My First Weave: Your NTK On Sew-In Extensions And Good Protective Styling

That's right. We said protective. Not all weaves are going to automatically destroy your natural hair, btw

My First Weave: Your NTK On Sew-In Extensions And Good Protective Styling

by Jazmin Kopotsha |

What's in a weave? It's a question that many of us have explored, contemplated or simply teetered along the frayed, misunderstood edges of long before Kylie Jenner’s wigs found there way into popular conversation you know.

While hair extensions in their entirety are a huge and well acknowledged industry on the whole, unless you grew up in and out of afro hair salons with an inherent understanding of such, the world of weaves, sew-ins and lace fronts have taken longer to assimilate into mainstream hair chat. And even then, as with many types of hair styling that isn't quite so readily shouted about, there's a fair share of myths and misconceptions around what different types of weaves are and the effect they'll have on your natural hair.

Newsflash: not all sew-ins are created equal and no, wearing one doesn't automatically mean you'll be left with dramatically retracted hairline reminiscent of Naomi Campbell's bald patches circa 2012. Not if you look after it properly.

So in the spirit of education and America's Next Top Model style hair transformations, we ventured down to visit the experts over at Darren Scott Salon to talk sew ins and get our very first weave.

WATCH NOW: The Debrief Gets A Weave

Now you’re probably thinking 'that looks great and all, but how do I avoid being another one of those natural hair horror stories that my mum used to tell me about?’. Good point. We asked stylist and salon owner Darren to answer the important questions you've been scouring the internet for.

How to look after your weave: what’s the first thing to remember?

Darren: Treat it like you would your own hair. Wash weekly. Do not overload with heavy oils or heavy serums. Do not abuse heat if you want longevity from your extensions. Do not keep in longer than 8 weeks.

How do I wash my weave at home?

Darren: Wash standing up in a shower. Stoke through shampoo and conditioner. Vigorous rubbing will cause your frontal/ closure and or hair extensions to matte.

What products should I use?

Darren: I love to use Philip Kingsly Moisture Extreme shampoo and conditioner. Followed by the scalp toner which is an astringent type product with a nozzle. Obviously, when wearing a weave your scalp is never fully cleansed so the scalp toner kills bacteria on the scalp and minimises flaking and itching.

Always invest in a good shampoo and conditioner. After spending several hundred pounds on hair bundles, frontal and install why buy a drugstore shampoo and conditioner for £5? Other good brands are Kerastase, Shu Uemura, Loreal Professional, Ojon and Shea Moisture.

How often should I wash my weave?

Darren: You should wash once a week. Invest in a hooded dryer. Babyliss do one for about £50-£60. The main mistake people make is not drying their natural hair under the weave properly. This can lead to your hair to get mould and mildew. Also smell. I know we have all walked past someone with a bad smelling weave. It’s due to not washing or not drying thoroughly.

Lots of people complain about itching, what do you recommend?

Darren: Phillip Kingsley Flaky/Itchy scalp toner,, as mentioned above.

Do I really need to sleep with a silk hair wrap?

Darren: It is very important to sleep with a sip or satin texture scarf so you do not dry out your hair or roughen your hairs cuticles. Cotton scarves and pillowcases absorb the moisture from your hair which will eventually leave it dry and brittle. If you are a rough sleeper and your scarf always comes off during the night get a silk or satin pillowcase.

Are there any big mistakes you see people make while wearing weaves?

Darren: Tearing through the hair when detangling or styling. This puts tension on your natural hair and will lead to traction alopecia where you will develop bald spots or a thinning hairline. It is also important to use a good extension brand that doesn’t get tangled when wet or with day to day wear because the constant tugging and tension will lead to hair loss. That’s why I love All Shades Covered Hair. Good quality extensions, frontals and closures. The best part is they are very affordable and can be bleached and dyed.

What’s the best way to keep the hair looking fresh?

Darren: Save yourself time in the morning by covering with a scarf at night. Sleep in bendy rollers or plait in two at night to get loose waves the next day. Keep serums and hairspray to a minimum so your extensions have movement.

Hair provided by All Shades Covered

Follow Jazmin on Instagram @JazKopotsha

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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