When it comes to my hair, I’m constantly looking for ways to switch it up. I like to experiment with various styles and colors. For the past year, I’ve been relying on weaves to help keep my look versatile. I often get questions about proper hair care for a weave from women who are considering trying it for the first time.
Here are my five go-to tips for how to wear and care for weaved hair properly:
1. Prep your natural hair. Before installing a weave be sure to shampoo your natural hair thoroughly, paying close attention to your scalp. I like to Doo Gro Tingling Growth Shampoo ($7.19) for this, because it leaves my hair and scalp squeaky clean. After shampooing, give your strands a deep conditioning treatment by applying a thick conditioner like Queen Helene Cholesterol Hair Conditioning Cream ($2.99) from root to tip. Detangle with a wide toothed comb and allow the conditioner to penetrate by applying a plastic cap and sitting under a hooded dryer for 20 minutes.
If you opt for a sew-in installation without a closure (my preferred method), I recommend blow-drying and flat ironing your hair before it’s braided. Not only does it allow the braids to lay flatter against your head for a natural look, it will minimize tangling after you’ve had the weave in for an extended period of time. I love the look of not having a closure, because it allows some of my natural hair to stay out for a more natural and blended look.
2. Choose the right hair. This step is E-S-S-E-N-T-I-A-L. High quality human hair extensions can easily cost $100 to $150 per bundle — sometimes more. Don’t let the high cost turn you away. Higher quality hair can last a year if maintained properly and for the most part remains tangle-free. Buying cheaper hair will most likely result in a cheap look and the hair typically isn’t be re-usable. I’d strongly recommend steering clear of beauty supply stores for this very reason.
Consider your hair an investment. I personally love Her Imports, a weave hair retailer with locations throughout the country, as well as an online store. I’ve been purchasing hair there for the past two years and have yet to have a problem (*knocks on wood*).
3. Pay close attention to texture and styling. When choosing textures for your extensions, don’t just go for what looks best on the model displaying it. You want to choose a texture that closely matches your own if you plan on leaving some of your natural hair out. You should also take into consideration your lifestyle (i.e., Do you exercise a lot? Do you spend extended periods of time outdoors in humid temps?)
When purchasing hair, ask to touch and feel the hair to make sure you’re purchasing the right kind. Contrary to popular belief, your extensions have to be treated with just as much TLC as your natural hair. If you like a straight look, perhaps a curly texture wouldn’t be best as you may find yourself flat ironing it often and potentially damaging the hair.
4. Don’t use too much product. Premium extensions do not require a lot of product. Shampoo and condition the hair once a week using a protein rich formula. The best I’ve tried thus far are from the line Silicon Mix. Use a daily hair oil like Marc Anthony Oil of Morocco Argan Oil Treatment ($7.99) on your crown and edges to reap major benefits and to also prevent any harsh pulling of a sew-in. Remember that using too many oils or creams on extension hair can leave them looking too shiny or unnatural. Be sure to only apply oil or moisturizer every week or two using less than a pea sized amount.
5. Let your scalp breathe. I am a believer in taking some time off between weaves to let my natural hair breathe. When you take your weave out, wait at least two weeks before installing again. You should use that time to treat your extensions to some tender loving care. I like to deep condition my bundles using a Ziplock bag and a protein rich conditioner. One of my faves is Rich Pure’s Luxury Intense Moisture Conditioner ($6.75). It leaves hair feeling silky soft and looking oh-so-shiny.
Love, peace and beauty,