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One of the most fabulous hairstyles is long, thinner type braids, cascading down a person's back. Those neatly woven strands have always made me take a second look. I truly have much respect for the talent and accuracy that goes in to the process, with some styles taking hours to finish. But...sad to say, all that glitters may not be gold.

While residing in New York many years ago, a co-worker only wore braids for the 3 years I knew her. We all thought they were fabulous as they framed her beautiful bone structure. If I am not mistaken, once she asked whether I thought she should switch up and give the braids a break and my response was a quick "No"! Oh boy...if I only knew then what I know now.

Alopecia! There is androgenic, stress and traction to name a few. Nowadays, traction alopecia - tight hair styles - is fast becoming a huge problem and it is sad to say there are still many persons refusing to believe they are their own enemy. So many times OXX Team members get resistance to advise on downfalls of tight styles, especially when worn for long periods as they wreak havoc on the follicles and may eventually cause permanent baldness. This goes for all textures of hair, whether you have Caucasain, Asain or Afro-textured and does not only refer to braids. For instance, constant wearing of very taught pony tails will show tell-tale signs of hair line thinning also. But there is another situation we have to deal with periodically at the salon and it is women with processed hair who put in braids for more than two weeks. It is never a great experience to say the least!

Afro-textured processed hair, whether relaxed or texturized, is more fragile than in its natural state and braids do put stress on those strands. Even worst is to wear those braids for a long time. This picture is an actual result of a three-week stint. Lucky for this client, it could have been worst as we are very careful clients lose as little hair as possible. Gentleness is our motto. Unfortunately, there is only so much and no more one can do, especially if the hair starts locking (like locs or dreads). If you have ever done braids before, you know what I am referring to and you also know the amount of hair loss and worst if poorly handled.

That said, if you have processed hair and wish to do braids, do not do often, only do a few, make sure they are not tight and keep in no longer than two weeks. Apply the OXX Serum and Hair Butter every other day on each braid, just to make sure they stay moisturized. Persons with natural afro-textured hair, although your hair does not show the damage as much, you need to be careful too. And for all the other straighter hair types such as Caucasian, change up your pony tails and other tight styles a bit. Don't be fooled...traction alopecia hair loss can become a permanent issue and unlike androgenic alopecia, your decision is the key!

Until Next Week,

The OXX Family

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