From Black Voices — Before ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ star NeNe Leakes recently broke her weave addiction and began sporting a natural short ‘do, she turned to Atlanta celebrity hairstylist Derek J to create a similar look using a weave.
“She had another stylist for the third season to create her new short coif,” says Derek J. , who styled NeNe’s hair for the series first reunion show and throughout its second season. Derek J, owner of The J. Spot Salon, also took R&B singer Tweet to shorter lengths using the same weaving technique.
Since Leakes’ debuted the Derek J-styled short-weaved look two years ago, more women have requested similar styling that would allow them to don a spiky pixie cut — like his clients Nicole Ari Parker and Terri J. Vaughn — without sacrificing their long tresses. This is one of the reasons for the faux cut’s popularity.
The weave’s color, how it’s cut and styling are key to successfully pulling this look off, Derek J says. “The cut is really big because you want it to lay and flow like natural hair,” he stresses.
The short-weaved style is commonly referred to as a quick weave or 27 piece, taken from the name of multi-length 27-piece human hair wefts such as those offered from Milky Way’s ShortCut series. Although Derek J gave Leakes a sew-in, he prefers to design the look by gluing wefts of hair to a stocking cap, essentially creating a wig and more flexibility for the client.
He starts by braiding the client’s hair and then covering it with black hair wrap strips that protect the hair from weave bonding glue. Next he puts a stocking cap over the head, which provides “a blank canvas to lay weft tracks on,” he explains.
He then adds pieces from the 27-piece human hair weave set, forgoing shorter pieces for medium lengths so they can “lay nicely along the neck.” He attaches the hair with weave bonding glue.