Photo credit: Braids by Darnita
Box braids, twists, and faux locs have really been making their rounds on everyone’s heads this year. They’ve always been popular, but currently, I can’t scroll through one natural hair account on Instagram without seeing a gorgeous set of braids, twists or faux locs.
Why not get a set of these protective styles? They’re low maintenance, fun and you can style them various ways. I’ve already had two sets of twists this spring and I’m definitely itching to get them done again. I had a permanent and fuss free hair style for over two months and it was heaven!
Recently, I saw a few braiders on Instagram showcasing their braiding talent. I always look at what other braiders are doing so that I can show my stylist how large or small I want my braids or twists. After looking for a bit, I started to see a trend. There were multiple braiders who were braiding balding women’s hair. It wasn’t just slightly balding, but shiny scalp, no edges, and patchy kind of bald.
Photo credit: Instagram.com/starstylesinc
My first thought was, how are they braiding hair that is so sparse? I would think that the braider wouldn’t have anything to grab on to, but I was wrong. The braids were neat and filled in as well as they could be filled in. It really did seem like the braider worked a miracle. Followers even commended the braiders under the hair photos. The clients in the photos appeared to be very happy with the results.
My next thought? Why would a woman want braids if she has scalp issues and is severely balding? I understand longing for a particular hair style, but is it worth it to get braids at this point? I would like to think that if I were in the same boat, braids wouldn’t be my style of choice. Braids can cause damage to even the healthiest head of hair. The tension and weight of the braids can pull on your own hair and cause it to break if they aren’t done correctly. Even worse, they can cause traction alopecia if done too tightly. I would probably choose something that causes less stress on my fragile scalp.
I always say that it’s the stylist’s responsibility to inform their client on what’s best for their hair. It pains me to see braiders knowingly braid damaged hair for a quick dollar. I’ve seen it happen often in African braiding shops. However, I’m almost positive that’s not what’s happening with the braiders associated with these photos. It truly seemed like the braiders were trying to help the client feel better about their hair and give them a boost in confidence.
It isn’t clear why these women are balding and what issues they may have with their scalps. Is there hope that their hair may grow back or are they at the point of no return? If they’re hair has no hope of ever growing back, does that make it okay for the braiders to braid it? I’m also not sure if the braider or stylist is even responsible for any further damage done to the client’s hair after installing the braids. After all, the client knowingly sought out these particular braiders because they knew they were good at hiding balding areas. Personally, with so many other hair styles that could cover those areas, I’m not sure braids are the best idea.
Do you think braiders are boosting confidence or causing further damage?