I hear this question a lot! First they ask, “Can I go natural with hair extensions?” and they they follow up with, “and if I do will I STILL be natural?” The answer is yes to both. Too many folks out here trying to tell Black Women what to do with our hair and I’m not here for it and neither is this blog. We are here to speak truth to our hair, our choices and our methods when it comes to what we want and that includes to going natural.
Going natural is a personal choice. Whether you decide to do it is your business and HOW you decide is also yours to decide. I also believe there are two methods to go about doing it and while I discuss that often on the blog like in this popular post,
I know there are less traditional methods that are becoming more popular as the natural hair movement expands. A new and upcoming way to take the natural hair plunge is to go natural with hair extensions. Hair extensions, whether real hair or synthetic are fibers attached to your strands in varying ways to add width, depth or length to your existing hair. They are applied in many ways and women of all races use them and not just celebs.
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They are very common in our culture and the history of their use is long but we are concentrating on going natural as a method for their use in this post.
How Do You Go Natural With Hair Extensions?
It’s pretty simple. You go natural by no longer using straitening chemicals in your hair. You go natural with hair extensions by using them while your natural hair goes out and you no longer perm your new growth. You can opt for wigs, clip ins, ponytails and the like and you can completely cover your hair or incorporate the hair extensions in with your natural strands. There is no right nor wrong type of going natural with hair extensions when it comes to which hair to use.
Some women prefer real and others prefer synthetic. I would advise not using any types of glues that are so popular in videos on Youtube and IG on one’s edges. Traction alopecia is REAL and a big problem for women who abuse their scalp. Do not glue any hair directly to your hairline and remember your edges are delicate so treat them well.
Why Would You Go Natural With Hair Extensions?
Why not? Honestly, this is up to the woman going natural. You can want to deal with a particular texture while going natural or want more length or width. You may find the hair extensions easier to work with while your hair grows out or you may simply like a particular hairstyle you are unable to achieve at the moment as your go natural. There is no right or wrong answer, usually, when going natural with hair extensions.
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The biggest no, no would be if you do not like your own natural hair and just do not want to deal with it. That is an underlying issues that needs addressing and no hair extension is going to get you over that hurdle. Loving your natural hair is crucial to maintaining healthy and beautiful hair, PERIOD. The most important thing to remember that using hair extensions should be a temporary phase in your journey. They are not to be worn everyday forever and hair needs a break between installs whether you are wearing clip-ins, wigs or braids.
Pros vs. Cons When You Go Natural With Hair Extensions
Easier to work with – having hair extensions are easier for a lot of women and why they are so popular. You just install them yourself or have a professional install them and for many women it cuts down on time doing their own hair.
Variety – you can do it all! The colors, the lengths and the styles are numerous so have fun and be different.
Allows your own hair to be protected – while you play it up with color and lengths, your own hair is not being styled and chemically altered and all the while being protected. It’s a win/win for many women.
Costly – They are not cheap! You can spend hundreds of dollars for the hair and even more for the professional to install.
You can neglect your own hair and incur damage – Because they are so expensive, you can keep them in too long and cause damage to your own hair. You can also worry more about the hair extensions and neglect your own tresses that need attention in washing and conditioning.
You will never learn how to care for your own hair – This is the biggest con. You become so dependent on your hair extensions that you never learn how to work with your own hair. This can turn damaging for your hair and for your own psyche and you find yourself never really GOING NATURAL. Make sure to take much-needed breaks in between installs (at least a few weeks or more) and learn how to rock your own tresses so this does not become your downfall.
Take care of your natural hair underneath by washing, conditioning and moisturizing your natural hair even with the hair on top protecting it. You still need to wash regularly to remove the dirt, bacteria and products that get trapped in your hair when the extensions are in.
Also give hair a break in between installs. This will allow hair some much needed TLC with deep conditionings and protein treatments but also allows you to care for your natural hair and not become completely dependent on the hair extensions.
Take extra care for your hairline because too many women of color have become victims to thinning or damaged edges due to hair extensions but that does not need to be in your future. Hair extensions or wigs too tight on your edges will cause hair loss…period!
Vitamins are helpful for our bodies anyway but when rocking hair extensions you want to ensure you are giving your hair all the help it needs.
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So rock your hair extensions as your go natural Newbies! Have fun and remember to be smart about how and why you are doing it!