I have been having weave hair extensions for nearly 2 years now so I thought I should write about it as they are the best type of extensions I have found for my hair but before I had them done I had only assumed you could have weaves if you had afro hair or similar, which fortunately isn’t true!
To tell you the truth I didn’t know what to title this post, and weaves are for pretty much all hair types, but this is really more for people with hair like mine, Caucasian/European hair, I just wanted to mention it so nobody thought I was trying to be racist! I can only really talk from my own weave experience on my type of hair.
|Me, in the centre, with my weave! As you can see it’s very natural, my friend on the right has naturally thick hair|
Why I tried a Weave
I have tried lots of other types of extensions such as glue in, Raccoon extensions, micro loop and clip in. I found many different problems with both the extensions and the application, mostly due to my hair being so fine and not having that much of it. All of the extensions I had done were at good salons, the clip in’s weren’t cheap ones and all were from properly trained extensionists.
All of the individual extensions felt so weird when I touched my hair or head, I couldn’t run my fingers through my hair and I continually had to brush them out to ensure they didn’t get tangled.
Different fixtures all felt quite uncomfortable against my head whilst sleeping until they grew out, and once they start growing out they get even more tangled up. There was a lot of maintenance and ‘rules’ such as not using oil treatments in case it dissolved glue or made bonds slip out which was a nuisance.
I found that the person fitting the extensions also mattered a lot, as if the bonds are too heavy they would either slide out or weigh my thin hair down and rip it out at the root, which caused some small bald patches. Clip in extensions simply slid out of my hair when I was wearing them, even if I backcombed and used hairspray or dry shampoo on the underneath of my hair where I was clipping them in, within a few hours that dropped out and the clips started to slide. I should make note that I tried many different clip in sets, good quality ones with silicone on the clips that should stop slipping but they just didn’t stop it as they didn’t suit my hair type.
Should I get a weave?
A friend suggested a weave and explained what it was, I was intrigued but assumed I couldn’t have it, as her plaited hair she showed me under her weave was very thick, so looked strong enough to support the wefts of hair but I was advised that the hairdresser will use nylon thread mixed in with the plait to bulk up the hair and strengthen it, so I thought I would give it a go. It took quite a while to find someone locally to do this as most afro carribean hair shops were a bit nervous to touch my hair as they had never done it before. But I persevered, I was sure I could find someone!
What is a weave?
A weave is where wefts of hair (wefts are the long strips of hair extensions) are sewed onto your own hair. On European type of hair they tend to section off the top of your own hair, so it will cover the wefts so you can’t see them. They then plait your hair from either side of your head, meeting in the middle and then sew the hair onto that plait so the weft is horizontal. I think there are also different options for other, stronger hair types but this is the way mine is done.
Where do I get the hair for the weave?
This depends on where you are getting it done. I started googling and looking at Instagram for pictures of weaves, and contacting different companies to ask if they sold their hair to non-professionals so I could take it to a salon to get woven in.
Luckily I stumbled across the beautiful Instagram hair pictures of Beauty Works Online the link to their Instagram page is on their website home page. I purchased a colour ring, which is a tiny bit of a hair on a ring of all of the different shades of extension that they sell, so you can match up which colour you need at home. I worked out my shade with the help of some of my work colleagues (thanks Emma, Sallie and Beth) and ordered the Celebrity Choice 14 inch weft extensions which can be seen here and are £134.99. They arrived super quick and in a nice presentation type box, it did make me giggle how my box of hair was so fancy. From the one box I got a full head of hair extensions plus enough for 1 extra row which I kept in the box to use for the next time I needed new hair.
To compare the costs, it cost me £300 at a salon for the full head of 16 inch hair extensions, which had to be cut to 14 inches by my mum as the ends were so thin, and £134.99 plus £45 installation to get the full head of Beauty Works extensions put in so a total of £179.99.
The difference in the hair is astounding. This hair is so much thicker, softer, smoother and just all around better. It’s been nearly 5 months now and the extensions are still in good condition and I still have the extra hair that is enough for one row so I can have that installed at a later date.
The beauty works Celebrity Choice weft is the best quality of any hair extensions I have tried. I am not sponsored by them in any way. They are worn by a lot of celebrities for example Alesha Dixon wore the extensions during Britain’s Got Talent. I would also be interested in trying out their volume weft hair at some point. I will have to take out my weave when I am travelling so perhaps when I get back from that in November, ready for Christmas parties. Plus I am hoping to go a bit darker then, perhaps even red!
How to look after your hair weave
You need to look after any hair extensions, as they don’t get the natural moisture from your scalp that normal hair would get. You also need to make sure you keep them very clean, especially for weaves, as the plaits under your hair are hidden away and need TLC to ensure they are super clean and hygienic.
To keep the roots and plaits clean and fresh I use a clarifying shampoo or one with tea tree oil which is a natural antiseptic you could also just add a few drops of tea tree oil to your normal shampoo. Always wash your hair in the shower so that the hair is flowing downwards, don’t tip your hair upside down as it might get tangled up.
Once the hair is wet shampoo and massage well into the scalp on the top, sides and in between the hair wefts, whilst trying not to rub the wefts. Rinse this off and repeat, making sure that you have washed the braids underneath the wefts too.
Smooth the shampoo through the lengths and ends a bit to ensure those are washed, but don’t rub. Rinse off until the water is clear. Dab with a towel rather than ‘towel drying’ roughly and then apply conditioner from your ear level of the lengths and down to the ends of the hair. Use something deep conditioning. I leave mine on for a minimum of 20 minutes, maximum overnight (I put on a shower cap so it doesn’t go everywhere) and sometimes I mix the conditioner with coconut oil or olive oil before applying. The best treatment I have found is L’oreal Professional Mythic Oil Masque.
Rinse the conditioner well to remove and, again, dab with the towel rather than roughly towelling dry. At this point I apply serum or hair oil to the ends to seal them, and if I want my hair straight, the Tresemme Keratin 7 Day Straight product, which works really well with my weave to keep it sleek.
Blast the braids that the wefts are attached to with the hairdryer to ensure that they start drying first, as the hair is braided it will take longer to dry. If you have time to let hair air-dry then do this, as this is the best way to ensure the hair lasts a long time. If you have to blow dry, use a cool heat and a heat protectant spray, I use the Tresemme Keratin heat protectant spray.
To maintain the hair, try not to use too many heat styling tools as the extensions are real human hair so they will damage just as your own hair would if you continually used heat on it.
I find the extensions really hold a wave or curl well with my curling wand, so I can curl it once and it lasts a few days.
When you are going to bed, brush your hair with either an extension brush or a tangle teezer and then braid your hair in either one side braid or one on each side, to keep the hair smooth while you sleep.
If you are using slightly cheaper extensions then I recommend a de-tangling spray, they usually sell these for kids or afro hair in supermarkets and beauty supply shops.
Products I recommend for extensions
- L’oreal Professional Mythic Oil Masque
- Tangle Teezer hairbrush
- Tea tree oil
- Batiste fresh
- John Frieda, Frizz Ease nourishing oil elixir
- Tresemme Keratin Smooth heat protection spray
- Tresemme Keratin Smooth 7 day smooth treatment