The Best Tips on Preparing For A Great Sew-in Experience
The first time I was truly compelled to get a sew-in weave was my freshman year in college. I witnessed nearly every woman had a weave.
Their hair ranged from mid-back length to mid-thigh length in a variety of colors. It was mesmerizing and intriguing. Upon returning to school for my sophomore year, I decided to join the league of beautiful women on my campus donned with glorious hair. I installed my first sew-in.
Needless to say, as a novice, I did not know what to expect and made a few mistakes. I was unaware of the particular type of hair to purchase considering there are hundreds of forms, textures, and blends of extensions! And I also was not sure the length of hair that would suit me best nor the which salon to get my hair installed. I Googled a few locations near me and checked reviews.
After my weave installation, I had to learn to maintain my hair. Fortunately, since that time, I have not only learned from mistakes, but I have also mastered how to have a great sew-in experience every time.
Now I can share with you six things you definitely should not do before getting a weave.
You Should Not...
1. Pick Out The Cheapest Hair
Perhaps you are in college with minimal funds or merely wanting to protect your hair with the cheapest style.
But you should not forgo cost when it comes to your extensions. I have made this mistake and paid for it, so you can bypass this issue. With cheaper extensions, you are typically sacrificing quality. More inexpensive extensions are usually synthetic hair, which is plastics and looks unnatural with its excessive shine.
Additionally, synthetic hair can irritate your scalp and cause redness and itching during your install. Wearing extensions are a great protective style, but cheap, irritating hair can quickly change your lovely new hairstyle into a terrible nightmare.
The best hair to use for your extensions is 100% human hair. Although more expensive, the quality and overall look of the hair will make this hair type worth the few extra dollars. Purchasing extensions does not have to break the bank. There are plenty of affordable human hair extensions that save you in cost and bless your scalp with soft strands. Check out PLE’s selection of human hair extensions and clip-ins.
Depending on your lifestyle, personal fashion preference as well as your face structure you want to decide on the curl pattern and texture of your hair. Although curly hair can seem like more work, it can sometimes require less maintenance since you do not have to heat style it often.
In the same breath, straight hair extensions look great on almost everyone. I love to curly extensions or ones that give me a lot of volume for the colder months, and I like to keep it straight and short in the summertime.
2. Get A Color That Does Not Match Your Hair
The real beauty of installing extensions is not noticing where the wearer’s natural hair ends and where the extensions begin.
Understanding color is crucial. Even the slightest difference in color will be a dead giveaway that you are wearing extensions. Since our hair is not made up of a single color, but rather a blend of a variety of color, it is best to purchase extensions that match your hair as best as possible.
One way to do this is by undergoing a complete hair transformation with color treatment. You can buy your extensions as close to your current hair color as possible and take your extensions to a professional colorist and hopefully extension installer. In this way, you will be able to ensure that the extensions match your hair perfectly since your professional partner will dye both your hair and the extensions similarly.
If you are not looking to dye your own hair, you could either eyeball the best looking extensions or get advice and extensions from your local salon. A stylist will be able to best match your hair to extensions in their collection.
Even if you decide to install extensions and cover all of your hair, I still recommend choosing extensions that have a small variety of colors within the hair. It is more natural-looking. Also when it comes to color, take into consideration your skin tone. Some people have warm undertones to their skin, some have cool undertones to their skin, and some are neutral. The same rules apply to hair.
For example, there is not one color of blonde hair but rather blonde hair that looks cool and gray-toned and blonde that is warm and yellow-toned. Match your undertone with the undertone of your hair (warm goes with warm and cool goes with cool).
With this knowledge in mind, you will always make a great color decision when it comes to your extensions.
3. Skip Shampooing
Would you skip a shower for three to four weeks? Not only would you run the risk of public ridicule, but it would also be a very uncomfortable experience.
Treat your scalp the same way. Before you get your weave, cleanse your hair and your scalp thoroughly. With a weave, a stylist braids your hair in a particular pattern and then sews the extensions on top of the braids. Primarily, the weave covers your hair and scalp.
However, your hair continues to shed and produce sebum, or natural oils. Do not start off your beautiful new style with a hidden buildup of dirt, grime, and oil. Skipping shampoo and conditioner before your install will not only irritate during the time that you have in your style, but you will also contribute to buildup on your scalp, which could hinder the growth of your hair.
No one wants to take down her sew-in only to realize that her hair is falling out and a tangled mess. Healthy and well-cared for hair begins before you get a weave. A day or two before your appointment, complete a thorough cleansing of your hair.
Rub your scalp free of any product buildup or environmental debris and wash your hair until it is squeaky clean. When you treat your hair to a spa day, it will grow and look healthy after you remove your weave. A word of caution, do not neglect to show your scalp love during your installation.
You will have a better extension experience as you take care of your scalp and hair underneath your weave.
4. Neglect Deep Conditioning
This tip falls in line with the last one. Shampooing and conditioning your hair is essential to have a great start before you get a weave.
I would take this hair spa day another step further by strongly encouraging you to deep condition your hair before installing your extensions. Look for deep conditioners that are protein-rich as well as moisturizing.
With the added stress of being braided and sewed on, your hair will need the extra strength to withstand the initial install as well as the strength to endure the next four to six weeks of wear. As I hope you will continue to wash your hair once you have your weave installed, a moisture-rich deep conditioner will aid your hair with an extra boost of water and hydration.
Remember that your hair is going to be covered for the most part and will not be able to take the moisture out of the air as usual. The humid air provides your hair with water, but contained inside a weave, it does not get this opportunity.
Treat your hair with a water-based deep conditioner or try a steam treatment. The heat of a steam treatment opens the cuticles of the hair strands, and the water is deposited inside to ensure that your hair gets the maximum amount of moisture.
With these steps, your hair will not only look healthy before your install but will radiate and promote hair growth during and after you take your weave out.
5. Ditch the Trim
Regularly trimming your hair has fantastic benefits for your hair.
As the ends are the oldest part of our hair, they tend to weigh the rest of our strands down and hindering new growth. However, when we get our ends professionally trimmed, we can remove the damaged ends and make room for healthy new hair.
A trim is proper for your hair before you get a weave because you are allowing your hair the opportunity to let go of dead weight before concealing it within your extensions. Receiving a good trim before a weave ensures that your damaged ends will not tangle with the shed hair as you wear your install. Our hair sheds daily approximately 100 strands. Imagine the amount of hair shed during the time you keep in your sew-in.
Typically, the reason many people may experience an excessive amount of tangling after they remove their extensions is because of the shed hair forming knots with the damaged parts of their hair.
By trimming off the excess hair, you will eliminate broken or split ends as well as alleviate the possibility of a significant amount of tangles after you take down your weave. The goal is healthy and beautiful hair.
Trim your hair before your next weave, and you will notice the difference in your hair.
6. Have A Friend Install Your Extensions
This last tip may seem controversial and unnecessary.
I may also be biased in that I allowed a friend to install my weave and I ended up with a lion’s mane attached with a fishing line instead of a hair thread. Yeah, it was pretty bad. If you want a professional look, then book your appointment with a professional stylist, preferably in a salon.
I do acknowledge that there are lovely professionals that may work out of their homes or other locations, but it is worth getting your hair done by a professional. A professional can expertly recommend hair color, braid style, and the like that will best fit your physical makeup as well as compliment your current lifestyle.
With a friend, you may talk about the latest news or guy drama, and although these conversations may be entertaining, they do not necessarily help with the look, style more health of your hair. Yes, you and your girlfriend are cool, and she watches a ton of YouTube videos, but keep your girlfriends your girlfriends and book an appointment with your stylist.
She may be well versed in today’s political talk as well.
You Are On Your Way To The Best Weave Experience!
Hopefully, these tips helped you see that a great weave begins before you sit down in the salon chair.
When you take the time to research and carefully choose your extensions, you make sure that your hair will not irritate your scalp and damage your hair, but that it will also blend flawlessly to your natural hair color.
Even though we may wear our extensions and every one of our friends and close people knows that it is a weave, the goal is not to make it visible. Synthetic hair is often too shiny and looks more like plastic than hair unless that’s the look you want. Authentic human hair is the perfectly-matched color that can turn heads and have everyone wondering how you get your hair to grow.
Speaking of growth, as you shampoo, condition, deep condition and trim your hair before your installation, you give your hair the best opportunity to remain healthy during your weave install as well as provide it with room to grow and prosper after you remove your extensions.
Take some time to treat you and your hair right before you switch up your look. I am always an advocate for self-care especially as it comes to hair and hair health. What other “shouldn’t” tips would you add to this list? How has the avoidance of these mistakes helped your sew-in experience?
Leave your comments down below and let’s keep the conversation going.
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