Ready to try and sew-in your own weave? It’s a big decision. As with everything that concerns our hair, we struggle with the pros and cons and often dwell on what could go wrong. Pixie cut. Perm or not? New shade (of pink, purple, or blue). These are all major decisions because … well, it’s our hair, and hair is such a big part of our style. To get a weave or not calls for careful consideration, and to sew one in yourself, that’s an even bigger internal debate.
If you do decide to DIY a weave, then keep reading. Here we’ll go over the steps needed to sew-in hair extensions and make the end result look natural and pretty. As Nicki Minaj once said, “I don’t want a wig that looks like a wig; I want one that could pass for a weave.” Exactly, Nicki!
Weaves & Things to Consider
The basic process of adding a weave, or hair extension, is to braid your own hair and then sew the weave into the braids. Weaves, of course, are used for styling purposes. In just a few hours, our hair can magically grow to the length we want it. It can also add fullness and volume. How cool is that? Weaves can also be used however to give our own hair time to heal and grow. (Similar to getting acrylic nails to help stop a nail-biting habit.)
Some hair can’t take the cold winter air or the summer heat; and some are styled so often, with blow dryers, curlers, and flat irons, that they need a timeout. Hair that’s been put through the ringer can easily break. A weave can help.
Now with this said, weaves can also lead to damage, as the process does put stress on our scalps. It’s a delicate balance and as said, something to weigh carefully before following through.
Weaves can either be made from human hair or be synthetic. Ethically sourced human hair extensions are expensive, but the quality is reflective as well. Human-hair weaves can be styled just like our own hair: wash it, blow dry it, curl it, etc. Synthetic weaves, while more affordable, can’t quite capture the look of real hair, can’t be styled and can damage your hair underneath. More to consider.
Sewing in Your Own Weave
Vast Majority from Bellatory explains there are four main methods of hair weaving: sew-in, net weave sew-in, hair bonding (also known as glue-in, which Cosmopolitan advises against), and fusion. We’re concerned with the first two:
- Sew-in: Where hair is braided and then the weave is sewn into the braids.
- Net weave sew-in: The same process as the first, but a net or mesh cap is placed over the braids and the weave is sewn through the net and braids. As Bellatory notes, this method relieves some of the stress the braids will place on the scalp.
Tools to Sew-in Your Weave
To get started, you will need a comb, some scissors, and clips. Plus c-curve needles, hair weaving thread, styling products (including heat protectant), and styling tools (like a blow dryer and flat iron).
Prepare Hair for Braiding
Before you put your scalp and hair through the process of a weave, make sure they’re as strong as possible. Deep condition your hair. Make sure your hair is detangled to cut down on pulling once the braiding begins. Blow dry your hair, but be careful here, too. Don’t overdo it as it can weaken your hair and leave it vulnerable to breakage.
The final step before the real braiding begins is to section off and braid down all the parts of your hair you will be leaving out (to blend in with the weave once it’s sewn in).
Create the Anchor Braids
Next, you’ll create two anchor braids at the front of your hair. This is where you part your hair, and so while you want the sections to be small, you also want them to be sturdy. You can see in the GIF below that the anchor braids are right next to the braided hair you will be leaving out. The anchors are where you will stop your weave.
Braid the Rest of Your Hair
Next, you’ll simply braid the rest of your hair, creating tracks. Jodian prefers to braid downward as she finds it easier and keeps the braids flat. Note that the process takes time, so don’t get discouraged if you feel it’s going slowly. It takes time to braid hair! Tip: Once you’ve finished braiding, secure ends by sewing them down. sewinweaveannarbor.com