For those looking for a stylish look with minimal upkeep, a weave hairstyle may be an option to consider. While glue-in weave methods can damage hair, sew-in weave styles are much gentler. A successful sew-in weave style requires a cornrowed base. The ideal cornrow design and styling technique vary depending on hair length and desired style. When done correctly, cornrows can promote hair retention and help minimise breakage and damage from the elements.
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Some may find that weave hairstyles done in a salon are too expensive. With a simple vertical cornrow technique, sew-in weaves can be done at home. This technique involves parting and sectioning off hair before braiding it. Each plait must be no larger than a pencil so that the sewn-on hair will lay smooth. When all the cornrows are complete, there will be several lose braids at the base of the neck. Do not secure them with rubber bands. Instead, braid all loose braids into a single braid and then gently tuck the braid at the base of the hairline.
Another cornrowing technique involves the use of a continual cornrow that covers the head in a circular pattern, terminating at the top of the head. This method is best for advanced cornrowers, as it is somewhat complicated. It has the advantage over the simple vertical cornrowing technique in ensuring a smoother weave finish. For those with extremely long hair, however, this technique produces the opposite result. The end of the cornrow will be too long to smoothly tuck and thus, when weave hair is sewn on, the top of the weave style may be bumpy.
Cornrowing techniques that involve leaving sections of hair exposed produce the most realistic weave styles. Leaving a small section of the front of the hair unbraided makes it possible to make a natural bang that blends with the weave hair. Cornrow the hair straight back as in the typical vertical cornrowing technique, except for the hair in the front, which should be sectioned off. After the rest of the hair is cornrowed and the weave is attached, the hair in the front can be flat-ironed and combed to blend in with the weave hair.
Cornrowing for Blending
Exposed outer edges also create more natural weave styles. Leaving the outer edges unbraided allows for high ponytails, as the natural hair is able to cover the tracks from the weave hair. This is an advantage over typical cornrowing techniques, which only allow for low ponytails or buns. For the most natural look, it is important that the colour and texture of the weave hair match that of the natural hair. As with all cornrowing techniques, avoid braiding hair too tightly to prevent traction alopecia (tension-related hair loss) at the hairline.
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