Bad weaves annoy me. It may sound harsh but in the fast world we live in with computers having almost as much processing power as the human brain and being able to chat to your friend in China while seated on the loo in Philadelphia there is just no excuse for a bad weave. A good weave like a fine wine should only get better with age.
Here are my tips to getting an outrageously natural looking weave.
Leave some of your own hair out – Now I know some of you favor a full weave with a cute blunt bang or gorgeous swoop bang and I’ve seen some really good work but when natural is at the top of your wishlist, nothing says natural like your own hairline and scalp. I’ve always had excellent weave radar in that I can tell it’s a weave from 20 meters away and with the sudden popularity of lace wigs, I have fine tuned my dish to include them too! Even when I can see the lace wig or frontal ‘scalp’, and I’ve seen some very well done applications, it doesn’t compare to your real scalp. So leaving that little bit of hair to cover the tracks is a definite yes, I often leave out a horseshoe section at the top for the part and a little on the sides. If you want to wear your hair in a ponytail then leave half and inch around the perimeter as well.
Start with a flat base – If you go to a stylist to have your weave installed then this shouldn’t be an issue but for the self installers among us, don’t underestimate the importance of having your cornrows as flat as possible. Even thick natural hair can be braided in such a way as to hide any lumps and bumps that will undermine the finished product.
Wear believable lengths – A good rule of thumb is to never wear a weave that’s more than 4 inches longer than your own hair. I know a lot of you will not agree with me on this but hear me out. However good your weave is, sometimes you get that ‘separation’ of hair between the tracks and your leave out, this would not be a problem unless you own hair is 2 inches in length while the weave is 18 inches, it just doesn’t look , well, believable. An extreme example I know but if your hair is say, 7 inches long, you can get one pack at 10 inches and another pack at 12 inches. The idea is to have the longest weave (12 inch in this case) at the bottom to give you the length and the shorter weave at the top closer to your leave out hair. You end up with natural looking layers that you can have a good stylist refine with a bit of snipping to give a more seamless look. As your hair grows, you can then increase the lengths of your weaves to match. I have only just started wearing 18 inch weaves because my hair is now 14 inches long!
Put away the hair products – All you need to care for a weave is a good natural shampoo and a good conditioner. Maybe a bit of heat protection spray if you wish to use a flat iron. Nothing more. Greasy weaves weighed down with product does not scream natural to anybody!
I don’t know about you but I only want people knowing I’m wearing a weave when I tell them that I am! In the next article I will give you possibly the single most important tip on getting a natural looking weave. Read part 2 here.