Hey folks! I've decided to use a full sew-in weave as a protective style for a while. I am very happy with my decision to do this, but I thought I should go into serious detail regarding the maintenance of my hair underneath. Out of sight, out of mind does NOT apply when it comes to your hair. Let me state that this is how I CHOOSE TO TAKE CARE OF MY HAIR during the weave process. Take what you will from it and tweak what you need to. Let's get started...
Before You Install the Weave:
- Wash and deep condition the hair with your choice of gentle and quality products.
- Moisturize the length of the hair using the L.O.C. Method.
- Air dry
- Take the weave that you are going to install and wash it. I clarify and deep condition the hair the same way I would my own hair. Go in the same direction as the cuticle and don't tangle the hair. I may or may not use heat during the conditioning process. ( It's crazy how much hair dye comes out of the weave when you wash it.) If you are using virgin hair, this process may or may not be necessary.
- Be sure to wash the weave in warm water and rinse the conditioner out in cold water. This will help the weave to be very soft when it dries.
- Let the weave air dry.
After You Install the Weave:
- Get a spray bottle or an applicator bottle with the narrow nozzle. Fill it up with your favorite liquid moisturizer. S-curl is awesome to use, but if you don't have that then you can always dilute your favorite cheapie conditioner with water, add glycerine and natural oils.
- Lift up each track and spray or squeeze your moisturizer on the braids. This is time consuming, but completely necessary and it feels good.
- Get another applicator bottle and fill it with your favorite oil to seal the moisturizer in the hair. Be sure to get the oil on your hair and scalp and not the weave.
- Use the tips of your fingers to massage everything in. It will feel great!
- Style as usual and cover with a silk or satin scarf or bonnet for bed. Maintaining extensions is time consuming and requires a lot of patience. Cleansing and washing your hair properly is imperative to maintaining optimal hair health. Next, you'll find the steps I take to clean my hair with a sew-in weave.
- Start by combing through the hair with a wide tooth comb to remove all tangles. If you are wearing a curly weave, then I would use my fingers to detangle. Start from the ends to the roots.
- Fill a spray bottle up with diluted shampoo and spray the scalp and hair. Use the method of spraying in between each track to get as close as possible to the scalp. Proceed by spraying the rest of the weave.
- Rinse the shampoo out of the hair using warm water and a wide tooth comb. Make sure that you rinse the scalp thoroughly and removing all of the soap from the scalp.
- Apply your favorite conditioner the same way you applied the shampoo, but let the conditioner sit on the hair for a while. * I am crazy about keeping my weave soft and smooth, and one of the ways I do that is with a good conditioner. Your weave will thank you!*
- Rinse the conditioner out and let your hair air dry. DO NOT APPLY any oils to the hair weave, and do try to limit your use of a heated appliance.
- Hair should be washed weekly!
Caring for Your Real Hair
Oiling - My scalp can get very dry under a weave and it isn't uncommon for me to experience a few flakes. Oiling my scalp nightly is something I try to do faithfully. Purchasing a bottle with a thin nozzle, or a spray bottle and filling it with your favorite oil will do the trick. Apply this this oil liberally to the natural hair only. You don't want to get your sew-in weave greasy as this will ruin the quality of hair.
Washing - The natural hair and weave hair must be washed weekly no matter what. Healthy hair grows out of a clean and healthy scalp. Being in a weave is no excuse to not wash the hair. I am careful to use a sulfate-free shampoo during this time.
Deep Conditioning - After shampooing the hair and weave, I apply a deep conditioner on both the weave hair and my exposed hair and sit under a hooded dryer for at least 30 minutes. The natural hair and weave love this process, and it also helps to keep the hair moist.
Protect Your Hairline - I protect my hairline by massaging castor oil into it every single night and while styling, if I remember. Weaves and braids can wreak havoc on the hairline if you are not careful. Take the necessary precaution by massaging and applying castor oil as often as possible. Also, during installation, make sure the braids aren't too taught.
This article was originally published in 2012 and has been updated for grammar and clarity.