While a weave affords you a lot of versatility, and protects your hair at the same time, you can’t neglect your own hair while wearing one. Taking care of your hair when it’s weaved away will ensure that once the weave is removed, your new growth is healthy and lush.
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Anyone can wear weaves and still have healthy hair. You just have to take the time to show your natural hair and the weave some TLC.
Here’s how to do it.
Prepare Your Hair and Scalp
Get your hair in good shape before adding extensions. Take a break from the weakening chemicals in curl relaxers or dyes to get a head start in avoiding breakage. Make sure your hair is clean, well conditioned, and free of buildup from dead skin cells and styling products like hairspray. These can cause dryness, flaking, and itching.
If your scalp is dry and flaky, use a medicated shampoo that contains zinc pyrithione or selenium sulfide, concentrating the suds on your scalp. Leave it on for 15 minutes and rinse out. Then wash once more with regular shampoo and condition. Do this once a week for 4 weeks. If you’re still seeing flakes, visit a dermatologist before getting extensions. You may have seborrheic dermatitis, which can be harder to get under control when you have extensions.
Apply Oils to Your Scalp
Your hair and scalp still need nourishment. Work natural oils beneath the weave onto your scalp and massage them in. If the weave is made of human hair, getting a little product on it won’t hurt it, but synthetic hair doesn’t require additional products, so you’ll have to be careful not to get oils on it.
The biggest mistake that women make with extensions is wearing them too tight. This puts a lot of tension on the hair follicles, which can make your hair fall out. At worst, it can contribute to the most common type of permanent hair loss in African-American women.
Getting extensions should not be painful or cause headaches. If it does, they’re too snug. Speak up! Ask your stylist to loosen them before continuing. Clip-ins are the least damaging extensions because they can be removed quickly and require little to no glue or braiding. But they can cause hair breakage if they pull or snag your hair, so put them in loosely.