Hair weave

Hair weave

Hair weaving is weaving or braiding human or synthetic hair into existing natural hair. It is also known as Hair Integration. The hair extension is woven to cornrowed hair or to small sections of loose hair. Not maintaining hair extensions properly can cause breakage and thinning.

The most recent development in weaving extensions is lace extensions. Lace extensions are made from a nylon mesh material formed into a cap that is then hand ventilated by knotting single strands of hair into the tiny openings of the capform, giving the hair a more natural, realistic flow than conventional extensions, and creating a lighter, more breathable cap. These extension units can be woven in or attached to the hairline with special adhesives. To ensure a proper fit, head measurements are taken into account with this type of weave.

The highest quality extension hair, "virgin hair", is hair that has often never been processed. The term covers all textures of American hair, European hair, Brazilian hair, Indonesian hair, and Indian hair, and is usually donated. High quality extension hair can be chemically altered to achieve a different texture.

The benefits of hair weaving and extensions include the ability to wear any texture without having to chemically treat the natural hair. Weaves and

Thick thread (preferably a color that matches the color of the hair) to attach the hair weft securely.

*A long and/or curved needle, which could be a smaller upholstery needle.

*Hair glue specifically made for hair weaves. The glue can be easily washed out using a special shampoo/conditioner that will remove the glue without taking the real hair out. A special glue remover may also be used.

*Hair extensions. The number of sets depends on the style and thickness desired. It is common for people to get two sets at once. Depending on the weaving technique, the wearer can either use hair wefts or individual strands.

Other types of extensions that can be added to the hair include ponytails, or ponytail pieces.

Just as any wig or wigpiece, the colors for hair to be weaved can range from "realistic" colors, such as red, black, brown and blonde, to other colors such as pink, blue and green.

Remy Weft

Remy Hair is not always virgin hair, once virgin hair has been colored or chemically processed in any way short of removing the cuticles it is referred to as Remy. Remy Hair can be categorized in the ‘premium’ segment, as far as hair quality is concerned. Remy Hair has it cuticle intact and running in the same direction "unidirectional cuticle" to prevent tangling. The cuticles protect the hair from damage and gives the hair its natural look.

For commercial purposes, Remy Hair is categorized into two types:

"Remy Hair Single Drawn":This type of Remy Hair is taken out directly from the scalp by shaving the head. Care is taken to remove the very short hair, with the longer hair, found in different hair length, giving a pony tail like appearance.

"Remy Hair Double Drawn": This type of hair is the finest quality with the same wave length in a piece. The hairs are arranged with equal lengths. There will not be any short hair in a piece.

Quality A: These are an expensive type of weft hair made up of Indian Virgin Remy hair. This type is unidirectional and characterized by double drawn hair, where the whole weave is made up of hairs of the same length.

Quality B: This type is again made up of special double drawn hair, virgin Remy Hair, and is unidirectional. The length of hairs though may vary by up to 1-2 inches.

Quality C:This is the finest quality of weft hair. The cuticles are intact and are unidirectional. The entire weave contains hairs of different length.

Non Remy Wefts

Non Remy Hair is perhaps the most popular and commonly available form of hair. Non Remy Hair is also known as ‘fallen hair’. The roots and tips of hairs are all mixed up in Non Remy Hair. Tangling is a problem as a result of this, but still since they are inexpensive, they are the largest selling kind of hair in the world.

Non Remy Hair comes in two types. They are as follows:

"Tangle Free Non Remy Hair":This type of non remy hair is obtained by shaving off the cuticles or the ends. This process reduces the chances of friction among hairs and what remains is tangle free hair.

"Normal Non Remy Hair": This is probably the least expensive kind of hair. The cuticles are present in different directions and the hair is prone to tangling problems.

"Single Drawn"This is slightly less quality than the double drawn. The hairs will have 2" difference in the tip that is some hair in a piece will be 2" shorter than the original length.

"Non-Remy Double Drawn"This is like remy double drawn quality where all the hair will be of the same length. This is a good quality hair type.

Quality A:This type of hair consists of tangle free non remy hair with the cuticles shaved off or smoothened out. The entire weft consists of hairs of the same length, with no short hair. This is a premium quality weft.

Quality B: This is the next quality in wefts made up of non remy hair. They are also tangle free and have their cuticles shaved off. They are made up of special double drawn hair, with hair length of two inch difference, with no short hair.

Quality C: This is the final quality of wefts , made up of tangle free non remy hair . The cuticles are again shaved off and the hair used is single drawn. This makes the entire weft have hairs of different length.

ynthetic Hair

Synthetic hair is made of a wide array of different synthetic fibers. Synthetic hair, just as human hair, comes in weave (weft) and single strands for braids. Most stylists do not recommend using synthetic hair for weaving. It does not last as long as human hair because it tends to easily tangle and frizz out uncontrollably. However the quality of hair varies greatly, and if well maintained, synthetic hair can look as good as, if not better than human hair. Synthetic hair is much less expensive than human hair. The costs can range from $10.00 to $20.00 per package, depending on quality of hair, length, brand etc.

Heating appliances such as curling irons and straightening combs generally should not be used on synthetic hair. There are newer versions of synthetic hair from some brands that claim to allow styling with lower temperatures of heating appliances. Generally people should steer clear of such claims because the golden rule with synthetic hair is that heat is not an option. Synthetic hair is better used for particular styles of braids. Although, Synthetic hair can usually shaped into styles by using the steam from boiling water to set the hair. This is a common practice for individual braids. Typically when the synthetic hair is shaped it's best not to change it.

Human Hair

Most human hair used for weaves is derived from the continent of Asia (China, India, and to a "very" small degree, Southeastern Russia). Lower-quality "human hair" extensions are often diluted with animal and synthetic hair to lower the price. Yak hair can be curled, permed, relaxed, and colored. Human hair is, however, more versatile than synthetic hair because it can be colored, relaxed, or curled with heating appliances just as one would do with his or her own hair. But, many people are allergic to yak hair so suppliers are using human hair treated to mimic the African/African American texture. As the weave wearer would want the hair to match the texture of his/her hair in its present condition (relaxed, curly, or straight), weave hair comes in a variety of textures: yaki (closely resembles relaxed hair texture), silky (resembling very straight Asian hair), European texture hair straight (Europeans do not generally sell their hair, so called "European hair" usually comes from India or China), curly (ranges from tight corkscrew curls to the varying degrees of wavy), and crimped (very small, sharp waves). There are different grades of hair. The highest grade comes from young donors, is gently processed, careful not to damage the cuticles, and of "Remy" designation. Remy means the hair's cuticles are facing the direction in which they grew. Poorly processed hair can also be Remy. Let the buyer beware.

The same maintenance that one would apply to his or her own hair should be applied to the human hair to keep it in good condition.

High quality 100% human hair is more expensive than hair mixed with other materials (synthetic hair is most common).

Indian Hair and European Hair

Indian Hair has its own inherent advantages: it is simultaneously thin and strong.

European Hair is a popular form of hair. It has a kinky and soft texture. Adequate care must be taken as the market is flooded with fakes.

There is also a widespread misconception that soft and silky hair is the best quality. Any type of hair can be made soft and silky through the use of certain conditioners or oil like silicon oil.

Hair Weaving Techniques

There are many techniques to weaving hair. The most common way is for it to be sewn on to very small cornrows or the stylist can use a heating appliance to fuse the hair segment onto very small sections of hair.


Bonding is a popular temporary weaving method and a great way to add volume or vibrant streaks of color to your natural hair. Tracks of hair are glued to the roots of your own hair with a special adhesive. To prevent damage to your natural hair, tracks shouldn't be left in longer than a week or two.


First, natural tresses are braided around the head in concentric circles. The braids are sewn down, then extensions are sewn to the braids. Eight to fifteen tracks are needed for a full head. Care for this style as you would your natural hair, washing at least once a week. Prices range from about $15 to $35 per track.

To sew the weave hair, the hair must be braided into cornrows. The hair may also be braided into a zig zag shape to make things easier and quicker. The wearer may leave out a section of hair if she/he wants a part or half the hair weaved. So the hair won't appear lumpy, the hair is sewn horizontally across the head from one side to the other, starting from the bottom. If the hair is to have a parting, it's recommended that a weft of hair is glued as close as possible to part in the hair that separates the braids and the hair that the wearer left out. After those steps are finished, the wearer can have the weave hair cut or styled however he or she wants with her/his own hair blending in.


The fusion method delivers one of the most versatile and believable weaves on the market. With this technique, a machine similar to a hot glue gun is used to adhere human hair extensions to individual strands of your natural hair (about the same size as a micro braid) for a truly authentic look. With a fusion weave, you can wash your hair every week and use products like gels and mousse to style. This is one of the most time-consuming (8 to 16 hours) and expensive methods (prices range from about $800 to $1,800).

To use a heating appliance, individual strands of hair are used. Hair is sectioned out as if the client is getting skinny individual braids. The appliance is heated to the correct temperature. The stylist attaches a section of the human hair to the client's sectioned hair. Depending on the style, a half head of fused hair could take about 20 sections. A full head could use about 50 sections.

The heating applicance can cost from $100.00 upwards. It is highly recommended that a trained and certified stylist use this technique because of potential hair loss and skin burning from the appliance may occur.

Recently cold fusion extensions made of 100% human hair (no yak hair dilution) have been introduced. These hair extensions do not require any heating elements, as the intense heat used to apply traditional hair extensions may damage them.


This technique involves braiding natural tresses under a thin, breathable net that serves as a flat surface onto which stylists can weave extensions. Netting provides more flexibility than track placement because the stylist is not limited to sewing extensions to a braid. This style can last for up to three months if properly maintained. To care for your hair, wash it once a week and invest in a hooded hair dryer or heated cap for at-home maintenance. "You want to make sure your hair is completely dry so it will not mildew under the net."

Tree braiding

The artificial hair is incorporated into the client's natural hair with the use of a basic cornrow. The best hair length to use is 24 inch hair. The client's hair is parted from the front of the head to the nape of the neck. The artificial hair is added at the beginning of the braid by folding it in half to create a cornrow with a knot in the front. The stylist braids 2-4 strokes and then pulls out a piece of the artificial hair, then braids an additional 2-4 strokes and pulls out another piece of artificial hair. This pattern continues until all of the artificial hair is pulled out. The stylist then adds additional artificial hair into the braid and continues the above pattern until it reaches the back. Then the stylist ties the end with a rubber band, or sews it down with weaving needle and string.

Clip In and Clip On Hair Extensions

This technique is the least permanent and can be very effective without the negative things such as traction alopecia associated with glue extensions. The hair weft has small toupee clips sewn onto them. Usually a set of clip in extensions average eight strips of human hair in varying widths from two inches to eight inches. Usually starting at the nape of the neck the hair is sectioned neatly, then the weft is places onto this section with the clips open, and facing the scalp. Each clip is snapped into place. It can be useful to lightly backcomb each section for a more secure grip. This is repeated until each clip in weft is in place. It is best to style both your own hair and a the hair extensions before fitting them to your head. The clip ins can be worn all day and all night, however, they must be removed before sleeping. Some people wear clip ins just for nights out and others will wear them everyday to work. This shows the versatility of this type of hair extension.

External Reference

Additional Resources

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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