So you need some hair covering for your head, and you have to decide which to go with- Weaves, or Wigs. Maybe you’ve never used one of them before but everyone’s using them so what do you do? Which to go with can be a decision you make based on many factors, or for some, on personal preference. First, what you need is the important information that helps you make up your mind:
Weaves are braided hair sewn down with the hair weft extensions sewn onto the braids. A weave can consist of a few tracks, or the whole head can be braided(what we call weaving or cornrows) for a full head weave. With a full headweave, the braids are sewn down or covered with a net. Extensions are then sewn to the braids.
Even with this choice, there are many options within. You could decide to go with the Fusion Hair Extensions, the Clip in Hair extensions, the Glue in Hair extensions and the Sew in Hair extensions. Briefly:
Fusion Hair Extensions
Fusion Hair Extensions may be the most expensive and some of the longest lasting hair extensions created. These are different because they fuse the extensions individually to each strand by hot heat tools or beads, and can also be applied by hooks. This process if done by a professional (which is highly recommended) can cost up to 2,000 dollars. ( approximately N800,000)! They however have already made kits that make it obtainable to do at home although you’d still need to learn.
- can be styled as if its real hair in (up dos, high ponytails and buns, ect)
- long lasting, if done correctly these can last up to five months
- ideal for short hair because it gives you the fuller, longer look.
- hair loss can occur when combing because they are fused to the hair and the shaft can become very weak and brittle from the tugging
- Even though they last long they are expensive to buy and install and you also have to pay specific costs for the installation.
- Some may fall out and show between your natural hair if you have thin hair or if they are applied all over.
Clip in Hair Extensions
Clip in hair extensions are a quick and easy way to add volume and length to hair. They also are affordable and you can make them yourself at home, which can save you extra money.
- easy application
- quick to apply and remove
- if its human hair it can be styled to blend in with natural hair.
- Your hair is still subject to heat and other damage
- if not applied correctly they can fall out
- short term style
- less style options
- if cheap they can damage your hair.
Glue In Hair Extensions are cheap and can be done at home. They are also very quick and easy to install, they blend a lot more to look natural and have a lot more styling options than clip ins and fusion hair extensions. However, this may be the most damaging installation ever! As far as applying these to give your hair a break and retain length, glue-ins are not the answer for you. If not removed properly you can damage your hair shaft which is worst than having damaged ends. They may only be good for short term use, the racks can slide out once the glue gets old or wet, there is a good amount of hair breakage when brushing or combing and the worst is that the glue can stay in your hair long after the tracks are gone!
Sew-in Hair Extensions
Sew in hair extensions may be one of the more growth beneficial extensions! With your hair safely braided away you’re able to have all the styles you want and retain length and get growth benefits. Sew ins allow you to try different styles while treating your hair and they have the most benefits in the long run- your hair is protected, can be styled in so many different ways, can be blended or you can use closure pieces or braiding methods that allow your hair to be fully protected, you will be able to wash and moisturize your hair, it can be used as a short or long term installation and most importantly you will be able to retain your growth.
Cons: If braided too tight your hair can be damaged or it can result in hair loss and if you use a net for extra protection, your hair won’t be able to be washed or moisturized as much.
These are just a few of the most common extensions.
There are those who complain that wigs are hot and can be itchy and uncomfortable for them like they have caps on. They become self-conscious and their confidence drops.Those who love their weaves however, like the fact that they sit down once for all, have it sewn on and move on. No constantly having to remove and wear it over again, maybe even every day. They like that they can touch their scalp still and avoid the risk of having it being tugged at without it hopping off!
Hair weaves take the brunt of daily styling so it is also important to ensure that your sew-in installation is done by a trained professional. It may be cheaper to go to your best friends younger sister but if she doesn’t install the weave properly the long term damage to your hair will exceed whatever you paid for the sew-in. Quality extensions are another thing that will make your sew-in last long and look it’s best. Purchase hair that doesn’t shed or tangle easily as you will be washing and styling your hair so it is important to keep it looking great.
This has become more popular than it used to be with wigs now made lighter, more natural and convenient for the user. Proponents would say it’s easier to use and then take it off when and wherever you feel like it , knowing you can put it back on again the next day.
There are many options to consider however, when choosing a wig include also, the hair type, wig construction and method of production. What you need to know at the moment though, is the different types of wigs.
Natural & Synthetic Wigs:
Synthetic hair is made from acrylic or nylon fibers, whereas natural hair can be human hair or human hair mixed with animal hair (such as horses, angora rabbits, or sheep).
- There are many high-quality synthetic wigs on the market that are both beautiful and affordable.
- Synthetic wigs are less likely to tangle but they tend to wear out after 3-6 months, sometimes within weeks.
- They are able to retain their shape and style, even after washing and tend to be cooler than human hair.
- One major disadvantage is there’s not much you can do to a synthetic wig once purchased i.e. dying it various colors or curling it with a curling iron.
Human hair is usually the highest quality hair, but only when details of construction and processing are taken into account.
- Natural hair wigs can last up to five years with proper care, are thicker, can be styled with heat and often have a more genuine look, therefore tend to be more expensive.
- Natural wigs are more versatile and can be dyed different colors (permanent or semi-permanent) and styled with various forms of heat. Note: after washing, a natural wig needs to be restyled whereas, synthetic wigs should never be heat-styled.
Both synthetic and human hair wigs can be made in a variety of textures and styles.
Hair expert, Emmy Award-Wining Celebrity Hair Stylist, Hadiiya Barbel, gives the run down on various specialty wigs currently on the market. These include:
- U- Shaped: This wig has an opening that clips in so you can pull your natural hair through to give the look of a blend, which is similar to how a weave is done and looks. This works best if the exact texture of your natural hair and the wig is a match. If not, then a wig with full coverage is best.
- Full Lace: This has the most flexibility and can even be worn in a high ponytail! This is made from a stretch cap in most cases. Individual strands are pulled through the cap and gives the illusion of hair coming from the scalp. It must be applied with an adhesive like tape or bonding glue. This gives the most authentic hairline for the full coverage but is very delicate and must be treated with care. It is possible to sew combs or clips on the full lace when adhesives are not desired.
- Lace Front: A lace-front wig is a full wig that has a lace mesh attached in front of the hairline that allows for custom fitting and styling. The lace front is glued to the forehead, providing a seamless transition to the skin. This wig is hand-tied in the very front with machine wefts in the back.
- Closure: A closure is not a wig but rather, an attachment used to close a weave without the use of the natural hair. This mimics either a lace wig or a silk top and is usually sewn in along with weaving or making a custom wig by hand.
- Silk Top Wig – This is the most natural looking scalp compared to all wigs. Most high end wigs use a silk top as the knots are hidden under a second piece of material which gives an illusion of “flesh tone.” There is some flexibility and it is usually multi-directional at the crown of the head. You cannot wear this in a high ponytail or off the face unless intricate detailing and styling is done to it by a professional. Machine wefts are in the back. This is secured with combs or clips that snap in.
- Half Wig – A half wig is basically half of a wig (the bottom half.) This is used when one wants to add fullness and body to their hair along with some length. This is a popular option for women who may not want to cover their entire hair but need fullness and a bit of length. This is secured with combs or clips that snap in.
- Monofilament Wig – Monofilament wigs are made using a sheer, gauze-like wig cap. This cap allows the color of the wearer’s scalp to show through, creating more of a natural look. Hairs are hand-tied to the fabric. This is especially great for patients with hair-loss as it will not irritate the scalp. Some wigs are made with only a strip of the monofilament fabric beneath the hair’s part, with the rest of the fabric being made of a sturdier material with machine-wefted hair, providing a “mono” look for a fraction of the price.
Its also important to know that you really do not have to choose only one option after all is said and done. Which ever way you want to go could just be to suit you at the moment. Most women who do weaves have wigs too in their closets. After all, there’s enough to go round isn’t there?
Research: Infinity hair.com, un-ruly.com, beahairs.com.