Five Ways to Keep Your Weave Fresh

by Kweli I. Wright

There’s nothing worse than a weave that’s unkempt. Matted hair with visible new growth and tracks will definitely get you a side eye. Whether you’re keeping late nights studying for that Master’s degree, a busy mom, or just a boss, you probably got that weave to help you save time and effort involved with doing your own hair, so why not make sure it looks as fly as possible?

First thing’s first: get a weave by someone who knows what they’re doing. A properly installed weave will give you a great starting point. Also, shop around for supreme quality hair. It’s going to cost you upwards of $300 for the hair alone, but it will be worth it on those mornings when you’re in a rush and it only takes a few minutes to refresh your style to perfection.

Hair weaves need help to remain smelling, feeling and looking fresh, so here are the best steps to take:

Whether you wear a natural or synthetic weave, it needs more careful care than your own hair because it’s missing the natural oils that come from your scalp. Every seven to 14 days (depending on whether you workout and/or sweat a lot), wet the hair first with lukewarm water and use a mild shampoo. Add a dime-sized amount of shampoo to your palm and rub it into your scalp with your fingers. Make sure to smooth the shampoo—don’t rub—onto the hair weave. Never turn your head upside down while washing, as this can tangle the weave permanently. Scrubbing or bunching your hair could also tangle it; avoid friction whenever you have extensions. Rinse well and allow the weave to air dry thoroughly.

TRY: Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Creamy Shampoo 

Leave-in Conditioner
Apply a leave-in conditioner to the weave, and your natural hair, after each shampoo. A dime-sized amount of product should be enough. Massage it in with your fingers, coating the gently. For freshening up during these in-between times you don’t have to wash again, just apply the leave-in conditioner to the dry weave. Avoid oils because they weight the weave hair down and will cause tangles and matting. If the hair looses it’s luster, especially after a few washings, you can use a minimal amount of argan oil.

TRY: Crème of Nature Argan Oil Gloss & Shine Polisher 

Anti-Bacterial Weave Spray
A weave that’s braided, twisted or worn in locks will take longer to dry than a weave that’s worn loose. This lengthy drying time leaves your weave susceptible to mold and bacteria—and that musty smell. Give your weave a light spritz daily to kill bacteria, detangle it and keep it fresh. Use the anti-bacterial spray once a day, working it gently into the weave with your fingertips.

TRY: Salon Pro 30 Seconds Weave Spray

It’s best to let your weave air dry (don’t towel dry either!), but if you must use a blow dryer start with the weft, then move to the ends and work your way up. Stick to the lowest heat setting possible when drying or using heated styling tools. Just like with natural hair, the heat can dry the weave hair and loosen the bond. Use a wide toothed comb for straight extensions and finger-style curlier weaves.

TRY: Ouidad Wide-Tooth Comb 

Never go to bed with a wet weave because it will encourage matting and that musty smell we mentioned. At night, loosely wrap your hair with a satin scarf but don’t tie it up in a tight style; that will cause tangles as well. Also, try sleeping on a satin pillowcase so not to disturb your weave.

TRY: You can get a satin pillowcase from Bed Bath & Beyond.

  • __A

    This woman’s weave looks nice and not obviously fake. I see too many women walking around with horrible weaves. When I was in high school, the majority of girls wore relaxers and the girls who wore weaves took care of them. Now every girl under the sun thinks she needs to buy a long weave and flop it on her head. The number or women wearing weaves that look a mess kind of mess it up for women who have Beyonce quality weaves.

  • wow

    Sounds like a lot of work to me just to have long flowing locks. wouldn’t it be easier just to wear your own hair in a style that requires less maintenance.

  • Barbara2

    I never understood why women wear weaves. No one I know weaars weaves. Most of my personal friends don’t even like the feel of that human silky hair; they like the kinky feel. That weave hair stinks too; I guess that’s why “others” have to wash their hair on a daily basis, instead of weekly or every two weeks. Some Black people don’t know how fortunate we are.

  • au napptural

    Ok! And these women will swear to God they use weave for convenience. Yeah right.

    And even if that were true, you aren’t going to put water, let alone shampoo and conditioner, on your hair for month(s) at the time for ‘convenience’? Nasty. Would u skip showering to save time? Black hair does need to be washed less, but it doesn’t need to be filthy.

  • Pseudonym

    I think people wearing their own hair follow the same steps: good shampoo, leave-in conditioner, special drying techniques (for natural hair worn curly it’s not touching it to prevent frizz, for relaxed or heat straightened hair it’s letting your hair air dry a bit before blow drying to minimize heat), and wrapping it up at night.

    …and then there’s the antibacterial spray…can’t say we do that!

  • Madeline

    Thanks for this Clutch!! It you do not wear weave – fine. But, let women who do enjoy the content and tips without hearing why you hate or don’t like weave. Sheesh!

  • mimi

    Why use Letoya for the pic when she’s always had very long hair naturally(google it)

  • Shania

    I know that’s right! So darn sensitive – if you don’t like it fine, no need to blow on anybody else’s parade.

  • Shania

    Because people with long natural hair (in addition to all other lengths) wear weave. It’s not the domain of people with short hair.

  • Shania

    You should still wash you hair with weave in. I know I do!

  • Pseudonym

    Seriously! If you have weaves so much, why are you reading articles about how to keep them fresh?

  • AM

    Dying to try out a weave, again My first, and possibly last experience left me feeling like a crackhead. I was scratching dangerously. I think that African sister did juju ya’ll. Great tips!! :)

  • Valsays

    WOW Latoya looks great! such a pretty woman.

  • Nic

    Yeah, a lot of the women who do have long hair (including her and Ashanti) mix it up b/c when you have real hair and have to be styled a lot, you will eventually lose it to damage. Just too hard to always look done and perfect without excessive heat and styling. They also do it to experiment with color and to make it thicker (as do most white female celebrities).

    I remember either her or Farah making a comment about Mama Knowles styling them in the Destiny’s Child days saying “yeah, she seemed to forget that I had REAL hair”…

    At this point, it’s hard to know (nor does it matter) who has kept their real long hair and who hasn’t. I mean, we’ve seen the Mowry twins alternate between long hair, short hair, and weaves too (I know everyone want to assume that people with white moms can grow their hair out in a week but it’s just not true).

  • Nic

    She’s pretty but I do not like what she did to her nose. She was prettier before.
    When people remove a lot of nose, their faces always look a little bare after the fact.

  • Downsouth Transplant

    LOL, i tried it once in my previous life & i swear to day when i see the pix i always wonder WTF happened there, i srly thought i had to try it, but my doubts were nagging with why why why & then i flew to England with that thing in my hair another story for another day.

  • jamesfrmphilly

    weaves are the sign of satan….

  • WhatIThink

    Unfortunately the only reason corporate black women feel the need to wear weaves and perms is due to the historical fact of white racism which deemed nappy headed black women as being ugly monkeys that certainly did not deserve to be treated like white queens.

    So lets keep it 100% and stop making up these fantasies that black women spend thousands of dollars (that most cant afford) making Koreans and other non blacks rich because of some sense of flexibility. Is it flexible to not be yourself and someone else the another or is it the sign of a psychological problem?

    When I see white women, Asian women and other folks spending thousands of dollars to rock kinky Afros as often as black women spend wearing weaves and perms I will agree that it is all about flexibility. But until then I call it black folks having psychological problems, starting with not knowing their behinds from a hole in the ground and more importantly not knowing or just not caring about the racism and sexism that has literally been raping and bastardizing them since they have been in America.

    But some folks these days think that they are following these patterns of physical and mental abuse as if it is a choice. People spend a lot of money putting perms and weaves on the heads of big entertainers because they want to influence your choices. And in general entertainers have been historically the biggest coons of all, with both males and females straightening their hair in the 50s, 60s and 70s pushing trends to the unconscious masses. Most black folks are too broke to be worried about keeping a weave fresh and it is pure silliness to even promote such nonsense as anything but a vain attempt to cling to the illusion of being something that most black folks aren’t: white and wealthy.


  • WhatIThink

    And while I certainly don’t claim that black women shouldn’t wear their hair the way they want, I have to also say that it really isn’t about choice and we should stop speaking such nonsense. Black women are taught to straighten their hair by force from childhood. They are taught that good hair and proper hair is all about hiding those nappy peas and “nasty curls” very early on in life, being introduced to the straightening comb and other treatments to get rid of that “ugly hair”. So right there you are taught to hate your natural hair and that the only good hair and proper hair is hair that has been straightened. Choice has absolutely nothing to do with it and all the pain and scalding that black girls go through to achieve this are simply scars of mental and psychological abuse. And all of this goes back to white culture. Africans historically have never ever done this sort of thing as part of child raising. Sure they treated their hair, cut their hair and did many things with their hair, but they didn’t abuse themselves in order to take on looks that were not natural.

  • NB


  • jamesfrmphilly

    like i said….a weave is the sign of the devil

  • Lisa

    I like wearing weave for covience and it saves time when I don’t feel like doing my own hair, plus my real hair doesn’t stink even if left in for 4 weeks, if you know how too take care of your weave it can look good and smell good I never had any compliants. Weave is not for everybody like low ride jeans and the crack of your Butt showing.

  • Pingback: Creme Of Nature Shampoo and Conditioner | The Makeup Blogger

  • Mimi

    This turned from what was suppose to be a article that gave tips on hair care for weaves, to a whole other thing. People criticizing others for wanting to wear weaves, questioning the explenations. Some are even going as far as speaking for all black women in general saying the real reason we wear them is because of coprate white America blah blah blah. It’s kind of ridiculous I think. I mean, everyone is of course entitled to not like something. You don’t like weave.. Cool, not a problem. I don’t like fake nails, I don’t like the way they feel or how they look, but that being said… I’m probobly not going to go to a site about how to maintain acrylic nails and criticize people for wearing them. That’s stupid. That’s a waste of time. If you don’t want to know how to keep a weave looking fresh, then why are you on here? Like I said…some people have way too much time on their hands.

  • Dina

    Is Crème of Nature Argan Oil Gloss & Shine Polisher a leave -in conditioner and is Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Creamy Shampoo great for weave?

  • denise

    Not ALL Blacks were raised to believe Africans,britts, Jamaicans go through the SAME thing. LOOK at Naomi. Not certain what YOU were told as a child or what ur friends were told as childrens, YOUR environment etc but the women I know CHOOSE weaves; perms or simply natural. We LOVE our hair. There’s nothing wrong with changing things up a bit. Does anyone say how ALOT of Caucasians get braids & extensions and risk cancer staying in the sun for hours just toet dark. Now were they taught this from the parents as well?

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