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FEATURES Jun 2 2013 7:05PM

Using Weaves as a Method of Protective Hairstyling

by Lianne Farbes

When you think of a weave, what is the first thing that comes to mind?  For most, people are under the misconception that people who wear them have issues with their hair. Granted, some people are definitely using them for that.  I want to talk to you about a whole new breed of weave wearers. Today’s weave wearer uses it as an accessory AND a means to protect their hair. Protective hairstyles are wonderful ways to keep your hair covered for an extended period of time.

I started thinking about this journey back in January.  Yes, January.  Why? Because I know I only had a few months before the weather in DC gets crazy.  Here in what’s known as the Mid-Atlantic states, we have a little issue called HUMIDITY that prevails from April to sometimes early to mid September. During that time, I always get a keratin treatment. It is one of the only ways to make my hair manageable for an extended period of time.  My hair is a humidity magnate, any available moisture will come straight to me without fail. This year, my plan was to start working out more and to do that I didn’t want to have to worry about my hair not looking cute or unmanageable.  So, I got in touch with my girl Gabrielle Corney who just so happens to be a celebrity stylist to discuss some options for protective styling.  I knew that I wanted something I wouldn’t have to worry about. I wanted to be able to wear it natural and place as little heat on it as possible for an extended amount of time.  Gabi suggested I try a weave.  “A weave!?” I asked.  “Yes Lianne, a WEAVE,” was her reply. She schooled me on the ins and outs and what I needed to do to make sure it was successful. After her thorough explanation, I was down and we got to work!  She told me to make sure to get my hair trimmed so that I could track hair growth/health progress without dealing with split ends. So I took care of that and we set up an appointment at Styles Hair Studio in NYC where she has a chair.

Now back to my situation...you may look at me and say, “Why are you getting a weave?” I will answer simply by saying, because I can and because I know now that if you take care of it properly your hair will emerge from its little vacation unscathed.  I have heard horror stories about people leaving their weaves in for 4-8 months.  You can’t do that (not if you want to have any hair left when you’re done, that is).  I am told that 8 weeks is the MAX and even then, you must take extreme care of your hair during that time.  The hair we used is Indique Pure Wavy, which is SUPER close to my natural texture (VERY IMPORTANT). Gabi did a custom dip dye job on the hair that matched my ombre hair color PERFECTLY, too.

Gabrielle told me that since my hair is fine, she was going to use a net on top of the braid down to minimize my hair from unraveling over the 8-week time period. “By using the net, it will help you to keep the style in longer…the net will cover the braided area and essentially protect the hair. The braids will still get loose but they will be contained within the net,” Corney stated. She would then sew the hair on top leaving a good amount of my own hair out in the front, sides and back so I could wear it in a ponytail.  After the install, she blew everything out (it straightened like a dream) and used a 1-inch barrel to make some soft curls that fell and dropped nicely over the next few days.

The first time I washed and dried my hair on my own was great – very easy.  I washed and conditioned, used a deep conditioner on the ends and let it air dry.  I had perfect easy waves.  When I went running, I put it in a ponytail easily.

I have been wearing my hair for a week now and the benefits have been AMAZING.  I went swimming, washed and let my hair air dry.  I have been running every morning, sweating and I am able to freshen with a little dry shampoo, wet the hair and refresh the style.  I use minimal styling products, just some Infusium 21 when I wear it natural.  When I do straighten it, I use a little styling cream,  blowdryer and a curling iron -  the hair flat irons beautifully.

I will re-visit Gabi in 8 weeks, she will take out the Indique hair…wash and condition my hair…re-braid it and re-use the hair again for another 8 weeks.  I am hoping I can make it through the whole summer without having to do one keratin treatment! If I am lucky, I will even have some good growth by the time this little project is finished!  I plan on taking some more pics as we go, and I will document hair growth and health along the way.  I hope you will join me!


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