Hair weaving is a popular hair style among the African American community because, done correctly, it gives the hair a naturally exotic look and it can be relatively low maintenance. There are two common methods of placing hair. One is bonding the weave wafts to the natural hair using a bonding agent such as hair glue. The other is sewing the weave into the head using a needle and thread. While popular, a good hair weave can be very expensive to get done professionally, costing hundreds and sometimes weave hair extensions even thousands of dollars. This prompts many women to learn how to weave hair so that they can do their own hair for a cheaper cost. While this may be a smart thing to do from a financial standpoint, there are many factors to consider.
One of the first decisions to make is whether you want to use synthetic hair or human hair. Synthetic hair is cheaper, but it tends to tangle and be harder to manage. Attempting to style synthetic hair can be a challenge due to the fact that heating it with curling irons and straightening combs is generally not recommended and will shorten the amount of time the weave can be successfully worn. Synthetic hair also tends to be more prone to sun damage. When synthetic hair is shaped and styled, do not mess with for best long term results.
Human hair is better than synthetic, but it is also more expensive. Most human hair is obtained from the Asian countries of China, India, and Korea. Lower quality human hair is processed and may even be mixed with animal and synthetic hair to make it less expensive. Processed human hair is usually collected from the barber floors or Indian temple floors and treated with acid and other chemicals which partially or completely destroy the cuticle of the hair. The cuticle is the outermost layer of the hair shaft. The cuticle is what adds strength to a hair follicle. It also gives hair its shine and adds to the attractiveness of a person’s natural hair. The very best hair has the cuticle intact and facing in the same direction. This is called virgin cuticle hair and is expensive. Typically, Remy hair is of this quality of human hair. The Remy designation is becoming somewhat watered down now and tends to include processed hair as well. Just remember that typically Remy hair is the best hair to weave with.
Once you decide what type of hair you will use you need to determine if you will use glue or the sew-in method. Now, to glue weave wafts in is fairly easy and if done correctly can provide a nice result. However, I have seen many homemade weave jobs using glue that are poorly done where the actual track is visible and easily noticeable. This is not attractive. The goal of a good weave is for it not to look like a weave. A weave bonded by glue is best achieved by layering the waft under the natural hair. Horizontal sections should be made around the head and the track should be bonded to the scalp carefully. At no point should there be a track visible to the casual observer looking down at your head.
Sewing the waft in is the preferred method for a quality result. First, the natural hair should be cornrowed around your entire head in a circular pattern by beginning on the outer edge and ending in the center. It is essential to leave at least a 1/2 inch of hair that will serve to frame your face and blend in with the extension once the weave is done. Use a “C” shaped needle to stitch the extension hair at the front and work your way around your head 360 degrees.
Both methods of weaving are challenging when doing it yourself at home and learning how to weave hair can be both fun and frustrating. While some may argue that the money saved is worth the time and effort spent, many other women may become exasperated at the thought of even attempting to complete this task on their own. If you do decide to undertake this challenge be sure to do your research about the different types of hair and methods to complete this task to ensure you really know how to weave hair and are up to the challenge.