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Pros and Cons of Using Weave as a Protective Style

• Jan 5, 2012

By Cipriana of Urbanbushbabes.com

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.

PROS
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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69 Comments on "Pros and Cons of Using Weave as a Protective Style"

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Anisa
Guest

Very interesting, Weaves don’t work for me, my scalp gets itchy and with track weaves, I hate that I can’t manipulate the style much. However my sisters hair flourishes under weaves, so maybe it’s different experience for everyone.

I would also like to see the pro’s and cons of braids, if it has already been done, paste the link please.

ruth maccarhty
Guest

Weaves really helps my hair to be very very thick and grow healthy, my hair dresser never tight the root so I never had problems of temporary alopecia. Secondly I always maintain my growing hair, moisturizing it and washing it with a wet towel regularly.
then I keep weaves for max 4–6 weeks.
fortunately my hairdresser is not expensive then I normally like using cheap weaves hence I don’t keep them for long time!
[img]http://blackgirllonghair.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/sewin.jpg[/img]

ambi
Guest

I concur with everything you said, weaves have been a big help to me over the years, I use them sparingly and give my hair a two week break if I’m getting back to back weave,

It’s all in how often you put them in, and how you take care of your hair underneath, I too do 4 to 6 weeks max

E
Guest

This came at a good time…I’m only a month natural…but i’ve been wearing weaves since I was like 17yrs. Old. So why not while natural…i’m looking to put one in when I get to that awkward stage…not long & not short. If anyone knows of any quality hsir or youtubers I should check out…please let me know.

Sash
Guest

I would recommend Mschanda, teasedblackpearlz, thomasadrianna, and candytt. For Bss hair info I would watch jouelz’s video on how to buy hair at the Bss.

Cassandra
Guest

Sorry, what’s BSS? Id love to explore! Im alternating between weaves and braids just so that I can get to my scalp and hair more freely. I apply cocoanut oil to my hair and scalp. Should I switch to a different oil? Should I include a leave in conditioner as well?

Danni D
Guest

Sorry it’s a month later, but fyi BSS is the acronym for Beauty Supply Store. Hope that helps. 🙂

Ella
Guest

Hey are you in the US or the UK?

Vinnie-Eve
Guest

I’ve never worn weaves and I’m 18. I don’t think I can deal with having something sewn through my hair or whatever, to me it seems like a hat that you can’t take off when you want. Besides I used to neglect my hair when It was in braids, no doubt I’d neglect it when its in a weave.

T.C. Wright
Guest
Getting a weave as a protective style IS NOT!!! an invitation to neglect your hair…your hair still needs to be oil atleast once or twist a week(perferably a light oil).…applying a cream base moisturize to you hairline nightly can prevent breakage. The longest a weave should stay in your hair is 2–3 month with washing atleast once a month, which means you have to purchase quality hair that can be washed and wont tangle. Most weaves look great after a wash and blowdry. It’s looks fuller and more natural. Most importantly, choose a stylist that cares about the health and… Read more »
deb
Guest

I like the weave in this pic. For weaves where a small amount of hair is left out, that part can become thin if you use heat too much to keep it straight.
the flipside of weaves (and braids) is that you can become dependent on them and one can avoid doing the important work neccesary to learn and appreciate their real hair.

T.C. Wright
Guest

I totally agree with you on that deb!

Makunda
Guest
I have been natural for 13 months and have used weaves for a protective style. I was natural from birth to 19yrs old. I had dreadlocks. At 19 I got my 1st perm. Now Im 30 yrs old and this is my 3rd time goin natural. Im going to stick with it. I believe the weaves that I was getting done from the salons were too tight such as braids and sew ins etc. I have experience alopecia. So far I have seen some hair growth in the areas. Since being natural I have only worn crochet braids which I… Read more »
Makunda
Guest

Dont know why pic is showing up this large pic is acually sm sorry gals:(

alexandria williams
Guest

I have been wigs for awhile now. I love them! They have helped so much while I continued to train for triathlons. I change my wig based on my hair texture and length. I want them to look natural right! If it’s a half wig I let my hair out in the front and push the wig back.. Can’t tell where my hair starts or stop!
Oh I am the one on the right. We have lots of photos and tutorials on wigs. check them out at http://www.sportyafros.com
[img]http://blackgirllonghair.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/383628_10100510123395588_16706273_51772633_1756745098_n.jpg[/img]

T.C. Wright
Guest

cute!!! great pic…i will definately check out the site

Island Chic
Guest

Im 19 and i have never worn weave/ braids or extensions of any kind…not because I don’t like them or watever, but because i always had a lot of hair, so I’d just get my own hair braided

but i will try some braids one of these days… let my hair rest for a while… and grow

Elora
Guest

I have never worn one and I mite consider it but I hate the stariotypes about “weaves and Black women” (even though we all know white women wear them to…) My in opinion if I wear a weave I would want it to look real. I think I’v been traumatized from seeing so many bad ones.

mimi
Guest

The smell is one of the biggest reasons i wont ever wear a weave.

T.C. Wright
Guest

smell should only be a problem if you are not properly maintaining and washing your hair

Farrah
Guest

Has anyone tried crochet weaves at all? I feel that it just might be ten times better than a sew-in weave.I have one in right now and I absolutely love it. This is my fist time ever wearing a weave and I will be doing it again.

Carly
Guest
I just took my crochet braids out and I loved it! The braids weren’t as tight, the hair doesn’t pull at your natural hair as much, and your own hair is more accessible. I noticed when I removed my braids, my hair was still moisturized and I kept them in for a month! I’m in the process of looking for another type of hair to use for my next crochet braiding/weave experiment. If you have any suggestions, please swing them my way. Another bonus is how easy it is to put in. My best friend did my hair and I… Read more »
Royalle
Guest

I have crochet braids in now. They are wonderful! Just as Carly stated, it cost me about $10 and I put them in myself. It took me about 2 hours after my cornrows were in. I highly recommend it, I will be cleansing my scalp with witch hazel and oiling my braids. I want to keep them in for 3–4 weeks, then try another type of hair.

tenisha
Guest

I’d have a style in for the winter right now if it wasn’t so expensive

Maya
Guest

Get you some weave and some youtube tutorials and do it yourself!!! I learned and have done two of my own this winter season alone. This pic I used 7 dollar hair from Sally’s Beauty Supply. Didn’t think it would work but came out well so I did it again and the hair was only 12 dollars the second time. It is DIY time. No one has money. But I’m on college so I really don’t even have access to someone who can do my kind of hair in this tiny town. Power to you!!
[img]http://blackgirllonghair.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/1320807729965.jpg[/img]
[img]http://blackgirllonghair.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/1322852176847.jpg[/img]

JJ
Guest

What curl pattern hair did you use for the second pic, where you have the glasses on? I love it!!

Mara
Guest

I’ve never worn a weave but when I initially went natural, I wore braids all through the winter. I still conditioned and maintained the braids and when I took the braids out each time, my hair was still healthy. I have locs now so I can’t really do a weave or braids or whatever. As long as you don’t fall into the year-long weave trap, it makes sense to give your hair a “break” every once in a while

k
Guest

Ok so I just took out my full sew in weave after 5 weeks yesterday only to discover my edges have been severly damaged in some places! The cornrows were too tight and now I have to start tending to them all over again! While weaves have worked for me in the past due to all the pros listed, I think if I have to put one in again, it may be better I do them myself or with ppl I trust.

T.C. Wright
Guest

take a hair, skin and nail vitamin and use a shampoo with keratin, protien and or amino acids…or goto a healt store and purchase a biotin shampoo…hopefully it will help you regrow your hair.

k
Guest

Thanks! already started massaging castor oil, peppermint oil and tea tree oil into the areas…have my hair vitamins and treating my edges gently!

T.C. Wright
Guest
honestly ladies, as a stylist and a person who fancies weaes you have to be very vocal with your stylist durning the installation process! You have to let them know if you feel any pulling…when and if a braid is too tight and so on. Your stylist can not and should not have to take full responsibility for your hair. It is your responsibility to maintain the health of your hair while wearing a weave. Moisturize your hair, wash it occasionally. Dont neglect your edges just because you have a weave…massage them a little at night with a good oil… Read more »
Queen
Guest
I so appreciated reading this post and the comments! I am wearing my first full weave and though it’s been less than a week it’s been very stressful! The whole process cost me a little more than my income can comfortably allow and I’m thinking about taking it out. I would love to maintain this style but the itching is a bitch! I installed my hair this past wednesday and washed it Sunday, oiled my scale with one of those applicator bottles and must have over done it… In less than 10 min I had massive amounts of oil running… Read more »
T.C. Wright
Guest

I would suggest oils with pepermint, eucalyptus and/or tea tree…they are very soothing

Try Dr.Miracle’s Follicle Healer Creme…it feel really great! It also has vitamins a,e,c,b3, tea tree and jojoba oil

Also, Dr. Miracle Hot Gro

Queen
Guest

THANKS! I think I will try the follicle healer creme 🙂
I might need to stay away from oils…

k
Guest

@ Queen…I had the same issue in the 1st 3 days with the itching and I almost took mine out…I did use the peppermint and tea tree oils to try to relieve it but I just got something long enough and tried to be gentle lol.….then it just stopped and I was able to keep it in for 5 weeks.

Queen
Guest

K, you are right it has calmed down tremendously! Im on week 7 🙂 I was trying to make it for at least 2mo. So Im pretty pleased.

Edwina@FASHION+ART
Guest

I’ve worn braids and kinky twists off and on for several years now, one or two years at a time, having it done every 8–10 weeks. My hair would grow like a weed. Since I last took the twists out about two years ago, my natural hair has slowly broken off and altho still thick and full, it’s not as long. I consider wearing a weave as giving your natural hair a much-needed rest, taking time out to heal and grow.

sarah smith
Guest

wholesalewigsonline.com highly recommend.. I personally purchased a lot of human hair Double Tape Hair Extensions and human hair wigs from wholesalewigsonline.com i got my hair so fast and it is absolutely the softest, most beautiful hair i have ever seen it is always smooth and delightful, the quality of the hair is wonderful, this hair is awesome! the hair was simple to maintain and i love the natural look of it i got tons of compliments! excellent quality and durability ‚it is easy to work with and maintain on

T.C. Wright
Guest

ooowww! thanks for the website

Kris
Guest

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

Nae
Guest

Hey ladies!

Has anyone mentioned weave caps, Im a little skeptical of a full sew in. How long do weave caps last?

Queen
Guest
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… Read more »
Jordan
Guest

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.

Vonnice
Guest
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.… Read more »
Dria
Guest

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!

Eat.Style.Play
Guest

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.

Durelene
Guest
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… Read more »
Eat.Style.Play
Guest
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… Read more »
Dria
Guest

I feel your last sentence! Truly I do. It will be over! I read this one post on blackhairinformation.com 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!

Paula Michelle James
Guest

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! ??

E. Lynnette
Guest

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.
[img]http://blackgirllonghair.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Weaves.jpg[/img]

Paula Michelle James
Guest

Did you use the net? If so, how did you keep the hair underneath moisturized? Email me ;Hydrafire547@yahoo.com if you want.

Pat
Guest

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.

Isolina
Guest
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… Read more »
Paula Michelle James
Guest

That is awesome! Thank you for the tip. Do you use a straightening brush or flat iron?

J Alyssa
Guest
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… Read more »
AC
Guest

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.

antionette
Guest

s curl spray works wonders under the weave or braids I had the same problem and now I wear sew ins all the time.

Black Women Short Hair Style
Guest

Nice hair styles you have on your website, they are vary creative.

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NapturalNicole
Guest

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!:

http://napturalnicole.com/2012/12/10/wiggin-out-wigs-as-a-protective-hairstyle/
[img]http://blackgirllonghair.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/wigs.jpg[/img]

Keisha
Guest
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… Read more »
testdomain
Guest

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www.google.com
Guest

I’m not that much of a online reader to be honest but
your sites really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back later. Cheers

Renae
Guest
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… Read more »
really
Guest

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 .

Dee
Guest
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… Read more »
Jade
Guest

Because some people feel like doing their natural hair is too much to do

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