You've rocked a hair weave for the recommended period of time, and now it's time to remove it. While some would rather put in another set of extensions right away, it's important to do five things first. As long as you practice good habits and your hair (and hairline) will remain healthy enough to sport another weave when it's time.
In order to ensure a quick and easy removal process, we rounded up the top 5 tips you should incorporate into your removal routine. Not only do these steps help you maintain healthy hair, but it also gives your hair some downtime between looks. Keep reading for more info on the steps to removing a weave, and how to keep your hair looking healthy and great without the extra length.
Even with the most diligent care when wearing extensions, you'll still experience quite a bit of shed hair the first time you comb through your new growth. This is hair that you would normally comb out each day, but since it's been hidden for weeks, most of it has stayed on your head. Once you remove your weave, but before you approach your hair with a comb, gently work through your tresses—especially the new growth—with your fingers. This detangling method is a less harsh method than attacking your hair with a comb right away. Once you've worked through any tangles with your fingers, follow up with a large wide-tooth comb.
Detangle With Shampoo and Conditioner
After shampooing with a moisturizing cleanser, apply a generous amount of a moisturizing conditioner, and comb through the entire length of your hair while it's saturated. As always, begin at the ends of your mane and slowly work your way up toward the scalp. Again, don't be alarmed by the amount of shedding. When you can easily comb through your conditioned tresses, rinse completely.
Deep Condition Your Strands
Immediately follow your shampoo and conditioner session with a deep conditioning treatment. Look for products formulated for dry hair for optimal hydration. Try the ORS Olive Oil Replenishing Conditioner ($8). Leave the deep conditioner on for the recommended time, adding heat if the directions suggest.
Depending on how comfortable you are taking care of your own hair, you can trim your ends yourself or visit your stylist. Your strands have been pretty well-protected while in extensions, so hopefully, you haven't suffered any undue damage. In most cases, you'll only need a simple "dusting", where the smallest amount is clipped to clean up the ends.
Let Your Hair Rest
As tempting as it might be to retouch your new growth or put in another set of extensions right away, don't. Your scalp and hair need time (anywhere from a couple of weeks to a month) to rest. When you wear a weave, a small amount of stress is placed on the scalp from the extra weight of the extension hair, and your scalp needs time to recover. It's important to find a style or styles you can rock for the next couple of weeks that don't rely on chemicals or added hair. This ensures a healthy scalp and hairline; without a healthy hairline, wearing hair additions becomes much more difficult over time.
Wearing a hair weave can have benefits, but you won't realize them if you practice bad habits during or after wearing the weave. While you shouldn't rely on extensions 100 percent of the time, if you wear them and treat them properly, they can be a fun, stylish addition to your hairstyle arsenal.