How Do Weaves Work: All you Need to Know!

Hair care

As a young lady who prefers natural beauty to makeup, I was recently looked down upon by my boyfriend when he saw me walk inside a salon to buy a weave. He did not say it but I could see the disbelief in his eyes. I wanted to explain everything to him but it hit me that as a man he most probably will never understand women buy weaves.

“Honey, you never told me that you wear a weave. Do weaves even work in the first place?” I knew where this conversation was heading to. Am an independent lady who pays her bills. However, once in a while my man does decide to spoil me and I don’t mind. In his head, he was sure that I just wasted his hard earned money on buying a weave and this made him boil in rage.

  • “What you talking about? I always wear a weave.”
  • “I never noticed!”
  • “Well, that’s because you are most probably too busy to notice.”

“Weaves are a waste of money, stay natural.”  I could feel his voice rise. In most cases, this is how arguments start. So I packed my weaves in my handbag and walked to the car. Silence has always been a great strategy.

What are Weaves?

To make this clear for women who look down on other women who wear weaves, I will try to offer an explanation. Contrary to popular belief, a weave will not give you cancer. We also do not wear a weave to deceive people that it is our natural hair; and yes, we do not suffer from low self-esteem!

A weave is an artificial hair extension that is fixed on your head by either sewing, clipping or gluing it on your natural hair. The concept of using weaves is not new. Weaves first originated in Ancient Egypt when ancient Egyptians used colored sheep wool to decorate their head. One popular Egyptian that revolutionized the weave industry was Cleopatra. She was not only known for her beauty but for her peacock weave that was blue in color.

Terms Associated With Hair Weaving

If you are a young woman out there and you are curious about weaves I suggest that you learn a few words in this industry so as to have a first time experience.

Virgin weave: This is weave that is taken from a single donor and no chemicals are added to it. In most cases, this type of weave is the most expensive. It is mainly soured in India.

Remy Weave: This is a weave that is natural but has undergone some processing. It is not 100% natural as it has some chemicals added to it to make it more soft and curly.

Extension: You will hear this word a lot especially if you are a regular at the salon. This is natural or synthetic hair that is added to your original hair by clipping it so as to add extra length.

Weft: This is hair that is held together by a reinforced stitch. This can either be manually or by use of a machine. Though a machine made weft is cheaper, handmade wefts are more desired as the technician can add a natural touch to it.

Closure: This is a circular wedge that is used to hide the wearer’s natural hair. A closure is used in conjunction with a weave.

Leave out: When one wears a weave it is prudent to make sure that they have a natural hairline. This part that is left out is known as the leave out.

how long do weaves last

Synthetic Hair vs. Real Hair

“Honey, I am not trying to be rude, but I read that this is the kind of Hair that melts in the sun. What happens when we take a trip to Africa where the sun is super-Hot?” I had tried to restrain myself, but my boyfriend was looking for trouble. He wanted a battle but I was ready to give him a war!

  • If I had known that buying a weave in his presence would spoil our weekend I wouldn’t have bought it.
  • “For the last time, there are two types of hair…”
  • “Natural hair and Chinese.” He Interjected. If I had a gun with me I would have blown his head away.
  • “No! And just for the record, most hair comes from India. I bought real hair not synthetic hair.
  • “What is the difference?”
  • “Forget it, you will never understand.”

Explaining to a man about hair is like explaining to a fighter about math. It’s a waste of time. Real hair is indeed real. Somebody somewhere ‘decided’ to donate her hair to you. However, since this is capitalism you are forced to buy the hair.

Real hair is better as it matches your hair color and texture. It also gives you the freedom to be creative as you can decide to dry it, wash it or blow it. On the other hand synthetic hair limits your creativity.  This is because it does not respond well to heat. Synthetic hair is made up of plastic, and just like any other ordinary plastic, it will eventually melt.

Difference between a Wig and a Weave

When we were having one of our many arguments with my boyfriend about my hair it dawned on me that he didn’t even know the difference between a wig and a weave. Though he argued with a lot of conviction, his understanding of what a wig is was disturbing.

A wig is like a cap but with hair attached to it. It is used to completely hide the natural hair and give a completely new hair color and texture. On the other hand, a weave is an extension of your natural hair. It can either be woven or glued to your hair to make it longer or fuller.

More: Straighten Hair Without Heat Damage

Reasons Why Women Wear Weave

“I understand but you are beautiful as you are. You do not need to buy a weave to look beautiful.” I could sense the hypocrisy in his words. He said that not because he meant it, but because he felt I had wasted his money on a weave.

“I am tired of this silly argument. Do you even know why women wear weaves?” I retorted.

“Yes, to look beautiful because they have a low self-esteem about themselves. They think that a weave enhances their appearance and…”

“You better shut up before I drive this car down the hill and kill you.” I was fed up with his know it all attitude. He was lucky I did not want to die otherwise we would be six feet deep. Why do men have to judge us? They always have that know it all attitude that drives me nuts.

To Give Your Hair a Break

Men do not have any idea what we women go through to make our hair. The shampoos and the treatments are a frustrating processing and to avoid all this we prefer weaves.

Maybe we are Experiencing Hair Loss Problems

Thanks to the pressure that men pile on us to look beautiful, we tend to push it to the limits and this may result in hair loss especially if you used substandard chemicals.

Kicking Out Cancer

Cancer is a disease that takes a toll on your hair. You do not walk down the street telling everybody that you are a victim. You wear a wig to tell them that you are a victor and a survivor.

It’s Easier to Manage

Weaves are easy to manage. Depending on your hairstyle, a moisturizer will be good to use before you start your day. Normal hair is stressful to maintain.

It is Durable

A weaves durability aspect saves you a lot of time especially when visiting the salon. Where proper maintenance is done, you can be sure to have it in place for more than 2 months.

To have Long Hair

One of the most important uses of a weave is to increase your length of hair. If you have been craving about long hair for some months then a weave will make this a reality.

The Variety

The three most famous weaves are Indian, Brazilian and European. They come in different colors and textures and this ideal if you want to experiment.

Things to Know Before You Get That weave

I have been wearing weaves for more than three years and even though I love them they do have some side effects that you should know.

When you wear a weave for the first time you might feel uncomfortable as it pulls your scalp. Never use weaves for too long. Always interchange it with your natural hair or you will cause your natural hair to fall off.

Different Ways You Can Attach Your Weave

Sew-in: Do not worry as the needle does not come anywhere near your skin. The weave is braided on your braids by use of a needle. If your braids are too tight then you will feel some discomfort. Your stylist should be able to rectify this problem.

Fusion: This is where the natural hair is infused strand by strand with a weave using a wax. It is the most expensive procedure of them all and takes place over several months.

Hair Bonding: Though this method ensures the weave to last for more than 2 months it is not an ideal method. This is because glue is used to attach the weave on your scalp. This may damage your natural air and cause allergic reactions.

Net Weave Sewing: This method slightly varies with the normal sew-in method. In this case, a net is sewn over the braids to relieve pressure on your natural hair.

More: How to Sleep with Curly Hair

5 Crucial Weave Tips for Women Out There

The Higher the Price the Better the Quality: Be very wary of cheap synthetic hair. Some types of hair sold in the market is marketed as human hair but it is actually human hair mixed with animal hair like horse and York. A high quality weave is better and does not irritate the skin.

Change Your Weave Regularly: A weaves lifespan should be around 4-6 weeks. It is dangerous to use a wig more than 2 months as you might infect your scalp and this will result in hair loss.

Avoid Bonded Weaves: This weaves use glue to bond with your natural hair. Most people are allergic to this glue and this may be dangerous to your health. The glue may also irritate your skin. Bonding also closes your hair follicles and this causes your hair not to breath.

Take Care of Your Scalp: Always let your scalp to breathe from time to time as you make sure that you use natural scalp treatments to clean it. Always avoid excessive sweat by washing sweat away regularly.

Do Not Neglect Your Natural Hair: Most people tend to forget that their natural hair should always be taken care of even when wearing a weave. Natural hair should regularly be deep conditioned to ensure it is clean and treated.

How Do Weaves Work

I am glad we reached home safely, so I did not drive my boyfriend down the hill as I had imagined in my head. Anyway, here is all you need to know about weaves;

If you are looking for a good quality weave always insist on Virgin weave. Forget what the salespeople will try to tell you about the latest synthetic hair, it is all a marketing gimmick.

There are more than five different types of weaves to choose from; Brazilian, Indian, Chinese, Asian and European. All of them have different hair characteristics. Indian hair is thick hair while Brazilian is thicker than Indian Hair. Know what you want and buy it.

Always wash your extension before you wear it. Most of them have too many chemicals that might irritate your scalp or even infect you. It is best to wash your hair using shampoo.

Tip: If you want to soften the extender, you can use a fabric softener. Let it rest for about 25 minutes before you decide to blow it.

If you do not remove your weave within two months your hair will tangle and start to fall off

If you decide to use heat as a way of making your hair curly, you should not overuse it as the hair will fall off. Instead, you should try to use rods and rollers to achieve this.

Irina Tracy

I am a writer, journalist and nonconformist blogger. I was born and raised in Bucharest, Romania. When it comes to writing, I like to explore every topic I find to be interesting and I get out all the details about it. I published several books and wrote for national & international publications. Looking forward to share my writing with all you, readers so we can learn new things together with every post!

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