Ways to Moisturize Your Hair Under a Weave

a woman with long brown hair

Charisse Kenion/Unsplash

Wearing a weave isn't an "out of sight, out of mind" deal for your hair. Remember, your tresses are still there, sitting protected beneath the weave hair. They still require your attention, namely in the form of moisture. Anyone who has ever neglected her hair for six to eight weeks (or more) while sporting a weave usually lives to regret it. There are definitely ways to get moisture to your own mane while wearing a weave, so no excuses! You probably won't have to worry about moisturizing every day, but try a minimum of once per week.

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Regular Cleansing

Your hair and scalp still require regular cleansing and conditioning even under a weave. Plan to shampoo and condition every 7 to 10 days. This isn't the best time to co-wash because cleansing without shampooing can leave unsightly buildup on weave hair. Use a regular, moisturizing shampoo and focus your cleansing efforts on your scalp.

Routine exposure to water keeps your tresses well-moisturized, so don't be afraid of wash day. Yes, you'll need to be very gentle when cleansing to prevent premature and unnecessary loosening of your tracks, but it can be done. Don't forget to follow up with a moisturizing conditioner, being sure to rinse it completely off your entire head.

To maintain your braided base as much as possible, insert your fingers beneath the weave hair and only rub the areas of your scalp that are exposed by the partings in your braids.

Be sure to allow your tresses to completely dry; you may need a hooded or bonnet dryer to help get rid of all excess water.

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Try a Scalp Treatment

Itchiness is a common complaint of weave wearers, but you don't have to suffer. First, if you cleanse as you should, you shouldn't have the drastic itchiness of someone with a dirty scalp. Second, you can try massaging your scalp with a natural oil like jojoba, but go light -- you don't want excess oil loosening up your tracks and shortening the life of the weave. You might also try dotting tea tree oil along your scalp on particularly itchy areas.

Finally, there are product lines and tools made just for weave wearers. The Luxe Therapy brand offers products designed for helping you care for your hair while wearing a weave; it also offers the handy Scalp Soother tool that alleviates that itch in a gentle way that promises not to damage your hair or scalp.

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Spritzing your hair daily or as needed may be another way to maintain good moisture levels, depending on the type of weave you have, especially if you're wearing a natural weave that matches your curl pattern and natural hair routine. A water-based product is best. Try a leave-in conditioner like Infusium 23 Leave-in, Ion Anti-Frizz Solutions or Oyin Hair Dew. Work it into your scalp if it feels dry. This wouldn’t be highly recommended if you're wearing a straight weave that requires heat styling; in that case, your extensions probably won't need much spritzing at all—it's more important to concentrate any moisture onto your scalp, where your braided base lies.

Beware of spritz overload, however. It's very easy for your natural hair to remain damp beneath the weave if you spritz too much. Hair in a constant wet/damp state will have its own set of problems, so start with a light hand and don't spritz more than once per day.

While weaves work as great protective style options, they require some upkeep along with your natural mane. Keeping your tresses well-moisturized while you sport a weave will help ensure healthy hair once you remove your additions.

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