Every girl loves a nice weave with a confidence boost. The only problem, keeping your natural hair healthy enough to withstand the braids and weight! Each process should be used before your weave, and after. Always make sure to implement your own hair care regimen as well, but these are some basic tips to organize your hair schedule.
Your natural hair is going to need to be clean about 2 days before installation time. You don’t want your hair to be wet, damp, or have any left over washing products in your hair on install day, because that can leave nasty smells and your hair growing unwanted bacteria.
Wash your hair with warm water and shampoo (or another product you use to clean- I use apple cider vinegar*) until clean.
The conditioning is the important part, you are going to want it to be very moisturized and sealed for install time, so make sure to use one of the best (or a deep conditioner* is GREAT!!) conditioners you have on your shelf.
Which means alcohols, sulfates, or any chemicals that don’t look great in the ingredient list probably shouldn’t be used. Deep condition your hair under a hooded dryer* for 10-15 minutes.
Even if you moisturize your hair while it is in an install, it will not get the same nutrients that it does when it is not braided, so make sure you’re moisturizing with enough product.
My suggestion would be to use a great leave-in first, and then move on to an oil of your choice (castor, olive, and coconut is a great start).
This will ensure your leave-in is locked with an oil, and will stay locked for a while. You want to repeat this right after washing, and then right before you go in for your install, spray (LIGHTLY) your hair with some water and olive oil* to give it a sheen and protection.
Because your hair is going to be highly manipulated on your install day, you want to make sure it has a good night’s rest. One way to ensure that your hair is getting plenty of rest is to put on a protective style right after your wash day to gear up for the big day.
The objective of a protective style is to seal the oldest part of your hair-the ends. They are going to need a lot of moisture and any style that puts them in a lock.
Braids, cornrows, or small twists are great ones, and your hair will grow from this too. This will make the oil from wash day last you until install day, and your hair will be ready to be manipulated. A little tip: Taking a multivitamin during this entire process can REALLY help our hair grow and a great hair regimen helps it stay healthy.
Taking care of your extensions for the big day
Taking care of your gorgeous installations is very important, because we all want to use heat on our hair, and use them again for different installations.
If the quality of the hair is poor, then the hair will not last as long, but if the quality of care and the hair is good, lasting should not be a problem.
Washing your hair before or after an installation is simple and quick. First, fill a sink or tub with warm water and conditioner of your choice, making sure there are not a lot of suds.
Then, place your extensions* in and rub them from root to tip with product, making sure not to tangle in the process. Next, lay out a bath towel or hang line to let your extensions* dry (Just dab with towel but do not blow dry if not installed) and comb with wide tooth while still damp.
While installed, you have to be careful washing your human hair, getting it tangled can make it a hassle, but can be untangled.
You want to take whatever shampoo/conditioner products you have and lather it up from root to tip, never changing direction. To get into your braided hair, simply separate tracks and massage in products, making sure you rinse thoroughly. You can blow dry and comb out your extensions to give it volume again.
Detangling and heat
Detangling hair can be a struggle, but only use wide tooth combs and make sure the hair is not soaking wet when trying to get rid of knots.
Towel or blow drying while installed can help the process, and flat-ironing your hair while tiny knots are there can help to comb out.
Heat settings can be high or low, and I would personally suggest to use a heat protector or leave-in conditioner* to create shine and take care of hair.
Night time moisture and wraps
At night, your hair is tired from a days work. My suggestion would be to add a little moisture to your braided hair, but not too much (build-up is never a good outcome), and just a light product for your extensions every other night while installed.
Wrapping is very important so the morning hair is ready to go without styling if preferred. To wrap your hair, there are many different ways.
The goal is to seal your extensions ends and eliminate any chance of tangle. The one that most works in personal opinion is separating extensions into to parts and braiding each down. Then, take a silk wrap or cap (to hold in moisture) and wrap around head.
Install day can be a foreboding day ahead, trying to get everything ready, but adding your agenda to a schedule about a week before hand will make this day a breeze, and you can come out looking amazing! Comment below and tell us your best tips for preparing your hair and extensions for install day!