A little over a year ago, I decided to go natural. As a black woman who has always gotten her hair relaxed, going natural meant trying and embracing new things — even if they made me uncomfortable. Since having natural hair is a never ending journey of what works and what doesn't, I've found myself frequently wondering do certain hairstyles cause damage?
What I've discovered is that there will be hairstyles that cause damage no matter what you hair type may be. According to WebMD, constantly wearing your hair in braids or ponytails can offer unexpected hair damage. If the braids are too tight, particularly for those who rock cornrows or boxed braids, the tension can result in loss of hair around the edges. Similarly, the tightness of ponytails, can offer the same result as braids. And, if you're wearing either while your hair is wet, you're causing more damage as this is when your hair is in its most fragile state.
But braids and ponytails are not the only culprit. According to Brit + Co, topknots can stress the roots due to the elastic constantly resting at the top of your head. The site also noted that slicking back your hair causes damage to the hair follicles. Though this has less to do with the style and more to do with the chemicals used in the products to complete the look. Additionally, ESSENCE noted that weaves damage the hair because they cause traction on the hair and inflammation of the root of the follicle.
And it's not just the style that damages your hair. It's the tools you use to perfect them. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, constantly applying heat to your hair dries it out, doing an extreme amount of damage.
Although it may feel like you're left with nothing to do to your hair, it's important to note that each of the mentioned styles will cause damage if worn consistently. A good way to prevent damage from occurring if you fancy wearing your hair in any of these ways would be to give yourself a break every now and again. Try switching between styles as often as you can and using the right products to eliminate damaging your tresses.