How to care for your naturally curly hair under a weave (and your curly hair extensions)
Discover how to keep your natural hair, scalp, and extensions healthy while still maintaining a good hair care regimen.
All your naturally curly hair is safely secured under your weave for protection. But how do you continue to maintain it?
That’s the main issue with this one major downside to a weave – the limited access to your hair and scalp, especially if you get a sew-in extension. Neglecting your natural hair under a weave can lead to several unwanted results.
But all isn’t lost.
You can still care for your natural hair, scalp, and extensions so you get the best of both worlds. A healthy scalp, clean, healthy growing hair, and natural hair extensions that continue looking like new.
Here’s our ultimate haircare guide on how to care for your naturally curly hair under a weave (and your curly hair extensions).
Prepping for the weave installation
Before you install any weave hairstyles, your own hair needs a bit of love. A moisturizing deep treatment would be ideal for helping you lock in any moisture after you cleanse your hair.
Once your hair is braided, moisturize the braids and the area around it before installing the mesh weave-in cap and/or the extensions. Doing this helps to support your curly natural hair during the time you have the extension installed.
If you’re not DIY-ing your weave install, then your stylist should do the above.
If you prep and moisturize your hair before the install, you will seal your ends which is necessary to help prevent split ends.
Caring for your natural hair under the weave
Now that the weave is installed, it’s about caring for the extension itself (especially if the hair is 100% natural human hair) and your own hair under the weave.
The three main issues that arise here when it comes to your natural hair include:
- How to wash your hair underneath a sew-in weave
- How to moisturize your hair under a weave
- How to keep hair healthy under the weave
One of the myths we are quick to dispel is that yes, you can wash your hair while it’s in a weave or protective style. So, here’s how you can take care of all three concerns when you’re wearing a weave.
Shampoo and condition your hair
LeAna McKnight, our in-house celebrity stylist and founder of SL Raw Virgin Hair, recommends cleansing your hair once weekly, or at minimum every 10 days. This ensures you can maintain a healthy scalp under the extension.
If you’re doing this process at home, the easiest thing is to get a bottle with a nozzle. Fill it with shampoo, and then apply it directly to your scalp. Gently rub in so as not to irritate your scalp or put undue tension on your hair that’s holding the extension in place. Then rinse and condition.
Make sure the hair dries completely.
Maintain your scalp
Cleansing on a regular basis should prevent itchiness. But if you’re still feeling a bit of itchiness, there are several hair lines that provide hair products and tools designed for maintaining and protecting scalp and hair under a weave.
Remove the weave when recommended
Keeping in a weave longer than recommended can do significant damage to your hair. The constant pulling of the weave on your hair strands can lead to breakage or hair falling out.
Giving your hair a break from the weave also helps to protect your natural hair. So, try not to reinstall immediately upon removing the weave if you can help it.
Caring for the leave-out from a weave
If you do a high-maintenance install, like a sew-in with leave out, then you’ll also need to take extra care with your natural hair.
For the leave out, make sure to use a quality heat protectant every time that you’re applying heat to blend in the hair and extension. Three excellent heat protectant brands you can consider are Chi 44 Iron Guard, Mielle Organics Thermal Spray, and Kenra Thermal Styling Spray.
Though you can use a heat protectant, try not to use too much heat on your edges.
Also, make sure to keep your leave-out moisturized. Products with alcohol will dry out your leave-out, so avoid or limit those as much as possible.
Caring for your curly hair extension
If you’ve invested in 100% virgin human hair extension, then you’ll need to exercise due care in its maintenance. According to LeAna, you’ll want to wrap or pin curl the hair extension nightly. Then cover with a satin bonnet. This works well for straight hair extensions and helps to preserve the hair, so it lasts its expected lifetime. (For example, high-quality 100% virgin human hair can last for 2-3 years through multiple installs if properly cared for).
If you’re using curly extensions, the goal is to prevent matting or tangling. So, the best thing to do here is to braid or twist the hair at night – just like you would with your own kinky curly hair – and then cover with your satin bonnet or scarf.
If you’re not comfortable caring for your hair under your weave, then speak to your stylist. You can schedule regular maintenance services during the period you have in the extension to ensure your natural hair stays protected as much as possible.
A good salon professional will ensure to use products and practices suitable to your hair type and the hair extensions you have in.
To summarize, here are the best practices to care for your naturally curly hair under a weave (and your curly hair extensions).
- Prevent split ends when you do a pre-treatment to moisturize and seal your ends.
- Cleanse your hair under the weave at least every 7-10 days to maintain a healthy scalp.
- Use a heat protectant on any leave out before applying heat to style.
- For the curly hair extensions, treat them as you would your natural hair. Wash and condition. Use a heat protectant product before styling. Carefully wrap and pin up at night under a satin bonnet to preserve the hair.
- Remove the weave when recommended.
Follow these recommendations and you’ll thoroughly enjoy wearing weaves while preventing damage to your natural hair. You’ll have healthy hair and scalp, and gorgeous curly hair extensions.
Yvette J Haughton