Pros and Cons of Using Weave as a Protective Style

By Cipriana of

Featured above are a few photos of me rockin a whole helluva lot of a weave years ago for an 8 page editorial spread for Vibe Vixen Magazine. Yes ladies, I am no stranger to the word WEAVE. Not only did I apply weave for aesthetics but to ease the shock and stress of losing 3 years of natural growth in one night from a self-applied texturizer gone horribly wrong. That would be the last time I placed chemicals on my hair.

The idea of wearing a weave was not new to me. Years before I had worn weaves during my modeling career to help mitigate the unhealthy hair care practices, turmoil and constant weekly usage of heat my hair was exposed to when I was in the industry. I never knew how much my hair would flourish until I actually wore a weave and saw the results for myself. Most of the fruitful results had to do with low manipulation of wearing weaves weeks and weeks at a time consistently for about two years. But as much as my hair flourished I suffered some serious drawbacks like temporary traction alopecia, scabbing and irritation, dandruff and extreme dryness which eventually led to breakage due to the neglect of my natural hair underneath the weaves.

Fast forward years later, I was now standing in front of the mirror about to embark on the weave trail once again but this time the idea of wearing a weave was a lot less frightening since I knew all the pitfalls to avoid. This time the results proved universally beneficial.

I am going to share the pros, cons and successful tips that will produce the most fruitful results for your natural tresses while wearing a weave.

Less Manipulation

This is one of the ultimate pros of wearing a weave. Manipulation of your natural tresses is drastically reduced which guarantees more length retention.

Easier Transitioning

The Big Chop can be a scary plunge if one prefers longer hair or is used to a certain look. True confidence comes from within but a weave can provide an easier transitioning period for a woman who may be debating eliminating straightening and chemicals and going through with the Big Chop.

Styling Versatility/Manipulation

Let’s face it, not everyone is completely satisfied with only manipulating their hair once a week. Many naturals want more variety during the week concerning hairstyles. Weaves can provide constant manipulation without the stress on your tresses. Weaves also provide a great option for a highly active lifestyle.

Developing Patience

Weaves can help you develop patience in the growing out process since you no longer have daily contact with your natural hair. It can help control the urge to grab a measuring tape every 5 seconds to assess new growth.

Protection from the Elements

Your weave can be a cloak of protection for your hair, shielding it from harsh elements such as weather, too much sun exposure, and clothing that can cause friction on natural strands. Also if wearing 100% human hair you now have the freedom to use heat based appliances without fear of damage to your natural strands.

Cut and Color Changes

Cut and color with ease. Experimenting with color and cut while wearing a weave is a safe and easy way to play around with different looks.

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68 thoughts on “Pros and Cons of Using Weave as a Protective Style

  1. i have worn wigs n weaves to repair my hair 4 the past 2 years…i have gone back to natural tresses AND i AM SHOCKED AT HOW EVEN N THICK N HEALTHY MY HAIR GOT! finally its all one length! its new n healthy! and OMFG…ITS LONG!! it hasnt grown past my jaw line since foreveeeeeer!

    this has been the best thing for my hair after years of relaxers and negligence..i cannot reccomend it more

    • If weave caps and weave netting are the same thing I highly recommend it! Especially for natural heads. Not that I have much to compare it to but I have a net over may braids. Then the tracks are sewn on to the net. It causes the tracks to feel smoother and the sew in to last longer. To me the only draw back for the netting is that its a little harder, especially at first, to reach your scalp. You have to work harder when washing your hair to reach your scalp. Thus I would recommend you wash you hair with a net at least once a week.

  2. I’m afraid of weaves but I wore wigs this fall & winter and saw so much growth. next fall i’m going to try u-part wigs & see if i get the same result.

  3. I have been natural since July 5 2007. I did a BC twice. The first time was because I needed to stop getting perms. The second time because I had post partum depression after I had my son and ended up losing my locs in the front of my hair. I have started getting weaves in early february and they are working for me…growing very nicely and I trim in between weaves and deep condition. I also make sure that when I wash my weave, I put shampoo and conditioner under the braids so that its getting to my scalp.

  4. Defintetly can’t stop wearing wigs! thats another CON for sure lol. I’ve been natural for 3 yrs this June. I have worn my own hair two months last yr.. and none so far this this yr. what can i do to stop this madness?! Please help!

    • I felt this way for awhile girl, youtube became my best friend, not for styles but more so for hair tips with products because the styles meant nothing if my hair wasn’t soft and managable, but I’m sure your hair looks amazing after 3 years or growing it out! I’m currently obsessed with Qhemets Biologics for my hair, but I’m somewhere in the 4b-c area but when i use that, my hair looks great after twist outs and it takes some time to get used to doing your hair sometimes everynight, or every 3 days.

  5. I agree with all of the cons. i must say the most frustrating con is having hair that is thirsty, itchy and tight.

    I will add to the con my latest weave experience left me with an entire cornrow cut down to 1″ on my crown area. I have been natural going on 3 yrs come aug 29 2012 so its a huge contrast from the rest of my hair. luckily it is in the crown area i can cover it up with the rest of my hair but it saddens me to see that portion when i style, wash and cowash my hair. I know it will grow back but i would prob be more open to it if I was doing bad practice. I was being super careful I had my sister help take it down and we both cant figure out from what point the incident occurred. Good thing hair grows back and rapidly b/c i am ready to get my even length back. I think i will stick to braids extensions from now on.

  6. I wear weaves about 3 times a year, because one i’m still learning how to tame my natural hair, and then every few months I get tired of twisting every night, waiting for my hair to dry, buying a bunch of products, and blah blah, and sometimes i’m in such a rush that all i want to do is unwrap and go.

    I will say that since I have been having more contact with my hair i do miss being about to touch it, wash it without all the stuff attached from the weave, and while i do was and trim the weave every two weeks, thats really time consuming as well, and then you hair is never REALLY clean at least not with the cornrows. but I will say I’ve never had to really worry about bald spots, or anything negative with the weaves, the only thing i can say is that i tend to stay away from curlier.wavy hair because it doesn’t last as long, if i get straight hair, i can wear it in about 2 and half months.

    I agree with most of the cons though, because while i hate buying the stuff for my natural hair, the hair for weaves isn’t cheapo espeically if you want a good hair that isn’t going to tangle, and shed a lot, and then to pay someone to install, someone who knows what they are doing. MY only issue is that my scalp flakes bad, and with the dryness of not being able to oil my hair…it’s really bad, but the more and more i get them…even though it’s 3 times a year max, i’m getting annoyed, and i know that once I get my natural hair a certain length weaves will be a thing of the past for me…Always.

    • I feel your last sentence! Truly I do. It will be over! I read this one post on that once you get to a length that you r okay with ur hair even when you have shrinkage and on forth it went… well in a nutshell thats the reason y I am still wearing the weaves. I am better with it then I was compared to last year for sure, but still not 100 percent comfortable. when i get to the length that shrinkage don’t matter its over!

    • I just started my transition journey.Last April my former creamy crack doctor overprocessed my hair, but luckily after 7 months of avoiding perms,I have 3 1/2 inches of new growth. However,I got my first full sew in. I hate having to endure this, but with proper care and maintenance, I’ll be free of weaves in 1 or 2 years. Once I get the length , that I want,I’m done! ??

  7. I never did the big chop because I didn’t want short hair. I wore braids and twists as I transitioned. While my hair was still rather staight, I wore partial sewins so I could have a part. Now that I am fully natural, I wear full sewins as a protective style, leaving none of my hair out. I moisturize my edges 3-4 times a week to make sure they don’t get brittle. I am currently trying to reach arm pit length (about 6 inches longer than my hair was when it was permed) and sewins are really helping.

    • Did you use the net? If so, how did you keep the hair underneath moisturized? Email me ; if you want.

  8. I can’t wear cornrows due to itching so a weave for me would be out of the question plus I wouldn’t spend my money on it anyway. I need to have my hair free to wash whenever needed and weaves certainly wouldn’t help with that cause.

  9. I started my transition involuntarily, but I began realizing that the relaxed hair and my new growth were clearly different textures. I wanted my hair to stay long, so I had to figure out how to have an appealing transition. My friend introduced me to Nutress Hair products and I was able to get them to one strong, healthy texture. I used the Nutress Stop Break 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner and the leave in conditioner. I also used the Nutress Protein Pack for Extremely Damaged Hair for protein treatments. When I straighten my hair I use(d) the Nutress Foam Wrap for added protection. The combination of great products and reducing the heat exposure to my hair helped me grow my hair out to a comfortable length, and then chopped the relaxer off. Now, I still use the Nutress products to keep my hair healthy and strong. I put the website up for those of you who want to try it out. All of the products are SUPER affordable (all under $10). Happy hair ladies!

  10. I love weaves and wigs, and I make and install them myself. My hair started shedding pretty badly when I moved away from home to go to college. I was used to the Caribbean weather, and Texas, though hot as fire, lol, was not my tropical home. Hence I was introduced to weaves, quick weaves and wigs. my hair grew right back! I started at shoulder length, when i shed it became neck length, and grew right back down to bra-strap length! now I’m transitioning from relaxed to natural without the “big chop” and my my my, weave and braids are my go-to styles, among others! But yeah….its whatever works for you!

  11. My problem with braid extensions is my dry scalp. I have yet to find a moisturizer and a hair washing routine that can make me dandruff/scalp itch free. This was frustrating, especially when I was a poor college student who didn’t have time for anything other than studying. My hair has grown after 1.5 years of braids, but now my stylist is saying how damaged my hair is, and I need to trim trim trim :( Not what I wanted, but I would love to get positive feedback for maintaining braid extensions for as long as possible.

  12. Great post! Wigs and Weaves can be great for naturals. I LOVE wigs as a protective style. I prefer to wear inexpensive wigs that look like as close to my natural hair as possible. I blog about natural hair also- and always have updates on the most natural looking wigs on the market. Check it out here!:

  13. I love wearing weaves. I definitely agree with the pros. I haven’t experienced the cons….really… Weaves are expensive but I took my hair dressers advice, she told me to spend money on pound hair (human hair that is purchased from a hair factory) Now pound hair isn’t cheap…. But the depreciation value is awesome. I spent $260 on 8oz of hair ( which is comparable to how much hair you receive in two packs of store bought hair ) but I can keep using it over and over again. The more you wash and set it the more natural it feels… There are all different types of hair textures and colors. I have been protective styling my hair almost a year straight. I go for my wash and sets every 2-3 weeks and its great! Weaves are convenient. Atleast for me they are.

    My hair dresser installs invisible part weaves n my hair. There are pics below. I have received many compliments on my hair. I keep my hair moisturized with DOO GROW hair oil and wrap it nightly.

  14. Hello there, You have performed an incredible job. I will certainly digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I’m confident they’ll be benefited from this website.

  15. I’m natural, but love wearing a weave now. Twisting and sitting under the dryer for hours is for the birds! lol My hair has done great over the past few months. To retain length, it’s important to have a great stylist that knows how to braid properly. It’s also important to take care of it like it’s your own hair. I wash/co-wash it every week, deep condition my hair and weave under the hair dryer every two weeks, oil my scalp with essential oils every 2-3 days (tea tree and peppermint oils are great for itch scalp), and I spray my scalp and hair with leave-in conditioner. Try not to apply too much heat to your leave-out. Only apply heat the day that you wash your hair. After that, just use pin curls or flexirods if you need to re-curl your hair. I wear my hair for 8-12wks. I order my hair by the ounce so that I am able to reuse and reinstall the same hair. With proper maintenance you should get great results!

  16. If wearing weave is so great, and your hair grows so much better. Why weave wearers never rock they own hair in public ? Protective my ass . Why are wig and weVe wearers edges gone .

    • I HATE HEARING DUMB PEOPLE SPEAK. Obviously persons that this happens to is the ones that are not interested in PROTECTIVE HAIRSTYLES. They just do it for the trend or so they don’t have to comb their hair. They obviously don’t treat their real hair when it is in the weave style. I wear weave everyday and wigs never go out with my real hair and my hair is VERY EXTREMELY THICK, LONG TO MY BUTT AND IT IS VERY HEALTHY. I am actually afraid to leave it out because it may get damage. WEAVE has treated my hair exceptionally well. So to end my dear you speak for some not all, so be careful with the way you put things. Oh and I am of African decent with no mixtures of ethnicity.

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