Once the holiday season creeps up, our schedules become so packed they could probably rival Beyonce’s. Despite feeling like celebrities as we dash to and fro from one holiday party to the next, we all don’t all have access to the celebrity hairstylists that care for Queen Bey’s royal tresses.
But fear not! After many years of struggle and asking my beauticians for hair tips, I learned how to maintain the health of my relaxed hair. Although I attended college in a small town where there were more cows than beauty supply stores, these tips I’m about to share carried me through. And they will help keep your hair healthy as you prepare to switch up your look with a sew-in, wig or clip-in extensions. Here are five tips on how to care for hair under sew in weave:
Tip 1: Review Your Hair’s History
As simple as it seems, a lot of us ignore or pretend to forget the warning signals our tresses give us when we try new products or styles. At the beginning of my senior year of college, I dyed my hair. By the end of the semester, I barely had any hair left in the front section of my head. I had to cut my hair into a pixie-cut. At 24, I made the same mistake! I believed if a brand’s hair-dye had Shea, Argan or Coconut Oil on it’s ingredient list my hair wouldn’t thin out or become dry. Unfortunately, my hair thinned out again and I had to get another Nia Long a la 1995 inspired look. Although I love pixie-cuts, my goal is to grow my hair out, but the itch to dye my hair will always need to be scratched.
This holiday season, I decided to switch it up and try using clip-ins that I can dye. My natural hair won’t suffer and I still get to play with color. Instead of lamenting over missing edges, bald spots appearing, or thinning, be honest with yourself about which products work and don’t work for YOUR hair.
Tip 2: Feed Your Hair
Let’s be real, with bundles, especially from Mayvenn, it can be way too easy to become attached. So much so that you might even forget to treat your own hair with some TLC. It’s important to consistently take a multivitamin every day and vitamins specifically designed for hair growth and strength. A personal favorite of mine is HUM Nutrition’s Runway Ready vitamins (available here), but the best vitamins for hair growth are rich in fiber, Biotin, Iron, Niacin and Vitamin E. If you don’t care for vitamins, make sure to eat a balanced diet, drink lots of water, and exercise regularly. Hair growth begins from the inside-out and your inner-hair-glow will be blinding with good nutrition.
Tip Three: Have A Treatment Party
Since your hair will be locked down for an extended period, find a treatment that will strengthen your hair and give it the extra attention it needs before you install your weave or wig. While some of us struggle with moisture and may need a hot oil treatment, others may need to opt for a Protein treatment if they are struggling with hair growth or retaining a certain length. I recommend Jamaican Black Castor Oil for hot oil treatments and keratin treatments for protein.
Tip Four: Create And Stick To A Hair Washing Schedule (Even If You’re Traveling)
One time, a friend of mine didn’t wash her hair for three months because she had a sew-in and didn’t think she needed to.
Unfortunately, when it came time to cut out the sew-in, the smell wafting from her hair was shouting and it shed endlessly. Don’t be like my friend. It’s important that you wash your hair and stick to a washing schedule, even if you’re traveling. you shouldn’t neglect your leave out. Depending on how active your lifestyle is, it’s important to wash and deep condition your leave-out on a weekly or as-needed basis. If you don’t wash your hair, your scalp can become susceptible to a fungus infection, and no one wants that. Washing your hair on a regular basis rids your scalp from build-up and encourages hair retention and growth. You can wash your actual bundles as-needed, but I recommend washing them at least bimonthly.
Tip Five: Break-Up With Heat
My close friends like to tease me because I still religiously put rollers in my hair every night.
When preparing my hair for clip-ins, I wash my hair and blow-dry it using a setting lotion. Once it’s dried, I use medium size rollers (due to my current hair length) to give my hair the extra volume it needs. The next day when I’m ready to install my extensions, I wrap and unwrap my hair for a sleek look. Then I blend my natural hair with my clip-ins. Avoiding curling or flat irons has done wonders for my hair. Wearing a closure or frontal is still your best bet for avoiding heat and rocking a texture different than yours, but if you have a leave-out style, I suggest using large size rollers or flexi-rods to keep the hair smooth. Your hair will flourish, and your flat iron will get a much needed break!