Best Sew-in Techniques

Best Sew-in Weave Techniques You Should Know

All About Sew-Ins

Over time, sew-ins have easily evolved into the most dynamic, versatile method of installing hair extensions.

This installation method has helped women effortlessly enhance and transform their looks.

What are sew-ins?

Sew-ins consist of adding hair extensions at the hair weft or hair tracks by using a thread and a needle. When you have decided that sew-ins are the best installation method for you, it is important to also consider what type of hair you will have installed. Preparing in every way is important to the success and duration of sew-ins.

You’ll Never Have a Terrible Install Using One of These Sew-In Techniques

Everybody is talking about securing the bag but what about securing your weave or secure the sew-in?

I’m all for paying for quality bundles such as those at Private Label Extensions. But I always wear them properly to get the most out of them and to give you a flawless look. You shouldn’t have tracks showing, leave-out not blending in well with your bundles, or a sew-in (Check out this article: how many bundles for sew in) looking like it’s about to levitate off your head because the foundation is horrible.

Remember, before you think about going to secure that bag make sure your sew-in is on point! With a flawless install, you’ll have the deal sealed as soon as you enter the room!

There’s no need for you to look less than perfect for the holidays.

Here’s what you’ll need to complete your sew-in from start to finish.

Sew-In Supplies You Will Need:

  • A rat tail comb to create neat parts
  • A wide tooth comb to comb hair neatly
  • Oil for scalp
  • Black Nylon Thread
  • Small Rubber Bands
  • Hook Needle
  • Duckbill Clips
  • Weaving Net
  • Wig Cap (depending on the technique used)
  • Flat Iron
  • Three bundles of hair (shampooed, deep-conditioned, and dried)
  • 1 Pack of Synthetic Braid Hair (optional)
shampoo hair

Prep Your Hair Before Weave Install

You should never install a sew in without prepping your hair first and choosing the best sew in technique for the ultimate installation.

Just think about it!

Your hair is going to be under an install for an extended period. Could you imagine the smell or damage your hair and scalp will have if you don’t prepare it properly

Shampoo and condition your hair with a product that has an oil like Argan Oil. I am absolutely in love with the Organix line of hair care products because the company has a variety of products perfect for your specific hair type and needs.

I also like Kim Kimble’s hair care line because it’s ideal for relaxed hair as well as natural styles.

To get started, shampoo and condition your hair. It’s your choice of how you dry it. The technique you use to dry your hair is your choice but if you allow your hair to air-dry or sit under a hair dryer make sure you add moisture back into your hair.

A great moisturizer is vital to prevent dryness while you’re rocking your sew in. As you are applying your moisturizer, pay particular attention to your ends and edges. Don’t go overboard with the product because a little goes a long way.

stitch tracks

Sew-In Stitch Techniques

If you want your sew in hair to last using the right stitching technique is essential.

Choose either one of these stitch types to secure your wefts to your braids/net and prevent sliding.

The overcast stitch requires you take your needle through the weft and pulling it throw. This stitch is the easiest and most used method for sew-ins. Pull the thread tight enough to ensure you don’t have slack.

The double lock stitch is the same as the overcast stitch, but this time you will loop your thread two times. The double lock stitch is the best stitch for maximum security of your install especially if you want to keep it in for a few months.

The lock stitch method is the same as the overcast stitch. When you pull the thread through the weft, you will take your needle and stick it through the loop. Pull snug to prevent slipping of tracks.

Full Sew-In Technique

If you want your sew-in to last longer and be the envy of everybody in your office, you have to make sure your braids are on point. Now, they don’t need to be as fly as Allen Iverson’s braids but almost!

A good foundation will make sure your sew in is flawless!

How to Sew In Weave

Start by leaving out a small section of hair around the sides and back to blend for a more natural look.

Create two perimeter braids (each one going to the temple of your head). Braid them both toward the back of your head. Create one braid (make sure to leave some hair out) that is going to go across the back nape area of the head. This braid will be your anchor braid for your back wefts.

Separate hair into three sections and slide down about a quarter of an inch to half an inch before you start to your braid. Braiding this way helps to reduce tension on your scalp.

Braid the rest of your hair and keep your braids small and neat. Small braids provide you with a flat and smooth look when your sew-in is finished and helps it to last longer.

These braids should be braided straight to the back. You can add synthetic hair into each braid. It helps your braids last longer.

Sewing Into The Braids

Take the braids and start to sew them down by placing your remaining loose braids in between other cornrows to ensure you get a flat base. Make sure you knot your thread a couple of times to make sure it’s secure.

Take your threaded needle underneath all three braids. Loop your thread twice and pull straight through. Create a knot and continue the stitching process until you secure the entire braid.

Continue the process above for each braid.

Apply oil to your scalp but don’t saturate the hair or scalp.

Remember! A little goes a long way!

Take the braids and start to sew them down. Place your remaining loose braids in between other cornrows to ensure you get a flat base. Make sure you knot your thread a couple of times to make sure it’s secure.

Installing the Closure

If you’re installing a closure, align closure with the part in the head. Leave about a ¼ of the closure in front of the hairline.

Put your first stitch through the closure and then stitch into the braid and through the closure and pull the thread through. Loop it through the thread and bring to the edge of the closure to secure a knot.

You’ll need help with the other side. Have someone hold the closure down as you secure the opposite side. Repeat the same process as before.

Don’t pull too tight because you want to protect your edges. Stitch the closure along the perimeter and the braid. Don’t leave large gaps between stitches because you don’t want any bunching.

Stitch closure down going toward the back of the head. Always stitch the sides first and then the back.

Begin sewing your bundles by doubling the wefts.

Start at the back of the head. Stick the needle through the wefts through the bottom braid and then through the weft again.

Complete 5-7 stitches and then knot them.

You don’t have to go through the weft with every stitch. Maybe every 3-5 stitches.

Make sure you go through the wefts when you get to the edge of the head and knot the thread.

Part the Closure

In the part, anchor the front of the closure to the braid

Use single wefts at the top of the head to reduce bulk.

Using a net helps to maintain your braided style for longer, provides fullness in areas where you may suffer from alopecia, to prevent damage to your natural hair and helps those with short hair. You can choose to use a net to reinforce your foundation if you have significant gaps between your braids, hair is short or if your hair is thin.

vixen sew in styles

Vixen Sew In Technique

(No more than three bundles at no more than 20 inches)

This sew-in weave technique is perfect for versatility. It allows you to pull your hair up into ponytails and different styles.

Refer to the Prep Your Hair section above before beginning your install. You want to make sure you protect your natural hair to prevent damage.

Leave some hair out for the perimeter ( to cover tracks)

Find the middle of your head and part down the middle. Leave about 2cm (½ fingertip) on the outside of each part.

Braiding for a Vixen Sew In

Braid the center hair that’s left out into a braid, so it’s not braided in with any of your future base braids. Now, Part hair from ear to ear and leave about 2cm (½ fingertip) on the outside of each part.

Braid the center hair out into a braid, so it’s not braided in with any of your base braids. Start braiding each section into a beehive braid (small circular singular braid).

Keep parts and sections small and tight to ensure a flat and flawless finished look.

Braid all four sections in the beehive braid. Use needle and nylon thread to secure the loose end of each braid by placing the braid in between the parts to make sure your foundation to be nice and flat.

Loop the thread and tie a knot twice to ensure it’s secure.

At this point, you can use your weaving net (if you choose to) and secure the net to the to the perimeters of each braided section. You should have four beehive net covered sections at this point.

Starting in the back with your first section, sew your track under the bottom braid. Continue sewing your tracks one on top of the other until you finish with the section.

Repeat this process for the other three sections

middle part sew in

Partial Sew-In

A partial sew in is perfect if you want flexibility in styling your hair in different ways. Most would consider it is similar to a quick weave.

You can get a lot of wear out of your partial sew-in. With a partial sew-in, you have more ability to allow your hair extensions to blend naturally with your hair. Updo’s are the ultimate hairstyle to rock when you get a partial sew in.

Refer to the ‘Prep Your Hair’ section above before beginning your install. You want to make sure you protect your natural hair to prevent damage.

Leave some hair out around the entire perimeter of your head. Braid this hair, so it doesn’t get mixed in with your foundation braids.

Also, braid a section of the hair at the crown of your head because this will be your hair left out after you’ve completed your partial sew-in.

Braid the back of your nape area.

This braid will make sure your back braids anchor your sew-in firmly.

Now, take the ends of your braids and lay them in between the parts. Sew each braid in the same as you would for the full sew-in.

Once you finish the braiding the rest of your hair in either a beehive pattern or straight back (this is entirely your choice), prepare your weaving net.

How to Sew-In Weave

While keeping your net flat and neat, make sure you cover the entire head with the net. Begin sewing your net on the side of your deep part.

Stitch the top of the net, next will be the sides, and the back is last.

You’re sewing your net to the braided foundation making sure you avoid braiding to your perimeter and center braids because remember, this is your leave out and essential to the partial sew-in. At the back, stretch your weaving net first and then sew the net to your braid to makes sure there’s no buckling.

Next, trim the excess net off.

Now you can begin sewing your bundles in until you get to the top using the fold-over method.

Unbraid your leave out and perimeter braids.

Style into your desired look and you now have a partial sew-in.

invisible part

Invisible Part Sew-In

An invisible part sew-in gives you a flawless look without having any noticeable tracks to distract from your look.

Refer to the Prep Your Hair section above before beginning your install. You want to make sure you protect your natural hair to prevent damage.

Braid your hair in a braid pattern where your hair has a deep side part. Begin your braid on each side in a semi-circular pattern. In the back, secure the braids with a rubber band and sew them in between a part.

Take your wig cap and stretch it over your entire head. The cap should cover your perimeter braids. Make sure the cap extends past your perimeter braids.

Get Your Wig Cap Ready

Begin sewing your wig cap to the perimeter braid. Feed your needle through the cap, under the perimeter braid, and then through the cap.

Use the double lock stitch to secure the wig cap to the braid. Continue braiding around the perimeter braid until you come back to the front of the hairline.

Now, start sewing the wig cap around the base area of your invisible braid. Continue sewing until your last stitch meets with your perimeter braid. Use a double lock stitch twice, and you’ve secured the wig around the invisible part.

Cut your thread, off and now cut the wig cap along the invisible part. Leave a little of the wig cap, so you don’t snip any of your double lock stitches. Trim off the rest wig cap around your hairline.

Measure them to get the proper length, so they meet at the beginnings of your perimeter braid. Make sure to overextend just a little bit to make sure your length is just right. Cut your extension.

Measure your track at the beginning of the base. Take the tracks and wrap around the base of your invisible part base. Make sure you overextend here as well. Cut your extension.

How to Sew-In Weave

Sew in your first measured track by placing your track in line with your perimeter braid.

Your track should lay smoothly in line with your braid, and the weft should face toward the back of your head. Go through your braid, underneath your extension, and pull the needle through the weft. Make sure you use your double lock stitch method while you sew in the entire track.

Secure your ends with a double lock stitch twice. Trim off any excess weft when you have completed the top of your head. Repeat this method for the invisible part section.

Now for the rest of your head, you can sew in your tracks by using the fold-over method to eliminating cutting your wefts.

To fill in the area left near your part. Take your track and measure from the end of your invisible part braid and just before the weft along the invisible part.

Cut that weft and pull your needle through the weft. Use a double lock stitch the thread and cut any excess thread.

Without cutting the double thread stitch on the other end of the weft. Place the track on the braid. Take the needle through the braid and the weft.

Create your knot to make sure the weft is secure.

Repeat this step once more.

For the rest of the weft use a single loop to attach the weft to the braid. At the end of the weft, double lock stitch twice to ensure the weft is secure on both ends. Cut the thread.

Continue this process to cover the entire area.

Finishing up the Invisible Part Sew-In

The last part is to create your closure for the invisible part.

Take your hair extension and measure the space left at the top of the head. Take your needle and thread, go through the weft, and create your double lock stitch.

Now, create a second stitch. Roll your extension until it forms a circle. Roll it once make a single knot, roll again, make a knot, and continue until you completely see the entire hair track.

Make sure you pull your needle through all the wefts as you are stitching. At the end pull the thread through the weft and, then, underneath all the wefts. Secure the wefts with two double lock stitches. Pull the thread tight and cut the thread. At this point, flip your closure over and spread the hair evenly around it.

Use your flat iron to flatten the hair.

Now, take your threaded needle through a few loops on the closure. Pull the thread through and knot with a double lock stitch.

At this point, you have your needle and thread connected to your closure. Grab a rubber band and secure the loose hair. Take the side of the closure with the loose string and place in the exposed area at the crown of your head.

Take your needle and take it through a piece of a track previously seen along your invisible part. Pull it through and stitch it down. Pull on the thread to get a snug feeling, but you don’t want it too tight.

Continue this same process around the entire closure. Your last step is to cut the thread to finish off your invisible part sew in.

Favorite Sew-In Techniques

Today I have explained how to install your favorite hair extensions with some great sew in techniques.

What is your favorite sew in technique?

Let me know in the comments below!

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32 thoughts on “Best Sew-in Weave Techniques You Should Know

  1. Kandy Johnson (Seasons Hair Co) says:

    I am no expert on sew-ins but there are some things that I stick to when installing my own sew in. My scalp is cleaned and then moisturized a little more than others because My scalp soaks up moisture fast. My foundation which is my braids have to be small and tight not too tight don’t want to pull my hair out lol. Sometimes I used braiding hair most of the time only on my anchor braids. When I sew in the tracks I double them up. I sew both around and through the weft.The ends of the track are where I usually sew through the weft (yes sewing through the weft can cause shedding not a lot so I don’t mind). After its done and styled I keep it wrapped. Every night I use oil to moisturize my scalp it’s easier to get through the tracks. My hair grows better when I install my sew in this way. Its what works for me and last over weeks before I may have to think about reinstalling the weave. There are a few different techniques to a good weave installation find what’s best for you.

    1. Kandy Johnson (Seasons Hair Co) says:

      I meant to say it last over 4 weeks before I may need to reinstall my weave.

    2. LaTaye Davis says:

      Great advice Kandy!

  2. Tamela Bell says:

    Ladies, please make sure that your closure is to your hairline. There is nothing worse than a closure that looks like its receding. If you don’t have any edges or your hair is weak there is a way to work around that by using a net. The net is a miracle worker in a pack. It keeps the majority of the tension off your hair while sewing and makes the sew in easy to take out because the thread is on the net and not your hair.

  3. Nicole Mason says:

    For me, second to having your bundles installed correctly, care for your install is just as important. The first time I got my hair installed, I did not know how frequent I should wash my hair (I had 3 bundles of Brazilian) or how to care for my scalp. On a couple of occasions, my scalp was white and raw in some places because I was not using the proper shampoo and conditioner. Also, I thought that if I put a light base oil on my scalp that the tracks would slip. My hair became damaged because of this & I vowed to never get a sew in again! However, after speaking with a certified hair care specialist, I was able to get the proper instructions and now I can wear my bundles with no trouble at all! PLEASE take the time to get educated so that your original crown is protected.

  4. Yana says:

    I did my first sew in in 2006 while I was in barber school. My technique has advanced so much since then. I have taken several weave classes to enhance my skill set. Even after doing hair for 12 years I continue to take classes to make sure I stay current on what weave services are being offered. I offer partial sewins, full sewins, various braidless sew-ins, and closure sew-ins. I always choose which method would be healthiest for my clients since there are so many to choose from, depending upon what look they are wanting to achieve. At the end of the day, I am all about healthy hair first. Weaves are optional for my clients. They don’t wear them because they have to. They wear them because they want to and they love them. They always feel like a new person leaving out of my chair.

    1. Tiffany Jackson says:

      Where is your location? I need someone to do my hair.

  5. Shonte Perry says:

    I started wearing sew-in a few years ago. My first experience, I left the hair in too long and it caused my hair to tangle badly upon removing it. Needless to say, my stylist had to cut the braids out and I had to start over. I also chose a different stylist -so just remember ladies to keep your scalp moisturized under sew-in. My next experience was with a professional braider. Her style was so different – First she washed and dried my hair. She then Fed in braid hair while cornrowing my hair straight back. She then sewed down the ends. Next, she used Wild Hair Growth Oil in between the cornrows before sewing in extensions. The difference was when I took my sew-in down this time. I had no problem taking down cornrows. They just easily came down. My hair had grown so much letting the new stylist do it. Long story short, keeping your scalp moisturized not soaked in oil but moisturized under there is key.

  6. Hazel Net says:

    You always want to take great care of your hair and scalp underneath your install so you can truly benefit from your protective style. Make sure to get a good trim on your ends and a tea tree or peppermint deep treatment for your scalp to help with itching. You can also use an oil that has tea tree oil or peppermint oil in it like Luxury Hair Oyl, on your scalp once or twice a week under your install to add moisture to your hair and scalp. Be sure to have a great stylist install your PLE bundles for you so can get the most out of your investment.

  7. She Brown says:

    Yes, the most important step is the care of your own hair. As my scalp is dry I shampoo and deep condition my hair. I love to leave in conditioner.
    There are a few different ways you can braid your hair for an install. The most popular are braiding your hair down or my fav braiding from left to right. Using a net is optional but is does help weft lay better especially if you have thick hair.
    After the braids are done then I add Aragon oil to my scalp. If you’re not doing the install yourself please make sure you have someone that knows what they’re doing.

    My fav sew in method is to sew around the weft, loop the pull. I don’t sew through the weft as that can damage the weft and cause some shedding. I also use the fold over method…I DO NOT CUT MY WEFTS until we are at the end of the install and no more hair is needed. Cutting the wefts also damages it and will defiantly cause shedding.

    O my! Dealing with these closures and frontals…. there are so many fo’s and don’ts to this game. Most importantly, please know or have someone know what they are doing. Take care of your own baby hairs/edges before installing. Make sure they are not too far back or not too far up on your forehead. Also using a swiss lace blends well.

  8. Ana Fraser says:

    I have been wearing extensions since 16. I’ve mostly done partial sew-ins. Taking care of your hair before, during, and after is so important. I agree that you should properly prep your hair by shampooing, conditioning, and oiling your scalp. If you need a conditioning treatment, scalp treatment, or your ends cut, then do so before installing hair. Weaves are in addition to, not in replacement of your hair. The goal is protection and hair growth. Your hair should never be damaged after removal. What has been my go-to favorite method for the last few years are lace closure sew-ins. All of your hair is protected. You don’t have to worry about trying to blend your hair to match the texture and style of the extensions. I spend less time in the morning maintaining my hair than I did when I Had partial sew-ins. You can still take care of your scalp and hair in between installments. You could also make wigs and just sew down the perimeter of the wig for a few days. Then you can remove your wig, shampoo your hair or your braid down. This may sound like a lot of work, but typically if you’re wearing 5-6 cornrows versus your hair is braided in a beehive, then it’s not that bad. This will also save you time if you don’t want to get your sew in shampooed and styled. You don’t have to sit under a hooded dryer for an hour or more just to dry your braid down, then spend another 30 minutes for styling. Another important thing to know, no matter what technique you choose, STOP wearing your sew-in past the time frame you should. You are putting your hair at higher risk to be damaged. I always tell my clients to not wear their extensions more than 6weeks. They also need to get weave maintenance done while extensions are in. I also warn them if you choose to wear your extensions past 6 weeks, you have to deal with the outcome of your hair. You may end up spending more money with me on treatments after removal if you choose not to follow my instructions. I care about hair care, not just making a quick buck! This is a great article, and much needed for the industry!

  9. MAiya says:

    The first couple of sentence took me OUT!! 😭 y’all wanna secure the back but Y’all need to secure your weave lol. But I have a love-hate relationship with sew-ins because of how long it takes to take out. I’m more of a wig girl. The last time I got a sew in was in March last year with PLE deep wave and it was CUTE!! I love how sew-ins are so versatile now. Can’t wait to see how the sew in/wig game advances in the future

  10. Zyhenika Hanes says:

    My Favorite Sew in Technique is a U Part.

    Weaves get a bad rep for the damage they can cause. But if you properly care for your hair underneath, weaves can be a great way to add fullness and length, change up your look or give your natural hair a break from styling.

    I like to tell my clients to invest in their hair when choosing to get a sew in because a lot of times the quality of your hair will also determine how your weave will look and also how long it will last.
    Condition! Condition! Condition! It’s crucial that you deep condition your hair before attaching a weave. Deep conditioning your hair plays a major part in your foundation under your sew in. Your hair will basically be close in for a period of time while your sew in is installed. It’s important that you condition it.
    Don’t use a product. Oils, crèmes, and hairsprays will weigh down your weave and cause build up which can lead to odors. sprays can dry out the strands. If you invest in a quality weave, you won’t need to apply product between washes. If you have a curly weave, a dollop of leave-in conditioner on the damp hair will control frizz.

    The key to a great sew in:

    Invest in awesome quality hair (i hear private label extension is awesome)

    A flat, secured braided foundation will make a huge difference with your sew-in because it will be laid Flat as well, it will not be bulky

    A weaving net can you be used, it will definitely help relieve some tension and your tracks can be sewn in on your weaving net so it won’t fill so type.

    Most importantly having someone that knows what their doing, Do you Sew in means a lot. An inexperienced stylist can damage not only your natural hair but your sew in as well if they’re unsure of how to properly install.

    Always cover your hair with a Satin Scarf or bonnet

  11. Tesha Crawley says:

    Sew-ins by far are my favorite. For me, the most important techniques are the braid pattern and the stitch one wrong move with either and the whole style can be thrown off. When it comes to the stitch of you sew the track to high on the braid it will end up making the track stand you don’t want that to be the point of a sew in is for you to have a well-kept secret if tracks are standing it isn’t a secret. My favorite stitch is the double knot stitch it always gives me the most secure and stitch and them tracks ain’t going nowhere. If the stitch is to lose then it will slide again not a well-kept secret. When it comes to the braids you should think of how you want the hair to fall, knowing this will determine which braid pattern you need to use. Many people say it doesn’t matter how the braids look under because they can’t be seen this is not necessarily true. The braids are your foundation funky braids that aren’t consistent in size or direction again could throw the whole style off you want to make sure that the braids are small this makes your foundation flat. If leaving out hair know that it is such thing as too much just like its such thing as not enough. You can determine how much by looking at the texture of the person’s hair. If they have thick hair you don’t need a lot of leave-out if the hair is kind of then or already straighten then you shouldn’t need a lot. If you have to straighten the leave out then your flat iron needs to be sent from the heavens above that way this sew in will look like it is growing out your scalp itself. After all this a satin bonnet or scarf and you in there looking every bit of flawless!!!!

  12. Candace Davis says:

    The most important part of a sew in is the base. People tend to forget that the point of a sew in is a protective style, so pre-maintenance is key. After washing and deep conditioning hair, clip your ends. This is extremely important because it cuts down on the shedding as you take your sew in out. After freshly clipped ends, moisturize scalp with your oil of choice. When getting braided, it’s important to know that the braids be secure, but not tight to the point where your scalp is hurting. Too much tension on your braids will cause the hair to break off and become damaged. After install, it’s beneficial to maintain your hair underneath by washing biweekly and keeping it oiled as necessary. Dirty, brittle hair also leads to damaged hair. Sew ins are very beneficial to hair growth, but if you don’t take care of your natural hair, it defeats the whole purpose of this protective style. Weave should be an option, not a necessity.

  13. Alia says:

    I’ve been getting sew ins for about 6 years now and I also install them on my clients. When installing on them, I make sure to braid tight to where it will last but not too tight to where they’re losing hair. I ALWAYS oil their scalp after braiding their hair, people forget how important taking care of your NATURAL hair is while having a sew in. I always use a bet too reduce tension on their hair and to also help the sew in last longer. When sewing, I learned that double knotting after every stitch is a huge NO NO! It’s like hell trying to take down the install when it’s knotted after every stitch, So now I only double knot the ends. As far as closures, we all know they start to recede so quick so the method I learned to reduce this was the elastic band method. I take the elastic band (from Walmart) and I measure from ear to ear but cut it slightly shorter than that length so it’s very snug fitting, then I sew that band to the ends of the closure and I put it on their head like a headband and sew the sides for extra protection. It looks super natural!

  14. Karen says:

    Hey ladies, all tho I am new to wearing weave. I have noticed a lot of women get the hair installed and don’t take proper care of the hair. Number 1, combing your hair is required. I just received my first sew in with PLE hair and I also used a closure. I would definitely recommend pre-plucking your closure before you ever install it. As the article stated yes, foundation and health of your own natural hair is important to have a flawless look and long-term wearing of the weave. I can say the next time I would prefer my braids to be smaller and in a different style., but let me mention I also shaved my sides and nape so that also makes a difference. However my hair still turned out nicely, but I must say if you are very relaxed when it comes to doing hair you should probably stick with a body wave or loose curl. My next set of bundles will be wavy. Lol. The straight hair is a lot of work for me.

  15. Lauren says:

    So, my first time wearing a sewin was a $200 hair lesson. It was my prom and I had always been a natural hair rocking sista.(never understood weaves the first 18 years of my life lol) So the process was about 2 hours & that alone gave me a headache right along with the tugging & pulling of my very sensitive scalp. (yes I still cry when I get my foundation braided lol) but I pulled through. my sew-in had a flawless finish, besides her going overboard with the oil sheen. (me & oil sheen are like oil & water. we don’t mix!!) My first time washing it was only a week later while in the Wisconsin Dells for our after prom shin-digg! And let me tell yall, I was L O S T ! it was right after the pool & I had 3.4k questions! how do I not get my braids wet? how do I know the shampoo didn’t get on my braids & IF it did how do I know if I rinsed it properly. well, my solution to that was just washing the end of weave and my leave out LOL! I was totally lost & confused & my friends were NO HELP! we all were taking the easy way out! but it never crossed my mind that the pool alone had already had my braids wet & filled with chlorine! after that trip, I probably FAKE washed my sewin 2-3 more times. lets fast forward to taking it down, once again L O S T! So I just started cutting string & tracks (oh cause this was box weave time & you don’t dare re-use that junk!). so now my scalp is on fire because I basically ripped the sewin out because my patience level at that age was a strong 2! now mind you, I have really THICK hair & it was all matted to my scalp that was still on fire. 4 hours & a bucket full of tears later I was finally done combing it out & I was scared to wash it but I did. that was the FIRST & WORST sewin experience i ever had. every sewin after that, I made sure my scalp was oiled, & now I only wear sewins for a month because I’m scared to wash my hair more than twice because my hair has a mind of its own. I said all that to say, just because your sewin LOOKS great doesn’t mean the foundation underneath is of quality. I’ve learned different ways to deal with my own hair while in a sewin. (my favorite is taking a rat tail comb, dipping it in oil & massaging my scalp with it while also keeping my hair from getting dry.) now that I do hair I want to learn techniques that’ll reduce stress on my clients head while also giving them a flawless sew in!

  16. Shonte Perry says:

    Ok, so I wanted to add to my post that when getting a sew-in, you should consider using a net cap if you have alopecia, thin edges or bald spots and for those with more healthier hair dome caps are good because they keep the cornrows intact and will prevent the matting and tangling when it’s time to remove your weave. I do think sew-in will eventually fade in this industry because wigs are healthy if not worn too much it can smother your hair and cause damage, however between wigs and hair infusions sew-ins may not be prevalent in the future.

  17. Julnelle fortes says:

    Sew-ins, sew-ins, sew-ins, oh how I love sew ins. I started off loving them on my self then when I decided to go to hair school I picked up on the techniques to do it on others. I will say after reading this article I never realized how many different ways there are to sew in I always used the lock stitch method and been hooked since. I do agree that the base or foundation for the sew ins is very important prepping, and braiding the right way will determine how long your sew in will last. Also choosing the right person to do it makes all the difference as well as having the patience if you’re doing it on your self. No matter if your sewing hair on braids, a net, or a wig, you wanna make sure your own hair is protected well. Bundles can be bought but edges cannot!

  18. Lance McBrayer says:

    I think that this article was very thorough and informative. Of course, there is no better teacher than practice, practice, practice. My full head weaves are $575 (without hair included) and the reason is because of my location along with the way it’s braided, the sewing technique (same as in article), the number of years I have been doing it and the value I put on my service, plus the time it takes to do a sew-in. I always, always have used a net (for extended wear and longevity) and keep my stitches closer for more security without pulling to tight. I really really appreciate all the wonderfully written articles by PLE. Let’s all succeed together.

  19. Porshe Gunn says:

    I have been doing sew ins since I was 12 (15 years). I still use the same techniques today but I have made a few adjustments to not only keep up with my the times but to also keep my installments looking as good as new as long as possible. I am one of many people who suffer from dry scalp. My scalp consumes a lot of moisture so I have to moisturize very thoroughly before installation. My personal installations are a 2 – 3-day process because I treat both my scalp and my bundles equally.

    -Day 1: I hot/ cold wash and condition my hair with OGX Moroccan Argan Oil. ** After, I deep condition with hair mayonnaise and a hot oil treatment for 45 minutes. Then I let my hair air dry and braid for my desired style using Shea Moisture braid up conditioning gel ( I swear by shea moisture and OGX). Then, I wash and condition my extension the same way but with cold water. Then I hang them to air dry. (If I dye them, I would do this the following day after they dry). The reason I braid on day one is that I am heavy handed so my braids are tight. It gives them time to loosen up to my liking before installation.

    **I learned from my aunt during my natural journey that shampooing with warm water and rinsing & conditioning with cold water is better for you hair as a unit. It helps with frizz, moisture seal, and breakage. I also realized that my hair has more shine after this process than it does with a complete hot wash.

    -Day 2: Seal my weft and hang them to dry for another. I also apply SM strength and grow serum for that extra layer of oil followed by a cap (I sew that on as well).

    -Day 3: Installation. I double my tracks on the first two bundles when sewing them in, but the final bundle is not doubled. I do however sew them close enough to keep it full but look natural with no track humps or bumps. It seems like a long process, but this is how I take care of my hair and I promise you guys, my extensions last me a year almost. I take pride in my hair and my craft. I tell my friends all the time about this process, but patience is not everyone’s greatest quality. The ones who do care for their hair as much as me and love the end results always come and find me and I’m not even a licenses professional.

    One thing I do not do is apply oil sheen onto my extensions. It takes the “body” and free- flow away from the extension. Argan oil is all I use. I wrap my hair my hair every night with a silk wrap and comb it down in the morning to let it breathe. I keep my comb and wrap in my purse just in case the weather decides it wants to shift. I stay prepared lol.

    I don’t do this for everyone. Just the one who allows me too. I take my hair down no later than month 3 of installation and do this same process all over again. Since starting this process, I have seen no breakage and extreme growth of my natural hair, my extensions look like new for months, I save a lot of money, and my hair stays healthy and beautiful. I love it.

  20. tshombe79 says:

    To start off I wanted to say that it is very important to educate your client on their own hair. A real stylist would not ever damage their name or possibly their career for $100 to $200. I get lots of private pictures from my hair pomeade (pomeade that I cook in my kitchen for hair growth, strengthening and lengthening) clients. They come to me for hair growth solution after stylists didn’t care. I get them with bald middles, no edges and eyes full of tears. Although, I love to be looked at as their hero. This damage is avoidable. What happened to stylists that turned a client away and refused to DAMAGE THEIR CROWN? Put my pomeade business OUT OF BUSINESS. Its simple. Dont just do HAIR CARE. How about if you CARE FOR HAIR? Love you all.

  21. Rosè says:

    As someone with 4c hair that is super soft I wouldn’t be able to do the method above. My hair does not go even close to straight and breaks off when braided. I just make my bundles into a wig and wear it. I think all woman should do a sew in on a wig cap instead. It prevents alopecia, makes the hair last longer, and doesn’t damage your hair from constant application of heat. This method is a very good method stated in the article. But that is what I would suggest for my kinkier and curlier ladies.

  22. Michele Henning says:

    Need help and clarification. Is a braidless sew in the same as Malaysian sew in?

    1. Private Label Extensions says:

      If you are referring to a regular sew-in, then no they are not the same.

  23. WaltercaX says:

    The frame is used more often metal and represents an arc fixed in racks or in a wall. For the arrangement of mono-glass used guide elements, which are located at the edges, bottom, and top.

  24. Michelle "Blondie" Vaughan says:

    I love the step by step breakdown for a Vixen sew-in; very informative! However, I would like a reason behind the only 3 bundles since it’s 4 sections and also why no longer than 20 inches???

  25. Shonte Perry says:

    My favorite sew-in technique is the full closure sew in. Where your hair is braided going to the back but it is braided with synthetic braid hair to make the foundation stronger and to prevent breakage of your natural hair. Also gives you the opportunity to add a growth serum or oil to your scalp to help keep scalp moisturized. Then a wig cap is placed on cut, and sewn down for a smooth foundation to use as if you were making a wig. I like this technique because it is easier to uninstall why protecting your hair and much better for your edges as well because there is less friction.

  26. Shakima says:

    I love a good vixen sew in with my hair braided down with synthetic braiding hair. Allows me to wash my hair while it’s braided down to maintain my weave better. I usually leave it in for about 3 weeks. Just enough time to see some new growth and reinstall the hair. The different styles I’m able to pull off with this sew in is awesome. High messy ponytails down to the classic pigtails. I’m not re a fan of too much leave out because my objective is to pretty much wake up and go.

  27. Allensia says:

    My favorite sew in technique is the wig method. I suffer from hair loss and I needed to find a way to still wear the styles I like without having to worry about my bold spits in the center. So when I do my install I use a weaving net and sew it around my hair making sure to protect my edges and the middle of my hair then I sew the wig on to the net and style the wig this method has help with so many clients that I deal with who suffers with hair loss too.

  28. Jasmine says:

    I have learned and tried many different sew-in techniques. My favorites would have to be the seamless sew-in. It leaves a flat perimeter for easy , smooth styling .

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