Taking Care Of Your Natural Hair- When You Wear a Weave, Wig or Extensions (braids)

Ignorance is bliss!!

As the saying goes...what you don't know won't hurt you! this does not apply to the health of your hair when you are wearing a weave/wig or have extentions put in.

If you have worn a weave in the past for upto 6 weeks or more and the day comes to take it out of your head and you lose more of your natural hair than you just had sewn in! then something is wrong.
Hair SOS:

This is a brief guide to maintaining your real hair when it is under a weave/ wig or extensions, there is no point in saying- 'I never knew' when your hair is shedding and due to excessive dryness and neglect! Take control of your hairs' health- while you can, it is a part of who you are so make it a priority...beautiful hair can be yours!

Weave/Wig wearers ATTENTION PLEASE!!

Weaves are great as long as your own hair is healthy too!

Changing Times...

Over the past 10 years we have seen black women wearing weaves as common as having red buses up the West End! Weaves have become an essential part of many womens lives, as they allow you to have the hair you want, especially if your own hair is damaged or not as you would like it to be.

However being a weave stylist myself, I constantly come across women who fail to maintain their own hair whilst the weave is in. This means they never moisturise their hair, oil their scalps let alone wash and condition the hair with the weave in!!

Below is an outline of a basic regime to follow when your hair is in either extensions (braids) a weave or you wear a wig:

A Sample haircare regime(routine):

Try to follow this programme...and watch how your hair improves over time...

It is important to wash your hair at least once a week whilst wearing a weave as the scalp will sweat under the hair which can create bacteria on your scalp. It is not difficult, just use a diluted cup of shampoo or add it to a spray bottle and directly spray your scalp with the solution. (TOP TIP: Only shampoo your scalp- not hair- to prevent dryness) Gently massage and rinse thoroughly. Rinse through the weave hair as well it will refresh it, be careful not to tangle it, the water should be warm-not hot, and de-tangle the weave prior to washing- THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!!


Follow up the shampoo with a conditioner diluted as above and added to a spray bottle- this time direct the solution on the braided hair- your braided hair, to replenish lost moisture. Leave the conditioner on for at least 20 minues and cover your head with plastic cap, then rinse gently. Do this at least once a week. (TOP TIP: leave your conditioner on overnight- for a real moisturising treatment)

Le Kair Cholestoral is a great inexpensive Moisturising and Strengthening Conditioner to use in your hair.

Drying the hair:

Allow your hair to dry naturally or if you have a hooded dryer use this, be gentle with your hair, and use your fingers to detangle the weave(if necessary) before combing through..

Moisturising your hair:

Your hair will need to be moisturised even more so whilst wearing extensions or a weave. The addition of synthetic or real hair to your own hair, robs it of its natural oils.

Its easier to moisturise your hair with a watery solution as it will penetrate through the cornrowed hair deep into your strands. I would recommend using something like- African Pride Braid Sheen Spray.

It is a light solution and it can also be used on the scalp to prevent itching. I have yet to find the perfect moisturiser! (TOP TIP: Add some Olive Oil to the braid sheen spray-if your hair is extra dry)

Itchy Scalps and Weaves:

Women often complain that their head itches whilst in a weave...how many times have you witnessed someone almost knocking themselves out as they slap their heads to itch that spot!! The itchies can be prevented by moisturising the scalp and hair daily or at least 3 times a week. Oil your scalp lightly with a natural oil- not GREASE! or use the spray below!

A good hair and scalp moisturiser to use whilst wearing a Weave/Wig or extensions (braids)

It stops the itchies!!

Extensions (braids)Wearers

You can follow the same regime if your hair is in exstensions (braids) or you wear a wig, just adapt the technique according to your style. The principles remain the same.

Extensions are great- but look after your hair too!!

Your Hair Needs TLC:

The key thing is to look after your own hair and your hair will thrive underneath a weave, do not follow a routine and eventually your hair will suffer.

Next Post: What are good hair products? Have you updated the hair products you use in the last 1-5 years?


The Importance of a Haircare Regime...

Consistency is the 'KEY' to healthy hair...

Black hair needs constant attention to maintain its vitality, strength and retain length. Adopting a consistent pattern of maintenance is one of the best things you will ever do for your hair.
What is a REGIME?
A haircare regime is a consistent routine of things you do with your hair on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. (The word regime is used by American ladies- it means routine)

Hair being one of the most important features on our heads, needs 'TLC' to thrive and live up to its potential. Hair of Afro descent, is simply not wash and go!
If you feel like your hair is just sitting on top of your head in a relaxed heap, or you wear a weave, wig or extensions most of the time to hide it- as its breaking and thin or maybe not growing? Then you should consider creating a hair care regime for yourself to nurse your hair back to health. You can even make a note of it in a diary or calendar to remind yourself.

What is the point?

This probably seems like a strange thing to do but it really does make sense. Having a regular maintenance programme for your hair makes a real difference to the quality and health of your hair- whether you are natural or relaxed.

I adopted a haircare regime for myself a couple of years ago after stumbling across an American web-site dedicating to teaching women with 'hard to grow Afro textured hair' the best ways to grow their natural Afro hair long and strong.

I read testimonials and saw pictures of women who had managed to grow their hair down their backs by adopting strict haircare regimes to follow daily. Trust me it really does work!

From doing my own research into black hair I have discovered that our hair is very unique-in that it is the weakest hair type out of all the races- this has been scientifically tested!

Chinese women are said to have the strongest hair type as it grows straight with thick strands, whereas afro hair due to its curly pattern is the weakest, no matter how coarse it may look, it really is very fragile.

For this reason adopting a haircare regime for your own hair, is what you need to give your hair a fighting chance of survival in the daily war it wages with everyday styling and wear and tear.

Hair GROWING LONG n STRONG...with a haircare regime!

Limit the amount of heat you put on your hair!

I want a regime for my hair- where do I start?

Firstly, it is not difficult to begin at all- the key is to keep it simple and be consistent and committed, in return... your hair will show you great results!

To be healthy hair needs a combination of the following essential things:


  • A mild Moisturising Shampoo
  • A good Moisturising Conditioner
  • A good Protein conditioner for treatments
  • A good Daily Moisturiser/leave-in conditioner
  • Oil /Grease for sealing in the moisturiser-
  • GROWTH STIMULATING Oil- for Stimulating and massaging the scalp
    and Water

Let me break it down!:

Water is essential to black hair, as it is moisture. The myth that washing your hair too often dries it out is wrong!...black hair is inherently dry all the time, so any chance it has to get wet- go for it!

Its more likely to be a harsh shampoo that is drying out your hair. Unlike gremlins we will not multiply if water touches us!!

H20- your hair needs it!

A Leave-in Conditioner or Hair Moisturiser...

is one of the most significant products your hair will ever need. Hair of Afro descent gets very dry, even more so when it is chemically relaxed. We need to apply moisture directly to the hair everyday. Daily moisturising is what will make the difference between your hair growing and retaining the length or growing and constantly breaking off at the ends. You can seal in the moisture with a final layer of hair oil or a light hair grease, pay close attention to the ends.

A Healthy Oil or A Light Grease- (never on the scalp)...

is very essential for black hair as our hair is curly by definition so the natural oils in the scalp do not travel down our hair strands the way in which it does for a person with naturally straight hair. Oil can be used to moisturise the scalp and also seal in moisture(as above) to the hair. A stimulating scalp oil not GREASE helps to promote hair growth, if your hair grows slowly or not noticeably to you at all, then a stimulating scalp oil that works on the hair roots, can help to improve slow hair growth and thinning hair in some cases.

A Mild Shampoo...

is one of the greatest gifts you can give your hair. A harsh shampoo will only strip the natural oils from the hair, making it even drier, and prone to breakage-which is never good.

If your hair feels stripped after washing normally, then your shampoo is too harsh. Your hair should feel a little slippy after washing not stripped bare!

A good Moisturising Conditioner...

should also be your hairs best friend, this will coat your hair after washing and depending on the ingredients can make your hair appear shinier and smoother.

A good Protein Shampoo...

is what every head of hair needs to survive!! Protein is what naturally gives our hair strength, as its naturally already present within your hair strands. If your hair is breaking- it may be in need of regular protein treatments, at least fortnightly or monthly depending on the level of breakage. If your hair is not breaking then a good protein treatment monthly is fine. Protein is like a tonic to a weak body!

I could suggest lots of different products to use but it depends on your hairs current condition as one thing does not fit all!

However a good mild shampoo to use is 'Creme of Nature's Detangling Shampoo' it does not contain the ingredient Sodium Lauryl Sulphate or SLS, which is often found in most shampoos. The SLS is very harsh for black hair and should be avoided at all costs.

A mild shampoo without the harmful SLS ingredient!

A GROWTH Stimulating Oil:

A growth stimulating oil like the ROOT ENERGiZER and the GROW-it LONG Serum both designed to really boost the natural hair growing process your hair goes through. If your hair is in braids or a weave both can be used very effectively.

They stimulate growth by using essential oils like ROSEMARY well documented for growing hair and Sulfur a mineral already in our bodies also well known for growing and SPEEDING up the rate of your hair growth.

A powerful Growth Tonic for Your scalp and thinning hair-line

Once you have established the products that your hair likes- one to match each of the essentials listed above you can set yourself a simple regime, similar to whats explained below:

For example if you have normal/dry hair with no breakage, try this:


1) Wash your hair at least 1-2 times a week-
I know it sounds crazy but out hair type loves water, you do not have to use shampoo but instead conditioner to wash with it adds moisture to your hair and the scalp thrives on being clean- that's when you hair grows best!
2) Apply conditioner after washing 2-3 times a week -
Your hair will love it- try to use a heated cap or hairdryer for at least 20 minutes to allow the conditioner to rewlly penetrate.

3) Moisturise your hair with a leave-in conditioner or creamy moisturiser- daily... next apply a coat of oil/light hair grease-
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is good) after the moisturiser, this will seal in the moisture as it provides a barrier...essential to having healthy hair and growing it long- pay special attention to the ends!
4) Apply a scalp stimulating GROWTH oil I stress again...NOT GREASE! to your hair 3 times a week... and massage your scalp for 5-7 minutes-

massaging with the oil and their specially formulated GROWING HAIR INGREDIENTS means both the ROOT ENERGiZER and the GROW-it-LONG serum- both promote a healthy scalp and great hair growth.

5) Apply a protein treatment to your hair every fortnight...
this will strengthen the hair from within.

Try this regime for yourself and see the health of your hair improve, it should be shinier, less dry and in a better condition to grow longer as it will be well nourished.

Hair is like a car...it needs maintenance and a good MOT to keep it in good working order - be consistent.

Next Post: How to look after your real hair whilst wearing extensions, a weave or a wig...


Do You Love Your Hair??

Diversity Rules!!

As Black women we are as diverse as the colours of the rainbow, from the myriad of brown tones that make up our skin- to the variances in our natural hair texture, from coily springs to wavy ripples that crash upon our scalps.

When we are born our hair is often one of the first things that is analysed in-depth...Granny will say she has good hair! because its lying thick and straight like an Indian's not realising that it has yet evolve and reveal its true texture, and when that happens its not so pretty anymore, her hair is not coolie! its coarse or tough.

If you have ever had a cousin who was mixed and had hair that effortlessly grew from her scalp down her back, she may have been seen as the favourite or the pretty one, even as a young child you were made aware that she had good hair...without knowing it your own family can sow negative seeds in a young child's mind about her own self-image!

Negative images of Our Hair!

This type of attitude is what leads to the bad relationship many young black girls and women grow up to have with their hair, they associate good hair with straight hair or long hair...when in reality good hair is well maintained hair, no matter how kinky or coarse. We need to understand our own hair as complex as it is...whether relaxed or natural your hair can be beautiful...

Where does this negativity towards our natural hair stem from?

If you think back to primary school when your hair was thick and bouncy in its plaits, the shine from the grease glistened in the sun and your scalp reflected the grease particles like a mirror...did you love your hair? Or did you secretly yearn for the silky swinging plaits adorned by your best friends Sally-Ann or Rima Patel?

Troubled Youth- the hairy truth...?

As I analyse hair in the society in which we are in now, I realise that young black girls, I am talking about girls aged from 7 to 14 years old know more about weaves and hair pieces than they do about maintaining their natural hair. I was horrified as I stood in the supermarket queue last week and I saw two young girls no older than 7 and 9 years old with their hair relaxed and scraped up into a pony-tail with a fake hair piece attached to to it- I was actually dumb-founded as I realised this was the emerging true state of young girls of this generation.

A Pony-tail is fine for a grown woman- but not for children!...


To make matters worse on a recent trip to America I went into a beauty supply store to stock up on some well needed US only based hair goodies and as I browsed thorough the weave section I came across- Phony Pony for Kids! a line of hair pieces produced for young children, so not only are we as as a community ignorant to the true nature of young girls identity crisis, hair weave manufacturers are now trying to exploit this very weakness they see in our race- as they target the kids!

Get Real...

Hair is a strong part of an individuals identity so like it or not it is a very significant part of our lives. your child sees you with your hair constantly in braids, weaved up or relaxed then they will grow with the picture in their mind that is normal. If you never wear your own hair out or constantly complain about how hard it is to deal with...your child will have this view of their own hair too.

Weaves and braids are fine as long as your real hair is healthy too! We need to show a balanced view of our hair...it is good hair irrespective of our genes!

Beautiful Natural Hair...

Early Impressions...matter!

The only way to impart hair confidence in your young daughter is to have confidence in your own hair. Learning to love your real hair, whether relaxed or natural is one of the greatest pearls of wisdom you can pass on to your impressionable child. If we never knew about weaves- this would be the only option. I am no weave-basher, as I wear them myself!

However, if mum loves her natural hair- daughter will too. Its that simple. Well maybe not but it is a start!
As one of the most important role models in your daughters life its important to let her understand- her natural hair is not to be grown merely to become an anchor for a silky weave or braids, no matter how much Beyonce swings her long mane of hair back and forth in her videos...she knows and we know its not real!

Black is beautiful and that extends to our hair too...your child needs to know she can have long natural hair when it is nurtured with the right type of products and TLC...Being black has never been easy!

Next Post: Do you have a hair care regime? and the importance of one...

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