Are you tired of dealing with your natural hair and looking for a quick and easy way to switch up your hairstyle? Sew-in hair extensions might be the perfect solution for you. Sew-in extensions have become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason. They offer endless styling options, protection for your natural hair, and can last for months with proper care.
In this ultimate guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about sew-in hair extensions. From the different types of extensions to the installation process and maintenance tips, we’ve got you covered.
What Are Sew-in Hair Extensions?
Sew-in hair extensions, also known as sew-ins or weaves, are a type of professional hair extensions that are sewn onto a braided base. The braids are usually created in a specific pattern to ensure that the extensions lay flat and natural-looking. The extensions are then sewn onto the braids using a needle and thread. The result is a natural-looking and long-lasting hairstyle that can be styled in a variety of ways.
Types of Sew-in Hair Extensions
There are several different types of sew-in hair extensions to choose from, depending on your budget and desired look. Here are the most popular types of sew-in extensions, based on the hair quality:
Virgin Hair Extensions: Virgin hair extensions are made from 100% human hair that has never been chemically processed. These extensions are the most expensive, but they offer the most natural look and feel.
Remy Hair Extensions: Remy hair extensions are also made from 100% human hair, but they have been chemically processed to remove the cuticle. This makes the hair smoother and easier to manage. Remy hair extensions are more affordable than virgin hair extensions but still offer a natural look and feel.
Synthetic Hair Extensions: Synthetic hair extensions are made from synthetic fibers that mimic the look and feel of human hair. They are the most affordable option but are not as natural-looking as human hair extensions.
Blended Hair Extensions: Blended hair extensions are a combination of human hair and synthetic fibers. They are more affordable than virgin hair extensions but offer a more natural look than synthetic hair extensions.
Machine-tied wefts are a type of sew-in weft made by a machine that sews together strands of hair to create a weft. This type of weft is typically thicker and more durable than hand-tied wefts, making them easier to install and blend with your natural hair. Machine-tied wefts also tend to be more affordable than hand-tied wefts.
However, machine-tied wefts are rarely the best choice for someone with fine hair and/or an active lifestyle.
Hand-tied wefts are made by hand, with each strand of hair individually tied onto a thread. This results in a thinner and less durable weft that lays very close to the scalp. Unlike machine-tied wefts, hand-tied wefts should not be cut to maintain the integrity of the weft. For this reason, hair extension providers will often supply hand-tied wefts in smaller units than they do machine-tied wefts.
Hand-tied wefts are typically more expensive than machine-tied wefts due to the amount of time and skill required to create them. They also require more maintenance and care to ensure they stay in good condition, such as avoiding using heavy oils or products that can weigh down the hair. Despite this, many people prefer hand-tied wefts for their natural look and long-lasting quality.
Sew-in Hair Extensions 101: The Installation Process
Before installing sew-in hair extensions, you’ll need to prepare your natural hair by washing, conditioning, and blow-drying it. Next, your natural hair will be braided into a specific pattern to create a base for the extensions. The braids should be tight and secure to ensure that the extensions lay flat and natural-looking.
Once the braids are in place, the extensions will be sewn onto the braids using a needle and thread. The stylist will start at the nape of your neck and work their way up, layering the extensions as they go. The entire process can take several hours, depending on the length and thickness of your natural hair.
Sew-in Hair Extensions 101: Maintenance Tips
Proper maintenance is essential for keeping your sew-in hair extensions looking and feeling their best. Here are some tips for maintaining your sew-in extensions:
Wash your hair regularly: It’s important to wash your hair and scalp regularly to prevent product buildup and keep your natural hair and extensions healthy.
Use sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner: Sulfate-free products are gentle on your natural hair and won’t strip your extensions of their natural oils.
Don’t sleep on wet hair: Sleeping on wet hair can cause tangling and matting, so make sure your hair is completely dry before going to bed.
Avoid heat styling: Excessive heat styling can damage your natural hair and extensions, so try to avoid using hot tools as much as possible.
Sew-in Hair Extensions 101: Frequently Asked Questions
How long do sew-in hair extensions last? Premium sew-in hair extensions can last 6-12 months, depending on the quality of the hair and how well you take care of them.
Are sew-in hair extensions damaging to natural hair? If installed properly and maintained correctly, sew-in hair extensions should not damage your natural hair. However, if the braids are too tight or if the extensions are left in for too long, they can cause breakage and damage. It's important to work with an experienced professional when getting sew-in extensions installed.
Can you wash your hair with sew-in extensions? Yes, you can wash your hair with sew-in extensions. It’s important to keep your hair and scalp clean to prevent product buildup and maintain the health of your natural hair and extensions.
Can you swim with sew-in hair extensions? Yes, you can swim with sew-in hair extensions, but it’s important to take proper precautions to prevent tangling and damage. Apply a deep conditioning mask, wear a swim cap, and avoid swimming in chlorinated water if possible.
Can you wear your hair in a ponytail with sew-in extensions? Yes, you can wear your hair in a ponytail with sew-in extensions, but it’s important to be gentle and avoid pulling too tightly on the extensions.
How do you remove sew-in hair extensions? Sew-in hair extensions should always be removed by a professional stylist. They will use a special tool to carefully cut the thread and remove the extensions without damaging your natural hair.
Sew-in hair extensions are a great way to switch up your hairstyle and protect your natural hair. With proper installation and maintenance, sew-in extensions can last for months and offer endless styling options. We hope this ultimate guide has answered all of your questions about sew-in hair extensions and helped you make an informed decision about whether they are right for you.