Weave Lessons Learned The Hard Way

25 comments
July 13, 2011 ‐ By Toya Sharee

As you may have learned in my article, “Let Me Count The Ways: 6 Reasons Why I Love My Weave” , I have been wearing hair extensions on and off since the age of thirteen.  Shortly after having my hair professionally micro-braided for my eighth grade graduation, I attempted to braid my hair myself.  Needless to say, I spent many days of my freshman year of high school looking a hot mess.  There was the time I unknowingly bought synthetic hair and ended up with a head full of waxy, shiny, unable-to-be-curled craziness. Oh and let’s not forget the burgundy individuals that hung way past my waistline and made my neck muscles about ten times stronger.  Eventually, after much trial and error I perfected my craft, and soon had friends wondering how much I charged.  (The funny thing is ‘till this day I still can’t style anyone else’s hair as well as I style my own).  From micro-braids I graduated to weave ponytails and when I get enough time, I vow to master a sew-in weave without the help of my stylist.

This post expresses my unending gratitude to all of the weavologists and stylists of the world.  I still can’t claim to be a master in the arts of installation and style of extensions, but I have learned a few lessons along the way:

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  • Lauren W.

    Im sure even though you think it looks nice, that it actually looks like a straight up mess to any one else looking at you objectively. Extensions work for white people because the hair is of the same texture as theirs and they are known to have hair the moves in the same way that extensions move. Also white people get called out too when the extensions look bad. It's a known fact that it's much easier for caucasian people to grow long straight hair, not so much for most black people. its tacky when it obviously doesn't blend in with your natural hair texture and blacks mess them selves up by changing the weaves to frequently which looks stupid because then it's even more obvious. A weave isn't an accessory and most women of other cultures prefer not to wear them because it is seen as tacky.

  • tia

    If you have a stylist who knows what they are doing you can get hair growth while wearing a weave. I wore nothing but a weave for 2 years after severe breakage from relaxing and coloring and by the end of 2 years my hair was past my shoulders and healthy, no thin edges either. I started with barely nothing to braid my hair was so short. She always deep conditioned my hair between sew ins and used premium weave hair.

  • jones

    Good article. Will people listen, probably not. Weaves are becoming an addiction for many african american women…it's scary. I am so glad that I don't wear them or need them.

    • http://twitter.com/xTinaChrisx @xTinaChrisx

      It's not just black women, white women wear weaves and wigs and falls just as much if not moreso than black women.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/TerriBerri0616 Terrian TerriBerri L

    As a woman, I feel that weave/wigs are just like handbags, jewelry, and shoes; a huge accessory that can MAKE or BREAK your look! Even though I do agree with a lot of this article, I have also learned that I depended on my wigs to make me feel confident! To be honest, I have rocked wigs and weave for the past 5 years and have NEVER been seen out in public without something artificial (or purchased) on or in my head! It wasnt until (literally) 3 weeks ago that I looked in the mirror and I realized I depended on weave so much because it helped me feel confident when I step outside of my home (due to the fact that I have never had high self esteem). I finally decided it was time to learn to love myself and what the good Lord has blessed me with! I finally decided to cut all of my hair off and be "bold" enough to rock a natural hairstyle! I have been rockin my short hair for 3 weeks now and I have to admit…I am really proud of myself for not depending so much on what I could purchase! I have actually been pleasantly surprised that all of my guy friends have given me nothing but positive feedback about it! Ladies…if you are like me…I can tell you that weave is not what defines your character! Even though I dont feel a woman should be judged or belittled because she wears weave, I also do believe that it is a choice and if your weave looks good, ROCK IT!! But…if you are like me, you have to learn to love yourself for who you are and not what you can buy! I am (slowly but surely) learning to love myself and find confidence without weave and it is really working for me! Besides….its a h@#$ of a lot cheaper rockin a natural style than it is to buy one! Lol!

  • Huny

    Is that Gabrielle Union in last shot?

    • http://www.facebook.com/TerriBerri0616 Terrian TerriBerri L

      Yes! That was her! Her hair is ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL! Gabrielle and Sanna Lathan have such BEAUTIFUL, NATURAL hair! With women like them, it confirms that not all of us black women have short, stubborn, nappy hair with the kitchens in the back! Lol! You can tell they get their hair done professionally…on the regular basis!

      • NM817

        In natural you must be saying without weave. Gabby perms her hair. We can all be kitchen free with a relaxer.

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  • JustAshley

    YES@ the link to number 6 which is listed as number 5. If your stylist is baldheaded -and it's not on purpose- then you need to run with the quickness to another stylist !!!!!

  • Jay

    The braids in #6… are those box braids? Some1 let me know, they're cute.

  • Laura

    I really like #3. There are so many styles I wish I could try but I know I would be looking silly coming to work with burgundy hair down my tush. lol

  • Madeline

    With regard to synthetic hair, I prefer synthetic for my half wigs.

  • Madeline

    Okay LOL@ the mismatched textures. And is that Gabby Union in the last pic? Her hair is gorgeous!

    I plan to wear 'protective' styling for the next year. It's funny how protective styling can turn into danger for our own hair if we're not careful. But if properly cared for, weaves can be a beautiful accessory, and a growth agent for our own hair.

    • chileboo

      ok pleease tell me how slapping fake hair that is dead/ or synthetic is a growth agent? i REEEEEALLY wanna know, because most weaves i see as slapped pretty close to the scalp, and everyone knows you need a healthy scalp to promote growth, braiding i can understand (not too tight) but weaves? chiiiiiiiiiile

      • freebee33

        It all depends on the application..I have seen women who have hair loss and have ended up with receding hairlines because of bad application processes. ie too tight, the use of glue and then not taking care of their hair underneath the weave.

        I have also seen those who now have longer and healthier hair (myself included) since they have started wearing weaves, pony tails, wigs etc. Application process and learning how to care for the hair growing out of your scalp while you rock a weave are key. Also take a break from the weaves every now and again, let your scalp breath. Being dependent on weaves is not a good look.

  • Elle

    Remy and Remi is two different things. Remy is better quality.

  • Melissa

    Here's an idea…grow your own natural hair.
    All jokes aside though there is nothing wrong with wearing a weave (I'd never wear one) but I always thought a weave was just to enhance your natural hair a person shouldnt be able to tell youre wearing one.. I hate to see the weave ponytails where the natural hair is nappy then all of sudden a long flowing straight ponytail.

    • Laura

      Sometimes wearing weaves, braids, etc DO help grow your natural hair…when done correctly. I guess its to each their own.

      • chileboo

        can you imagine what type of hair the majority of blk women would have if they put even 1% effort into maintaining and caring for their natural hair that they do in spending hours in the salons weaving, braiding and god knows what else? jeez like..lol fake hair will NEVER give u ANYTHING in return!! all its does it sap your resources and time, if u chop ur hair off (which is a scary idea i know) yes for a couple of years you will prob have a hard time getting used to/ learning to manage it, but it will pay off 10 fold in the future! and dont get me started on the pushed back hair lines i see as a result of wiggin and weaving lmao

        • Laura

          I see what youre saying. Hence why I used the words "sometimes" and also "when done correctly". Everyone has different reasonings to why they wear their hair the way they do. Ive cut all of my hair off, worn a perm, braids, weave, etc. Its just whatever I am in the mood for and what fits into my life at the time. So I see both sides to it. Its just a personal preference.

        • MoreHairThanU

          FYI, I am a black woman who wears weaves about 90% of the time and my hair is unrelaxed, long, and healthy. When I do take my weave out, people are amazed at the health and length of my natural tresses. I have used sew-in weaves to grow out my relaxer and to grow my hair from shoulder length to bra strap length over the last 16 months.

          I get so tired of people assuming that just because someone is wearing a weave it means that they have no hair. I have longer, healthier hair than the vast majority of black women, and I simply use weaves as a protective style.

  • Phanie Ebene

    I used synthetic hair on special occasion. For exemple want to have a new excentric hair cut, I know I will only have for two to three weeks.
    When I want to take my weave off but do not have the budget to buy a new one and have to wait 2 or 3 weeks to get my pay check.
    I use them for very short hair cut.
    Synthetic hair can be a second best.
    But for sure the legth of use has to be limited, no coulor (too shiny), not too long (the ends get very scratchy) very simple.

    • &NKLJK*

      and why do Black women need lessons in weaving-it's chicks with no license sh!t'in on these mofo's who some how made it to Hollywood, nothing they are doing is innovative at all. Anything for a story #ontosomenewsh!t

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