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:
- 3 Applicator bottles
- Fill one with diluted shampoo, one with diluted conditioner and the third with a natural oil and 20 drops of tea tree oil.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.