Ever wonder how celebrities go from short hair one day to long hair the next? We’ll give you a hint: it’s not magic. Often times, it’s a weave! And with more celebrities being transparent on social media about their hair extensions, weaves are becoming more mainstream than ever. You may even be considering getting a weave yourself. However, a good weave doesn’t come cheap, so it’s important to weigh the pros and cons before committing.
To weave or not to weave? That is the question. Keep reading to learn the positives and negatives of weave hair extensions.
How Weaves Work
A weave, otherwise known as a sew-in, is a type of hair extension where wefts of human or synthetic hair are attached to your natural hair using a needle and thread. During the installation process, your hairstylist will tightly braid your hair into cornrows. He or she will then sew the extension wefts into your braids.
A typical sew-in installation takes about four hours. Usually, your stylist will leave out some of your natural hair along your hairline to give you the option of wearing your hair up.
Weave Extensions: The Pros
They Protect Your Natural Hair
Since your natural hair is braided, weaves are a great way to give your hair a break from styling and coloring. This is ideal for women who want to grow their natural hair longer. They can also buy you time while you’re trying to grow out hair color or relaxer.
Unlike other types of extensions, weaves are applied without the use of heat or any kind of chemicals that can be damaging for your natural hair.
They Allow You to Experiment with Your Look
Many women love wearing a weave because they allow you to quickly switch up your hairstyle. Want a blunt bob one month and mermaid waves the next? No problem. They can also let you try out a new hair color without dying (and damaging) your natural hair.
Weaves last a lot longer than other types of hair extensions. In fact, you can leave them in for up to three months. Since they’re sewn into your natural hair, weave extensions are also super secure. You can whip your hair back and forth and not worry about your extensions or wig coming loose!
If you work out a lot, a weave is a better option that other types of hair extensions, since sweat can dissolve the glue used for tape-ins and lace-front wigs. Just remember to dry your braids thoroughly after working out to keep your natural hair healthy.
Weave Extensions: The Cons
They Don't Work For All Hair Types
Not all hair can be weaved. If your hair is too fine or silky, it won’t be strong enough to braid and hold the additional hair. However, some stylists are able to get around this by reinforcing the braids with string. If you have fine or straight hair, make sure to find a hairstylist who specializing in this type of weave to avoid damage to your hair and scalp.
They Can Cause Breakage and Hair Loss
If installed incorrectly, a weave can actually damage your natural hair. For example, if your braids underneath are too tight or the extensions are too heavy, they can cause a type of hair loss called traction alopecia.
But as long as you take good care of your hair and extensions and choose an experienced stylist, you should have a positive result.
Installation Can Be Painful
For the extensions to lay flat, your hairstylist must braid your hair in small, tight braids. This braiding process can hurt, especially if you’ve never had your hair braided before. However, most women find that the pain is worth the end result!
They Require Maintenance
While a weave usually lasts longer than other types of hair extensions, it is not completely maintenance-free. Expect to visit your hairstylist every 2 to 4 weeks to have your weave touched up.
On the other hand, high-quality hair extensions allows you to cut down on your daily styling time!
They Can Make Your Scalp Itchy
All the tension from the braids and extensions can inflame your scalp, making it feel itchy. Luckily, several companies manufacture specialty sprays that combat scalp irritation from weaves.
They Can Be Expensive
You can expect to pay somewhere between $200 and $600 for a weave installation. The hair is a separate cost. When you add up the costs of regular visits to your hairstylist plus the cost of high-quality hair, weaves can be an expensive habit to maintain.
However, many women feel that it’s worth it for the confidence their hair gives them. Also, once you invest in high-quality hair extensions, you can reuse the same hair for up to a year.
Should I Get a Weave?
The answer really depends on your hair type, lifestyle, budget, and desired results. Ultimately the decision should be yours and whatever makes you feel best! If you can’t make up your mind, make an appointment to speak with a hair stylist who specializes in weaves. He or she will be able to help you decide whether a weave is right for you.