Is a Sew-In Really a Protective Style?

In the many conversations that I have had with other random naturals about natural hair, I can’t count how many times I’ve been told, “I wear a sew-in because it protects my natural hair.”

Okay, cool. I have nothing against a good weave. Rock your inches, girl! Everyone needs a little glamour in their life in one way or another. But before you tell me your weave is meant to protect your hair, remove that weave and assess how healthy your hair truly is underneath.

A sew-in is a hairstyle that is created by sewing hair extensions onto the clients natural hair, which is braided to the scalp.

Now, based on that description, its safe to say that such a style could be considered protective, since the hair is braided and not being manipulated on a daily basis. However, just because the natural hair is braided, does not mean it doesn’t still need attention.

“Out of sight, out of mind” does not apply here!

Your braided hair still needs to be cleansed, conditioned, and moisturized on a regular basis. If you neglect to take care of your braided hair, when you take out the sew-in, it can still be just as damaged as it would be had you never braided it up.

Many women will take excellent care of their extensions, and totally disregard their own hair underneath! This website has some great tips for taking care of your natural hair, and your purchased hair!

Another important aspect to consider is how you go about installing your hair extensions. They can be sewn in, glued in, clipped in, or fused with your natural hair. Check out this website for the pros and cons of each installation method! Most natural hair bloggers will suggest that the sewn in method is the least damaging, but even that rose has thorns…..

Traction alopecia being the sharpest of said thorns.

No one wants to be without edges! Sadly, traction alopecia is the reason that some of my naturals are edge-less. Braiding your hair too tightly, too frequently can cause your hair follicles to become weak and shed hair around the edges of your scalp. Now add the weight of the extensions that are pulling on the tight braids, and you have double trouble!

This website explains how traction alopecia is caused, and how you can prevent it! If you catch it soon enough, the damage can be reversed, so be mindful of your edges!

Keep those curls healthy, ladies!


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