1 . A good weave install always starts with a great braid down.
Hair braiding is an art. There are numerous ways of braiding down your hair and is all depends on the type of install you are getting. Personally I am a fan of the circle braid, however not everyone can use it. The circle braid technique enables a versatile install that you can wear up in a high ponytail, but you need to have at least 3 inches of hair to use that method successfully. Vixen install is another popular method.
A good braid down should feel comfortable and not be too tight. If it is not done properly the braids will cause tension on the hair roots and cause pain and in worst even cause long term damage and hair loss. If your braids feel too tight you should immediately unbraid and redo the braiding part. I ask my clients while I am braiding if they feel any pain or discomfort.
If you are unsure on how to braid down your hair you should definitely seek professional help. I am famous for having very light hands when braiding so I did a video on you tube explaining the braiding technique used for a circle braid. By watching it you would at least know what to expect when going to a professional weaveologist.
2. Great weave is all about great hair quality.
The quality of the hair is crucial for a successful weave install. I encourage my clients to see it as a long term investment. Good hair quality lasts for a long time and can be re-used for a year or longer if maintained properly. Bad, low quality hair seems to be popping up everywhere these days and unfortunately there is no such thing as good cheap hair.
I have heard about cheap hair from mountain goats being sold as virgin hair and clients getting lice and chemical burns from cheap hair; even grave plundering of hair. Cheap hair might look good in the package until you open it and smell the corn chip odor, a smell you will never get rid of. Cheap hair is chemically processed and dipped in silicone to look shiny, however after a couple of washes you’ll feel the dryness tangling into a forever bad hair day.
I vote for real virgin quality hair donated by healthy women at the temples in India or bought ethically directly from donors. The hair is strapped in a ponytail before collected in a single cut. All the hair strands face the natural direction from root to tip, which prevents tangling. There are no chemicals or processing of the hair except from cleaning, combing and steaming the hair into the right texture. The virgin hair shades in natural black – a black hair colors with various natural shades of dark brown. No bundles are alike since they all come from various donators. But don’t worry too much about the shades differentiation – when installed it will look more natural with shade variations and can always dye virgin hair into any color you like.
Great hair quality has a natural bounce to it, the end feels soft and natural and gilded through your fingers like a charm. It is an amazing feeling wearing premium quality weaves.
A good thumb rule is to always buy hair from professional hair brands such as Fabhair.com and never from cheap hair vendors that do not care about weave hair quality or source. The sourcing of premium virgin hair is expensive, so I would be aware if a bundle of 20 inches cost less than $150.
3. Brazilian, Peruvian, Mongolian, Indian, European, Eurasian, Scandinavian hair – to me they are all really the same hair.
There are a lot of myths about what kind of hair is the best quality to get. Suppliers are marketing all kinds of ethnicities, however for me it all comes down to good or bad quality hair. Basically all virgin hair comes from India or Asia and is steamed into various textures that reflect the ethnicities. Personally I love the Virgin Brazilian textures since they seems to blend more beautifully and the top grade quality is usually used for the Brazilian textures. Way back the mafia in Brazil stole hair from girl in the street by forcefully cutting it off, however today the Brazilian hair collecting business is gone and we all know that no Brazilian woman would ever cut their long saved hair pride willingly.
Sometimes I also hear hair companies refer to European or even Scandinavian hair, but the real source of all hair in the industry is India and Asia.
4. Treat your weaves and your own hair differently
When weaves are installed properly, they really look like your own natural hair. The weaves give your own hair a well deserved rest from exposure to sun, styling, products etc, that why it is referred to as protective styling. I always recommend my clients to treat they own hair and the weaves as two separate entities. If you have a leave out, you should be more careful with it than with the weaves and use low temps on styling tools and a heat protector before styling it.
5. Put your weaves to sleep
A key to maintain beautiful weaves is to wrap it up before going to sleep or sleep on a satin pillow case. Believe it or not, cotton bed sheets can really mess up and dry out your hair. I usually twist my hair into a bun and wear a turban cap before going to bed. This way my weave looks great every morning and I even save time on styling.
6. Yes, you can do anything with weaves. I mean anything!!
I have heard client asking; “Can I swim and workout” what if they fall out?”. The answer is simple; when weaves are installed professionally you can do anything you like. In fact that is one of the best reasons to choose weaves over other extension techniques and wigs. Weaves are long lasting and secure and create full freedom. When Rihanna and Beyonce rocks the stage tossing their hair back and forth many times they are wearing weaves.
7. Weave causes a lot of confusion.
Recently Beyonce posted an Instagram picture after removing her weaves. Immediately all the news papers around the world jumped on the story about how she had cut off her beautiful, long hair. After a few days she was back wearing longer, thicker and more beautiful weaves than ever. Wow, did she grow all than hair in just one day? Wearing weaves opt for a lot of stupid questions, however that’s included in the price for a head-turning beauty.
8. How many bundles should I get?
Clients always ask me: “how many bundle should I get?”. Today a lot of companies are going down to low weight bundles to lower the price to customers. The Virgin Brazilian hair normally comes in 100 gram bundles (3.5-4 oz), however the Brazilian textures feel more full than same weight of i.e indian hair.
If a client wants to achieve a natural look and has quiet long natural hair, I would recommend two bundles of hair. However if the clients wants a more glamorous look at least 3 bundles of hair is recommended. The celebrities normally install 4-5 bundles of hair to get a super vixen look.
9. Get the weaves in staggered lengths.
When investing in weaves I recommend clients to buy them in staggered lengths, especially if you are looking for a natural look. Natural hair always grades down in a natural way, so if you are looking to get 18 inches of hair you should get one 14″, 16″ and maybe two 18″ bundles. The weaves natural end tips always looks the best in its natural state and I prefer to cut the extensions as little as possible after install. Also it saves the client money.
10. Single track vs double track weaves.
A weave is hair sewn together on a track. Actually until recently the weaves normally consisted of two tracks glued together, so called double wefted, to make the hair density look fuller. Today, the premium hair manufactures have come up with new innovative sewing techniques combining 4 sewing machines, so called quad weaves, which is shed free. This means that premium weaves now comes with single tracks. The track is thinner and more versatile, still with the same hair density and this makes the install less bulky and more seamless. As a weaveologist we used to split the double tracks for doing the front invisible part, however today everyone uses closure pieces or their own leaveout. If you asked me a year back I would recommend double tracked weaves, today definitely single tracks.
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