I sometimes get asked by the bold and the curious if I wash my hair while wearing extensions.
The answer: Of course I wash my hair! What do I look like, a stray cat?
Just because you have been hooked up with the flyest, illest and sickest weave by the weave gawds, you should NEVER neglect what you were naturally given. That is my number-one rule whilst wearing weaves or extensions, and it’s a shame that many weave wearers often neglect their own hair and then wonder later on when they uninstall their extensions why their real hair is so damaged, brittle and unhealthy.
But at the end of the day, it’s not a stupid question. Here is my haircare routine when “wash day” rolls around to nurture and care for my natural hair, as well as to maintain the hair extensions attached to it.
Weave wearers be like, it’s wash day…
Let me preface by saying that I normally wear human hair full sew-in weaves with a human hair lace closure. I personally do not like leaving my natural hair out so I do not have to apply heat to my naturally kinky 4C-texture hair to have it mimic the texture of the extensions on my head. My braid pattern is always the same: a full head of vertical cornrows with the weft extensions laid and sewn horizontally to avoid any tension to my natural hair and natural hairline (damn you edges!). I found that this braid pattern works best for me and my hair, but to each her own.
For me, “wash day” is usually every two weeks. It is a really simple process but it is also REALLY lengthy, so I like to make sure that I have the time to fully dedicate myself to doing this both gently as well as thoroughly.
First and foremost, my best friend while wearing weaves is an applicator bottle because it is WAY easier to apply the oils and products to my scalp and natural hair while my hair is braided down and weaved up. So I highly suggest you invest in a few them.
Step 1: Oils
As a pre-shampoo treatment, I fill my first applicator bottle with a mixture of equal parts of olive oil, carrot oil, and Jamaican Black Castor Oil.
I like this particular mixture because it fights breakage while promoting hair growth. I separate each track and douse my scalp with the concoction, row by row, until every inch of my head is covered.
Once that’s done, I really like to focus on my hairline to avoid breakage of my edges, which has been an issue for me in the past. For my edges in particular, I massage the mixture, in a circular motion, which helps to nurture hair growth by increasing blood circulation in the scalp.
I then put on a thick plastic shower cap and allow my natural body heat to activate the mixture for an hour to an hour and 15 minutes as a “hot oil” treatment of sorts. You can also choose to apply the mixture and proceed to sit under a hooded dryer for 30 minutes to 45 minutes. Either which way, this allows it to really take effect and absorb into my hair follicles.
While it is penetrating, I’ll do some chores around the house as time passes (but really I am watching Teen Mom 2 because I am addicted–don’t judge me). I allot this time mostly because I really want to ensure it really seeps into my roots. For those of you with a leave-out, you can use the same mixture and do the same step because all of these oils are beneficial for healthier and stronger hair.