Last month, as I was sitting down for my monthly weave in with my sister, who happens to be a weave expert. We started chatting about weaves, and how difficult it can be for woman of color to maintain great looking hair. Especially weaves.
Personally I love the method of weaving in extensions, I've tried all types of protective hair styles from braids to lace wigs and at this point in time, I'm truly enjoying rocking the weave-in style. Along with the joys of rocking a weave comes the stresses of maintaining it. So here are my 5 tips and tricks for keeping your hair looking as good as new. I'm no hair expert but I hope this helps you as much as its helped me!
1. Covering hair with silk wraps/caps at night
This is one of my favorite and easy ways to wake up looking flawless. Okay, I'm done with the Beyoncé references, promise. On a more serious note there are many benefits to wrapping your weave every night before hitting the sheets. Silk wraps or silk pillowcases help keep in moisture in. For dry hair, this is especially important. If it's wrapped around your scalp the satin helps avoid bushy edges. So you can thank your silk wrap/cap/pillowcase when you wake up with edges that are laid out to the gods!
Not many people know that cotton pillowcases cause friction against your hair and can lead to hair loss, which you definitely want to avoid if you want to keep your weave looking brand new. The best part about this is silk wraps/caps are dirt-cheap! I purchase mine at a local beauty shop in Edmonton AB called Images and Shades. I bought mine for around $8.00. Prices range from $5-20 dollars depending on the brand. But what a steal for something that gives us so many benefits, am I right? Silk pillowcases are a great alternative and chances are you have one right in your household.
2. Heat Protectant. ALWAYS!
I cannot stress enough how important it is to use heat protector spray or serum when applying heat to your weave. I am guilty of getting lazy or forgetting to do this before straightening or curling my weave. I doubt I'm the only one. But seriously ladies, weaves can only take so much stress before they start to look worn down; even the good hair. I currently use Tresseme heat protector spray, works great and smells great too. This keeps the hair from looking dried out and keeps your extension ends looking luscious.
Fun fact! If you practice the previous tip of using a silk wrap, you can avoid applying heat to your hair completely! Silk wraps keep hair looking as flat as you left, so straightening isn't needed on a daily basis. Thus avoiding heat all together!
3. A wide-toothed comb is your new best friend.
Wide-toothed combs are the best if you're not a fan of losing hair from brushing it too often. Combing out your hair using a wide-toothed comb instead of a regular paddle brush helps prevent damage and breakage to your weave. Especially on wet hair, when it is most fragile. I've found through experience that I have little to no hair loss when I comb out my weave with a wide-toothed comb compared to others. Lesser hair loss = happier me! And a happier you, if you try a wider-toothed comb.
4. Condition! Condition! Condition!
Deep conditioning your weave will leave it looking and feeling lustrous. It's crucial that you deep condition your weave periodically while it is installed. I was so lazy with this tactic at first, ‘cause let's be honest, deep conditioning for black women is a whole days work. The way my mom had me mask my natural hair and tie it up for the entire day on wash day (as thankful as I am for that mom) it was exhausting. I thought I had escaped this once I got a weave. I hadn't.
At least with weaves, deep conditioning only requires 10 minutes tops and you already see a remarkable difference. You want to do whatever you can to avoid hair drying out, especially in the summer. Try to deep condition every couple of weeks. Since weaves don't need to be washed very often, when you do wash it, spare 10 minutes for deep conditioning. With regards to the type of conditioner to use, I believe women should dry different conditioners until they find what works best for them. I like to use whatever my mom uses. After all mom knows best! Currently I am using a coconut milk conditioner by organix. Very affordable as well.
5. Invest in your hair
As a college student on a budget, I definitely don't mean break the bank when purchasing hair. But I am a firm believer in quality over quantity when it comes to extensions. This topic requires a whole article of its own, but I will do my best to summarize it. The type of hair you buy is the most important thing, and it is the most crucial step in maintaining a great looking weave. How can you maintain a weave that was never great in the first place?
When I say invest in your hair, I mean purchase hair you can re-use time and time again. This means good quality human hair. It might seem like a lot at purchase, but I have done the math and compared between a one time payment of high quality hair that will last me 6 - 8 months of reusing depending on how I treat it--to rebuying hair every time I get my weave done (which is often for me). I found it's much smarter for gals on a budget to invest in our hair purchases.