How to Prepare Your Natural Hair for Braids and Sew-In Extensions
Get Ready for your Sew-in Extensions!
Sew-in hair extensions are a great way to add volume or length to your natural hair. However, there are golden rules when preparing your hair as you will stitch the extension to your natural hair for a long period of time. To have fail proof sew-in extensions, you need to carefully prepare your hair.
Preparing Your Hair
Before you install the sew-in extensions, you should prepare your natural hair so it will not cause trouble for you in the future. Taking care of your braids needs to be done initially, before you use the protective style. One thing to note, you should not wear the extensions for more than 8 weeks to prevent hair damage and develop mold.
To help you get started, here are a few steps to prepare your natural hair for sew-in extensions.
It is important to keep your natural hair healthy and make sure it is in a good condition before you install the sew-in extensions. At least 3 weeks before you apply the styling, you need to take good care of your natural hair by doing things like applying a hair mask, serum and other vitamins to nurture your natural hair. Deep conditioning helps to moisturize the natural hair before it is braided and twisted. This is very useful and you will notice the advantage after you strip off your artificial hair in the future. A protein or balance treatment can also do wonders to rejuvenate your hair.
Trim your Hair Ends (if necessary)
This may be optional, but it is better to examine whether you need to trim your hair ends or not before installing the sew-in extensions. Making sure that your hair ends are in great shape can save you a lot of effort and time.
Make sure that your hair is washed with shampoo and conditioner before you install the sew-in extensions. You can’t install them on dirty hair and this is probably an obvious step to take. It doesn’t matter how you wash your hair as long as the cleaning is thorough.
If you wish to apply leave in conditioner, make sure that you choose a product with a moisturizing cream that doesn’t stick thickly on your hair. A light conditioner works like magic to moisturize your hair and it will not leave a residue. And of course, once you have the hair extensions installed make sure you know how to properly care for your hair extensions.
The Installation Part
The hair sections depend on the thickness of your hair and the length of it. It is necessary to plan the parts and consider the fullness and the length of extensions you will be using. For instance, if you have short hair, you need at least 6 ounces of hair to create that natural voluminous look. The longer the extensions, the more pieces you need to make your hair look fuller.
It is important to properly prepare your natural hair before you install the extensions. To make it do more healthy than harm, your parts should be smaller than half an inch. Smaller parts give your hair incorporated parts. It allows your scalp to bear less weight when using the extension, so it won’t create pressure. Your part should be smaller than your braids. You may be tempted to braid a lot of hair per section, but this isn’t going to be good because you only force a few hair strands and create more pressure.
Create a part on your hair where you want the extension to be placed. If you are placing the extension to add length to your hair, you should create a part from your right ear across the head to the left ear. Try to create a neat line and comb it up. Secure it using a hair clip. Now it is time to create the braids.
Don’t Braid All Edges
The edges of hair are fragile. They are prone to breakage. You should know that a daily routine like brushing the edges or tying your hair in ponytails will cause breakage. So you can imagine how braiding the edges for a long period of time could leave tension and cause total damage to your hair.
To evenly distribute the tension, use larger sections. Do not braid the front hair, smooth it down using pomade and scarf it up for about 15 minutes. Use less hair on your edges so you can avoid unwanted tension on the same spot continuously. Make sure that you don’t braid too tight because the tightness can cause damage and even headache due to the tension.
As you create the cornrow, you should start with the side of your head. Start by crossing hair on your right hand, under the center section, and then cross the hair on your left-hand side. Make a crisscross pattern repeatedly along the part line and pick additional hair from your head as you move. Add it to the section in the center to create a cornrow braid. Make sure that it is tight, but not too tight as well. Once you reach the end, secure the cornrow braid with a rubber band or an elastic band in a dark color.
Do Not Take Too Much Hair
Make sure that when creating the cornrow, you don’t take too much hair, because when you wash it later, it will not be able to dry completely and could possibly develop mold. Sew the extension carefully – you can ask a stylist to help you secure the hair extensions neatly on your head. It is important to keep the stitches neat and invisible from the surface.
It is important to take care of your hair. Always follow the guidelines for every condition such as washing your hair upside down so the residue does not pile up on top of your hair. Pick organic styling products which are alcohol-free.
When sleeping, use a satin pillow so your curls will stay in place. If you are planning to go swimming, secure your hair using a swimming cap. It is important, especially when you are swimming in salt water.