Keeping your weave clean and neat can be quite a challenge as you also have to take care of the hair beneath the extensions. Whether your own hair is relaxed or natural, it’s important to wash both the weave and your own hair thoroughly to prevent pungent smells and candyfloss-looking locks. If your hair is glued in as opposed to sewn in, you’ll have to be a little more careful with shampooing as this can disturb the adhesive.
There are three different types of weaves available, generally made from virgin, human or synthetic hair, and each require different washing tips:
This is the easiest type of weave to wash as it the highest quality hair, which means that it hasn’t been treated with any chemicals e.g. colouring or straightening, and is damage-free. You can wash, curl, heat style and re-use it many times over a year or more. If you get a “cuticle hair” weave, it means that all the cuticles face the same direction. “Non-cuticle” hair means that the hair was thrown into piles with other hair when collected and care wasn’t taken to make sure that cuticles were aligned. Aligned cuticles create a better-looking wig that looks better for longer.
The hair used to create the weave has been treated either mechanically with heat or chemically with colour, straighteners or curlers. It will shed more easily and can only be washed and re-used a couple of times.
This weave might last for three months but you should remove and then reinstall it once a month. You won’t be able to wash it but you must shampoo your own hair underneath.
Depending on how much time you have, try and treat your scalp and hair pre-shampoo. Fill an applicator bottle with a nourishing oil of your choice to fight breakage. Separate each track and apply the oil to your scalp row by row. Pay particular attention to your hairline and massage the oil to increase blood circulation, which stimulates growth. Put on a thick shower cap and leave the oil on for an hour.
Clarify the scalp and your hair with apple cider vinegar or a clarifying shampoo to remove product buildup and balance the pH levels of your scalp and hair. Rinse after five minutes.
Part your weave in two sections and detangle strands with a wide-tooth comb or brush. Wet your weave so that the water runs from the track to the ends of the hair. Apply a small amount of shampoo and work through the weave, smoothing your hands over it to minimise friction. Rinse out and repeat until your hair feels clean and the water runs clear.
Apply a conditioner and leave in your weave for 15 minutes. Rinse and air or blow dry. It’s important that your own hair is dry to prevent it from getting a fungal infection and smelling musty.