Thinking of Using A Sew-In To Grow Your Hair? Here’s How……

Sew-ins and extensions can be your best friend when it comes to growing your hair out and retaining length. While some ladies wear them to be able to switch up their style or color without damaging their own hair others are using them to hide their own hair due to damage.  If you are interested in some ways to grow your hair using sew ins this article will take you through the steps to ensure your hair grows long and strong while wearing a sew-in:

Choose a hair texture similar to your own

  As much as women are attracted to the light and airy look of Virgin Indian hair for its ease of styling many find problems when trying to blend this texture with their own, resulting in leave out hair that is chewed up and damaged from flat irons.  Choosing a texture that mimics your own leave out eliminates this problem and there are plenty of options to choose from: kinky straight, kinky curly, light yaki, brazilian bohemian, relaxed texture hair and many more.

Invest in a quality closure

Closures have come a  long way from a few years ago when they sat on woman’s head like a separate hat in fact they are now made of  materials that allow women to part the hair in different styles and integrate seamlessly into the hair.  Many are constructed of breathable mesh, silk fibers, french lace and come in  flesh toned scalp colors for an undetectable finish.  This is an option you should explore if you like the look of Indian hair but do not wish to damage your own hair in the blending process.

Consider your own hair

  If you hair is naturally fine or thin you may want to consider the type and amount of hair you will be purchasing for your sew-in.  It would be silly to use 12 ounces of a kinky straight hair if your own hair is very fine and relaxed.  You may want to consider using 6 ounces of salon relaxed texture hair to give yourself the length and fullness while protecting your own hair from damage.  You’ll want to use the least amount of weight on your hair while remembering not to tug and pull the hair during the styling process.

Net vs. No Net

Some prefer using a net which is attached to the braids and becomes a base for the extensions themselves.  generally I hear people complain that it is harder to get to their scalp when they choose to wear a net.  However nets come in several varieties there are stiff nets and there are stretchable nets.  If getting to your scalp is a problem, choose to use the stretchable net and double it for a stronger base.  Nets are perfect for thinning hair and increase the life of any sew-in.

TLC for your own hair

Caring for your own hair underneath a sew-in is important if you do not wish to have thin and dry hair when you remove your protective style.  The point is to allow your hair to rest from manipulation, not to rely on the extensions as a crutch.  When you remove the sew in not only should your hair should be strong and moist but you should have retained your length after 6-8 weeks.   Always start with a nice trim to remove any broken or split ends for best results, check for any breakage or weak points in your hair, edges and hairline and consider leaving out your edges to reduce  pulling.  Remember always wait two or more weeks after relaxing to get a sew in for the health of your hair.

Here is what you’ll need:

  1. 3 Applicator bottles
  2. Fill one with diluted shampoo, one with diluted conditioner and the third with a natural oil and 20 drops of tea tree oil.
  3. Use them to cleanse and condition your hair and scalp on your wash days which should be every 1-2 weeks maximum.  Keeping your scalp clean and free of build up reduces matting, caking and clogged pores allowing hair to grow without hindrance.
  4. Warm the oil in a cup of hot water and oil your hair and scalp before washing, massaging any areas you can get to with fingertips.  Olive and coconut oil are great examples.  Leave on for an hour or for better results, overnight.
  5. Use shampoo bottle to squeeze diluted shampoo beneath the tracks and or net.  Do not lather hair vigorously let the shower water run down the hair shaft.  Rinse well.
  6. Apply conditioner in the same manner, cover hair with a plastic baggy and sit beneath a hooded dryer for 10-20 minutes or use a warmed towel for the deep conditioning process.
  7. Rinse hair very well, lifting up each track and allowing the warm water to shoot into the hair and remove the conditioner.  If you are seeing bubbles you probably have not done a thorough rinse.
  8. Use a liquid leave-in~ I recommend Infusium 23 leave in because it is lightweight and provides the hair with the necessary proteins to strengthen it while in the sew- in.  The liquid will be able to get to all areas of your hair unlike a cream without leaving a cakey build-up.
  9. Try a non-oily braid spray~ Braid sprays are perfect for sew-ins because they are light weight and moisturizing and many contain natural ingredients that will leave hair soft and conditioned without build-up.  African pride and African Royale make good ones.  You will want to use this on a daily to keep the hair between your tracks moisturized.
  10. Dry your hair~ Take care to protect your hair from smelly mildew and bacteria by making sure the hair is completely dry underneath before styling.  Invest in a bonnet dryer and lift up each track to ensure all of the water is zapped, leaving your hair dry but moist. finish with a blow dryer on a cool heat setting if necessary.
  11. Protect from heat~ If you have a partial sew-in with even a small amount of leave-out and wish to wear the hair sleek and straight you need to use a heat protectant.  The goal here is to retain you own hair without damaging it.  Since the hair you have chosen will hopefully be close to you own in texture you wont have to do massive amounts of heat styling to get it to blend.  Always choose a flat-iron with a temperature setting and use the least amount of heat necessary to accomplish your style.  Your own hair should be moisturized and sealed with a light oil before spraying a heat- protectant such as Chi on your leave-out.  Proceed to finish style with a flat-iron, curling iron or the best choice a roller set.
  12. At night~ Every other night spray a bit of braid spray between each track, apply a tiny amount of a light oil to the ends of any leave out and wrap, pin curl or braid to maintain your style.  Wear a silk scarf to reduce any breakage and/or sleep on a satin pillow case.

Using these steps will ensure that your sew-in lasts, you look well-groomed and most importantly your hair will be strong and healthy underneath.

Until next time

~Spread The Love

 

ETA: I have not expounded on this article in about four years. But as time has passed I have found another addition to my growth advice and that is aphogee 2-step.  I advise using this product before the addition of any braids or weave to give your hair extra strength to support the hair additions.  The 2-step is definitely key to obtaining thick and healthy hair which retains moisture and should only be done once every six weeks.  I feel like I should do an article on wet sew in care versus dry sew ins. If anyone is interested please like or comment and I’ll begin to update this site.

Love ya

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Six Great Reasons You Should Be Steamin~

Ahhhhh…Steam.  The catalyst for the invention of the shower cap and the creative muse for products like John Frieda Frizz Ease.   Environmental changes similar to steam are the reason behind bad hair days, silicone sprays and hat hair all over the world. 

Yes, steam has really gotten a bad wrap when it comes to hair;  but there are many reasons why you should be using the power of steam in your hair care regimen instead of avoiding it.

Ancient cultures such as: The Mayans, Alaskan Eskimos, Russians, Turks and Chinese enjoyed the benefits of steam.  These cultures used steam to rejuvenate tired muscles, provide a sense of spiritual identity and a place for socializing.  They also knew a lot about the healing and relaxation that takes place when steam is used.

  Steam is an important stimulator.  When water is heated and turns into the vapors we see as steam, the molecule size is just small enough to penetrate the hair to its roots in order to release the moisture into the scalp.  The steam having two-fold action also allows the scalp to release  its toxics, built up sebum and open its clogged pores.

Here are six reasons why you want to use steam:

  1. Clogged pores equal little to no growth.  Steam unblocks the pores so your hair can grow fast.
  2. You are wasting your conditioner without steam.  Once the pores are opened up the treatment can really penetrate.
  3. When skin is stimulated and free of toxins, collagen begins to increase, blood begins to flows near the skin or scalp  and normalizies its environment, resulting in a balanced Ph.
  4. Hair retains and keeps it elasticity due to increased moisture.  It stretches without breaking and splitting.
  5. Your sebaceous glands make oil at a normal rate instead of leaving you too dry or too greasy.
  6. The hair stays hydrated resulting in smooth, silky and shiny hair with body (who doesn’t want body?).

Here’s a great recipe I found in the book, The Herbal Home Spa by Greta Breed Love:

*Caution: If your hair itches after the steam treatment it is only reacting to increased circulationPicture of Herb leaf and flower tied in bunches hanging and drying on a stainless steel pole, isolated over white background.

You need:

2 quarts of water

2 teaspoons dried basil

2 teaspoons of dried rose petals (get in the habit of drying roses from your yard)

2 teaspoons lavender petals (dried)

2 teaspoons of lemon balm

2 teaspoons dried comfrey

1 large towel

*Many of the ingredients can be supplied by using a few bags of herbal tea.

  • Bring the water to a boil in a large pot
  • Add the dried herbs
  • Cover
  • Turn off heat after two minutes
  • Uncover and stir the herbs
  • Remove from the stove

To enjoy:

Place the pot on the floor at the end of your sofa or even bed, just position it so that when you are lying down the pot is six to ten inches away from your head. 

Make sure that you are comfortable.  Pin your hair up on your head very loosely so that the steam can penetrate and get to scalp.

Drape a large towel around the hair along the hairline and let it hang down around pot to catch the steam.  Remain a safe and comfortable distance for as long as you can.

Okay, now go on!  Enjoy your healthy, shiny hair.  You can thank me later.

Listen to what I’m  listening to:

\”Golden Brown by The Snatch\”

Until next time,

~Spread the Love