Weave is great. You can style, fry, dye, and cut the hair any way you want to without ever damaging your real hair that is neatly braided and tucked away underneath. Flexible styles, hair protection, and an overall love for weaves is one reason why many women—myself included—still wear them despite loving what we’re working with naturally.
Yeah, it’s all peaches and cream until you get a bad weave and your hair health starts going south. So while getting a weave might work wonders for things like protecting your hair and getting a ton of new growth, it can also cause a lot of unnecessary and highly avoidable damage.
But no need to fret! There’s actually a few precautions you can take before and after getting a weave* to ensure that your hair remains healthy during installation, styling, and take down.
Do not leave it in too long.
I know you guys have heard the horror stories of women leaving their weaves* in for 6 months to a year— growing mold and experiencing severe hair loss and matting. Now, most women won’t leave it in that long but some keep it longer than they probably should. Not to the point of mold, but to the point of dirt buildup, breakage, and foul smells.
You should only leave your weave in for 2 to 3 months—and 3 months is pushing it if you are someone who exercises/sweats frequently and can’t easily access your scalp. Loosening braids, too much product or dirt build up, itchiness, and unpleasant smells are good indicators that it’s time to take down your weave.
If you do plan to wear weave* all year, please do multiple installations instead of wearing one weave the whole time. That is not only unhealthy, but you absolutely need breaks in between weaves to take care of your real hair and keep it healthy!
Uninstall it correctly.
We play a lot of attention to how weaves* are installed; the braids have to be neat and not big or lumpy, it has to be sewn or glued in correctly to avoid pulling or breakage, and the list goes on. But when it comes to taking it out, some women seem to not care as much unless they are planning to reuse the hair. This is a mistake.
When uninstalling a weave, you need to do it as gently as possible to prevent unnecessary breakage—this is especially important if you are transitioning because your hair can be fragile when dealing with two different textures.
This means you shouldn’t be tugging or yanking out tracks, thread, or braids; you should also be very careful not to cut your own hair when removing sewing thread. If you glued your tracks in, avoid breakage by working oil through your scalp and gently sliding the tracks out of your hair.
Basically, the key to successfully uninstalling a weave—no matter how it was put in—is to take your time and be gentle with your hair.