3. Glue-in or Tape-in Extensions
We love a weave. Adding wefts of hair to short, thin hair gives you an instant boost of confidence. However, certain extension methods can make your natural hair even thinner and more prone to damage than ever before.
Why It’s Harmful:
Glue-In and Tape-In Extensions use tacky, often nearly impossible to remove adhesive to attach hair wefts to your natural hair. These are especially dangerous because the glue is very difficult to fully remove. Glue that adheres to the root of the hair can seep onto the scalp, blocking pores and inhibiting hair follicles from shedding and growing new hair. Extended use of hair glue on the natural hair or scalp causes hair loss, severe damage, and at the very least, heavy buildup that can take a long time to fully remove, even with professional remover products. Not to mention, the heavier the weft, the more tension your hair and scalp have to endure. This is a very quick way to lose hair, especially if your hair is already thinning or damaged.
Sew-in extensions on coarse or high-textured hair is a safer and less damaging option for long-term weaves, but only when applied by a trained professional and only on hair that is strong enough to handle the weight. Too-tight cornrows, too-tight applications of wefts, sew-ins on thin hair, and heavy extensions can also damage your natural hair growth. Tension, Halo, and temporary clip-in extensions are much safer alternatives for adding length and fullness to your hair.
4. Jheri Curl
Even writing this, we can’t believe out ears, but the truth is—the Jheri curl is trying to make a comeback. Grandmas and Aunties are finally getting the validation they’ve been waiting for since the Jheri Curl died alongside stirrup pants and big shoulder pads. Basically, the Jheri curl is a permanent relaxer and curling process that gives the appearance of loose, cascading curls. However, the process is so damaging that the hair must remain fully greased and moisturized at all times so as not to break off. No, we’re not kidding.
Why It’s Harmful:
The Jheri Curl process is in two parts: first, the hair is heavily chemically relaxed to loosen the natural curl pattern, then an activator is applied via spray bottle to re-activate the curl. This activator needs to be reapplied every day in order to keep hair from literally drying out and breaking off. Not to mention, that activator leaves a greasy residue on (everything!) skin and scalp which can cause breakouts and irritation.
With the return of the shaggy, mullet-y wash-n-go, don’t be afraid to play with your natural texture through twist-outs, braid-outs, and bantu-knots. But if you’re really curious to try the Jheri curl look, get a wig. Wigs are fun and unless installed with unsafe adhesive, they’re a safe alternative to permanent hair texture treatments.