Before installing your new weave, you should make sure that your hair is in its best condition. The worst thing you want to happen is months of wearing a protective style on top of damaged hair. Although it is easy to get used to the low maintenance of wearing a weave, you must always remember to care for your own hair.
Pre Installation Tips:
- Make sure your protein/moisture balance is in optimal condition. Too much/too little protein or moisture can lead down a path of many problems. Keep your hair moisturized by frequently using leave in conditioners, oil, and deep conditioning treatment. Maintain a good protein balance with protein based deep conditioning treatments. Good diet and health can also keep your hair strong and nourished.
- Trim any split ends. Leaving split ends untreated will allow damage to travel up the hair shaft. Self trim or ask your stylist to trim your ends before beginning installation.
- Start with clean hair and scalp. When doing any style for a long period of time it is most important to have clean hair and a clean scalp. You don’t want to have product buildup or flaking early into your installation. This will lead to an itchy scalp that may not be easy to throughly clean once your weave is installed.
- Don’t install right after chemical process. If you plan to perm or color your own hair before installing, wait at least 2 weeks. Any chemical process is stressful to hair and can cause damage if not used properly.
During Installation Tips:
- Use heat in moderation. Human hair extensions can be damaged in the same ways as our own hair. Be especially considerate when using heat on any leave out hair. Many weave wearers do not think about the damage done to leave out hair until it is time to remove their hair. Avoid any disappointment in the end with constant use of heat protector and moderate use of heat.
- Treatment after swimming. It is likely that you’ll find yourself at the pool or beach more often while wearing your extensions. Do not let any water with harsh chemicals like chlorine or salt stay in your hair for an extended period of time. After swimming, throughly wash your extensions and scalp. It is best to first rinse your hair and scalp for a few minutes before shampooing.
- Keep your real hair moisturized. This is one very important part of having a successful installation. Be sure to keep your hair moisturized through spray moisturizers or oil. Although our scalp naturally produces sebum, you need to make sure that your hair constantly receives moisture. If your scalp is naturally oily then you may not need to moisturize.
- Be gentle. It is easy for some to mistreat their extensions because it is not your real hair. You will maximize the life of your extensions by treating them with care. Do not brush or comb excessively.
After Installation Tips:
- Wash extensions the day before. Whether you will be taking out your extensions yourself or with the help of a stylist, always start with clean detangled hair. This will make it easier to have your extensions ready for storage in between installations. Don’t worry so much about having your own hair washed until after the takedown.
- Be patient. You don’t want to take out your hair when you are in a rush or have somewhere to be right after. Make sure that you have the time and tools to remove your weave. Patience is the key to many problems and could save many hair strands.
- Check for damage. Once your hair has been removed you want to assess your hair throughly for damage. Check for protein, moisture, heat, and split end damage. This will help you prepare for treating your hair during your first wash with your weave uninstalled.
- Let your hair rest. So you’ve made it through this process, now it is time to recover your hair. You may think that your hair has been recovered while wearing extensions, but most of the time extra care will be needed after. Let your hair rest by avoiding chemical or heat processes for at least a week. Low or no manipulation styles will be best. This is a key time to begin scalp massages and oil treatments.
Caring for your hair is easy or difficult as you make it. The most important things to remember are to listen to your hair and don’t be afraid to try something different.