May 10, 2012

It's Only Natural..."To Weave or Not To Weave"

The first time I ever put in a weave was in 2010. I was tired of getting my hair twisted and braided every month and wanted a change. So I thought about it long and hard...what could I do to change up my look and give my strands a bit of a rest...and then it hit me...maybe I could try a weave. I was always a little apprehensive about getting a weave...what type of hair would I get, would I look too different, would I end up being one of the ladies who constantly are caught tapping their heads in public when their scalp itches??? It was a lot to think about...but I know I could reap from the benefits of giving my hair a little alone time away from the elements, so I caved.
I went on a mission online to look for styles that I could rock...straight, curly, long, short. And then I realized that straight hair wasn't really a part of my "identity" anymore. I had only flat-ironed my hair once before and I hadn't had a perm for years, so I opted for big and curly and about shoulder length. I then went to my hairdresser Nellie and she helped me pick out the curly weave that would be mine for the next 2 months...And well.. I loved it!!

Me and my weave in July 2010
Weaving it up in Miami 2010
 Nellie gave me a sew-in weave that looked as natural as possible, which made my uneasiness of not looking like myself go away. After I took out my weave, Nellie and I realized that my hair grew like crazy. I was completely geeked!! It turned out that getting a weave for a couple of months out of the year, wasn't such a bad idea after-all. Weaves can be a great form of protective styling, if you take care of your hair in the proper way. I knew that my hair grew because I still took care of my hair the same way that I would if it were in a twist-out or in braids and twists.
Here are a few things that I followed while wearing my weave:
- Nellie added a net to protect the ends of my hair.
- I moisturized my scalp while I had in the sew-in weave. I used my Vatika Oil and Sweet Ambrosia and tended to my scalp once or twice a week, depending on how my scalp and hair felt. I lifted each track and applied the oils to my scalp and braids, making sure not to get any of the weave (I didn't want to weigh it down will all the excess grease and make it stiff).
- Every morning I sprayed my weave, scalp and the braids underneath the tracks with water (since becoming natural, water has been my best friend and lifesaver.)
- I never added any type of heat to my hair, while wearing the weave.
- I opted to wash my own hair when I had in my weave. When I washed I didn't wash the weave in a circular motion.  I used my cheapy shampoo to get out any of the styling products that I applied to it and simply a washed the weave by stroking it with the shampoo. For my own hair and scalp underneath, I used one of my moisturizing shampoos from Shea Moisture, and rubbed my scalp and hair in a downward motion, lifting the weave to make sure that I got every bit of my own hair and scalp. I repeated the same technique with my conditioner. I tried my best to not manipulate my hair or weave too much.

Some pros to wearing a weave:

  • Helps in the process of transitioning from relaxed to natural hair
  • Gives your strands a rest from constant manipulation and stressors from the elements
  • Can give you a different look without the commitment
  • Can assist in the growth process of your hair
Some cons to wearing a weave:

  • If your hair underneath the weave has been braided too tight, it can lead to the problem of traction Alopecia. This is caused by excessive tension or stress caused by braids and the weave itself.
  • Also when weave is involved, we may tend to only think about the upkeep and look of the weave and not necessarily the hair growing out of our scalp. Not moisturizing your own hair can be the biggest problem.
  • Besides the caring of your own hair, another con if a weave is constantly being installed is the dent it can place in your wallet. Weaves are not cheap...not one bit. And if your buying that ultra lux hair...I can imagine the dent can eventually become a crater.

I also had to consider which products would work best in the upkeep of my weave. When wearing the curly weave in 2010, I styled it with Kinky-Curly Curling Custard. It never really worked well with my own hair, but it worked wonders in my weave. Since 2010, I tried the curly weaves two more times:

At my friend's birthday party Jan. 2011
New Years 2011 (I was hungry and stuffing my face, lol)
Feb. 2012
Obviously...I love and have become addicted to getting only curly weaves, lol! To weave or not to weave, that was my question. The answer...Yes, to weave. I'm for the weaving because for just a short while, I can give my hair a little room to breathe, still take proper care of it and get a great look all in one. What about weave or not to weave?

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