You've just taken out the weave that's kept your hair protected these past several weeks. You're ready to move on to the next style, so after all the weave hair is removed, you're about to hit the shower.
Wetting/shampooing your hair immediately after taking out your weave is often a surefire way to serious matting and tangles, sometimes to the point that it's almost impossible to remove the tangles without also removing large portions of your hair.
Steps to Take to Avoid Post-weave Matting
Before you put a drop of water on your hair, detangling is a must. If you put water on hair that's been braided away for weeks on end without combing through it first, it'll probably draw and shrink right up into a matted nightmare that you may never get untangled. Then you'd have to cut off all of that new growth that you love so much.
- Immediately after taking out a hair weave, take the time to section your natural hair with your fingers. Your parts won't be straight or even and that's fine. Work through each section slowly and carefully with your fingers first—be patient because you'll probably have quite a few tangles to work through (this isn't a job to tackle when you're in a hurry). Have a spray bottle handy filled with water, a water and oil combo or a leave-in conditioner. You might also want to coat each section as you detangle it with coconut oil or another pre-poo oil of your choice. As you finger detangle each section, pin it up out of the way before moving on to the next area.
- Once you've detangled with your fingers, now you can pull out your wide-tooth comb. Go over each section again, beginning at the bottom and moving toward your scalp. Spray more water or conditioner as needed, but don't saturate your hair; leaving it slightly damp is fine for now. You'll see a lot of hair come out on your comb. Don't be alarmed! This is the hair that normally would have shed daily and even though it seems like a large amount, it's not cause for concern. Remember that we typically shed anywhere from 50-150 strands of hair per day. If your weave has been in for several weeks, think about all the hair that accumulated over that time that had nowhere to go.
- Comb through all sections of your hair, pinning them out of the way as you go along. Your hair doesn't need to be 100% tangle-free. Being able to comb through each area without catching on major snags is sufficient.
Once that's done, now you're free to shampoo and condition. Making sure your tresses are thoroughly wet, and using the movement of the water to further loosen any tangles, is a good way to ensure you can cleanse and condition your hair with no worry of it matting up. Again, this is a process that deserves ample time and patience, so be prepared for a lengthy care session. Done right, you won't lose any of your hair unnecessarily and, after a period of rest, you can move on to your next weave style.