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What Not to Do When You Decide to Weave it Up!

AYSIA NESMITH

Posted on February 26 2020

Some of the things we hear are Unbeweaveable!
What Not to Do When You Decide to Weave it Up!

I’ve always maintained the belief that my hair is one of my many fashion accessories. The style I choose to wear it in is dependent on how I feel. I can wear braids, real hair, fake hair, natural, or relaxed—whatever floats my boat really. However, I am a real stickler when it comes to hair care. There’s no way I’m going to spend an arm and a leg on hair that is not mine and not know how to care for what grows from my head.

 

Last spring I received a phone call from a dear friend (we will call her Kim) about a major episode she was having with her hair. Thinking back, it’s hilarious, but at the time it was no laughing matter. The phone call went something like this:

Kim: OMG Kristin, I just took out my weave after three months and my hair feels like dreads!

Me: Wait, why was your weave in for three…

Kim: *panicked*…. after I took out all the tracks, my hair was so dry! I didn’t comb it or anything; I just went into the shower to wash it. OMG I’m seriously about to go to the barbershop and have them shave it all off!!

There was more to the conversation but I believe the point is clear. The truth is everyone has experienced self-inflicted mishaps with their hair at one point or another and I am yet to meet a black woman who was born with the understanding of how to care for her hair. In fact, most of us were raised with myths that still prevail today. Oh, and for the record, Kim knows much better now.

So let’s talk about what went wrong:

1. Leaving the weave in for three months – Sew-ins are effective as protective and low manipulation styling, but don’t forget about your hair. If you go bald what exactly will you have to sew on to? 

I’m not a frequent “sewer-inner”, but if I decide to get one, it stays no longer than four weeks in my hair. I know girls who successfully leave their weaves in longer, but that’s my limit.

Before the sew-in is installed, I make sure that I do a protein treatment and a deep condition. I also moisturize and seal my hair to avoid brittleness. As far as washes go, I continue with my weekly washing. Depending on how far apart your tracks are sewn in, you might be able to reach your scalp (try shampooing using an applicator bottle). The same goes with moisturizing your cornrows under the weave.  If there is enough space between your tracks, you should be able to get some moisture in.

2. Not combing/detangling – Bre had three months worth of shed hair sitting in her hair. They say we lose about 100 strands a day, so 100 x 90 = 9,000 loose strands.

Anytime you go on a hiatus from combing your hair, you have to make sure you get the shed hairs out because they are the ones that cause the tangles. They latch on to other hairs, causing knots and breakage if not handled properly.

2. Not combing/detangling – Kim had three months worth of shed hair sitting in her hair. They say we lose about 100 strands a day, so 100 x 90 = 9,000 loose strands.

Anytime you go on a hiatus from combing your hair, you have to make sure you get the shed hairs out because they are the ones that cause the tangles. They latch on to other hairs, causing knots and breakage if not handled properly.

When you start combing your hair, make sure not to comb through any knots. If you encounter a knot, you’re better off taking it apart with your fingers than raking through with a comb.

3. Shampoo method –  Aside from not detangling, she did not wash her hair in sections and had a considerable amount of new growth. Shampooing like the girls in the commercials was definitely the wrong way to approach the situation. All it did was help those 9,000 shed hairs intertwine with the rest of her hair, creating a bird’s nest.

After all was said and done, the best advice I could give Kim was to saturate her hair with a detangler or conditioner with good slip and work in sections to try to take the knots apart with her fingers first. She experienced some breakage but was able to salvage most of her hair—nope! no shaving went down at the barbershop.

Remember, in whatever styles you choose to turn heads with, your hair’s health comes first. Fashion comes and goes, but your real hair is yours to keep don't let this be you!

 

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