What Is A Weave? Complete Guide to Definition, Maintenance, and Styles
Definition of a Weave(what is a weave)
A weave could mean two things:
1.Braiding of a person’s natural hair
2.Fixing of an artificial or natural hair extension to the human hair.
For this article, we would stick with definition number two. So hair weaves are from artificial or natural hair and are fixed to the human’s hair through a sew-in method, gluing, or clipping. A weave is different from a hair extension and a wig, but we would get to that in a moment.
Let’s take a look at some hair glossaries. Though we cannot mention all of them (because it is up to 100), but here are some of the most frequently used weave-related words;
This is made from individual hair strands attached to a reinforced stitch. It can be machine-sewn or handwoven. Hair wefts can also be thick or thin, short or long.
It is a single collection of hair wefts that are rolled together. A bundle can weigh up to 3 ounces depending on the thickness of the hair. Though a bundle is not enough to make a full hair, it can be used for ponytail styles.
This is a bundle of hair that has not been in the weft. The ends are both loose and it is usually used to make braids. Bulk hair can also come in bundles or packs.
This is a collection of hair bundles (about 3 to 6) that are sold together in a single package. A pack can contain a lace frontal, closure or could come without any of them. And unlike a bundle, it can make a full hair.
A lace closure is a piece of hair attached to lace and is strictly meant for the closing of the exposed area while fixing the weave. It is usually circular and is made with a lace base. The hair is also thinner than the rest of the hair bundle.
A lace frontal is similar to a closure except that it is fuller, bigger, and not circular. It also has a lace basing but its job is much more than closing the exposed area of the cornrowed hair. It is also used to cover the front of the hair from ear to ear.
A lace wig is a special type of wig that is made with lace as the base and that makes it long-lasting and more natural. It can be a half-lace wig, lace front wig, full lace wig, and so on. It can be made with natural or synthetic hair and it is tied by hand to the lace underneath to cover the full or part of the scalp.
An Extension is a synthetic or natural hair that is attached to a person’s hair. It is divided into 6. They are sew-ins, clip-ins, tape-ins, knots, fusion (bonding), and micro-link.
Difference between Hair Extensions, Weaves, and Wigs
Wigs, weaves, and hair extensions are usually being confused with one another. And although a few people know the difference between a wig and a weave, the line between weaves and hair extension is more blurry. Let’s help you clear the air on the difference between them.
A wig is a hairpiece that covers either the full scalp or part of the scalp. It is made from either human or synthetic hair and it allows you to change your look easily by removing and putting it back on. There are U-part wigs, Half wigs, and ponytail wigs. What makes a wig different from a weave and a hair extension is that a wig has been made into a full hairstyle.
A weave is a piece of hair that is attached to a weft. Therefore, it can be sewed into the hair, clipped, or glued (taped). A hair extension on the other hand refers to any type of hairpiece that is attached to a human’s hair using a clamp, adhesive, clip, thread, and so on. Though they seem alike, they are somewhat different. All weaves are types of hair extensions, but some hair extensions cannot be categorized as weaves.
Human hair weave vs Synthetic hair vs Virgin hair weave
Two types of hair weave are commonly known to make weaves and hair extensions but in the real sense, they are three. Virgin hair is very expensive and scarce to find and that makes it almost invisible in the weaving industry. It is made out of 100% human hair that has not been dyed or bleached or processed. It is gotten from people that cut their hair shorter. It is usually sold in wefts or bulk hair.
Human hair, unlike natural belief, is not made from 100% human hair. Though it is natural, it is made from plant and animal hair. It has almost the same quality as virgin hair and it is easier to find.
Synthetic hair is made from artificial hair. It is gotten from processed materials that look like hair such as fibers, plastic, and so on. Their quality is lower and it is cheaper. However, it is easier to find bold colors among synthetic hair than human and virgin hair.
Understanding types of weaves
Most human hairs are categorized into four types: Malaysian, Indian, Mink Brazilian, and Peruvian. And even if the name doesn’t necessarily decode where they are from, they do have their differences.
Weaves made from Malaysian hair are usually luxurious and shiny. It is also heavy, thick, and full. But when you touch it, it is soft and silky.
It is the most common of all the types and it looks more natural than the rest of the hair types. Hence it isn’t as shiny. It is not as thick and also lighter than the
Mink Brazilian weave
This one is the highest quality weave, hence it is the most expensive. They are made naturally, are not processed in any form, and are made from real hair. They are thick, highly durable, and soft.
This is of medium quality and is not as durable as the rest of them. It is thick and lightweight but coarse to the touch. Usually, a pack is too much to make full hair. It is also quite easy to dye.
Curl Pattern for weaves
Weaves come in different curl patterns and understanding them would help you know how to describe what you want better. The patterns are numerous but we can divide them into a category of five: straight, wavy, curly, coily, and kinky.
This hair is free of any curl or pattern. However, they cannot all be bone-straight. Some straight weaves are allowed to have a wave to them. Though the curl must be more than 50mm to be tagged a straight weave. The types include bone-straight and yaki.
Wavy hair has a curl diameter of about 32 to 50 mm. The types include body wave, loose wave, elegant wave, deep wave, french wave, natural wave, and so on.
Curly hair has a curl diameter of about 19 to 32mm. The types include loose curly, deep curly, big curly, Italian curly, and so on. Curly where coily and kinky meet.
Coily hair has a curl diameter of 10 to 25mm. The coils are bouncy and almost round-like. The types include loose coily, spiral bouncy coils, and so on
Kinky is the curliest of all. In an extreme kinky weave, the curl pattern cannot be seen. Kinky hair has curls that are less than 10mm in diameter. It usually comes in jerry kinky curls, afro, and so on.
How to know the quality of human hair weave?
Have you ever been asked the grade of your hair? That’s the unit of measurement for the quality of human hair weave. And as the world keeps progressing, the grades are getting better. A weave from three years ago is less quality than the one you’ll buy now. It also has a lower grade. Human hair grade begins from 3A and runs till it reaches 10A following the normal number sequence. Obviously, 8-10A grades are the best quality but there are other things you can look out for that give out the true quality of the hair.
Double stitch wefts are more durable than single stitch wefts. A thick and soft bundle is also more quality than a thin, lightweight one. Also, watch out for the length of the hair. A quality human hair weave would have less (or no) short hair mixed in the hair bundles. All hair strands should be the same length. It should also be silky and soft to touch, not coarse.
Hair weave care tips
The following are things you should do to care for your weave and make it last longer
1.Shampoo often: You should wash your weave with shampoo weekly (or once in two weeks) with an alcohol-free shampoo.
2.Use Conditioner: Forget that the weave is not your natural hair, use a conditioner t soften the strands of the hair. you can also co-wash if you prefer a conditioner to a shampoo.
3.Don’t use Heat (or keep it to a minimum): Too much heat spoils hair whether or not it is from your scalp.
4.If it’s a sew-in, sleep with a satin scarf: Covering the hair while you sleep reduces the effect of the hair rubbing on the bed. And this decreases tangling and loose ends.
5.Braid curly weaves when not in use: If it’s on your head or not, braid curly weaves at night or when they are not in use. This would help to keep the curls intact and prevent tangling.
6.Keep hair products to a minimum: Hair products weigh down the hair when it is too much. It also makes the look dull, sticky, and dirty.
7.Don’t untangle while it is wet: This is a rule that applies to anything called hair. Except if your goal is to tear it all out.
8.Don’t use a relaxer on your curly weaves: Trying to perm your weave is a recipe for disaster. Buy a straight weave instead.
9.Give your weave a break: Wearing your wig or hair extension for too long shortens the lifespan.
10.Tie it carefully. Don’t use a rubber band when you want to the hair. Don’t leave it tied for too long and don’t tie it too tight.
Hair weave online shopping tips
When shopping online for hair weaves, don’t be fooled by all the marketing words like ‘100% human hair,’ and ‘top premium quality.’ Since you cannot touch the hair physically, it can be pretty difficult to check for the quality of the hair. However, we have a few pointers.
Check the recent reviews of the product buyers. Make sure that you look through 5 or 7 comments. A positive review that’s more than average is a green light. However, this is not 100% accurate since some people pay for good comments.
Another pointer is to compare the price with the value being offered. If a Brazilian weave is to be sold at the price of a synthetic weave, then the Brazilian is most likely fake. In other words, the price is too good to be true. Finally, stick to only reputable brands when buying online. A reputable source is traceable when things go wrong.
Weaves are very essential in a woman’s life and they are also expensive. So much thought has to be put into buying and caring for it so that it can serve you for very long. This is because if a weave is not well-cared for, it can go from being a protective style to a destructive style.
Originally published at https://bit.ly/3p7YuO2 on Apri 28, 2014.
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