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My hair retains length amazingly well while wearing a sew in weave. It is braided, protected, and hidden away from the environment which is a great recipe for growth, provided you do (and not do) a few things.
Not washing your hair. Some ladies are determined not to shampoo their hair or extensions because they fear messing up the weave or causing it not to last as long. This is an unfounded concern if you are wearing quality hair extensions, because great hair washes and wears as well as the hair growing from your scalp. So keeping your real hair clean creates a better growing environment and eliminating buildup from your weave makes it look better also.
Not conditioning your hair. Your hair needs the same things while wearing a weave as it does when loose. Moisture, protein, lubrication and other nourishing properties are all provided by hair conditioners. And again, if you are wearing quality hair extensions, a good conditioning session will restore them to like new and your real hair will remain healthy as well.
Constant heat. While on your quest for the perfect “blend” of your leave out with your weave, try to utilize heat free methods. Use a couple of magnetic rollers to straighten and smooth or rods to curl. Applying a flat or curling iron regularly will cause damage to that area leading to breakage.
Not moisturizing. Although your hair’s natural sebum remains on your hair which helps you to retain moisture, you should still moisturize occasionally by spraying your real hair between your tracks.
Leaving it in too long. A sew in weave should be kept in a maximum of 10-12 weeks – and that is maximum! Hair that is more coiled may need to be taken down sooner, like around 8 weeks. A lot of times people allow the weave to tell them when it is ready to be removed, waiting for it to look “bad”. The thing is, if you are wearing great hair and the wefts are sewn securely it is not going to look bad! So to prevent matting of your hair remove the weave at twelve weeks or less.
Too much tension. Braiding your hair too tightly can cause so much stress on your strands that will cause it to break. Yes you want it to be secure but if you see your scalp being pulled, folded or begin to break out in tiny bumps, the braiding is too tight. Also sewing the weft too tightly causes damage as well. The thread can act almost as shears if you pull it too tightly around your braids. It is completely unnecessary to pull that tight.
Like I said weaves are an awesome way to protect your hair, change up your look and allow your hair to grow but only if you take proper care of it. The biggest mistake people make is completely buying into the “its my hair because I bought it” mantra. Yes the extensions do belong to you, but at some point you are going to remove them and you will want your real hair to still be attached to your head when you do!