There’s an inevitable question I find myself answering when I am installing a fresh weave on one of my clients. That question is usually introduced when I’m sewing on the last track, ready to start blending, cutting or flat ironing/curling….and that is “Tam, I’m trying to grow my hair out, how long should I keep my weave in?”
From here I ask, “Do you want to know how long you should? Or how long you can?”
Remember, it’s wefts of hair sewn onto your braided hair. So long as it doesn’t loosen and fall out, you really can keep them on your head forever. But if you’re looking for the answer to how long you “should” then my answer will always be the same.
“Four to Six weeks.”
This is usually followed by stories of how she has this ‘one cousin’ who grew her hair down to her ankles by leaving her hair in one install for 4 months, which is all well and good, but if you had your mind made up that you’d try to keep your install for as long as possible, keep this in mind.
- You shed up to 100 hairs a day. When your hair is in braids, those shed hairs have no where to go but into your braids, tucked under your weave. Allowing those to build up not only keeps your scalp from being clean and dry with good healthy air flowing to it, the shed hair can tangle and mat in the braids.
- Weaves that have been in for months collect lots of dead skin and oily flakes. These are hard to wash out and can harbor bacteria that can inflame your scalp, which creates an unhealthy environment for healthy hair growth.
- The braids are the secure style that holds your weave. Because you grow a half and inch of hair, and there’s a degree of slipping that your weave experiences, having weight on braids that aren’t secure to your head can cause breakage.
I’d love to say you can wear your weave for months and months at a time. But common sense and good hygiene should come first. The longer you wear a weave, the higher the possibility for irreversible damage. Baby your locks and they will be good to you. Sure it isn’t convenient but if thick, long, healthy hair is the goal, certain sacrifices must be made.