The foundation of a good-looking weave is in the kind of braid you use.
While you don’t have to make best-looking braids because they aren’t going to be seen outside anyway, they should be firm yet not so tight. They should also follow a pattern.
The pattern matters more than anything else you could think of.
This is because unless you have the right patterns, the weave will not be flat and therefore not natural looking.
I know most of us just know the style we want for our hair but we mostly don’t know the braids that go down well with it. I intend to show you the different braid patterns you can use for different hairstyles.
How Do You Braid Your Hair for A Sew In
Wash and condition your hair
Whenever you would like to wear a hair extension, it’s advisable to have your hair nicely washed and condition.
This is mostly because you expect your hair to take a little long in the sew in.
Here’s the thing though, before you begin the cornrow process, you should make sure the hair is nicely dry.
Don’t ever sew in on wet hair as that is just rooting for disaster.
What will you need?
Prepare anything you will need for the process in advance. You shouldn’t start the process only to remember you forgot something and you must rush to the shops for it.
You need a wide-toothed comb for the process, fine-toothed comb, and a hair pack.
Set aside about 3-4 clips that will help in the parting of the hair as you are making the cornrows.
You can also bring your detangling spray to ease the process of combing your hair.
Make the part of your hair
When making a sew-in, you will create layers upon layers and the part is going to guide you into the place where you should expose the scalp. Some people like it at the center or the sides. Once you have that one selected then you will make the cornrows based on its guide.
You should be careful when choosing this part since you won’t change it until you are ready to get rid of the sew in. It will also determine the outcome of your weave.
Begin to braid
Your first braid is going to be the small braid which wraps around the edge of the face and head as well as the nape. Have them starting on either side of your head and running down to the nape since that’s where they join.
Next, section another part of your hair that follows the edge braid as you clip the other portion of the hair. Start plaiting the hair and move to the neck again then do it to the other side of the head as well.
You want to have the braids being close to the scalp and make the braids not so tight yet not so loose.
Now take care of the part
You can braid two rows on either side of the part ensure they are away from each other. Make some French braids towards the back side of your head or front one.
At this juncture, confirm that the braids are running parallel to the part you chose.
Now to the center braids
Remember you formed braids on the edges and at the center. Now it’s your work to go on and form the full braids that will wrap your hair around.
Once you have it all fixed you will notice that the braids form a concentric circle around the part you created. As you are braiding you should continue spraying your hair with the detangling spray then this will make the braids easier.
Once you are through, the braids shouldn’t at all be painful.
Work inwards on the braids. You should use the tiny braids you started with on each side of the part to act as the guide to the new braid.
Now that you are finishing, tie off the ends of the braids and tuck them under the finished braid as this will hide its tail.
1. Basic braiding patterns
If you are of afro-descent you will know some of the simple cornrows that your mum used to like making on your hair. You need such braids on here. They are simple to push back braids and they are the easiest to make. This is because you don’t have to part them anywhere.
Sometimes you will find these braids being used for crocheting but they also work when you are making a sew in weave or even a wig.
These braids are the cheapest to achieve yet thankfully you can make some very unique style with the braids. You will notice that these cornrows are also popular among hip hop artists. You will have a natural look with this style and you don’t have to feel bulky at the end.
While this style is the best and let’s say the easiest to do, it also doesn’t give you the versatility you need in parting a sew in weave.
2. Straight back braids for a sew in with part or bangs
For this style what you are looking for is how you can fix the bangs. The braids that you are making downwards are easy and smooth to make they end up giving you a natural look.
As you can see at the front part though you ought to make some side flowing cornrows as this will serve in directing your bangs to the right position.
This is another popular braiding method that you will use for the sew in weaves and crocheting where necessary. This will make it even easy for you to create an ideal hairstyle with bangs.
Some people even use it for soft dreads and curly braids. You simply form the braids to mimic the traditional beehive hairstyle. The reason why people love these braids is that they are flat. It has a large flat surface area which works to enhance the sew in style.
If you will, for example, hold your hair in a ponytail, you should use the beehive style. This style will suit your curly hairstyle but not the straight one since you don’t have a part section on the front part.
Even if you used bangs, they won’t be able to part as you would with other regular bangs. Though its popular method, it won’t give you much of versatility for the styles available.
4. The zigzag braid pattern
Here from the name you simply make the braids that will criss-cross each other back and forth. These braids cross each other horizontally to form the common zigzag braiding pattern. For some people, this style looks complex but its the ideal pattern for most hairstyles.
The good thing about the braids is that you will achieve the layered look with the braids.
They make the braids appear more natural than any other style.
You have the chance to choose where to form the part and therefore you can make the zigzag patterns in different ways.
The good thing is that you end up with the most natural look. However, note that it’s hard to remove the braids when you are trying to take it all down.
5. Vixen braid
There’s only one thing that sets a vixen sew in apart and it’s normally in the braiding pattern used.
You can have a 4-part vixen, 3-part vixen or 2 part one.
Here the pattern you use will determine how much versatility you want. If you, for example, want to rock a high or low pigtail bun use the part vixen.
If you want to rock a 2-part French braid then use two-part vixen braids.
The main thing to note in this style is that you have the hair divided to four sections and you can also make some leave outs if you want to. When done rightfully it will look all natural.
What makes this style ideal is that you will style it on the side part, pull the hair back or even make a ponytail.
For most sew in specialists, this is by far the most difficult style to make but the ramification is worth it.
Here is how it works: section the hair about an inch around its perimeter and you can leave the middle part cross section of the vertical and the horizontal part of the middle.
Next, since you have the four-section braid down those parts in a circular motion.
With this style, you can part the hair in four sections as you can see below.
6. Diagonal braids
If you intend to have the side swept bangs on the forehead, this is the braid to take on. With this braid, you will style the braids into a high ponytail and bun or any other classy updo of your choice.
Today we will all agree that the hair extension of weaves and wigs are the in styles. What’s more, is that the braids you use as the base will either allow you to style your hair into different patterns or not.
This one normally looks like the straight back part method though it goes all the way to the end of your head in a curve. It works almost like a swoop. The braids will even allow you to wear braids with your favorite bangs.
You can further use the braids if you intend to wear a ponytail or high up bun.
7. Asymmetrical braiding pattern
Today you will all agree with me that there are a number of other unique braiding patterns coming in to suit the different styles that we have on the weaving style. This one came into being out of the creativity of the hairdressers to make the weave more versatile.
You have the deep side part of the braids that you will use to make the different styling options. It works for you whether you prefer curly, straight and wavy pattern. This style is meant to give your extension a more believable look.
With this braid, you can wear all the different straight hairstyles if you want. If you, in fact, want to make some leave outs to blend in with your hair extension you will be good to go. If you want to make the braids big the better as that will ensure you don’t experience pain from tightness.
8. U part braids
The reason why people love u part is that it gives you the versatility to try all the different styles from the different parts you can make with the style. Your weave will be styled in different ways while still making it look all natural.
With these braids, you can even install a mohawk if you like it. There are very many styles for you to try when wearing a u part braid. So, in this case, from the name, you simply leave a u part section of the hair at the front.
You can then braid the back part to form straight back cornrows and then cross the other braids in the middle to cross over each other. You will, therefore, create multiple parts. Go on to make the curved parting as opposed to the straight one.
In order to make the sew in look natural, straighten your leave outs and use the sew in extension that mimics your own hair texture.
9. Easy braid pattern with leave outs
For the leave outs style, the sew in style have been in existence for ages. So, what happens with this style is that you plait the cornrows and leave some of the natural hair out. You will, therefore, have the hair blending in with the sew in to make it look natural.
Now if that is all you are reaching for; you should have the leave outs matching with your own sew in extension. Ensure that you don’t have two different textures on the same hair.
10. Sew in braid pattern for a lace closure
When making a sew in, sometimes the last thing you want is to use a glue for the more natural look. If you are such a person, you can make some braids that look as though you are creating a middle part.
You then let the braids run from the middle part all the way to the sides and to the back. You will have the sew in braids at the back being straight back but the ones at the edges are like curved.
How to Take Care of Your Hair Under the Wigs
As we had mentioned earlier, the foundation of a great weave is in the braids. If you have high-quality braids, then you will have a good sew in weave.
One thing that most people forget and it’s vital is to take care of their natural hair. If you do not take good care of our hair then the weave will end up being destructive rather than protective.
Do the following, to take care of the weave
Shampoo and condition that hair
You should regularly shampoo your hair whether you have the weave on or not but especially when you do. Since you have the weave covering the braids it will be hard to shampoo your hair, therefore, you should use the applicator bottle for the process.
Ensure you squeeze the bottle that has the diluted shampoo underneath the tracks. Ensure the shampoo is concentrated on your scalp and natural hair parts then gently massage it so that it reaches each strand of your hair.
Next shampoo the hair extension as well and once you have it clean, rinse the hair in a downward motion.
You should then do the same with the conditioner as this will help to moisturize both the weave and your own natural hair. Comb the hair to avoid mating and tangling. Also, remember to rinse it in a downward trend.
Use the scalp oil
While the weave protects your scalp and natural hair, it will still need some form of nourishment. Buy yourself the natural oils and use it on your scalp and to the natural hair that’s braided. Massage it but remember not to use a lot of oil on the scalp rather just enough oil.
Unless you have human hair wigs you shouldn’t use the oils on the weave itself. Some of the best oils to use are argan oil and jojoba oil.
Even as you concentrate on taking care of your natural hair, you should never forget the weave. Remember to cleanse it, comb it regularly to avoid tangling and moisturize it. Every once in two weeks you can deep condition the weave especially if it’s a human hair type.
Never use too much heat when you are styling the hair. You should also stay away from heavy products.
Remove the weave when it’s time
A good weave should last up to 8 weeks at most. During this time, you can take care of your hair following the above step. However, even if your weave still looks new, you should remove it after 8 weeks. This will give you the opportunity to take care of your own natural hair.
Tips to Make Great Braids
- Never install the braids on unclean hair. Since you will have the sew in for a prolonged time, wash clean it first.
- Take your time to moisturize the natural hair before you begin the installation. This will help to keep your hair from drying.
- Space the hair correctly as this will give the hair some breathing space. Nevertheless, use the sew-in to add more hair for enhanced volume.
- At the front of your hair or hairline, you should make some thin strips to make sure the cornrows are invisible and small.