It’s no secret that weaves* are very popular among black women. It’s also no secret that majority of weave wearers today do not retain length because many of them concentrate more on the aesthetics of the style instead of the health of their own hair.
These skewed priorities are the cause of the seemingly counter-intuitive fact that one can wear a weave for 12 months continuously and wind up with hair roughly the same length as when they started.
Today I hope to do my part in correcting this injustice by helping some of you weave wearers learn how to retain length easily while continuing to wear the extensions you love.
First of all let’s get this out of the way. You own hair should always come first, not ifs no buts. If you know that when you wear a weave, you tend to use it as an excuse to be lazy with your own hair then weaves are a barrier to your ultimate goal of length retention and it’s time to give them up. Period.
Weaves should only ever be used as a tool to help you achieve your ultimate goal of long hair of your own. We are not looking to make weaves a permanent fixture in your life but rather as a metaphorical band aid and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with faking it until you make it!
Picking The Right Texture Weave For Your Protective Style
When wearing a full weave with no hair left out it stands to reason that you can pick just about any texture that you want, keeping in mind of course that the closer you stick to your own hair’s texture, the more natural the style will look.
I never thought this mattered much before but I now believe that when leaving some of your own hair out to blend with a weave, picking the right texture is very important. To pick the right texture, you must look to get extensions* that are either very similar to the default texture of your own hair or one that you can achieve with the minimum of manipulation.
What I mean by that is, if you have natural hair then you should pick a texture that resembles your hair as closely as possible or one that you successfully replicate with a braid out, twist out or with rollers.
Natural ladies trying to blend their own hair with straight weaves over a long period of time isn’t a great idea. You will find that you are having to flat iron* the leave out every single time you wash your hair, every time you work out or every time the humidity hits 60%. This is neither healthy for your hair as you can easily cause irreversible heat damage nor is it very convenient.
In spite of all the pomades and serums available to control humidity, they only work to a certain extent and worrying that your hair is reverting 16 times a day is a distraction that you really don’t need when protective styling.
If you learn to work within your texture constraints or you stick with easy to blend with extensions* you will enjoy the styles much more and you will start seeing real length retention returns from your protective styling efforts.
Curly weaves* are higher maintenance that straight weaves, I know. But so is your natural hair, just deal with it.
Originally posted 2013-07-19 15:00:06.