Weaves have been getting better by the decade. Sometimes it’s hard to tell what is natural hair or just a great weave, but people are still making dangerous mistakes when wearing weaves and risking the health of their hair and their scalps.

Taking care of your natural hair doesn’t have to cost you your style; wearing a weave can form part of a healthy haircare routine.  Avoid these five common mistakes and your hair will thank you for it:

Leaving a portion of your hair out to create a parting

We wear weaves, but not everyone wants to look like they’re wearing a weave. In the age of lace frontals and full closures, the perfect, natural-looking parting is a hair flicking reality. While these options can be pricey they are a lot better for your hair than leaving a parting of your natural hair.

Straightening, manipulating and relaxing your hair regularly to match it to the texture of your weave can be taxing on your hair. Hair loss is definitely not the goal and losing hair in the front and centre of your head for avoidable reasons just isn’t worth it.

Talk to your stylist about alternatives or simply go for the old-school complete weave with a non-adjustable sewn through parting. It may not be the hippest hairstyle, but it’s a lot better than self-inflicted hair damage and hair loss.

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Leaving your weave in for too long

A good weave can be expensive, add the cost of having it installed and you may pay a small fortune for your trendy new look.  Taking your weave down prematurely is a waste, but keeping it in for too long is not an option.

The life span of most hairdos is a month; with proper hair and scalp care, the life span of your weave can be extended to about six weeks. Keeping your weave in for longer than that allows oil, dirt and sweat to build up on your scalp. A dirty scalp is an unhealthy scalp; it can also itch, smell and cause oil and dirt build-up in your hair itself.

On the upside, good weaves are reusable, so you won’t have wasted your money.

Not washing your hair when you have a weave in

Whether you’ve got your hair in a weave or not, you need to wash it regularly.  To keep your weave in good condition after a wash day, follow the wash and care instructions carefully.

Natural and human hair can be blow-dried and styled, however, synthetic hair cannot be heated and will be damaged by drying. If you have a synthetic weave on, taking it down before wash day may be your only option as air drying both your weave and your natural hair bellow it can be difficult.

Allowing your stylist to give you tight cornrows

Tight cornrows give you an instant facelift and while that may be a great way to turn back the clock on ageing, it isn’t good for your hair.

Tight cornrows can be pulled even tighter by the weaving process, increasing your chances of traction alopecia. There are also other problems related to tight cornrows like sores and itching that could permanently damage your scalp and hair.

Sticking pins in your hair and leaving them there

An itchy scalp is never a good sign, and using a pin to scratch your scalp is not a good solution. There are a number of reasons why your scalp could be itching. Dryness, sores, dirt and sweat can all cause your scalp to itch under your weave.

These problems are so common that you can find scratching pins (commonly known as ihlokoloza) in just about any hair and beauty shops. These pins can be dangerous as they can scratch your scalp and you won’t even notice you were injured until you take down your weave. These pins and other scratching instruments can also be forgotten in your hair and injure you while you sleep.

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