born with.

bee
Guest

+1
check out my video post on dry detangling on my site: http://www.acurlcandream.blogspot.com/2012/06/videos-dry-detangling.html
its very detailed and informative 🙂

DeeJ
Guest
I agree that sometimes when I have met women who are recently natural, they’re still not comfortable with their real hair due to the texture or the length of their shrunken hair, big chop etc. Its easy to keep wearing wigs and weaves, but how will you ever feel comfortable with your natural hair if you never wear it outside of your bathroom? When I went natural in 2004 I wore my hair everyday because I had worn braids all through middle school and high school and wanted something new. That first year allowed me to become comfortable with my… Read more »
Nana
Guest

Wow, I must say that I truly am thankful for this website, and I know now that I am FINALLY confident enough to face my hair on 100%. I have been natural for almost 10 years and just recently I am finally learning what works for my hair and what doesn’t. This post caught my eye as I was thinking about getting a “protective” style w weave added. I’m good. Accepting my hair for what it is. Thank you. Peace and much love.

chloe
Guest

Black women are too focused on what the next black woman does with her hair. Do what you want to your own hair. Everyone doesn’t go natural for the same reasons and this is the main reason why some people who are natural are always wearing wigs or weaves because everyone doesn’t go natural for the same reason. So to the author, if they don’t want to deal with their hair maybe it’s because they never intended to. I’m so sick of this political hair talk, open your mind.

tigerlily
Guest

I say do what you please with your hair. What maybe good you may not be good for some. Different strokes people lol. In my opinion I don’t many naturals use extensions to “hide” their hair. After all they did go natural and that is the first step to embracing natural hair. Hair is nothing more an accessory. It’s apart of you it doesn’t make you.

Fayla
Guest

ITA with everything u wrote in this article. I had to learn this the hard way, but am SO glad to have gotten to know my own hair & how to care for it. the only way is to JUST DO IT everyday. explore UR hair & what it likes & makes it thrive. it’s hard to do that when u dont have access to it.

BeautyIAM
Guest
I somewhat agree and disagree. I have to say I will never fully abandon extensions. I like them. I wore them when I was younger. I began to feel irritated with my hair being in braided extensions a few years ago. That is when I started to wear my hair out. I still didn’t know what I was doing with my hair, so I put in some more braided extensions to help me out. I finally realized what I was doing wrong and remedied the problem by just wearing my own hair in twists. I am currently in an academic… Read more »
beenawink
Guest

I so totally agree with this well-articulated post. I believe this article, if taken the right way, will encourage ladies to embrace their natural hair instead of always hiding it.

Yasmine
Guest
Hello. I am from Guadeloupe (FWI), and I’m transitioning. This article touches me especially because it’s exactly what I’m living. One day, I’m determined and I tell myself it’s worth, that I must learn to feel beautiful with what the Lord has given me; The next day, my head hurts and I think that the texturizer will save me! I’m in the period where I have to relearn everything: to hydrate, to feed, what they like or not-and take time to take care of it. And I’m not patient … It’s really a fstruggle with myself because I have to… Read more »
J
Guest

Bonjour Yasmine,I appreciate your honesty,just know you are not the only one going throught his and it will get better! That is what these sites are for to encourage each other.

Confidence with natural hair takes time but the first step is usually the harderst!

With information at our fingertips you should reasearch some styles on Youtube and have at leats two styles you like and can rock,that should help you. 🙂

I am French native but live in England and don’t want anyone to judge my french written skills LOL.

Maria
Guest
I don’t think there is anything wrong with hair extensions. I live in a really hot and humid climate with super curly and thick hair. I got a sew-in about 6 weeks ago. I love it. I didn’t get it to “improve” my self-image or to become more confortable… I got it bc it takes a lot to maintain my hair during the summer months and i wanted something different than braids. Going natural has been the healthiest thing i have done for my hair and I happily acknowledge that, but we have to rememeber everyone’s hair is different. We… Read more »
Jane
Guest

When it is hot even braided extensions with my scalp exposed drive me crazy. I don’t know how you are dealing with the sew-in that weather 🙂

Venus
Guest
To each his own I believe.… I wear my own hair %90 of the time but I do have an extensive wig collection… Bc simply put sometimes I want a look that’s completely different then what i have… When I want long bone strait pocahontas hair… I get it.. And I Wear it a little then Im over it… Same for if I want a short bob, or a medium length wavy style with some color… And no it’s not Bc I have some deep seated issues with my hair etc it’s Bc I love variety. Period. I’ve always loved… Read more »
Eboni
Guest

Well said Venus! Plenty of women (including myself) wear protective styles merely for the VARIETY! 😀

Although I do see the issues of using protective styles as a crutch, which can possibly lead to not learning how to actually CARE for one’s hair. Though it’s all a learning process, and some people need to learn natural hair care maintainence their own pace.

Ashes
Guest

^^^^THIS^^^^

Camille
Guest
I agree. Especially for those early in the game. The TWA and mini-puff stages are a good time to get to know your hair and also face fears. I think some people think they are going to extend their way through that time and come out on the other side with some glistening perfect and well-behave coils. If you don’t take the time to get to know your hair not only are you going to have a tough time when it is longer but it may prove tough to retain those hard saved ends once they are exposed to the… Read more »
MeMe
Guest
I was so worried when I read the title and the first few sentences of this article. I thought it was going to be all about how extensions will ruin my hair. If my biggest problems with wearing extensions are not learning to deal with my natural hair or to like it, well, I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. Right now I’m wearing braids because: 1- My hair’s growing really quickly and looking healthy. 2- I don’t have time to style my hair every morning. 3- It suits me! I look best with my hair up in… Read more »
anon
Guest

Agreed. The title was curiously ominous and I expected to read that extensions were damaging to your hair, when really the author is just saying that they’re damaging to your self-image.…Phew! I think an adult woman is capable of judging the merits of her own image, because we all know how subjective of an assessment that can be.

J
Guest
I believe this ia good post as weaves and extensiona are such an addiction to black women which is why it is important it is adressed. Iknow addiction sound dramatic but it is what it is and peopel are RICH because of the dissatisfaction that many have. 🙁 Imagine a scenario and you couldnt have a weave or extensions what would you do? I don’t want to depend on anything whereby i couldn’t leave my house.I want to be free and use as less products as possible on my hair.I am good with Condtioner and Oil worse case scenario. 🙂… Read more »
Nubian
Guest
Wow everybody has an opinion… Sure it’s okay to wear extensions or a wig this time for this reason but totally bad to that right now for that reason. Give me a break!! You do what is best for YOUR hair!! If you see that protecting your hair from the elements using wigs or weave is what helps keep your hair healthy then wear your wigs and weaves and wear them proudly and forget what the rest of the natural Nazi’s think! What works for them may not work for you and why would you want to change what you… Read more »
Shan
Guest
Ummm…I don’t think this came off as either preachy or judgemental. Or are we into calling everyone “natural nazis” when they are simply expressing an opionion on what you could possibly do if you’re experiencing problems. As far as I can see, she simply gave reasons the benefits of something she advocates. They were valid reasons. Some people can benefit from it since not everyone wears extensions to protect their “hair from the elements using wigs or weave”. That certainly wasn’t the case with me. It became a crutch til I learned to let it go. Now if it’s not… Read more »
Ashes
Guest

All of them aren’t. I promise!

Sassystephb
Guest

Honestly… I wear braids for 6 to 7 weeks at a time. I wash them, i condition and my hair is perfectly healthy underneath. I understand the logic of this post, and i’m not disagreeing, but I think we have all figured out that What works for one doesn’t necessarily work for all. so to each their own. I do like this blog though… very informative.

Natalie
Guest
I think that as long as there is a balance between wearing your natural hair out as well as the hair extensions you’re fine. In the beginning it’s best to wear your own hair out — so you can learn what it likes and doesn’t like — then as time goes on you can get into wearing protective hairstyles a bit more to promote less manipulation to your hair. I myself after wearing my hair out and tending to it myself have learned a lot about my hair and myself — and now feel much more confident when wearing my… Read more »
anastasia
Guest
I agree-balance is the key and really knowing your hair =) For ex: After my 2nd BC many moons ago, I frequently paid for braid extensions owing to my hectic academic and work schedule but remained clueless on how to properly care for my own hair; which ultimately changed from a thick head of lush hair and edges to scant edges and low-density =( I took care of it certainly, but the braids were often tight and/ or too heavy for my fine strands, thus thwarting all of my efforts, lol! Thanks in part to ‘natural’ hair blogs, patience, practice,… Read more »
Toya
Guest
I personally love extensions. My kinky twists are very convenient and at the same time helping me to retain the legnth my hair is gaining. In the past, I wasn’t aware of how to take of my own hair while in extensions, but now that I have been exposed to natural hair care methods, i can take care of my hair better. Now, I always remember to take care of my hair as I would when not in extensions… Moisturize, make sure my scalp is clean, and even still sleep in a satin cap. If you know how to take… Read more »
Nakia
Guest
I sometimes feel like I’m alone as a naturalista without mad hair styling skills…LOL I cannot cornrow or flat twist my hair into fabulous styles, and on top of that, my hair is fine AND thin naturally, so even if I get someone else to do it, I don’t get the thick luxurious look of a lot of the folks posting pics on this and other natural hair sites. I usually wear my own hair, but for travel, summer, and sometimes special occasions, I really like the convenience and expanded options that added hair gives me. Sometimes I want something… Read more »
MojoJojo
Guest
THANK YOU!! I love my natural hair, its in great condition and growing longer every month but its not naturally thick nor do the curls look lush (like the model pictured). So I can’t always get the natural styles recommended for protection, so having extensions for about 4 weeks at a time is the best solution for me. Not everything is black and white, I know the author means well but we all have different types of hair, styling abilities and time schedules. Articles like this just make me feel bad (I know its not their intention) about not having… Read more »
R. Kahendi
Guest

I agree wholeheartedly, Jc.

Lola
Guest
I was expecting this article to provoke some sort of drama..but so far nothing.hehe I agree with JC.I wore extensions for the first time in my life during my TWA phase. I felt like I was cheating and hiding something.So after that,I vowed:never again. I dealt with the dryness, the shrinkage and the tangles all on my own and I am so proud of the results.Now I have a healthy, strong and super easy to manage head of 4b hair. I don’t think this article is telling anyone what to do or judging anyone.It’s just promoting a balanced view of… Read more »
Bridget
Guest

+1 ITA

Rachel R.
Guest
Wow.…Why do so many women get so offensive when someone simply expresses an OPINION about something. I have only been natural for 1 year. When I was relaxed which was since I was a young girl, am in my 40’s now, all I did was wore micro braids and sew-ins. Also even being relaxed short hair did not become me. So when I big chopped last year of course I ran back to the braids, wigs, and sew-ins. I should have known better. If short hair didn’t fit my face when I was relaxed what made me think it would… Read more »
Kimmie
Guest
I feel that if you take care of your natural hair while wearing extensions there is no need to “abandon them” . I have had to big chop again recently after 3 years natural, and I am not feeling the twa stage at this time. I have opted for various extensions until my hair has reached a length I am comfortable with. I have rocked braids, currently in kinky twists, and will do fluffy twists and so on. Meanwhile I will cleanse my scalp, moisturize my hair and wrap up at night. Bottom line do what works for you!
Kimmie
Guest

I feel that there is no need to “abandon extensions” as long as you are taking care of your natural hair properly. I have recently had to bc again after 3 yrs. natural, and I am not feeling the twa stage. I have opted to wear various extensions until my hair has reached a comfortable length for me. I will continue to treat the extensions with the same care as my natural hair, Cleanse, moisturize, condition etc.Bottom line do what works for you!

Curly Queen
Guest

I agree with the author. Weaves, wigs and braids are temporary styles but shouldn’t be a crutch to rely on indefinitely. You can’t realize or appreciate the beauty of your natural hair if you never see it.

I myself am rocking braids this summer because humidity is not my friend and because my hair grows a lot in the summer I’m trying to retain as much length as possible but come Sept 1st it’s back to my natural hair and I’m looking forward to it.

Sandra
Guest
I think protective styles (using braids/weaves) are useful especially for women who try to maintain a family, workout schedule, and work. I use protective styles a couple times a year to give me a break from doing my hair everyday (due to my demanding work and workout schedule). My initial reasons for ‘going natural’ was to grow a healthy head of hair without the dependence of perms and other chemicals. Now, 1 1/2 later, I have realized the ‘going natural’ had become an journey of discovery. I never know how beautiful our hair is and the many many ways we… Read more »
Tiffany
Guest

I totally agree 100% I think braids especially can hender a person’s hair growth. Lots of ppl use them as protective styles, but from my experience ppl that wear braids a lot don’t really experience that much length retention. I think it’s fine when you’re going on vacation or something, but otherwise I just don’t see the point. Unless you just like the way you look with braids of course.

wendy
Guest

I think another thing to add is that the person adding extensions may not like the natural hair thing and complelty abuse your hair. That has def been my experience in the year and 3 months I’ve been transitioning. My hair has been so abused by people who think its ok to use a tail comb to comb through natural hair. Big chop is def coming soon, even though I intended for a 2 yr transtion. It’s time.

Ola Mawe
Guest

Wow! This was an interesting article. I do not discriminate against naturals wearing weaves or hair extensions. If that is your preference then that’s cool with me. I use to wear wigs as protective styles during the winter (This past winter I opted out. My natural hair is as long as my wigs lol) and braids during the hot, humid summer months. This year I prefer wearing my hair and learning as much as I can about it. Natural hair is so versatile. There is so much you can do with it.

LBell
Guest
First off: I want that woman’s puff. Someday it WILL be mine. 🙂 Some of these comments are reminding me of that old classic saying, “A hit dog will holler.” 😉 Also I wonder if people are really understanding what Jc is saying. If you went natural with the desire to really learn about and understand how your natural hair works, you can only do so much of that if you stay in extensions (or weave or wig) 100% of the time. If you went natural with the desire to experience what life is really like as a natural, you… Read more »
Lola
Guest

I need a break from my fro. I have been natural for nearly 2 years and although I love it, I am tired of the time that it takes to maintain it :} So yes i shall rock the mess out of these long kinky twist all the while conditioning and keeping moisture in my hair. People can say what they want but until they help me with this mess,I will keep up with my break from my fro, lol even gonna take them down for a month and get them right back up :}

Omolola
Guest
I love my long Kinki twist. I have been natural for almost 2 years and while i love my hair and the way it looks, i need a break. It takes too much time and im tired, lol. I do condition and moisturize but I also plan to take a break for a month and get these jokas right back in. Each person has their own style and we cant force what we feel is right on others. I say do what you need to do so that you stay sain bc hair regardless of the state can be too… Read more »
Omolola
Guest

oops it posted twice :}

Mocha
Guest
I did my BC a few weeks ago and I am planning on wearing braids and weaves. My hair is already hard to comb. I used to love wearing extensions and weaves, they make me feel pretty. I’ve tried to go natural in the past but it nevr worked. Now, with the help of this site, and many others, im coming into my own. this is a test for me to see how much longer i can go. And how i will embrace my Natural hair. But wigs, weaves and extension braids are easy and can help with some of… Read more »
Allegre
Guest
I highly recommend braids to help grow hair to a comfortable length after a BC. I did this 11 years ago and I’m so glad I did. Wore braids for the 3 years it took to reach MBL. Yes, I had to play catch up and learn things about my hair after I stopped wearing the braids, but you have your whole natural life to learn your hair. Who cares when you do it? Wearing braids helped me overcome the awkward phases and stalled growth that so many other ladies seem to experience. And it saved me so much time!… Read more »
ALexis
Guest
Well I have a roomate who has low self esteem. she feels prettier with longer hair. The media brainwashes some of these females and shes afraid of natural hair. I was scared at first too. But then i realized that I have to start loving the person without the makeup, fake contacts, and the weave. And since Ive been going natural for a year and some change lol I feel better mentally and physically. I have a “glow.” My roomate is bigger, and her hair is very short and damaged, and shes dark skin. Because how the media portrays bigger… Read more »
Rachel R.
Guest

Hey Alexis…maybe you were put in this young ladies path for a reason. You are in a position to help and teach her the pros and cons of going natural. Teaching her how to transition until she is fully ready. Even with that said she will have to learn to validate herself and not look for others to validate her, but with your help as a roommate and friend I’m sure she will over come. I know this is off the topic of the article but I had to give my Two cents. keep spreading the positivity.

anastasia
Guest

good lookin out RR. alexis, rachel is on to something.…;D

J
Guest

I totally agree,you should encourage her. 🙂

Alexis
Guest

yea i got off track lol sorry. but i mean extensions arent always a bad thing. i love getting kinkys and etc… but sew ins destroy my ends terribly. But i love getting braids. I want to try tree braids, and senegalease twists. I have friends who look at me crazy because of my natural look, but there the ones who have to depend on weaves. sadly, ive learned that i dont need 18 in. of hair to feel beautiful. because one day i would have my own 18 in. of hair! lol!

Penelope
Guest

I think it’s more complex than just assuming someone is insecure. I wrote about it here: http://beyondthetracks.tumblr.com/post/23170561908/wearing-weaves-a-call-for-no-judgement

Also, if a person is at school or on vacation, they might not have time/products for their original regimen…so in that case, braids are a great choice.

jen
Guest

I wish I can wear my natural hair out but I’m restricted to wearing wigs due to very big bald spots on both sides of my head my hair been like this for awhile now all I can do is just wear a wig I don’t want to be a circus show people laughing at me so I keep it cover and no it don’t look like I have a wig on it looks just like a sewin there been plenty days when I want to wear twist out buns mini flat twist but I can’t

Melissa
Guest

Co-sign. I know how to handle my hair in its natural state but love playing with different looks. Let your own common sense guide you, if extensions leave you bald walk away. That would be the only time i would suggest not using them. My mom has fine hair and a tender scalp, she is a perfect example of someone who should abandon extensions.

Landry
Guest
I transitioned with kinky twists for about 10 months (had them redone every 3 months). I LOVED them. After having long relaxed hair for most of my life, I was not ready for a TWA. When I big chopped I was beyond a TWA, but I still was not comfortable wearing my hair out. I had kinky twists installed again for 3 months. After that, I took them out (December 2011) and have worn my hair out since. Would I get kinky twist again? Yes! I am considering them for the summer, just to mix it up a bit and… Read more »
Shahidah
Guest
Whew! I havent’ read all the replies yet but see below for the ONLY reason I do not wear weaves or wigs. For me it was traumatic to put in a weave and take it out and my own hair not be this big full head of hair. First I had damaged it severely due to over processing MY FAULT and I thought weaving it up would help but it made me feel worse very unattractive in my own skin. Now that my hair is sooooooooooo healthy and great I still felt some kinda way when I wore a phony… Read more »
J
Guest

I can so relate! 🙂

I call it the BEFORE and AFTER effect! LOL

I don’t like that feeling neither, so whatever i make sure there isn’t a drastic change in my appearnce with my hair and make-up. I felt that way with length too i would have long extensions and take them off and it cannot compare to reality! LOL

J
Guest

I can so realte! 🙂 I call it the BEFORE and AFTER effect! LOL I don;t like that feeling either so whatever i di make sure there isn’t a drastic change inmy appearnce with my hair and make-up. I felt that way with length too i would have long extensions and take them off and it cannot compare! LOL

Jones
Guest

Meh, I’m in twist extensions right now and I absolutely love my hair.
I can’t keep my hands out of my hair is my problem,

-_-
Guest

yaaasssssssssss me too

i love my hair tooo much
i love playing it and doing styles in it
i’d do 3 different styles a day if i could
and because i love it so much it breaks
but when i have extensions i don’t play in my hair

Erin
Guest
I have to disagree with the following: “‘Oh but I moisturise my hair even when it is under a wig’ or ‘I still wash and condition my hair in braids’. My response is that of course you do but you don’t have to deal with fuzz or shrinkage or even handling your hair when wet. Get the full natural experience, learn what your hair likes and dislikes….deal with your hair” I’ve been natural 3+ years so trust that I know (and LOVE) my hair. I’ve dealt with it for that long and now I wear wigs when I am not… Read more »
anonymous
Guest
I abandoned extensions years ago, if left in too long my thick coily hair would lock around the fake hair and the only way to remove it was to cut it all off! This happened twice and I have never ever had extensions of any kind since. This was all way before the ‘natural hair movement’ I had an extremely unfashionable fade for a decade which I adored I just thought that one day I would see how my hair grew and here I am with 12 inches of thick coily crazy hair. My sister in law wears a protective… Read more »
Tyrika
Guest
The two points made in this article are true. Yes, you do prolong learning how to love your hair in it’s natural state when you wear extensions early in your “natural life”. But it’s not the worst thing in the world if you do. Every woman has to come to terms with her feelings and appearance in her own time. Whether you have an inch or a foot of hair, learn to love it in your own time. Part of learning to love it includes listening to it, taking cues from it, and developing a hair care routine that works… Read more »
anastasia
Guest

BEAUTIFUL!

Brown
Guest

Well bless my lucky stars! Black Girl with Long Hair has gone the route of Natural Nazi-ism and is now telling us HOW to be natural. Yippee!! Now we have a natural hair authority and a fearless leader who knows it all!
But wait! What is that aroma I smell?? Ah,yes!..
Bullsh*t.

>:)

Annie L.
Guest

@Brown

Here’s a rose for you @};-

They come from the same crap you seem so well acquainted with.

Annie L.
Guest
I used extensions as a crutch when I first went natural 10 years ago. It was hard confronting the image of myself as the opposite of the face that sold films, magazines, fantasies and was even in churches I knew. I didn’t look like ‘that girl’ with long waves flowing in the breeze in the middle of the meadow when I had straight hair anyway, but my usual look didn’t challenge that narrative because the opposite of that narrative was ‘nappy’ AND short. I was so happy when my natural hair was long again because short, natural hair brought up… Read more »
anastasia
Guest

=) Great response!

Tenae
Guest
What does it really matter if a person wears weaves/extensions? Are you wearing it? People have opinions and no one really thinks about what works for you WILL/DOES not work for others. I wear a curly wig because my hair is short, and I like the way I look with long hair. My hair is very fragile, so I keep it plaited up and oiled and conditioned. The less I manipulate it, the more it grows. The more I have it covered up, the stronger it gets. I take my wig off everyday. When I’m at home, I take it… Read more »
Zie
Guest
Girl you better work! My comment is more so to what I have been hearing and seeing in the natural hair community lately. When I first became natural I would get a lot of crap from non-naturals and diving into a natural community gave me confidence to keep going. Now I feel like the natural community is filled with negativity. The only way you look silly with extensions is if: 1. horrible weave (that doesn’t match your luster and color) 2. entry level installation 3. improper blending 4. poor maintenance You know what I was going to make a good… Read more »
Boab
Guest

The natural community isn’t filled with negativity, the negativity was always there (since slavery/colonialism anyway).

The natural community in fact EXPOSES that negativity and shares practical methods for freeing women from much of their poisonous self rejection.

But for those who still in self denial about the low self esteem endemic in black women, mostly focused around hair and skin colour, the truth will always sting.

Zie
Guest
I think we are talking about different levels. I should have better explained myself. But I really don’t want to entertain it. “But for those who still in self denial about the low self esteem endemic in black women, mostly focused around hair and skin colour, the truth will always sting.” Are hair extensions an example? If that is your example I will have to disagree. Of course there are some woman who cannot deal with their own hair. There are others, like myself, who love their hair and extensions. *I understand this article is not talking about people like… Read more »
Alisha
Guest

Awww, ur pretty!

anastasia
Guest

Indeed!

Tenae
Guest

P.S. Sorry the pic is so big, I didn’t think it’d be this large! My apologies, ladies! :^)

Trini
Guest

I relied on braids with extensions while I was figuring out what to do with my hair after my last relaxer. Like some wrote, a short cut was not flattering. As I wore my hair out more, I relied on extensions only during the winter. Nothing major to my regimen, it’s just practical for me.

pinkgirlfluff
Guest
Maybe some people are reading a different article. What she is stating is something a person relaxed or natural should be told. Get your own hair right before you start weaving it up. If you are not properly taking care of your hair, rocking a weave will not help you and can become a crutch. Actually if you are not properly taking care of your hair it will snap, crackle, and pop when you take that alternative hair out. You can lie to yourself and say that’s the weave but you know good and well your hair is shaking and… Read more »
Zelda
Guest
I AGREE 100% I wish people would stop using weave as a crutch. Its fine every now and then but when you wear it constantly it makes me think you dont know how to do your own hair and that bothers me. In 2012 no one should not know how to do their own hair. Its on your hair & you are supposed to know it. If you dont know then that’s why there are so many blogs and lots of info on the web. I get annoyed when people are so amazed at how I care for my natural… Read more »
J
Guest
You are so on point! LOL The problem is the Black Hair Industry ain’t slowing down and wil continue to BOMBARD us with UNREAL images of what their lie of what Black Beauty is! They don’t want us to know the truth that being you is just FINE! That is why as a Mom im telling my daughter she is beautiful just as she is because i don not want her absorbing the lies of this society.Loving yourself warts&all is hard but can be achieved. Part of this problem are parents who donot not HOW to care for their children… Read more »
Alexis
Guest

I agree with you 100%!!

Lola
Guest
It’s funny that I’m reading this today. It just clarified to me why I will not being wearing weaves all year round. I just decided this past Monday that I will no longer wear weaves all year round. Maybe once a year, because I still love a weave to switch it up. I have not put a perm in my hair since December 2008 and now its June 2012 and I have not seen much growth. So yesterday, June 21st, I took out my weave and I’m going to actually be fully natural! I’m changing my nappiversary to June 21st,… Read more »
tapiwa
Guest
That’s ryt. I’m a newbie, 1yr natural. I have been wearing extensions but in between been trying out th you tube hair stylin tutorials in between. I am tryin to find out wat works for me as my hair grow. Its a journey of discovery. In my opinion with a balance btn th extension and ur hair out, soon u’ll be rockin it ol naturale th whole year out. Weaves and braids kept in for 1–2 months aint as harmful as creamy crack but we can find a way of weaning ourselves out of them and look as fresh as… Read more »
Cindy
Guest
I think the author made this too simplistic, i.e. there are Only 2 reasons why it’s ok for someone to wear extensions/wigs. That’s very subjective and does not take into account women with busy schedules, women who exercise daily, and as many others posters said, women who love versatility. Would anyone recommend dying natural hair red one month and then bleaching it blond the next, then back to red two weeks later? No, but you can certainly do that with extensions. I just put in crochet braids and I love them. I am a nurse who works 12 hour shifts… Read more »
foxynoir
Guest
I’ve been natural for about 3 yrs but up until last yr wore sew ins which never allowed me to really care for my hair. I’ve since then been wearing wigs to work only and I keep my hair plait up underneath I cowash often cuz I sweat after I work out bad, I also have bald and very thin areas from chemical burn. I started ear length and thin, now its like a new head! Its past shoulder length and so much more healthy. Ppl esp naturals tell me all the time I should wear my own hair, but… Read more »
Dluxe
Guest
Honestly, braids/braided weaves are the only thing that help me grow my hair. I did damage my edges years ago, but I got smart and stopped perming. Now I have longer hair that is braided under my weave. I get it re-done every other month. I never had very thick hair, natural or permed. I feel that I have more options with my weave because I don’t want to wear twists. When I used to be natural, I wore up-do’s often. That also contributed to my hair loss around the edges. I just have hair that does not need to… Read more »
Jc
Guest
Oh my what a storm in a teacup! I appreciate all the comments from the vast majority of you and as a blogger, I also thank you for actually reading the full article, not skimming and forming an opinion (regardless of whether it was in agreement, disagreement or ambivalent — simply thank you for reading first). I was a commenter well before I was a blogger so unlike many authors, I do read and respond to comments. I think what I am learning is that reading really is a very much undervalued skill so I will always make a point… Read more »
Steph
Guest
Everyone hair journey is different but I agree with you that weaves and wigs should be used temporally because you can get in to the habit of not taking care of your hair(which I did). I was natural for about a year and a half but I kept my hair in sew-ins all the time and all it did was give me length. I never took care of my hair and I was still using products that was for relaxed hair. In december of 2011 I decide that I wanted to take care of my hair but I did not… Read more »
SB Matthews
Guest
I find this post to be interesting. As a woman that has been natural on/off and since 1999, I am NOT defined by my extensions or whether or not I take care of the hair underneath. I say that we need to look at the person underneath the natural hair,wig, braids, dreads, weave, or attributes that need to be take care of 1st such as do you truly love yourself, respect yourself and your fellow mankind. As we move to a possible double-dip recession in a world gone mad,are there not more pertinent issues that need to be addressed? How… Read more »
andrea
Guest

I think extensions are a good protective style. I get cornrows about every 2 to 3 months for about 6–7 weeks as I’m still transitioning. I like getting them because it gives me a break from twisting daily but after a few weeks I do miss handling my hair.

Ronnie
Guest
What about the whole hair and money issue. Yes, some of us can comfortably afford hair extensions. But some of us can’t. Wearing extensions, weaves, etc. too often can seriously deplete your bank account. I know of two women who have tumbleweed blowing through their food cupboards or who live paycheck to paycheck but they’ll make sure they have extensions, their wigs or a weave! I will never understand wearing hair additions while on public assistance or unemployment. I’ll never understand paying for hair extensions or giving a Braider $50 to $200 to have your hair done, but not having… Read more »
GSoldier
Guest

Speak THE TRUTH!!!
My Friend God Bless You!!!!

GSoldier
Guest

@ Ronnie. My gratitude was to your comments about financial priorities vs mental deficiencies (eurocentric looks), using your two friends as an example. You were ON POINT!

Needeed to be heard,

Thank You

Mahala77
Guest

What difference is it to you if I pay for my hair extensions???? Dont busy yourself with other’s finances and how they choosr to spend it. Maybe some of us are lazy or have no clue about styling our natural hair. i come to these websites to learn…not to be judged by the people condeming me for wearing extensions/weaveaves until I figure this natural hair stuff out.

Ronnie
Guest
I’m glad that you pay for your own hair extensions and I feel you on being too lazy to do your own hair. I through my own natural hair in a protective style most of the time myself because I don’t feel like or am not adept at experimentation. But that’s not what I’m talking about. I know someone who got evicted from her apartment but was paying $200 for a weave. And there are women who are choosing hair extensions over food for themselves and their children and then the children become the burden of the taxpayer through publicly… Read more »
Shey
Guest
People think only extensions are expensive. Wrong! I went to a natural hair salon under the impression it would be $60. I was charged $160. I have thick, long hair. The stylist also gave me bizarre twists instead of curls. It took two days to pick it out to a decent fro. I’m looking into other stylists. One natural hair salon quoted a price of $200. I am not good at all with doing my own hair. I’ve tried tutorials, how to, etc. Alas, I’ll just keep searching until I find someone reasonably priced. As far as extensions, I still… Read more »
GSoldier
Guest

200 $!!! Do you know how many products you can buy for that!!! My friend, start of simple with styled buns, pretty (non metal) flower hair clips, dtenagled fro and side braids with a high bun. Once you spend time in the bathroom doing the simple stuff, your curiousity will kick in and you’ll start experimenting more yourself. Honestly hon, that’s the best way. You grew your hair this long, don’t let anybody jeorpordise your length… and your wallet!!! LOL!

Shey
Guest

Sorry, I meant ”don’t go to”.

zimza
Guest

+1

LaQuele
Guest
Hi Mahala I just wanted to say that I feel you on the hair extension because I wore extensions most of my life, lol but the only way you’re gonna figure this natural hair stuff out is to just go natural. The reason I say this is because you can learn a lot of things from others like styles and care but you won’t really know what works best for you until you start experimenting & that takes time. I would usually go natural for a month or two & then go right back to braids or locks because I… Read more »
Mahala
Guest

Thanks for letting me know that you understand LaQuele. I hear you on that. I don’t know what’s holding me back. I love natural styles and curly hair ladies, I just fear that I’m gonna look crazy or just plain wrong. I’ve never had patience for hair and i feel with natural hair, it requires a lot of maintenance more than just getting a sew-in for 2 months.

LaQuele
Guest

You’ll get there. You don’t know how many times I’m tempted to just braid this hair up (Lol) but I’m really determined to find out what works on my natural hair & what process works best. I also realize there’s gonna be some bad days where my hair just does what it does & then there’s the good days where the moisture is just right & I have defined curls & the style rocks. So it’s a process. You’ll get there though. In your own time. 🙂

juicyfruit
Guest

Great article! I agree! Don’t become addicted to weaves! Learn how to properly wear your hair and there would be no need for having an attachment to weaves.

Amaka
Guest

I disagree braids have actually helped my hair grow even longer. And I still even wear my hair out once in awhile, but with braids I still continue to moisturize so with or without weave I know my hair.

LaQuele
Guest
Love this article & I agree. I have had my hair natural most of my life but wore it in extensions most of the time & locks. It did grow in braids however my edges became a little thin & even though it grew a lot broke off when I’d take out the braids. Most importantly, now that I decided to just wear my hair completely natural I feel like I see the real me & I’m allowing the world to see the real me & it’s beautiful. What was once frustrating is now an exciting journey. I’m having fun… Read more »
Lady_D
Guest
I totally agree! 1st off, I feel hair is an accessory. It completes the style, or statement you are making. I don’t think that there is anything wrong with extensions being worn temporarily. I have moments when I get in a style rut, or I just don’t wanna be bothered with my natural hair. That is a sign that it’s time to switch it up! But about 3–5 wks later, I start to miss my natural…or the “real” me! I wore extensions while transitioning. But in between styles I wore my hair for a few weeks, just to get familiar… Read more »
Atalaya
Guest

Another good reason: You are deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan and don’t have the resources, nor time, necessary to properly care for your curls, kinks, or coils and braids with extensions, or sew-ins will save you from going bald from all of the dirt flying around landing on top of your head. Many a head of hair was saved due to those closely braided cornrows and a deep condition in between stylings. I guess I just had a personal moment… Back to your regularly scheduled comments.

lovemeloveme
Guest
I’m natural and I LOVE weave. I watch youtube videos about weave, am curious about the weaves that other people are wearing, and i like weave on myself. I don’t wear a weave every month though.… I probably only end up wearing 3 every year and each sew in for about a month or a month and a half. When I decided to grow out my hair from the very short hair style that i had (which was a traditional fade that most black-American men wear) I didn’t use weaves to “help”. Now that my hair is has length, pass… Read more »
BourgeoisLatte
Guest

Amen Mahala!

HandsInHair
Guest
Wow. A lot of people took her perspective personally. Did you all not see the part where she accepts weave use under certain conditions? This post isn’t a judgement of your character or personality, but rather a criticism of the over indulgence in weave. It seems to her that the benefits don’t outweigh the risks most of the time. I don’t care for weave on my own head, but I appreciate and compliment many women who take the care to find weave that matches her hair and also weave that compliments her face. Outside of that, I don’t say anything… Read more »
hermanitatres
Guest
I agree that weaves and braids need to be carefully installed, as well as cared for when they are in, in order to not reap any negative effects. I have had very positive experiences with weaves and braids, and I do them for different reasons, boredom with my current hairstyle, a break for my natural hair, travel, hectic schedule, etc. I do think that it is most important, that an individual knows why they are doing it, so as to not always be running from their natural hair texture (even though its bound to happen and I have done it… Read more »
Hadassah
Guest

I love my weaves but after two weeks my hair calls to me to let it out and I do! Lol!

astrogirl
Guest

I love this post! I do think some women become too reliant on braids and weaves. I have had my hair out through my ENTIRE transition. I have good days, bad days, and everything in between. I get ideas from fellow naturals, I experiment with color; I’ve basically tried everything that runs the entire gamut of natural styling — except for braids and weaves. I may try it at some point, but I would never change the process of becoming reacquainted with my lovely curls.

🙂

Morgan
Guest

Why do ppl keep trying to give advice to blk women when all they do is: 1)Fail to read what is actually written, 2)Interpret what is written in a way that was not written, 3)Get defensive and attitudal.

Hell, let ‘em wear weaves and extensions and end up with more hair on the floor than on their head. The worse their heads look, the better mine looks.

nicki
Guest
You ask why do people respond in the many negative ways that they do but all your comment did was add to that exact stigma you are supposedly supposed to be countering. “Hell, let ‘em wear weaves and extensions and end up with more hair on the floor than on their head. The worse their heads look, the better mine looks.” What????? First off Queens are supposed to build each other up, not compete or tear each other down. Second, sew ins SAVED my hair. Literally. I was basically bald from coloring, perm, and lack of knowledge of African American… Read more »
hair world
Guest

Hair extensions is still the best easy way to make your hair beautiful. Check this site http://www.hairworldbeautysupply.com for more information.

april a
Guest

i wear hair extensions because I am just not that good with doing my own hair. I also like to wear my hair out daily and I was told that is a no no for natural hair. I am yet to find a Protectie style that i like so .. Weaves for me until i got to my desired length.

Nina Baker
Guest

Hair weaves and extensions are just options for your natural hair. If you don’t like your hair the way it is, it’s your choice to put it on. But remember that ti is just optional and it not really natural. Also, you have ot take it off someday.

Kenesha
Guest

I agree with your article. I have recently started wearing wigs to give my edges a break from tension when putting it in a bun. However, I love that I can wear my hair, slap on a wig and have a different look its so versitle and time saving also my hair has been going extremely well. Ultimatley love yourself, but its okay to switch it up everyonce in a while. Play with your looks and be fearless.

Stormy Brignolo
Guest

Hair Infusion Extensions are the trademarked hair extensions technique of Rodolfo Valentin hair stylist of New York City. Hair Infusion Extensions are worldwide known for providing safety to the natural hair since this technique does not uses heat or any other appliances to be linked to the natural hair other than a keratin based adhesive. Hair infusion is only a reusable hair extension technique.:..

All the best to you
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zala blog
Guest

This blog is truly awesome in all aspects.

mariah b
Guest

I’m not a big fan of weave at all, but I do suggest woman who wear them to at least have it on point when u do wear it :-X i wear extensions though, and i leave them in  for a maximum of a month, and I get them every 4 months.

VeeVee Brown
Guest
Whoa! So many people have missed the point! The writer is not criticizing those who wear weaves or braids but is saying that using these protective styles can do a lot of damage to your hair. We will spend a fortune and hours getting weaves and braids but show little love and respect for the hair that grows out of our heads. I’m guilty of wearing braids ( I’ve worn them for years) and not looking after my own hair. I have paid over the years for that. I have seen too many black women in the hair salon with… Read more »
Ms Angelia Wei
Guest
Dear Sir? Wish you all good. We are one of the biggest professional human and synthetic hair manufacturers in China. We can offer you all kinds of hair products such as hair weaving,Machine weft,hand made weft,hair bulk,wigs,toupee,grade hair,raw hair,practicing head,mannequin head and so on. Could you pls kindly add my MSN or SKYPE so that we can talk freely? Hoping we will have a long-term goods business relationship ASAP. Looking forward to receiving your reply asap. Best regards! Angelia Wei Juancheng Ukas Hair Products Co., Ltd. Website: www .ukas-hair.com Address: South of Liusi Village , ZhengYing Town, Juancheng County, Shandong,… Read more »
Best extensions nyc
Guest

I used hair extensions because Hair extensions is the best easy way to make your hair healthy and beautiful.Thanks for giving me sach a wonderful post.

tasha fierce
Guest

i will always choose sewn in weaves and extensions as my winter protective style. some of these natural hair protective styles are childish or just plain ugly, therefore i’m either rocking my afro or i’m rocking a sewn in weave. no harm done, my hair has grown thick and healthy.

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Guest

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Ariel
Guest

I wont stop wearing extentions until my natural hair is to my shoulders.

Abby Steele
Guest

I’m the exact same 🙂

Yas
Guest

Chile, please. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Ain’t nobody got time to be all up in their hair 365. Five hour wash days every weekend–I cannot. Extensions limit that need; braids and twists take a while to dry, but they’re easier to clean, condition and just maintain.
You need a hairdo break on occasion. If done right, maybe it’ll help you retain length.

Emma J B W
Guest
While I understand that everyone is entitled to their opinion, I don’t necessarily agree with this one. So what if a woman chooses not to ‘deal’ with her natural hair? If she chooses to wear her hair in extentions, under a wig, in a weave etc. It is her choice. Last time I checked, there wasn’t a singular rule determining why so many women are choosing to go natural. For some of us, it was just to be free of the creme de la crack. For others, it wasn’t even an active thought, it just happened after decades of wearing… Read more »
Talisa
Guest

Right?!

BBNWallace
Guest

I don’t have money or time for extensions or perm anymore. So for when God’s day comes and all black hairdressers start singing and stop doing hair I’ll learn how to work my own crown. It’s not difficult, just takes time. What’s more awesome than hair that grows up. Apsooolutely nothiin. If your afro grows big enough you can hide your wallet (or bike) in it, if you put in some oil it will be your umbrella and in Africa it will keep you cool.
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Danielle
Guest

I get what she’s saying but as long as you take care of it and its healthy, who cares what method you use to retain length?

ganaisha
Guest

Not everyone forgets about they’re hair. Some take even better care of it in extensions.

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