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:

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.

balding blonde

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.

Build a braid! Build a brand!!! #Book­It #Braids­By­Dar­ni­ta. Just anoth­er sat­is­fied client. Press play. #CoverUp

Post­ed by Dar­ni­ta Lewis on Thurs­day, April 30, 2015

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?

Leave a Reply

21 Comments on "More Stylists Sharing Photos of Braid and Weave Work on Balding Clients: Confidence Booster or Bad Practice?"

Notify of

I just want to know where can I go to get my hair styled due to being bald in the top of my head ..??


My moth­er suf­fer from this same issue. Hair loss was a side effect of some of her dia­betes meds and she didn’t real­ize until it was to late. So i wish there was some­thing we could do but she avoids braids and stick to wigs.

Romona Lottie
I think some­times braids are actu­al­ly the prob­lem years ago in fact the last time I let any­one ever put braids in my hair again the braids were so tight I was cry­ing from the pain — no amount of pain med­ica­tion I took helped — I took the braids out at 3 am my scalp was sore and I lost half my hair lucky for me my hair was thick and with time it did recov­er from the dam­age caused by the braids
I can’t judge them but if they were my fam­i­ly mem­bers I would advise them to pur­chase a wig and to mois­tur­ize their hair when they are home . This makes me thank­ful for my healthy thick nat­u­ral hair . I have nev­er had bald spots or alo­cepia but I did expe­ri­ence dam­age and break­age when I had relaxed hair and when I was tran­si­tion­ing . It sad­dens me to say hair styl­ists still doing tight braid styles to their hair even though they know it’s bald­ing and break­ing off . It shows that they would do any­thinh for mon­ey… Read more »

That looks so scary. I hope they don’t pull off any more hair with that process. It’s so sad where ever I go I see reced­ing hair lines and peo­ple ask­ing me for advice on how I take care of my hair. All of the­se chem­i­cals and weaves and glues and what now are the cause of all of this. Give your hair a break and some tlc.

Nicole L. Mack

I just couldn’t stop prais­ing God for my healthy, strong, fast grow­ing hair as I read this arti­cle. Although I’m expe­ri­enc­ing a major set­back & have a lot of break­age due to my Sick­le Cell Ane­mia; I’m so thank­ful for what God has blessed me with & its huge poten­tial to thrive. Thank you BGLH for giv­ing me the tools & knowl­edge to regain my hair’s health. My heart is filled with com­pas­sion for those suf­fer­ing with major irre­versible hair issues. I just pray they find pos­i­tive answers & most of all peace & con­tent­ment.

Nicole's Naps

Obvi­ous­ly I can’t speak to every con­di­tion. But I think the­se styles on the­se types of clients may do more harm than good. I have a friend who had sim­i­lar break­age after get­ting her hair braid­ed. The per­son doing the braids was able to cov­er up the bald­ing areas, but it only exac­er­bat­ed her hair loss. Why not just let the hair and scalp rest? If a wig isn’t an option, head scarves are a nice alter­na­tive.

Erica Jules
It’s real­ly sad how much some black wom­en hate their nat­u­ral hair. I was right there with them. The wom­en in my fam­i­ly looked down on wom­en with nat­u­ral hair. I remem­ber them call­ing it ugly, nap­py, nig­ger pub­lic hair. My first perm was at 5 or 6, and it left me with a bald spot on one side of my head. I grew up think­ing that my own nat­u­ral hair was ugly and would look ugly on me. I always per­med my hair every time I saw the slight­est new growth. I kept it in braids for years and it… Read more »

I can’t pass judge­ment on the­se wom­en. They clear­ly have advanced stages of ccc alope­cia, the kind that scars the hair fol­li­cles from below the sur­face. It is con­sid­ered per­ma­nent (but can be sta­bi­lized with treat­ment). The weaves have become toupees for the­se wom­en. They will lead to fur­ther bald­ness but in their despair they would rather cov­er the prob­lem and add to it. Sad. Hard to judge some­one for that.

All I can hope for is that any­one see­ing this, who doesn’t have alope­cia: Avoid the­se harsh prac­tices before you get it!! This goes for us nat­u­rals, too!!

lecia p
I saw recent episodes of The Brax­ton & Tamar & anoth­er sis­ter had their “nat­u­ral” hair out and the first 2–3 inch­es were so thin I could see their scalp!! Why??? They would rather risk trac­tion alope­cia rather than find health­ier ways to style their real hair? The­se lace wigs and full weaves are out of con­trol. It used to be you’d add tracts at the back & mid­dle for fuller & longer hair…now that is played out. The weight of a full lace front wig or an entire head of weave day in/out 365 days…how can your scalp not… Read more »
Claudette UK

Coin­ci­den­te­ly, I’ve seen two bald­ing wom­en this week sport­ing exten­sions cling­ing to weak hair strands. They should wear weaves. I’ve had alope­cia myself and would not have put my hair through this kind of stress. But I didn’t dare say any­thing to either lady for fear of get­ting an ear­ful.

Theresa “Resie” W.
Theresa “Resie” W.
I install exten­tions and I’m a very big advo­cate for hair care. I’ve been ask­ing my client’s not to relax for 10 years now! I can per­son­al­ly say that there are a con­sid­er­able per­cent­age of wom­en who Do Not Care what con­di­tion their nat­u­ral hair is in. They only care about the style that they want at that moment. I’ve told a client recent­ly (while hold­ing a mir­ror in front of her, I might add) that her edges were thin­ning bad­ly, but not yet to a point to be irre­versible. I sug­gest­ed an alter­nate style that would pro­tect her edges… Read more »

All of this gives me a headache.


Wow, the­se styl­ists have SKILLS!


This reminds me of a client I had. she had thin­ning hair and she would do weaves and exten­sions and all sorts of stuff that pulled on her hair. Now she is sport­ing wigs, but peo­ple need to stop doing that to their nog­gins if they already have thin­ning and frag­ile hair. In the end it’s not worth it.


I sit on the fence with this. If you have a seri­ous con­di­tion and the hair isnt going to grow back, I guess I dont see the harm. There is noth­ing wrong with a con­fi­dence boost. How­ev­er, if they are just not tak­ing care of their hair..that is anoth­er sto­ry. There are just too many vari­ables to think one par­tic­u­lar way.

Janice Dickson

Too many black wom­en are start­ing to suf­fer from hair loss. The major kind where they have per­ma­nent dam­age and end up going bald. They are doing too much manip­u­la­tion on their hair. Too many dif­fer­ent styles that cause ten­sion on the scalp and too many dif­fer­ent prod­ucts with loads of chem­i­cals. Black wom­en spend 3 times more on hair prod­ucts than any oth­er wom­en. We are a big mar­ket.


I think this is a bad idea unless you nev­er plan to wear your real hair out again. . Yes, There are dif­fer­ent forms of alope­cia. I had a form of it that required me to use dai­ly treat­ments. How are peo­ple able to do that as well as cleanse reg­u­lar­ly with this style. I wore wigs and scarfs when out but let my scalp breathe when at home. I did notice wigs and wig caps affect­ing my hair line even­tu­al­ly so I cut back even more.


You can walk in a salon with one strand of hair on your head and The­se so called braiders, weave spe­cial­ists etc. will say,
” I can make it Work! $300 please hair not includ­ed. ”

I’m of two minds on this. On the one hand: I have nev­er had to deal with bald­ness but I know wom­en who have. I’m not going to begrudge them doing what­ev­er they feel they need to do to feel more com­fort­able and con­fi­dent. Just like every­body else out here who’s wear­ing relaxed hair, nat­u­ral hair, syn­thet­ic hair, Indi­an women’s hair, etc.…it’s their hair, their heads, their choice. On the oth­er hand: In a dif­fer­ent, more eth­i­cal indus­try, braiders would 1) ask the­se clients if they’ve talked to a doc­tor for their hair issues AND 2) make them aware that the… Read more »
Dawn Frison

The braids and weaves are just caus­ing fur­ther dam­age. They should advise the­se peo­ple to invest in a cou­ple of good wigs, a bot­tle of JBCO and teach them how to do a prop­er scalp mas­sage. The only thing left to do is to pray for a mir­a­cle.