Hair Installations are Life Savers
Protective styling, such as hair installations are fantastic; it helps hair grow, allows for low manipulation and gives a polished look day after day.
Although it offers a broad range of versatility and frees one of constant styling, it is still important to care for the hair underneath.
Hair must be taken care of, nurtured and maintained, even while in protective styling.
But what happens when protective styles are taken out?
#1 Take Hair Out No later than 6 Weeks after Hair Installations
Sew-ins and wigs are quick and effortless ways to achieve optimal styling with minimal maintenance to the physical appearance of hair. However, it is important to take down an install every 4-6 weeks to care for your natural hair underneath.
This regular cycle of removing installs allows one to track their hair growth, work on problem areas and allow their hair to breathe.
Furthermore, it prevents hair underneath from matting or molding which can become a real issue if your hair contains braids under your weave, a mesh cap or tucked underneath a wig for too long.
#2 Wash & Condition Hair
Washing and Conditioning Hair is essential to its health. Be sure to do this after your hair installation.
The hair and scalp produce and accumulates natural oils, dirt, and pathogens. A good wash can get rid of unwanted oils, cleansing hair keeping it from being weighed down.
What’s more important than a good wash is a great conditioner.
One can choose to either wash and condition hair or to simply co-wash, which means conditioning the hair only. Either decision strengthens the hair cuticle and provides the hair with needed protein and oil to keep hair moisturized, soft and healthy.
#3 Check for Signs of Damage
One’s hair is constantly changing, and it can be hard to keep up with these changes if one’s hair is consistently in an install.
After hair is taken down, washed and conditioned, it is important to note the state of the hair.
Is the hair lacking bounce or shine, does it seem frizzy or weak after hair installations?
Damage can include split ends, excessive shedding or tangling, thinning edges, or even scalp sensitivity. Pay attention to what your hair is telling you, in between installations.
#4 Trim Ends
Another key to the healthy hair under your hair installation is to trim hair.
Your hair will naturally begin to split after three months. So, we suggest that you get your ends trimmed every 3-4 months. Going to your stylist is recommended to get your trim versus doing it yourself because they have the knowledge and eye to clip your ends properly.
Holding onto split ends only increase damage; while keeping the length, you will also maintain the unhealthiness of your hair.
Trimming is necessary to keep hair from further breakage and to maintain healthy length.
#5 Moisturize Hair
Simply conditioning hair is not enough.
To seal in moisture and reduce the chance of dry and damaged hair it is essential to find oil, serum or spray that locks moisture into the hair.
Be careful though, moisture is essentially food for the scalp, and just like when choosing your foods, you want to be mindful of what is going on your hair just like your body.
Look for greases and oils that are not heavy on the hair, and the ingredients are organic.
This simple rule of thumb will keep hair from product build up and clog of the scalp which can be counterproductive to the overall goal.
#6 Stay Away From Anything That Could Cause Additional Damage
Some may think that immediately after an installation is the time to experiment but this is contrary to widespread belief and practices.
It is crucial to avoid anything that could cause additional damage to hair directly following removal of an installation because the hair may already be stressed or weakened by constant braiding, pulling or coverage. You may want to test your hair porosity to see if your hair is currently damaged.
Try to avoid dyes, excessive heat, bleaching or high manipulation styles.
#7 Let It Breathe
As stated, hair needs the care to grow, and one of the easiest ways to care for your hair is to leave it alone.
The hair and scalp require oxygen to flourish, which can be hard to achieve during hair extension installations.
Rock your natural curls, your favorite two braids, or a sleek bun to give hair time to breathe and relax after hair installations. This breather or “weave-cation” helps relieve the tension on hair follicles and reduces the chance of breakage during installations.
In conjunction with trims, greasing and a good conditioner this is a definite recipe for hair rejuvenation. If you are not quite ready to leave hair out for a month or two at a time and return to installations sooner, get a braided foundation that protects the ends of your hair. Be sure to oil your scalp before and during hair installations.
Additionally, opt for a sew-in with a mesh covering to reduce stress on hair follicles and to achieve a longer lasting hair installations.
#8 Choose Low Maintenance Styles
Weaves, wigs, and crochet are all great ways to style hair for a multitude of reasons, but there are other low-maintenance styles to wear while taking a break from installations.
One can wear braids, a blowout or even opt for clip-in extensions if you crave a particular style or length.
#9 Skip Too Tight Installs
Weaves installed too tight can cause various issues from mild pain to serious conditions including areas of permanent baldness.
The common problem is it particularly affects those who have tender scalps or are new to wearing weaves. Invested weave wearers are often discouraged from trying to loosen a weave because of the expense that went into it. However, the long-term consequences and health of the hair should always be paramount.
There are many warning signs to tell if a weave is too tight such as headaches or pain when lifting your head, making certain uncomfortable expressions, and even difficulty sleeping. Additional symptoms can also include redness or pimples on the scalp to show irritation.
No hairstyle should ever cause pain and, if it does, steps should be taken to alleviate the discomfort immediately like the following:
Visit A Professional
There is no harm in going back to a hair professional to mend such an issue when wearing a sew-in. The best part about going to see a professional is they can alleviate the pain and pressure properly which prohibit any further damage. A good stylist should always agree to redo or loosen the weave without charging. If you're experiencing issues with a too tight install or may experience them in the future, do not hesitate to speak up and communicate to let them know what you're dealing with.
Your weave can potentially be loosened in the shower by standing under warm water and gently massaging the scalp in the areas that seem tight. Another option of this form is to cover your head in a steaming towel which can help to make the weave easier to manipulate before the user attempts to loosen it. Some wearers may find it beneficial to rub the scalp with a head massager before trying to loosen the weave. When sleeping, avoiding pressure on the side where the weave is tightest can also help to reduce problems.
Applying an oil to the scalp between the threads of your weave can release the tension of the tightness. Suitable products include tea tree oil, peppermint oil or even a mixture of conditioner and water sprayed on to the scalp. Peppermint oil is probably the best choice since the properties of it creating a cooling effect. These types of oils should be massaged into the temples and around the tracks to both loosen the weave and relieve head pain.
#10 Scalp treatments and oiling
Itchiness is a common complaint of weave wearers, but you don't have to suffer.
First, if you cleanse as you should, you shouldn't have the drastic itchiness of someone with a dirty scalp. Second, you can try massaging your scalp with a natural oil like jojoba, but go light -- you don't want excess oil loosening up your tracks and shortening the life of the weave. You might also dot tea tree oil on your scalp in particularly itchy areas.
Finally, there are product lines and tools made just for weave wearers. There are various brands that offer products designed for helping you care for your hair while wearing a weave. There are even tools that are offered like the scalp soothers which can alleviate that itchiness in a gentle way that won't damage your hair or scalp and cause irritation and inflammation.
#11 Detangle Thoroughly
After a while when wearing braids from a sew-in, you have to face the fact that your hair needs to be detangled from being secured over a long period of time.
When you fail to do so, your hair can become severely matted and extremely hard to detangle. The benefits of detangling your hair is mainly avoiding tangles and knots to form, it prevents breakage which in return helps you to retain length.
We should all accept the fact that hair is always shedding, it's just a part of the hair cycle. And a bit of one’s hair will definitely shed the first time they comb through the new growth after removing a weave. The moment you remove your weave, do not comb it before gently working through it, especially the new growth, with your fingers.
This method is less harsh than using a comb as you lose less hair. After detangling with your finger, use a wide tooth-comb before shampooing. It's always a better idea to detangle before a shampoo and after a conditioner.
Remember to be gentle so that you don’t damage your hair and to take your time. Once you are able to comb through your entire head without difficulty, snagging, or pulling, you are now ready to shampoo. Remember, you may see what you think is excessive shedding while detangling but it is simply hair that has been shedding the entire time while braided but just had nowhere to go for disposal.
Know that doing your final detangle with conditioner lathered in your hair allows for an easier process and makes your hair smoother.
#12 Try A Protein Treatment
While it is beneficial to skin and nails, protein is a key part of shiny, lustrous hair as well. Why? Because hair is actually made up of protein. Hair cells are composed of a type of protein called keratin that is produced in the hair follicles. As the follicles produce new hair cells, the old cells are pushed out of the skin in the form of fallen hair, usually just a strand or two at a time.
On average, a person loses between 50 to 100 strands of hair per day as it is part of the natural hair growth cycle.
Because each individual hair strand is made up of protein fibers it requires an adequate dose of protein in order to grow. This protein not only keeps hairs growing but helps strengthen each individual hair shaft, making it healthier, more durable, and less prone to breakage or fallout.
Protein also plays a huge role with damaged hair, as it helps to repair cell tissue. If you do not ingest or otherwise consume an adequate amount of protein in your diet, your body will retaliate. This is why actual protein treatments are a huge benefit. Without natural protein for hair, it can become dull, dry and brittle.
So, it's important to understand that not all protein treatments are created equal. Curly, coily, and wavy hair relies on a perfect balance of oils, nutrients, moisture, and proteins. These treatments add strength and resiliency to damaged hair by attaching hydrolyzed proteins directly to the hair follicle and hardening the cuticle layer.
If there are holes in the hair cuticle, it will fill those holes or gaps while also placing a barrier around the hair shaft to lessen further damage. Protein is one of the best nutrients you can provide to your hair. Used both to treat damaged hair and to encourage healthy, lustrous hair, protein is a great ingredient to incorporate into your regular hair routine.
It is a smart, economical hair treatment option that can both be purchased commercially or applied through DIY recipes at home.
#13 Wash your Hair Extensions
Just like your natural hair, your hair extensions are an investment.
Because they are in investment, not just monetarily, they should be taken care of just like you would care for your own hair. Doing so promotes longevity in wearing them and keeps them looking healthy and well-maintained.
Before washing your hair extensions, detangle them to prevent excessive shedding, tangles, and knots. It's important to remember that since hair extensions don't receive natural oils from the scalp as your natural hair does, they don't need to be washed as often as your own hair. But your natural oils could weigh on your extensions after a while including products you may use over time.
Wash your hair extensions between installations to help remove product build-up which can avoid the extensions becoming unmanageable to manipulate and style.
#14 Create a Schedule
Creating a schedule for your hair helps to maintain the proper care it needs in order for it to thrive.
The greatest benefit of establishing a hair schedule is the positive effect it can have on your hair. Your hair needs care and lots of it, especially after manipulative styles and protective styles.
A hair schedule gives you a plan of action to follow when caring for your hair and helps you to be consistent. A good hair regimen gives your hair exactly what it needs – moisture. Create a hair schedule for your hair that is tailored according to your hair type, hair needs and, most importantly, your lifestyle.
Failure to commit to a proper hair schedule because of daily limits or lifestyle practices defeats the purpose of a schedule. Stick to your schedule and tweak it if necessary.
#15 Feed your Hair
Most people often ask what are some products they can use to promote hair growth, prevent dry and brittle hair and avoid hair loss.
The best way to answer this is by asking how is your diet? We often think the health of our hair has only to do with how we treat it externally. But beautiful and healthy hair comes from within and what you feed yourself. This not only covers for skin but for your hair as well.
Feed yourself, you feed your hair. The nutrients you eat help fortify your hair follicles, where each strand is born, which means you’re only a few meals away from gorgeous, healthy hair! I’m sure your next question is “what should I eat?” It's always best to eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables and low in starch.
Also, consider a resourceful amount of protein. This may help slow down the process of hair loss. Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants that may provide protection for the hair follicles and encourage hair growth. Eat plenty of foods high in biotin and/or take supplements. Biotin is needed for healthy hair and skin and may even prevent hair loss.
Try throwing some of these fruits and vegetables into your recipes or a smoothie and enjoy eating your way to healthy hair.
Below are a few food items and their benefits that you should incorporate:
Eating avocado regularly means we get a steady supply of biotin for gorgeous hair, healthy nails, and moisturized skin. Avocados are a rich source of proteins, amino acids, and vitamins, which help promote the growth of healthier tresses. Also try using avocado oil in salads, marinades, and brushed over roasted vegetables.
Iron deficiency can cause hair loss; an easy way to prevent iron deficiency is to include spinach in your diet. The iron, folate, beta-carotene and vitamin C in spinach help keep hair follicles healthy and scalp oils circulating. Nutrient-rich dark, leafy vegetables such as kale, broccoli, and swiss chard are also amazing options.
Sweet potatoes are a great source of the antioxidant beta-carotene, which your body turns into Vitamin A. When it comes to your hair, vitamin A produces oils to sustain your scalp. Deficiency in Vitamin A can leave our scalps itchy and cause irritating dandruff. Apricot, cantaloupe, mangoes, and pumpkin are also other options with these benefits.
Lentils are small but a mighty member of the legume family. Legumes are a great source of iron, protein and biotin, nutrients that are vital for healthy hair. Other great beans are kidney beans and soybeans.
Blueberries are packed with Vitamin C. Vitamin C is critical for circulation to the scalp and support the tiny blood vessels that feed the follicles. Too little Vitamin C in your diet can lead to hair breakage.
Nuts are great for healthy hair they have oils, which contribute to the elastin in your hair. If you don’t have enough oils in the body your hair can break. Walnuts have a significant amount of omega-3 fatty acids. They are also rich in biotin and vitamin E.
Of course, there’s more to your hair than what you eat. But if you eat well and drink plenty of water and even exercise, it will show in your tresses. Use these foods to build a strong foundation for healthy hair.
In Between Weave Hair Care
These are eight trouble-free and memorable tips for hair care in between installations.
Remember that your hair and your extensions should always be taken care of to ensure you can wear them with ease and quick interchangeability. Hair care in between installations maximize the benefits of protective styling by maintaining the growth and strengthening hair.
Have a hair care tip for in between your next weave? Drop it in the comments below!