Extensions can be great protective styles to utilize any time of year. Whether you decided to wear long tresses or a curly mane this summer, your weave is an investment.
And like all investments, extensions needs to be cared for. Your hair extensions and your natural hair underneath need special attention every day, regardless of your hair goals.
If you follow these instructions, your natural hair will grow healthy and strong and your hair extensions will look fabulous.
1. Purchase Quality Hair Extensions To Make Your Weave Last Longer
It’s a frustrating fact: the best hair extensions can be more expensive than the hair application itself! But, it is a part of the investment.
Sub-quality hair extensions will shed quickly, creating a less than spectacular looking weave. Quality extensions are hair extensions made with 100% virgin hair that has been properly cleaned and prepared. In general, they have not been treated with chemicals or hair coloring.
If you purchase high quality hair extensions, you can use the hair extensions for several installations. Consult with your hairstylist about where to purchase high quality hair extensions.
2. To Make Your Weave Last Longer, Consider Wearing A Net
A net is a mesh protective covering, designed to protect your hair and help your stylist not sow into your braids. Ask your hairstylist about using a net. Different stylists have different opinions about using a net. We’ve outlined some below:
Pros To Wearing A Net:
- A net will help your weave last longer because it helps keep your braids in place.
- A net protects your natural hair from the weave itself, as your hairstylist doesn’t have to always sew into the braids.
- A net allows broken areas to grow because they will be totally covered.
- A net allows the stylist to add more extensions to places where she did not braid, resulting in a fuller looking weave.
Cons To Wearing A Net:
- A net is super uncomfortable. You can’t get in there and scratch!
- A net can make your weave feel tighter, especially in the beginning.
- You do not have the ability to really wash your own hair, which is important for growth.
Talk to your hairstylist about your hair goals, and decide if wearing a net underneath your weave is best for you.
3. Leave Out As Little Hair As Possible To Protect Your Hair And Make Your Extensions Last Longer
The hair that you leave out is vulnerable to severe breakage because it is susceptible to pulling, rough touching, and heat damage. Sometimes we handle our natural hair like we handle our extensions, when in reality our natural hair should be treated much more gently.
Ask your stylist to leave out only a small portion of your hair, depending on your preferred style. Braiding away your own hair will allow it to grow one or two inches, rather than break off! Also, it will make your weave look more uniform, depending on the cut and style.
4. After 5 Weeks, Get a Professional Touch Up To Make Your Weave Last Longer
Schedule a touch up with your hairstylist about four or five weeks after your weave is put in. Your stylist will re-braid the parts that have grown, touch up hair extensions that are loose, trim dead ends, and care for your natural hair.
A professional touch-up will help your weave last a bit longer and maintain its well-groomed appearance.
5. Wrap Up Your Extensions Around The House And When You Go To Bed
Depending on the texture of your hair extensions, it’s best to keep your hair up when you’re sleeping or working around the house. Keeping your hair up will prevent unnecessary wear and tear, alleviate frizz, and preserve a natural curl pattern without the use of heat.
In general, curly hair should be twisted, and straightened hair should be wrapped under a scarf, but consult with your stylist to decide on the best way to preserve the hair texture.
Also, as noted below, keep your natural hair tucked away behind a scarf when you sleep. It will help your weave look well-groomed when it’s time to go out.
6. Blow-dry Your Braids After Washing Your Hair
Some of us like to believe that the natural hair underneath our extensions requires little maintenance, when it fact it requires extra maintenance in order to preserve a hairstyle and support healthy growth. Your braids, after all, are the foundation of your weave.
After you wash your hair, always sit under a hairdryer, or blow-dry your braids underneath your weave. Use a medium heat setting so you don’t burn your hair and scalp. This step will help prevent a moldy odor, and will keep your braids in top condition.
7. Do Not Apply Excessive Heat to Your Extensions To Make Your Extensions Last Longer
Of course, you are free to give yourself a few curls once and while, but avoid blow-drying and straightening your hair extensions every time you wash your hair.
Your hair extensions are prone to the same damage as real hair, and too much heat will decrease their lifespan.
So, if you want your hair extensions to last, choose a hair texture that you like and save the extra blow drying and pressing for special occasions.
8. Care For Your Exposed Hair Like it’s Your First Born Child
Your exposed hair or leave-out (your edges, hairline, and your “part”) is the most critical element of your weave. Firstly, it’s your natural hair and deserves extra care and attention.
Secondly, the condition of your exposed hair is what will make or break an awesome weave. If your natural hair is broken, doesn’t match the weave’s texture, or is a mismatched length, the appearance of your weave will suffer. So, care for this part of your body like it’s your baby. You’ll thank yourself for the extra ten or 15 minutes of weekly work when you still have a healthy hairline in five years. How do you care for your exposed hair?
You can begin by deep conditioning your exposed hair every time you wash and use a shampoo that’s right for your natural hair texture. Also, as noted above, wear a scarf around your edges when you go to bed.
Whether you decide to wear a weave this summer is your choice. What is important is whether or not you know how to care for your hair. These very simple hair care tips will help your weave last longer and look its very best from the day you have your hair extensions installed to the day you have it taken out. And remember: keep your weave in for 10 weeks, 12 weeks max.
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