Updated: May 4
Weaves are beautiful, affording you versatility while protecting your hair underneath the weave. We spend a lot of money for a weave install that we hope will last for two to three months, and ordinarily, weaves should last this long.
However, most of us neglect to take proper care of both the weave and the hair underneath the weave. Because of this neglect, the weave doesn’t last as long as it should, and we do not get the most out of the weave installation. In fact, some women experience adverse effects such as hair damage, hair loss, and sometimes moulding because of lack of care.
It is therefore important that you take proper care of your weave as well as the hair underneath the weave for optimal results.
In this article, we teach you just how to care for your weave:
Taking care of the weave itself
Shampoo the weave: Use a sulfate-free formula to wash and condition your hair every three weeks. The sulfate-free formula removes dirt build up without drying your hair out. To really cleanse your hair and scalp, concentrate the shampoo on your scalp and use your fingertips to massage it in. Work the shampoo down the weave, but make sure that the shampoo is not sitting entirely on the weave, as this can cause matting, making your weave difficult to detangle. Also ensure that there is no residual shampoo by spending a little extra time rinsing your weave and scalp.
Condition: Your weave does need to be conditioned. Use a conditioner with slip to make it easy to detangle your weave and keep your hair underneath hydrated. Conditioning a weave also helps to define curl pattern if any. As with your shampoo, also ensure that there is no residual conditioner by spending a little extra time rinsing your weave and scalp.
Use a microfiber clothe to dry your weave: When you have a sew in, it is important that you soak up excess moisture after a cleanse. The best way to do this is to use a microfiber clothe. Wrap your weave in this microfiber clothe for half an hour while you continue through your hair care regime.
Dry your hair thoroughly: If you want to ensure that your hair is thoroughly dry, you may consider sitting under a dryer to ensure that your hair and weave is fully dry. If they do not dry properly, there is the risk of unsightly mouldy hair and a mildew smell to your hair.
Detangle your weave: If you will take the extra time to detangle your weave every day, it will prevent the weave from getting matted and tangled, and you can use the weave for longer. You can use your fingers or a comb that is wide-toothed to get any snags out of your hair. Begin by working out the tangles at the hair ends gently, and work your way slowly up to the roots. If there are major knots in the weave, use your fingers to untangle these knots before you use the comb.
Use heat minimally: You will agree with me that most of us wear weaves to give our natural hair a break, and I’ll advise you to give it just that; a break. As much as you can, avoid using heat. Use heat only when you must. The trick is to use a few bobby pins at night for straight weaves so you can avoid using heat during the day. You can also use pin curls for voluminous curly weaves.
Use products minimally: Don’t dump all the products in the world on your weave in a bid to make it shinier or silkier. Trust me, it doesn’t work, and what you are left with is greasy hair and a lot of dirt build up.
Take out the weave at the recommended time: Be sure to take out your weave at the recommended time, as there’s a reason for that recommendation. Even if your hair still looks good beyond three months, don’t give in to the temptation to keep them in longer than that. As the time for removing your weave nears, there will be an easily discernible difference in the tightness of your braids underneath. The weaves may start to lose their lustre, and your hair and the weave can end up matted together. Don’t forget that the health of your hair should be more important than the look.
Taking care of the hair underneath
Cleanse the hair underneath: You must keep the hair underneath the weave as clean as possible. This means that you clean your hair regularly. You can cleanse your hair by using a cleanser that has a nozzle, one that is able to directly dispense products to your scalp with little or no trouble.
Oil your scalp: Continue to keep your scalp moisturised by oiling it regularly with whatever oil you used before you sewed in your weave. Oiling the scalp when wearing a weave is perhaps the surest way to combat flakes and itching. Be careful though to not apply the oil anywhere else but on your scalp. Use an applicator bottle that has a nozzle tip to deliver the oil to your scalp without smearing it all over the rest of your hair.
Use a leave-in conditioner: It is best to apply a leave-in treatment with antioxidants to neutralise free radicals on the scalp surface, as taking proper care of your scalp is vital if you must ensure that your hair is healthy.
Sleep with a satin pillow and/or scarf: This is the best way to protect your weave at night, as satin helps your hair to retain moisture while keeping your hair soft and silky.
Make sure your edges stay laid: Use a dab of light holding pomade on your edges to leave them smooth. Make sure that you avoid alcohol based products as they will dry your hair out.
Give your hair a much needed break: It is important that you don’t have your hair in one weave or another all year round, and that you give your hair a break every now and then. I advise my clients to wear their own hair in between weaves just to give the scalp some time to breathe.
Don’t forget to visit your stylist
I understand that most of us wear weaves because of the convenience it offers. We don’t want to spend so much time at the stylists’, but if you want the hair underneath the weave to be as healthy as possible, it is better to have a professional do the job correctly.
Go for a wash and a style every two weeks if you can manage it, monthly if you cannot manage twice a month. You will not only get a professional to help you maintain your beautiful weave, but you also get to maintain healthy hair and scalp underneath the weave. Trust me, it is worth the time and the expense.