Have you been contemplating getting extensions and not sure which directions to go? Have you had a bad weave or extension experience and decided that weaves and extensions are not right for you? And lastly, are you not sure what the options are, but you know you want more hair? Well, let me help you ease the stress. The one thing I know about all too well is weaves and extensions!
I started specializing in extensions and hair-replacement services fifteen years ago and experienced many things that work and do not work. As usual, I love the opportunity to share my knowledge in an attempt to help someone else. Here are a few brief explanations for why I choose the weave and extension methods that I have stuck with and improved upon over the last fifteen years!
When it comes to weaving, I have stuck by and continue to stick by traditional weaving as the best weave option for natural black hair, period. I often get the side-eye when I tell my clients (after they do all kinds of research on the newest and latest extension methods) that traditional weaving is the best way to go when you are looking for a protective style that will yield all the benefits that a weave has to offer.
WHY TRADITIONAL WEAVES:
- The most protective style that allows the hair to be completely or majority coverage.
- Works best for natural hair that grows best when braided and left alone.
- Allows you to have any texture, color, or length that you desire because the natural hair is completely or mostly covered.
- When the natural hair is covered under the traditional weave, you can oil the scalp and maintain good scalp care without ruining the weave style.
The other method that I use often is the braidless method using micro links. And I will say, while I highly recommend the traditional method for black hair, this install gives me so much satisfaction! It’s because of the flawless, flatness, and seamless blend that gives this install rave reviews! The feeling that I get each and every time a lay this weave gives me Life! You may ask if I love it so much, why do I not recommend it to everyone? And I can answer that question easily; hair texture matters.
I have found more successful installs using this method on my straight to wavy hair clients. Does that mean it does not work for non-straight hair or wavy hair people? No, it does not. What it means is it is easier and less stressful to the natural hair. When using this method, it is for blending. Blending happens easier when textures match. Ok, let me explain. The majority of my inquiries for the braidless method comes from people who desire to have straight or wavy hair installed. When this is the look you opt for, it is hard to keep it blended with naturally curly hair without excessive heat. Excessive heat to maintain a hairstyle is an Epic Fail.
Now, if you are naturally curly and you opt to blend a braidless method with your naturally curly tresses, you must consider the degree of tangles, dryness, and different degree of curl patterns, times two. Then it would be best if you considered what they look like over time. When dealing with curly and coily hair, you must be even more delicate when detangling with micro links. Being gentle can be difficult when it comes to detangling and maintaining this type of installation. Impossible? Not at all, but definitely not the best weave option for curly or coily hair. Over time, the links can become tangled into the natural curls making the takeout not so pleasant. So if you opt to have this method keep in mind, it may be fun but take the necessary precautions.
WHY BRAIDLESS WEAVE:
- Best for seamless flatweaves.
- Best for blending straight and wavy hair and still maintaining a sleek contoured hairstyle.
- Takes the minimum amount of hair for the maximum fullness.
- It dries quickly because it is not covering the entire head.
- It lasts longer than other blended methods.
- Part the hair almost anywhere on the head.
Although these are the two methods of weaves and extensions that I do, I have my reasons for choosing these two despite having so many to choose from. Other methods of applying extensions include adhesives or strands, so I am not a fan.
- TAPE-INS – this method requires hypo-allergenic tape to be applied to the natural hair strands. While this method has been around for a long time and works well for some, I cringe at the idea of adding glues and adhesives to the natural hair strands. They are removed with a special adhesive removal. Because this method is a tape, it lays the flattest and invisible of all methods.
- GLUE-INS – this is a very popular old school method that many black women are familiar with. It is very temporary and allows you to place the commercial hair anywhere you desire to add enhancements. Many women have enjoyed (and still do) this quick fix weave look that can turn a hairstyle from drab to fab in a matter of minutes! However, this glue’s long-term damage can damage the hair and scalp over time and can be irreversible.
- STRAND METHODS (fusion, micro links, Brazillian) – these methods are applied by adhesive, beads, or wrapped with elastic. They are all created by individual pieces or strands applied to the natural hair. It gives the illusion of free-flowing hair because there is no wefts or base that the hair is attached to. What I do not like about strand methods, and the reason that I advise against them is due to the weight that the strands add to the strands of the natural hair. Most people lose a few strands before they even realize the hair is being pulled. While this remains a popular install method because people enjoy strategically placing individual pieces of hair wherever they desire, over time, not having a stronger foundation to attach your weave to will weaken the hair shaft.
THE TAKE AWAY:
Weaves are a great way to enhance your hair without a lifelong commitment. They also yield many benefits to protecting the hair from the harsh everyday elements we can not escape. Some weaves offer more protection than others, and some methods are more temporary. If you desire to have a less protective weave style, it is important to take all the necessary precautions to keep your hair strong and healthy. I always tell my clients, “take care of your weave like fine china,” And that’s exactly what I mean!
I really hope I helped you decide on getting your next or first install! But, I may not have addressed a particular question or concern that you may have. If so, please do not hesitate to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like more info about weaves and extensions, visit us at hairweavesandextensionsmd.com.
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