One of the biggest topics for just about any weave wearer, is how to keep the good stuff looking good whilst maintaining a great standard of hair care. The common misconception is that maintaining a weave is verycomplex. However having been a frequent enough weave wearer, I know it doesn't have to be.
I won't say that rocking a weave is easy because we all know.... weave wearing can be as messy as wearing stilettos with two left feet. Truth is....
when rocking your weave you:
- have limited access to your actual hair (especially if rocking a full head weave)
- tend to want to straighten your hair (if some is out) so that it looks like the weave
- wonder how you can moisturize and seal whilst wearing a weave
- steer away from oiling your scalp because you don't want to ruin the good old indian or brazilian hair
So... the real question at hand i guess is how to maintain a weave if you are stretching your relaxer, and/or simply using weave as a means of protective styling?
Here are a few things to keep in mind
1- You can still wash your hair at least once every 2/3 weeks. Though u may be worried about ruining your weave, it wont! Or should i say with a good weave shouldn't. Smelly weave due to lack of washing, product build up and straighteners isn't cute. Bacteria build up can reduce your hair growth rate. For easy shampooing you can dilute your shampoo with water and apply it to your scalp using an applicator bottle. This allows easier access to your scalp whereby you can then do a general head massage on the top of the weave and then rinse. You can also do the same with your conditioner. Be sure to rinse thoroughly so that no product is left behind as this can harden and cause problems.
2- You can still feed your scalp when rocking a weave. All you have to do is invest in some hair clips to hold your hair in the right position so that it steers clear away from oils. Castor oil on your scalp and weave is a magical combination
3- Scalp massage. You can still do this! Of course its a pain especially with a full head weave, but it can still be done. Even if you've oiled your scalp and then massage the weave, you are still massaging, and your scalp willbe stimulated.
4- For those who have to straighten some of their own hair, always remember to use heat protectant. Also to avoid having to straighten several times in between washes, try and wrap your straightened hair. If on the other hand your weave is curly, you can also create curls (on your own hair) without heat, by using rollers, pin curls, flexi rods, curlformers etc
5- Having your cornrows braided horizontally works better than vertically. Vertical cornrows make the whole weave system almost like a game of noughts and crosses. You can barely fit your fingers anywhere!
6- If you want to go the extra mile with your weave regime and find time to do this (even if it isn't everyday), it would be a great idea to moisturize and seal when wearing a weave. Despite the fact that your hair has been cornrowed with extensions, you can still add a moisturising spritz to each cornrow and then seal the cornrow with oil. This will require more time however will keep your hair moisturized and super protected. This works best if you intend on washing your weave, otherwise you will experience product build up.
7- Avoid weaving freshly relaxed hair, too many people do this and forget that this is when your hair is extremely fragile and weak. A week or 2 later is much better than straight away.
8- If you do decide to wear weave using the bonging glue method, only do this if you are 100% sure that it is being applied and removed in a professional way. Otherwise this method can be extremely damaging to your hair. I would not recommend using glue at all!
+ it is a protective style
+ less manipulation in the long run because you cannot comb your hair everyday
+ hair is not so exposed. e.g strands are tucked away
+ more of your hair is close to your scalp which means closer to warmth. Hair grows faster in warmer temperatures.
- its is initially quite stressful on your hair. This is usually at least for a few days when the braids feel tight
- you tend to want to straighten your left out hair in order to suit up with the weave (heat damage)
- washing and/or moisturizing and sealing seem to require to much effort
- when you take your hair out you seem to lose quite a bit of hair (however note, this is because your hair has shedded during the period of the initial wearing of the weave to the weave removal. Therefore this is hair you would have shedded if your hair was left out and without weave).
P.s I'll officially be rocking my stretch weave in 2 weeks time! All the way till November. I'm going to have it re-done more than once of course! Look forward to showing you :)