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  • I think WIGS are damaging my hair!

     

    Hello all, I never post but I need advice!
    I wear wigs as a protective style. In the begging my hair was short like bald short so I thought I did not need to put the wig protective cap in. Also I used to sleep in it sometimes (don't ask why ) anywho seven months later, my hair has grown and I now corn row it. The problem is the whole back of my hair I would say an inch from the nape is still bald. While the rest is about there inches and really healthy! The sides are good as well. I do not want to chop off my hair because of this? I dont know what to do, I think that since I started corn-rowing it and putting in the wig cap there is little growth occurring now. Should I keep doing that and hope it starts to grow? I mean there is an even baldness in the back but I see signs of growth. I am dismayed and alarmed to say the least. HELP ME PLEASE!

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    Did you put glue or adhesive on the nape? Or do you think the band/clips caused damage to the back? Did you ever notice your nape feeling irritated or achy?

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    It may be from the wigs, but I know my hair has always been very short in the nape as well. I used to think it was from relaxers, but no matter what I did (or didn't do) to my hair, my nape was always short. Actually, the only time it grew was when I was wearing microbraids. After about two years with the braids, I had a nice amount of length in the nape area. Two weeks of wearing my hair out, the nape was all gone.

    I think my nape is just very fragile and much dryer ln\">than the rest of my hair. It is also coiled much tighter than the rest of my hair (save the crown). I don't think you need to cut you hair low to match your nape. If I did that, I'd be bald.

    I will say this...you should wear the protective cap and avoid sleeping in the wig. I also secure my wigs with wig clips to prevent them some slipping and sliding all over my head. That friction can cause breakage.

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    Did you put glue or adhesive on the nape? Or...

    Thanks for the reply, No I did not put any of the aforementioned. They have like these hook strand things where you hook it at the back to make it tight so it does not fall off. My napes is not irritated or achy at all. And my hair almost never itches. I deep condition it regularly and barely use more than coconut oil to seal it after I spray it with water. This method seems to work as every other part is healthy and feels great. But the back part just has not grown

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    Thanks for the reply, No I did not put any...

    Was your nape longer before?

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    It may be from the wigs, but I know my...

    Thank you! Yea....I have a feeling not wearing a cap for a loong time did more harm than good. I think the only reason the middle is doing great is because It is not prone to friction when I kept adjusting it. I am not sure tho...since I started wearing the cap which was just like three weeks ago, I have seen minute growth. I do not want to cut it, but since I am not EXACTLY sure, I am just afraid it is going to keep extending beyond the nape area...which frightens me. I do not care about length AT ALL. I just want even growth.

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    Stop wearing wigs.

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    Stop wearing wigs....

    Yeah, that's probably the easiest way to tell if it's the wigs or not...lol

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    Was your nape longer before?...

    Well it was very uneven. i cannot really tell but when I started going natural which was six years ago, I always would wear wigs after about three month in. I normally just chop all my hair off and love the bald look (get tons of compliment as well) but when it starts growing I do not like the twa, so I always have curly afro wigs. I know that when it just starts growing (from the bald stage) it grows out evenly. But as time goes by, it seems to not grow at all, then start breaking off and then no hair there. Then I get frustrated and chop it bald again. In my six years of being natural my hair has NEVER grown more than a year before I cut it bald again. I knew that braids were a culprit so I stopped doing it two years ago and now I am wearing wigs. I never used to cornrow but I started two months ago. I am hoping with a wig cap, my nape can grow healthy.

    Sorry for the long response...just venting

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    Stop wearing wigs....

    Yes, that's a good idea....except I cannot at the moment. It has nothing to do with any esteem issues, as my wigs are all short afros, but ummmm I am in an all white part of town (and law school), I do not know any hair dressers (moved for school), cannot do ANY hair style, except for basic rough cornrows after I DC and my hair is too long right now for wash and gos and I live in one of the coldest provinces in Canada. So ummm no that is DEFINITELY not an option. I guess I will try wearing wraps or something. I would learn hairstyles but again I am in my articling apps process and barely have the time to play around with my hair.
    Thank

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    Yes, that's a good idea....except I cannot at the moment....

    Do you think your TWA is not good enough to wear around all the white people? Because it is. It's yours!!! That's a style right there. You have another style that you could wear too. You know how to cornrow, so you can do braid outs.

    Wigs aren't your only option, it's just your most convenient (and damaging) option.

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    Going by the title only without reading the comments: stop wearing them

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    Embrace ur hair. Yes it is damaging ur hair. Do u wear ur hair out? It sounds like u may be afraid because u r sleeping with the wig on. Good luck in ur journey and I hope u r able to put the damage to a complete stop.

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    Wigs aren't a protective style since they have nothing to do with your hair. They sit on top of your hair just like a scarf or a headwrap. What's under the wig is the actual protective style.

    Are you afraid to wear your hair out?

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    OP, White folks probably care less about your hair than you think. Besides if you don't accept and love your hair, you can't expect anyone else (regardless of race) to.

    I have a FB friend that is an attorney and she chopped down to a fade. She looks GREAT and I've never heard her say anything about catching crap at work because of her hair.

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    If you can do cornrows, I'm certain you can do a few twists and wear a nice twistout. There is no time like the present to learn your hair.

    If you're going to keep wearing the wigs, might I suggest wearing a satin bonnet or scarf under your wig cap to add a little extra protection?

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    Well anytime something is damaging to your hair you should stop practicing it. As someone who enjoys a good wig I have ask what is the quality of the wigs you are wearing? Cheapo wigs can be really bad on the hair underneath if you aren't wearing a wig cap. I'm not saying yours are btw, it just hasn't been mentioned. But it's true a wig should have a good air flow to your scalp, not be to tight, and never be uncomfortable to wear. Also if you aren't using combs but your hair is breaking off in the back that may be due to tension.

    What do you do with your hair while it's under the wig?

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    I would stop wearing a wig for the time being and take care of the damaged areas.

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    Yes. I wore falls and wigs while I got used to my transition. It's important to protect your hair while you are wearing it:
    condition and plait
    wig cap
    take off while at home-NEVER SLEEP IN IT
    wear your hair only on the weekends

    But there's no way to totally protect the tension from the wig at the edges. It WILL pull on your follicles. So I advise you to stop wearing at home and not sleeping. All that movement and tension =alopecia.

    I suggest wearing your hair only on the weekends bc it will give you time to adjust and 'see' your own natural beauty. You MUST transition your mind. Nappiness is 90% mental, 10% physical. It's time to begin the mental b/f you permanently damage those follicles.

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    Great posts up in here!

    Only thing to add - please don't be concerned about what white people will think about the sight of your TWA..it's a little strange that you think a medium afro is less "offensive" than a TWA. I work in a profession dominated by white middle-aged men and I have never heard peep about my hair being out of order. Not ONCE. We like to transfer our hangups onto white people.

    So do you...and if you are from way up north...invest in some cute hats to keep that head and ears covered. Just make sure they have a satin lining or wear a satin scarf underneath.

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    Hey. Since you are wearing afro wigs anyway, why not wear your own hair in an afro? That's the first style I learned to do. It's easy and doesn't take much time at all. You really can't mess this style up! I wore this for at least 9 months (starting when I was still transitioning) because I couldn't style my hair, lol. Here is the youtube video I used to learn - It's Lisa Akbari's curly fro method.

    Yes, that's a good idea....except I cannot at the moment....

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    Oh, yeah. I always made mine tighter (wet my hair some) so it wouldn't be as loose and just sticking up like hers. Then I put on a headband or a scarf and was good to go. I liked it, very easy style. Cute, too!

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    I still don't totally understand why wearing your own hair isn't an option. You have a short afro but you're wearing a short afro wig? If it's too cold to wear your hair wet when you go out, wash it in the evening so it will start drying before you go to bed and then you can apply product and fluff it into shape in the morning. TWAs are the easiest phase of the natural journey by far.

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    Wow...Thank you so much Guys for the amazing responses! So so informative, and I love hearing people's personal experiences with wigs too.

    I think I mentioned it previously, but just to reiterate, it has nothing to do with white ppl....lol. I have lived mostly in all white areas my whole life and I have rocked a baldie and a twa like five times i have been natural for an extended period. Not that it matters but blacks AND white and ME love my lil hair! It is just when it starts growing that I either a) become lazy (just being honest) and dont put in enough effort and b) start wearing wigs. Like I also said, my wigs are pretty much afros, so again, I am not trying to appease anyone.

    The reason why I said I could not wear my hair as it is right now, it is because of its patchiness with the breakage on the back of my head! It will just look ridiculous..IMHO of course. Trust me if I had my hair EVEN, I would be rocking it asap, but it is the cyclical process and wearing the wig cuz it is the most convenient, and now realizing it is damaging it, but it is just too late. All my wigs are either afro or short braids, so it is not some trying to pass for whiteness or worried about jobs thing.

    The sleeping in it part, is because I spend a good amount of time with my LS friends who live closer to school during exam times...just more convenient as I live farther. Okay, maybe I do not want to freak anyone out by yanking out my wig as people cannot really tell it is one.

    Going from the advice of many here tho, it seems that I would have to stop wearing the wigs. Since it will be a couple of months before the back grows even to half an inch, I will probably purchase lots of fancy hats lol. If anyone else has any suggestion, let me know!

    Many thanks again!

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    I thought I was doing something when I stopped perming my hair and just wore wigs. I destroyed my hair to no end.

    I keep it on for days at a time, slept in it every night. It was dry, brittle and damaged.

    I still wear wigs but, now I wear a wig cap, moisture EVERY day and the minute I walk in my house it comes off so my hair can get hair and attention. I pay extra attention to my hairline.

    I do not use the combs in the wigs at all, I cut out the combs inside and use bobby pins to secure it on.

    BIG difference. I compare it to people that talk to their plants. You don't pay them any attention they die, you talk to them nice and water them and they thrive. Same thing with my hair.

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    I still don't totally understand why wearing your own hair...

    It is because of its patchiness and unevenness. I am kind of a "fashionista" not to sound cocky or anything hahahaand kind of really take my appearance seriously (I know inside matters too!) but IJS. The reason I emphasized the kind of wigs I wear is because I did not want to leave the impression that it is because I do not like being natural or wanted a "cover up". My nape is evenly bald whilst the front/middle is 3 inches evenly long and very full. Trust me when I say, that until the back gets to at least half an inch, it looks fairly ridic as it is right now. I just wish I never started wearing them in the first place

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    I thought I was doing something when I stopped perming...

    Ya, I think the first couple of times, exactly the same thing happened and thats why I shaved it all off again. I was completely ambivalent to the fact that it could have been the wigs though, but with hair experience comes hair maturity and the more attention I paid, the more I realized it was the common denominator. I also did all the faux pas you mentioned. Now I moisturize my hair everyday and take it off as soon as I get to my home. I have NEVER won wig caps until last month, and I can already see that the parts that were bald have very little hair on it now. So I can only deduce that it was the days of sleeping with it and not wearing wig caps that have led me to this predicament. It is nice to get reinforcement, because i second guess myself when it comes to my hair, as I am just finally learning how to take care of it....it took six years, lol, but I am getting it.

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    If you were staying with friends and didn't want anyone to see your head couldn't you invest in decorative or attractive satin wraps so your scalp could get a break from the wig?
    I would apply castor oil to the area and cover it with a satin wrap then hide the wig in your suitcase.

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    Yes. I wore falls and wigs while I got used...

    Ditto everything you said. Thanks!

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    If you were staying with friends and didn't want anyone...

    That is such a great idea! As for now, I am not doing any sleepovers anymore haha. But I have gotten a silk wrap and I used EVCO, which i swear by!. Mind you, it took me just last month to realize the important of this, after six year of been natural. I never use to think hair was that important tbh, and just never took the time to study my hair. lol maybe it is because I am becoming older as well!

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