So you've taken the plunge or are thinking about sporting a glamorous weave, now all that's left for you to do is take matters into your own hands and ensure that this weave makes you and definitely doesn't break you or your edges!
In the world of weave wearing there is often the misconception that weaves are damaging, cause breakage, thinning, and in extreme cases alopecia e.g. the curious of Naomi Campbells much discussed hairline. Well truth is a bad weave experience boils down to a few simple factors:
'weak hair pre installation bad installation
poor maintenance during install bad removal experience'
Once you tackle all of the above you can earn yourself a length retaining, hair thickening, manipulation reducing hair experience!
Here is an ultimate breakdown of how to care for your hair before, during and after a weave!
Your Hair | As mentioned in my Part 1 Pre Installation Video, the condition of your hair pre installation is key to the success of your weave experience. It is absolutely essential that you indulge in a protein treatment or two prior to having your install put in. Weaved hair usually gets put away for 6-8 weeks therefore it needs to be strong enough to endure the process. Additionally do NOT set a date in your diary for a weave install if you are suffering from a weak/damaged hairline. Weave wearing is not for the light headed and should only be installed when hair is in good health. Hiding behind a weave may further damage your hair and even cause alopecia, which can take months or even years to correct.
The Hair | The battle between synthetic and human hair really boils down to preference. In terms of maintenance human hair keeps much longer without a shadow of a doubt, however it's rare you'll find super kinky curly textures in human hair hence where synthetic hair comes in and saves the day. Either way human hair tends to be more versatile and allows for straightening and curling with heated appliances, whereas most synthetic hair types do not accommodate the use of heat. The type of weave you opt for boils down to the reason for installation. If you want long lasting hair that can be re-used you are most likely to opt for a more superior class of hair such as virgin hair or remy hair, otherwise if you want a short term fix standard human hair should suffice.
The Weaveologist | Finding a weaveologist that can fix a 'worth flaunting around' weave can be very tricky, especially one who handles your hair delicately and with care. Recommendations from friends and family have been the reason for my thus far weave success, so spotting a great weave and asking about it will probably save you more strands than a lucky find in Yellow Pages or a local newspaper! Whatever the case, be sure to speak up when getting your hair done. If there's something you are unsure of or do not like, be sure to let your weaveologist know- a great weaveologist will always be happy to cater to your needs.
Application | Whether or not you choose to opt for a sewn-in weave, weave bonded with glue or micro bonded weave, having your weave installed carefully and not too tightly will not only save you some strands but also a possible headache. Be sure to see how your head feels after a few cornrows have been done, your weaveologist can always lighten up on the forthcoming cornrows. Side note: If opting for weave bonded with an adhesive, please be sure to conduct a skin patch test beforehand as allergic reactions can result in extreme hair loss and damage [I personally would not recommend this method].
Washing| So life before weave usually includes a weekly/fortnightly or shoot even a monthly wash, but now your hair hides beneath your silky flowing weave you've put washing on hold!!! Most weave wearers find the idea of washing a weave very daunting. However I can testify that the perfect cure for scalp dryness and flakes is exactly that; washing. It rids the scalp of product build up and quenches its thirst for moisture. Do not be scared to wash your hair whilst in a weave [human hair only], invest in an applicator bottle and line your scalp with a diluted mix of water shampoo and conditioner, lightly rub your scalp with your fingers to rid it of product buildup, this way you can also easily rinse out the wash without leaving product behind. You should treat your weave just like your own hair and wash it and condition it, for what its worth it is human and needs some TLC too!
Scalp care| Midweek you can also keep your scalp moisturised and nourished by misting it lightly with a refreshing homemade spritz* and following up with a scalp oil to seal in the moisture. Your hair will love you afterwards! *E.g. water and leave-in conditioner mix
WEAVE- THE TAKE DOWN
I've literally copied and pasted this segment from my recent Weave 101 Post Installation post, so if you like you can check it out there too!
Tools| The type of removal tool you use for each weft of weave can determine the size of your shedded/broken hair ball upon complete removal. Depending on what you choose be it a seam ripper, pair of scissors or a blade [my personal preference], it is always important to invest in a tool that does the job effectively. Your chosen tool does not by any means have to be horror movie #kinda sharp, but sharp enough to do the job properly. You don't want a blunt blade which requires you to stress the weave thread and cause further issues e.g knots and tangles. Finally ladies please for the sake of your hair and my sanity...be careful- you're scalp is way too precious for any scalp boo boo's! Now onto clips! Hair clips are especially useful during the take out process for the chicks who have leave out hair. It's a good practice to separate your leave out hair from the hair you plan on removing so that it will not be a victim of accidental cutting, which let's face it can happen even with the most careful of hands. Simply twist your leave out hair and use a clip to hold it aside whilst you get to work on weave removal.
Detangling |I most definitely won't copyright this because I know there's no way I'm the only one who does it, but detangling with oil has been a major aid in reducing breakage during my weave take out process. Once all weave wefts have been removed I caress my cornrows with a light carrier oil of choice before taking them out, this lubricates my hair and makes it less susceptible to snapping or breaking. I remove each cornrow and lightly detangle using a wide tooth comb before moving onto the next cornrow.
Final tip| Go the full mile and wash and deep condition your hair. Your hair has most likely been hidden under your weave for more than 6 weeks which means it is in much need of serious lovin'!!!
So that's it folks, a lengthy post on weave wearing! You can also check out the following videos and posts for some more info on the wonderful world of weave! In fact all of this weave talk has me craving for one!
Happy Saturday lovelies!!!