Taking care of hair in a weave

I have not worn a weave in 3 years.  The last time I did wear one I had no idea how to take care of it.  Because of this my hair suffered.  I wore weaves and braids back to back from 2005 to 2008 but because I didn’t know how to take care of my hair in these styles my hair suffered.  My hair broke and my hairline became very thin.  I am still working on getting my hairline back on track.  I’m almost there.

I have been getting a lot of questions about weaves and looking after hair in weaves.  I decided to do some research and write up a post on it.  Here is what I learnt:

  • It is not recommended that you wear a weave for more than 3 months.  This is because your hair will begin to matt and you will lose hair trying to detangle it when you take the weave off.
  • Ask the hairstylist not to cornrow the baby hair on your hairline if you are going to have a full weave i.e. none of your hair left out.  This is one of the mistakes I made when I wore weaves.  All my hair was tightly cornrowed and I lost hair along my hairline.
  • If you want to wear weaves back to back, go about 2 weeks between the weaves.  In this time take care of your hair.  Make sure you deep condition and moisturise it.  This will maintain your hairs health.
  • Try to stay away from weaves that need to be glued in.  The glue can be very damaging to the hair.  Choose weaves that are sewn or clipped in.
  • Choose weaves that can be washed often!  Some weaves do not look good after being washed.  This usually results in women wearing weaves for months without washing them.
  • To wash your weave dilute (with water) your shampoo and deep conditioner in applicator bottles.  These are readily available in pharmacies and beauty stores.  Pour the diluted shampoo onto your hair, concentrating on the braided cornrows underneath the weave.  Gently massage your scalp, and rinse thoroughly. Pour the diluted deep conditioner the same way.  Leave it on your hair for some time and rinse thoroughly.  If you wish you can wear a shower cap to generate some heat.  In each case, concentrate on your hair underneath the weave.
  • Apply a moisturiser to your hair (not weave).  Apply the moisturiser to the cornrowed hair one line at a time to ensure even coverage.  If you would like to oil the scalp then apply the oil between the cornrows.  Remember to also pay attention to the hairline.
  • Make sure hair gets completely dry after washing otherwise it will smell!!
  • Wash, condition and moisturise your hair frequently in weaves.  Wash once a week if possible.

Weaves are great protective styles if the hair is taken care of.



  1. Chiza Westcarr says

    Hi thanks fir sharing. You say your hair is on the road to recovery. How gave you managed to restore your hairline? I have traction alopecia from years if corn rowing and braiding. I now wear my hair in tiny natural plaits and am mindful of letting my hairdresser know not to include my hairline finer hairs in the plaits.

    • says

      I think recovery came mainly from stopping the braids and weaves that were damaging the hailine in the first place. I also apply castor oil to ,my scalp (and hairline) twice a week. I think the combination of the two has made a difference. If i have braids or a weave now i will be very particular about my hairline :)

  2. says

    Hi Tendayi,

    I want to try a weave as a protective hairstyle but am missing a few points,

    How long between removing the weave and retouching the new growth must one wait? Can I remove the weave and retouch in the same week?

    You mention we make sure hair gets completely dry after washing otherwise it will smell!! How do you propose one dries it? Blow dry?

    How often should one wash their hair whilst in a weave? Is it every 2 weeks like in the braids case?

    Thanks :-)

    • says

      After a protective style (like braids) I usually wait 2 weeks before relaxing my hair again. In that time I make sure to treat it with tlc and make sure I wash as well as moisturise it adequately. Hair must be in optimal condition before getting a relaxer for best results as well as to minimise breakage.

      You can air dry your hair, it is not always necessary to blow dry. It often dries quite quickly especially in the summer time.

      While hair is in a weave, treat it just as you would when you wear it out. You can wash it weekly (or twice a week if you prefer). I wash my braids weekly.

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