I have been known to keep weaves for a long time, so long that I’m a source of wonder amongst my friends. I currently own some weaves I have had since 2010 and what is my secret?
I wash my hair.
I’m not even trying to be funny here. Those girls you see, with the candy floss looking hair and the pungent smell that follows, we all know they don’t wash their hair. However, I know people who in 2013 insist that you don’t have to wash your your weave often and quite frankly this makes me want to weep. In my opinion, if you paid good money for the weave, it follows that you should take good care of it too.
Nonetheless, this isn’t a rant. I know a lot of ladies have problems with washing their hair while its in a weave, and whether your hair underneath is relaxed or natural, the following guide should make the process a lot quicker and easier to understand.
Virgin Hair (e.g. Brazilian, Peruvian, Indian Hair etc.)
This is probably the easiest type of hair to wash and condition. Please note that if your weave is glued in as opposed to a sew-in, you need to be extra careful to prevent the glued wefts from dissolving.
- Divide your hair in to two sections as if you were putting it in a pony tail and rest them over your chest. Gently de-tangle with a paddle brush or wide toothed comb.
- Wet your hair with warm water in a downward motion, starting close to the top of the weft where the tracks are. I find this much easier to do while in the shower, but you can do it over the sink or the bathtub with a bowl of water. Be very careful as we don’t want to saturate the tracks beneath the weave.
- Once the hair is wet enough, apply a small amount of moisturising shampoo in a downward motion to remove the initial dirt and excess oils from your hair. I recommend Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Shampoo, because it stops my weave from feeling brittle and dry. You’ll find that the hair is very hard to lather up at this stage, but this is normal. Rinse, then repeat this process again until the water runs clear.
- Apply a good conditioner to the hair, again in a downward motion. I would recommend the Herbal Essence Conditioner to accompany the shampoo mentioned above. Leave it in for about 15 minutes and rinse. Alternatively you can co-wash instead of using the aforementioned shampoo. Just be sure to rinse thoroughly to prevent product build-up.
- Finally, it is probably best to air dry the hair or sit under a dryer. Some people add leave in conditioners or oils to the hair before they dry it but I find this unnecessary, as we would have already moisturised with the conditioner. It is imperative that your tracks are dry before you leave the house or go to bed, otherwise they will fester and you get that funky smell!
- I wash my hair at least every 10 days, but it depends on how much product you use in your hair. The texture of the hair also matters and as a general rule the curlier the hair, the more you will need to wash it to maintain the curl pattern.
Human Hair (e.g. Milky Way, Premium Now/Too, J’adore)
Not a lot of human hair can withstand regular washing, and sometimes the price is so low that you do not need to reuse it. From my experience, Milky Way is okay to wash once, but if you wash Premium Now hair you will end up with one packet installed instead of the three you started with. Hair labelled as ‘Human Hair Blend’ is also good for two or three washes, provided you are very careful. With human hair the method is exactly the same but be extra cautious as it will definitely shed more.
Synthetic Hair (e.g. Batik)
I’m yet to come across someone who has tried to wash synthetic hair, but I daresay you would end up with a lot of blood, sweat and tears. It’s a bad idea ladies, don’t do that to yourselves!
Above all, you need to take good care of your natural hair under the weave. Yes, you can keep a weave in for about three months if necessary, but I would recommend leaving it in for one month maximum. This gives your scalp time to breathe every four weeks, and enables you to treat your hair in order keep it clean and healthy.