I've wanted to write about this topic for a while now because I get a lot of questions on whether or not it's a good idea to wear a weave (extensions) to grow out natural hair "faster." To go along with my experience of wearing weave to grow out my natural hair, I also did some research. I wanted to share with you all some BEST PRACTICES when utilizing this method of transitioning from relaxed to natural.
Often times in society there are numerous negative opinions on black women wearing weave. It's argued that black women wear weaves and wigs to try and fit in with their white counterparts, which in turn is a form of self hatred.
I would have to disagree with this notion wholeheartedly, because when I wore weave during part of natural hair transition, I did it for two sole purposes: Style and Growth.
The two times I wore extensions during my transition, my hair grew tremendously. I had a sew in both times and only kept it in for about two and half months each time. I treated the hair like I would if it were growing from my scalp. I gave it the same care and attention that I would my real hair. I think that's the difference in having a good weave experience while transitioning. Some people don't take care of their weave as they would their real hair and end up having damage done to their hair after taking out the extensions.
So, if you're interested in trying weave during your transitioning process, follow these simple tips!
1. Before even getting your weave installed (sew-in) be sure to do a serious deep conditioning treatment with heat. My favorite product to deep condition with is the Macadamia Natural Oil Deep Conditioning Masque. This stuff goes on like butter and has TONS of oils and nutrients to prepare your hair for the sew in process. I generously apply the conditioner to my hair in sections, gently detangle and sit under my hooded dryer for 15 minutes.
2. Do not get your hair braided too tightly. I know this may sound like it's defeating the purpose, but it's extremely important to not pull and snag your hair too much during the braiding process because this is where the breakage will begin. You won't see it immediately, but upon taking out your extensions you will see the damaged hair that has been sitting there for months and be DEVASTATED. Again, if after you get your sew-in and you can't close your eyes, you know IT'S WAY TOO TIGHT. You can usually tell how tight a braid is after you've had at least 5 or so done. If you feel that way, speak up early and make the person aware so that they can do it a little looser.
3. Get good quality hair. The best hair to transition with, in my opinion, is human hair; specifically Remy hair. This hair is tangle free, really low-maintenance and barely sheds. Of course, this hair is luxurious so it cost more. But the good thing about it is you can take it out and re-apply it. So, in the end your saving money! ;-)
4. For the duration of time that you have the weave applied to your hair care for it as you would your natural hair. Wash it every two weeks and maintain it. Pay special attention to the parts of your hair that you have out. When I had my extensions I had the majority of the front of my hair as well as some of my sides and back out so that I could do more versatile styles and have a more natural look. These area's need special attention. Do your normal pre-poo and deep conditioning regimen to keep your hair rejuvenated and alive!
5. After two months or so, remove the weave and wash your natural hair thoroughly, deep condition with heat and apply a protein treatment. The protein treatment will act as a great reconstructer and give your hair the moisture it's been lacking. Also, don't forget to get those ends trimmed in this process as well. This is the perfect time to go to the salon and get at least a good 2 inches cut to maintain those ends!
6. Do not be alarmed when you take out your weave and you have some shedding of your natural hair. This is absolutely normal and is expected. If you are transitioning you will see your new naturally kinky/curly hair meet your relaxed hair. That line of demarcation is bound to cause some shedding. But don't sweat, start rocking some twist outs, braid outs, flat twists or bantu knots to give your hair a rest.
7. Don't forget to moisturize hair daily while you rest it. Jojoba oil, coconut oil and argan oil can be your best friends in this process. Use oil and use it liberally.
8. If you do choose to reapply weave again during your transition, just ensure that you follow the above steps, focusing most on daily maintenance of your natural hair underneath. Don't ever neglect it in the process. Try your best to maintain the moisture level of the cornrows underneath the braids by applying oil to the scalp and deep conditioning any hair that is left out bi-weekly. Oh yeah, don't get too cute and forget to protect your hair with a silk scarf at night. The scarf or silk bonnet is CRITICAL in the maintenance of not just the weave but your natural hair that you have out! ;-)
That's all for now curlfriends! Please share any of your experiences below!!
|Me and my natural hair inspiration. My sissy.|