A good weave can make any woman feel glamorous. [Insert hair flip here.] But your hair can quickly turn into a hot mess if it’s not properly cared for. From visible tracks to bad blends, there are lots of things that can go wrong while wearing a weave. Celebrity hairstylist and Rihanna‘s mane woman Ursula Stephen (because RiRi’s weave is always on point!) tells us how to prevent these embarrassing hair mishaps from happening in the first place.
1 Your weave wasn’t put on right and your tracks start to show
A good weave can really boost your confidence and even allow you to switch up your look but the whole point of wearing one is so everyone thinks it’s your hair. If one of your sewn-in tracks decides to make an appearance, the whole look can be ruined. According to Stephen, this happens because the hair has been installed too close to your ‘leave out’, or the real hair purposely left out to cover the installation. The only way to fix it is to make a beeline to your hairstylist so he or she can completely take it out and reattach it.
2 The edges of your (real) hair start to come out
Losing your hair is never fun and when your edges go, that’s bad news all around. Stephen stresses the importance of keeping your edges intact: your hairline is one of the most important parts of the hair, and if you damage your edges, your hairline will recede. Keep this from happening by making sure your extensions aren’t installed too tightly. You’ll know if they’re on right or not because there shouldn’t be any pain involved once the weave is in.
3 Your weave is coming undone
After your weave has been installed, it should last about two to three months. The reason it might come undone before then is because it needs to be tightened. Stephen says most hairstylists will tighten the weave after washing it, so be sure to make an appointment with your mane man or woman every couple of weeks to have this done.
4 Your hair looks stringy
Two words: wash it. Just like your natural hair, your weave needs to be cleaned (once every two weeks; every week if you work out a lot). It can easily pick up bad scents, dirt and debris, much like real hair. So when your hair, the extensions or both start looking stringy, give them a good scrub-down. You can always wash your own weave but it’s usually best to see a hairstylist to make sure the natural hair underneath gets dry and doesn’t mildew (which requires hitting your roots and fully drying them with a hairdryer; see point 8). If you can’t get to a stylist for a thorough wash, use a dry shampoo to mask the scent and sop up oil in the meantime.
5 Your weave starts to shed like crazy
When your weave starts shedding profusely every time you run a brush through it, or you’re finding bits and pieces of hair everywhere, it’s time to rethink your hair. Synthetic hair often sheds more, which is why it’s always better to purchase real human hair when you can. ‘Hair extensions are an investment, so choose wisely,’ Stephen says. That, plus always letting a professional install it for you, will always give you the most natural look.
6 Your weave looks like an actual wig
While there’s nothing wrong with wearing a good wig every now and again, you definitely don’t want your weave to be mistaken for one. This usually happens when the hair is synthetic and has an unnatural-looking sheen to it, or the weave has been improperly installed.
7 You got a bad blend
Not all hair textures and colours are created equal when it comes to weaves. It may be fun to play with them but don’t forget that you have to actually blend in the weave with the hair that’s growing out of your head. ‘Thats why it’s very important to find hair that matches the texture of yours,’ Stephen says. For example, if you plan on wearing your hair curly, don’t install straight hair extensions. Instead, go with the curly weave to match your (naturally) curly hair.
8 There’s a bad smell coming from the weave
What causes a bad-smelling weave? Mildew. When washing your weave, make sure you get all of it (and the natural hair underneath) completely dry; otherwise mildew will grow. You can eliminate the bad smell by washing thoroughly with a clarifying shampoo, then focusing a hairdryer directly on the scalp to make sure the roots of the weave dry.
9 The weave doesn’t match up with your hairline
A good weave should blend in well with all of your hair – including your hairline. ‘If your weave looks obvious, chances are it wasn’t installed properly or the colour doesn’t match,’ Stephen says. Have it redone by your stylist.
10 You’re not wearing your weave the way it was styled
Too often, women with weaves will wear their hair in a style it wasn’t meant for. For example, wearing a weave up in a ponytail when it was installed with the intention of you wearing it down means tracks tend to show in abundance (not a good look). To keep this from happening, inform the hairstylist beforehand about the various hairstyles you’d like to wear so he or she can sew it in properly. Also, before leaving the salon, make sure the hairstylist has cut or shaped the weave into a style that looks best on you.
Source: Cosmopolitan Magazine, SA