There is nothing as spectacular as a woman with healthy looking and well-groomed hair. It is a great sight to behold and increases one’s confidence. It is also a fact that not all women have the long, silky hair that is coveted by many. Thus many women have to put more effort to achieve a great look. Thankfully, the invention of hair extensions such as weaves is a blessing to many in achieving that desired look.

Weaves work for all women because they come in various texture, length and even colour. If you have a receding hairline or are suffering from baldness, worry no more as a weave can help conceal all these mishaps without anyone suspecting it.  Weaves generally fall into two categories – natural or synthetic. Normally, the natural weaves are more costly than the synthetic type and are easier to style but they require more maintenance such as regularly conditioning and moisturising them since they may become dry and brittle.

Methods of weaving

Bonding. This is a method where tracks of the weave are glued onto the hair roots with synthetic glue. It stays in place for about two to three weeks. If the hair is not well maintained, the glue used can make your natural hair weak and susceptible to breakage. Ensure that you wash your hair and treat it twice a week and also oil it. Bonding is a good style when you want your natural hair to grow thicker and longer.

Sew-ins. This is probably one of the most popular weaving methods. Most ladies wear this kind of weave where the natural hair is braided and then the weave is sewn on the braids track. You could either choose the partial sew in or have the whole head weaved. The advantage of having the whole head sewn in is that the hair takes a break from the daily combing and pulling and thus gets some body. Hair sewn this way can last up to three months if well maintained. Human hair allows you to wash, style and blow-dry just like you would do with natural hair. It is important to always ensure that the braids forming the track are dried completely every time you shampoo the weave to reduce chances of bacterial and fungal infection.

Fusion. This is a weaving method that is gaining popularity although it is quite expensive and time consuming. It is also known as the strand-by-strand method. It gives you a natural look since the weave is glued to strands of your natural hair. This kind of weave is taken care of as you would with natural hair although when removing it, a professional must do it to avoid damaging your hair.

To maintain your weave, regularly wash your hair with a shampoo followed by deep conditioning.  Ensure that the braids are completely dry particularly for the sew-in weaves.  Then oil the scalp with an itch-relieving cream or oil. Do not oil the weave as it may tangle and frizz. Use non-greasy hair products when you have a weave on.

You can style your weave using rollers and going under the dryer, or style with a blow dryer and tongs. Ensure the weave can take on heat before you start styling and use heat-protecting products for styling. Some synthetic weaves should be allowed to dry naturally after towel drying.

Published in December 2013 issue