Weaves have been used as a protective style since time immemorial and just like wigs, most women who wear it would like to rock a good quality weave. Don’t confuse weaves with hair extensions! OK, let me explain this.
A weave is done by attaching the extensions on the entire prebraided/cornrowed hair from side to side by sewing in. Extensions are attached to natural hair with adhesive or clamp. All weaves are a form of hair extension but not all hair extensions are weaves. Makes sense? Alright then. Let’s get to it.
A weave can be a few rows or the entire head. Sometimes the cornrows are covered with a net before the weave is sewn in. Everyone has their preference.
Weaves, like wigs also come in 2 categories. A good quality weave can be Human hair or synthetic hair. Before we break it down, lets take a look at the advantages of wearing weaves in general.
Advantages of weaves.
- Time saving – With a weave, you don’t need a lot of time to style your hair every time you need to leave the house. A quick comb through will do. For synthetic weaves, since it is already pre- styled, a finger combing or fluff/ shake and go will do.
- Protective – Because it is always on your head, you don’t need to worry about frizzing or drying hair caused by the weather or pillow.
- Adventure- Weaves allow you to experiment the different textures, lengths, colors and styles without having to interfere with your own hair.
- Flexibility – Since weaves are not meant to be worn for a long time, you have room to change looks within a few weeks without having too much to think about like maintenance.
Human hair weaves.
Just like the human hair wigs, human hair weaves are made from harvested people`s hair. In most cases, human hair weaves come in bundles. A set typically has 3-4 different lengths of bundles tied in ribbons. You can get them at your local hair supply store or online in high end prices, moderate prices and fairly low prices. There is something for every pocket 😉
To have a natural looking weave without a leave out, you might wanna try out a closure. This is a hair piece made out of silk or lace with hair extensions attached to it. You can purchase a closure seperately. Normally, instead of leaving your hair out at the crown, you put a closure which typically looks like your scalp.
Closures are best for those transitioning from relaxed to natural hair or those with natural hair and don’t want to relax their leave out for a natural look, or basically anyone who wants a natural finish look without leaving hair out.
- It has a natural feel/ texture.
- You can alter the original style by coloring, perming or curling just like you would do on your natural hair.
- You can re-use the weave several times. By this i mean, after removing it, you can clean it and keep for future use. And since it is human hair, you can style it different every time you want to re use it.
- They are expensive.
- Just like hair, it gets damaged easily through frequent manipulation.
- Depending on how the weather is, human hair weaves are prone to frizzyness, dullness and dryness.
Care & maintenance.
If well taken care of, a good quality human hair weave should serve you up to 2 years. Here are a few tips to help you maintain your weave for maximum service.
Before you start, make sure your human hair weave is straight before washing. This will reduce the chances of matting during washing and will ease the combing/ detangling process.
- Wash your weave regularly depending on how much you work out just like you would do your own hair. Every 14 days is appropriate.
- Do not put shampoo directly on the hair. Instead, mix the shampoo in lukewarm water and wash your weave from ends to roots.
- Massage the shampoo water on to your scalp in between your braids and smooth it through the weave. Do not rub on the human hair because this friction will lead to matting.
- Rinse your hair and put conditioner. Because of the sew in, i normally mix water and conditioner in a sprayer bottle for easy access to the roots. Put a fair amount on the human hair and let it sit for a few minutes and rinse.
- Remove the excess water from your weave gently by blotting with a micro fiber towel or a clean t shirt then dry under a dryer or air dry. Do not rub.
- Make sure your hair is completely dry before going to sleep to avoid mold.
- Moisturize and style.
Synthetic hair weaves
This hair weave is made out of synthetic material (Polymers) that looks and sometimes feels like hair. Synthetic weaves are common in beauty stores and you can also purchase them online. They are also popular for protective styling because there is a wide variety of styles that will remain intact for the entire time that you will wear it with no reactions to the weather conditions.
- More affordable than human hair.
- Comes pre-styled and it stays intact until you remove it.
- Low maintenance. You do not need to style it everytime since its form isn’t altered.
- Weather resistant. The form and style is not altered due to the weather and they do not frizz.
- Not reusable after taking it out.
- It doesn’t look natural because of the texture and is shinier than the natural hair.
- Cannot be styled by heat. This means you have to stick to that one style until you take the weave out.
Care and maintenance.
Since synthetic weave is not like natural hair, you should treat it differently. You should not really wash them as frequently as human hair weaves unless you frequently use products like sprays and hair lotions on it. Then you can wash it every 2 weeks. Otherwise, wash it when is smelly or visibly dirty (Once a month) should be alright.
- Before washing, brush your weave to remove tangles.
- Mix some mild shampoo or sulfate free shampoo with lukewarm water in a sink. Normally shampoos for synthetic wigs can also be used here.
- Put some soapy water in a sprayer bottle and spray in the roots of your hair for better penetration.
- Massage gently between the braids, pour some soapy water on your weave and smooth it through. Do not rub to prevent matting.
- Rinse the shampoo. Put some conditioner with water in a spray bottle and spray your roots. Let it sit for a few minutes and rinse off.
- Rinse and remove excess water by blotting with a towel. Air dry your hair.
- Use light hair lotions or hair sprays to maintain its sheen. Too much product will make it look unnatural.
A weave is a wonderful protective style that gives your hair a rest and gives you a chance to experiment a new style as well as add volume and length to your natural hair.
If you are planning to wear a weave, take note that it is also important to take good care of your hair underneath by keeping it clean and moisturized to avoid breakage during removal.
A weave should not be kept in for more than 2 months. This is because the braiding underneath should be removed before it forms knots and product build up should be washed off so that your hair can absorb fresh product well.
You should also leave at least a week to 4 weeks in between weaves to allow your hair and scalp to breath.
What thoughts do you have on weaves? Feel free to contact me or leave a comment below and i will be glad to read from you.