By Irene of NaturalFantastic.com

Weave and wigs can work great as pro­tec­tive styles.  They allow you to leave your hair nat­u­ral and enjoy the con­ve­nience of straight hair. No shrink­age to con­tend with, less detan­gling, pro­tec­tion from the weath­er and ver­sa­til­i­ty. How­ev­er, for some wom­en it may be time to let their nat­u­ral hair out, to shine in all its glo­ry. Here are some ben­e­fits to doing this. Hope­ful­ly this will encour­age you to take the next step and come away from being reliant on weaves and wigs.

So what are the ben­e­fits of ditch­ing the weave and let­ting your hair out more often?

1. You will become bet­ter at man­ag­ing your nat­u­ral hair
As with most things prac­tice makes per­fect. The more you leave your hair out the more prac­tice you get at man­ag­ing it. You will learn the best tech­niques for main­tain­ing it on a dai­ly basis. This includes form­ing a hair reg­i­men that suits your rou­tine and lifestyle. You will also have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to elim­i­nate prod­ucts and tech­niques that do not work well on your hair. If your hair is packed away under the weave or wig cap every mon­th, you many only see it once in a while. Some peo­ple only take their hair out of the weave to wash it, then they rein­stall it all over again. If you wear your hair out reg­u­lar­ly you will become famil­iar with it and learn the best tech­niques man­ag­ing it.

2. You will be in a bet­ter posi­tion to assess the health of your hair
Detan­gling my hair this week made me real­ize it was def­i­nite­ly time for a pro­tein treat­ment. Because I am famil­iar with my hair I noticed there was more shed­ding than usu­al. I was able to rec­ti­fy this straight­away because I had access to my hair. When your hair is weaved you don’t have imme­di­ate access to it. If there is a prob­lem you will not know until you take the weave out. By this time more dam­age may have occurred that could have been avoid­ed. When your hair is out you can assess it reg­u­lar­ly and decide what action to take, such as: a trim, a wash, a treat­ment or a mois­tur­iz­ing boost.

3. It is eas­ier to mois­tur­ize
Many of us know that we should mois­tur­ize our real hair reg­u­lar­ly when it is in a weave. How many of us actu­al­ly do this though? I cer­tain­ly didn’t.  It seemed too com­pli­cat­ed at the time and out sight out of mind. I spent more time groom­ing the weave because it was the weave that was vis­i­ble to every­one. I would take the time to style it with curling tongs or a flat-iron, mois­tur­ize it and blend it with my real hair so it would look its best. I would usu­al­ly for­get about my real hair under­neath. If your hair is out more often you will know imme­di­ate­ly when it becomes dry and be in a bet­ter posi­tion to mois­tur­ize it. You are also more like­ly to mois­tur­ize it on a reg­u­lar basis and pre­vent it from dry­ing out in the first place.  When it is hid­den away under the weave, it’s easy to for­get about it.

4. Oth­ers will become used to your nat­u­ral hair
If you are con­cerned about the reac­tion friends, fam­i­ly and work col­leagues will have to your nat­u­ral hair remem­ber that the soon­er they see it the soon­er they will get used to it. If peo­ple see you with your hair out all the time it real­ly doesn’t become that much of a big deal after some time.  They also get to see how beau­ti­ful it is nat­u­ral.  You may have to deal with com­ments and ques­tions, some may be neg­a­tive but you will be bet­ter equipped to deal with them after some time. Some peo­ple may not admit that they feel more com­fort­able with you when you wear your weave. The soon­er they real­ize that you are not going to hide your hair away for their ben­e­fit the bet­ter.

There is also that dread­ed feel­ing you get when you have to take your weave out and don’t have an appoint­ment to get it rein­stalled straight­away. You kind of feel naked or may not be sure how to style your nat­u­ral hair in between weaves. Some of us dread bump­ing into peo­ple that are used to see­ing us with our weaves. If you wear your hair out you will no longer have to deal with the dread­ed ‘in between weaves’ feel­ing. What you see is what you get with nat­u­ral hair.

5. You will become a hair styling queen
Styling your nat­u­ral hair will become sec­ond nature to you. It’s like learn­ing to play the gui­tar. If you nev­er take it out of the case how will you ever learn to play it? Your nat­u­ral hair is like a blank can­vas, there are end­less styling tuto­ri­als on YouTube and you may also sur­prise your­self  by invent­ing some styles and tech­niques of your own. Weaves and wigs are great pro­tec­tive styles but there are numer­ous pro­tec­tive styles you can try with your own hair that are ele­gant and appro­pri­ate for all occa­sions. The­se include two strand twists, buns, roll tuck and pins, French braids and var­i­ous updos. Check out CharyJay’s and Fusion of Cul­tures’ YouTube chan­nels.  They are pro­tec­tive style queens. If their styles seem too com­pli­cat­ed, you can  adapt them to suit you per­son­al­ly. The­se tuto­ri­als should provide you with inspi­ra­tion; you don’t have to fol­low them exact­ly.  Remem­ber nat­u­ral hair is very ver­sa­tile so there is no rea­son to get bored or run out of styling options. Check out the series: The Ver­sa­til­i­ty of Nat­u­ral Hair.

6. You will not have to wor­ry about the neg­a­tive aspects of weaves, wigs and hair exten­sions
Many of us gasped in shock when we saw the first pho­tos of Naomi Campbell’s reced­ing hair­line. The dam­age to her hair­line was believed to have been caused by years of wear­ing weaves or hair exten­sions. In an indus­try that pro­motes a cer­tain stan­dard of beau­ty you can imag­ine the pres­sure she was under as a black mod­el to look a cer­tain way. Over the years more pho­tos of her have come out high­light­ing the same prob­lem that only appears to be get­ting worse. It is as if the fake hair on her head is tak­en care of more than her real hair under­neath. Trac­tion alope­cia can occur if your hair­line is con­stant­ly put under pres­sure through sewing, braid­ing, glues and tight comb attach­ments.


Naomi Cambell

Naomi Camp­bell

The prob­lems asso­ci­at­ed with weaves are unlike­ly to affect wom­en who sim­ply use them once in a while for diver­si­ty. They are going to have more of an impact on those wom­en who rely on weaves for every­day use. Anoth­er neg­a­tive aspect is that some­times weaves look awk­ward, we have come a long way in ‘weave tech­nol­o­gy’ but it still isn’t per­fect. Some­times you see people’s tracts show­ing, your hair doesn’t blend well, or you have hair that sheds like crazy. I don’t con­sid­er any of this eas­ier than hav­ing my nat­u­ral hair out. You will also save a lot of mon­ey. We seem to be the only race that wears hair tex­ture that doesn’t match our nat­u­ral hair. Some of us don’t even wear weaves that match our nat­u­ral afro tex­ture when it is straight­ened (Yaki).  The silky tex­tures seemed to be pre­ferred.  I’m glad to see more black owned com­pa­nies intro­duc­ing afro-tex­tured weaves that com­pli­ment our nat­u­ral hair.

Even Beyoncé has experienced downside of lace front wigs

Even Bey­on­cé has expe­ri­enced the down­side of lace front wigs

7. Nat­u­ral hair only gets bet­ter with time
The more you learn about man­ag­ing your nat­u­ral hair the more it will thrive. Most of us had to deal with neg­a­tive com­ments from fam­i­ly mem­bers when we first went nat­u­ral. How­ev­er, the more time that pass­es the few­er and far between the­se com­ments become and we even start hear­ing more com­pli­ments from the same peo­ple. Care­ful­ly man­ag­ing your nat­u­ral hair will result in growth, bet­ter styling tech­niques and over­all healthy hair. Like wine, nat­u­ral hair only gets bet­ter with time. Don’t hide away behind fake hair, week in, week out. This is choos­ing sec­ond best to the beau­ti­ful hair on your head already.

“No one should feel that they have to wear a weave to have pre­sentable hair; a weave should be a con­scious styling choice, not a crutch”

~ Audrey Davis-Siva­sothy~

Do you prefer weaves to wear­ing your hair out? Share your thoughts below.

Irene is the cre­ator of NaturalFantastic.com. A UK girl of Nige­ri­an descent, she is now liv­ing in Aus­tralia. She cre­at­ed NaturalFantastic.com to encour­age oth­er wom­en to embrace their nat­u­ral hair and to share some advice on going nat­u­ral, and stay­ing nat­u­ral.

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68 Comments on "Perpetual Weaving as a “Protective Style?” 7 Reasons You Shouldn’t Do It"

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I’ve vowed to nev­er wear a weave. Although I’m only 16, i speaks as if not sure. I only would con­sid­er get­ting them on spe­cial occa­sions such as grad­u­a­tion, by the ill be 2 years post relax­er, cur­rent­ly tran­si­tion­ing, and that’s even far fetched. I’ve heard they help your hair grow but then if you don’t take care of it, there’s this.
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This is hor­ri­ble, this girl was veing fool­ish for leav­ing in her weave that long.


Hmmm Idk. I wear wigs to pro­tect my hair dur­ing the win­ter. I apply cas­tor oil to my braids and scalp every­day and do the bag­gy method every oth­er day. Also i take­out my braids on the sec­ond week and wash, oil rin­se, con­di­tion, detangle,deep con­di­tion, apply leave in and seal oh and also was my braids in between. My hair has been grow­ing and break­age is min­i­mal or none.. But that’s just me..

We should all be self aware about what we do per­son­al­ly with our hair, but still be very care­ful how we express our opin­ions to oth­ers. For every rea­son we shouldn’t wear weaves and wigs, we have the same amount of exam­ples of wom­en who have suc­cess­ful­ly worn them and have healthy hair. I am one of them and enjoy the ver­sa­til­i­ty most­ly because I would be bald with the num­ber of col­ors I uti­lize. I appre­ci­ate this arti­cle as a guide only and not a rule to myself and those who choose to wear weaves and wigs even “nat­u­ral”… Read more »
When I wore my hair loose, I didn’t retain as much length as I have wear­ing braid exten­sions off and on. I most like them because I swim and exer­cise. Also, when I wore my nat­u­ral hair loose I wor­ried over it too much — prod­ucts reg­i­men, length reten­tion, etc. Now I mois­tur­ize and go and I do scalp mas­sages. Also, braid exten­sions have been a part of African and Black Amer­i­can cul­ture for cen­turies; so I don’t think it’s a neg­a­tive or odd cul­tur­al hair prac­tice. While I don’t believe exten­sions should be installed too tight­ly on inces­sant­ly, I… Read more »


Beau­ti­ful­ly writ­ten! I “per­pet­u­al­ly weaved” 15 years ago when I stopped per­ming my hair. I avoid­ed my perime­ter, had tal­ent­ed styl­ists and achieved amaz­ing and healthy results. I did this for years. My rea­sons how­ev­er were fear, inse­cu­ri­ty and lack of styling know-how. Fake hair was an attempt to hide.  But I grew. It was a long, hard and euphoric process — and it’s not over, but I now know and love who I am. I no longer hide any­thing, Lol! Over the years I’ve shaved my head bald at least 4 times, worn pret­ty TWAs, rou­tine­ly wear ‘unde­fined’ hair, sleep… Read more »
ida voyder
I’m a “see me as I am” kin­da girl. Have nev­er worn a weave, but have seen many with it — long sto­ry short doesn’t look pret­ty with the reced­ing hair­line to behind the ears, that was the postal lady that deliv­ers mail in my area, also a for­mer co-work­er with the same prob­lem. In that case my for­mer boss would com­pli­ment her telling her how beau­ti­ful her hair looked, but she was miss­ing her hair­line. I nev­er said any­thing because I fig­ured she had mir­rors at home, and there were also mir­rors at our work­place. Sad to say I’ve… Read more »

A lady I work with wears weave and wigs and she has no edges. She said she wears the weaves and wigs because she has no edges. I sug­gest­ed the weaves and wigs may­be the cause there­fore how could they be the solu­tion? She said what is she sup­posed to do walk around with nap­py hair and no edges smh and lol


No, nev­er wore a weave. I’ve heard some that wear them say that their scalps itch alot due to the corn­row­ing to hold it up so I knew that wasn’t for me.