Luckily, there’s an option for everyone, regardless of your desired look, budget, and lifestyle. In addition to the different types of hair you can get, there are also several installation methods to choose from. Let’s take a look at five types of weave and explore the pros and cons of each one.
When getting a traditional sew-in, your stylist will first cornrow your hair, before sewing in the weave. Some stylists will first attach a mesh cap over your cornrows to help protect your hair from the stress and strain that can come from sewing the extensions directly into your hair. You can get a traditional sew-in with or without a leave-out (a small section of your hair that’s left out in the front). Sew-in weaves with a leave-out tend to have the most natural look, as long as your natural hair blends well with your extensions (color and texture-wise). However, if you get a full sew-in (without a leave-out), you have the added benefit of keeping all of your hair protected underneath your extensions. A lace or silk closure is typically your best bet to achieve the most natural look with a full sew-in. Traditional sew-in weaves are great if you want to keep most (or all) of your natural hair protected underneath.
A partial sew-in, on the other hand, leaves more of your natural hair out. Partial sew-ins give you more styling flexibility and also tend to look incredibly natural, as long as the weave blends well with your natural hair color and texture. The most significant disadvantage of a partial sew-in is that you may find yourself using heat often to ensure that your natural hair continues to blend with your extensions. Keep this in mind when deciding what type of hair you use for your partial sew-in, especially if you wear your hair in its natural state. A curly or wavy texture may make this process easier; even if you have to curl your leave-out, you’ll have the option to use a heatless method like flexi rods.
Quick weaves sometimes get a bad rap, but if they’re done right, they can look just as good as other types of weaves. Ensure that your stylist knows how to do a quick weave before you commit. Installing a quick weave involves covering your hair with a snug cap, then gluing wefts of hair onto the cap, which is what makes the installation process shorter than a sew-in. Quick weaves are an excellent option for those with busy schedules because they don’t take as long to install as sew-ins. Getting a quick weave is also less expensive than a sew-in, which is another plus. On the downside, even though your stylist will braid and cover your natural hair with a cap before gluing on the extensions, there is still a possibility that the glue can damage your real hair. Another downside is that cutting the wefts of your hair extensions can cause tangles and shedding; extensions used for quick weaves typically do not last as long as those used for sew-ins. However, if you adequately protect your natural hair and your stylist installs your quick weave carefully, it can be a great way to switch up your look.
If you have commitment issues, clip-in extensions may be just right for you. Just kidding (sort of). But in all seriousness, clip-in weaves are an excellent choice if you want hair extensions that you can easily install and take down yourself. Unlike sew-in weaves, it’s necessary to leave most of your hair out while wearing clip-in extensions. For this reason, it’s crucial to choose extensions that seamlessly match the color and texture of your real hair. Clip-in extensions don’t provide the same type of protection as sew-in weaves (because your natural hair is left out and not braided underneath), but they do make caring for your natural hair easy; all you have to do is remove the extensions before washing, conditioning, and moisturizing your hair as you usually would.
As their name suggests, tape-in weaves are installed using a particular type of tape to hold the extensions in place. Tape-in weaves are great for short-term styles: perfect if you have a special event coming up. While the installation process is simple and relatively quick, it is difficult to install tape-in extensions yourself, so it’s essential to have an experienced stylist install them for you. When applying tape-in extensions, the tape is secured to your natural hair, making it even more critical that ensure that they’re installed correctly to prevent damage. It’s important to be very careful when removing tape-in weaves: you don’t want the adhesive to pull your hair out. Like clip-in weaves, most of your natural hair is left out while wearing tape-in extensions, so if your goal is to keep your hair tucked away and protected, tape-in and clip-in weaves are probably not the best options.
Always weigh your options carefully before deciding which kind of weave is best for you. Thinking about your day to day lifestyle, your hair’s overall health, and how you like to style your hair will help you decide which option is best for you. For example, do not commit to a traditional sew in with Brazilian loose wave hair if you are one to shy away from heat tools and curling irons. Nevertheless, regardless of which type of weave you choose to get, always prep by washing and conditioning your natural hair first, and make sure you don’t leave your weave in too long. Hair extensions are a great way to take a break from manipulating and styling your natural hair on a daily basis, but always make your hair’s health your number one priority.