Just because someone has "long" hair, doesn't mean she can't rock a weave. One ESSENCE reader shares her daily diary of wearing extensions as a protective style to give her own hair a much-needed styling break.
I started taking better care of my hair last year because I am on a mission to let my hair grow until my curls fall easily over my shoulders. I never really take good care of my hair not because I don’t know how to, but because I never seem to find the time. I am a low maintenance kind of girl so I was on the hunt to find a simple solution. A friend recommend that I should wear a weave as a protective hairstyle. A protective style is a great way to let your hair rest and grow without too much maintenance. I decided to go for it and and I really wanted to use a curly weave to easily blend with my own hair. After a quick YouTube search, I fell in love with the Malaysian Curly hair at Princess Hair Shop. Several YouTube vlogs gave the hair great reviews and wanted to try it myself.
I received my hair in the mail a short while later and right away I noticed that their customer service is amazing! They even offer unlimited phone consultations to give you tips on how to take care of the curly hair. Along with the extensions, I received a Paul Mitchell detangler and conditioner that would work best with the hair. I later discovered that Eco-Styler gel was my favorite product to use on my own hair to blend it in with the extensions.
I enlisted my stylist, Karen Bishop, to braid my hair and install the weave to ensure that my hair was fully protected and would stay healthy under the extensions. It was also important for me to make sure the braids were not too tight and that my edges were protected. After all, this is a "protective" style and I wanted to make sure I reaped the full benefits of this process. Once I installed the hair, it was pretty simple to maintain. At night, I would brush it out and make two big braids so the hair would not tangle. I also wore a satin scarf to bed. In the morning, I applied water and conditioner to "wake up" the curls. I enjoyed the curly look and especially the length, which was down to my bra strap. I did notice that after three weeks, my extensions started to shed and knot a little more. To avoid the tangling, I mostly wore the hair in a cute topknot or updo for the last few weeks of the install. I wore the hair for eight weeks in total.
Overall, I loved my protective style journey, but I did find that the curly hair was just as much maintenance as my own shoulder-length hair. I detangled and braided the hair almost daily, which is what I normally do to my own hair. I was happy that my own hair thrived under the extensions, so that was certainly a plus. I would definitely wear a weave again, but for now I am giving the weave a rest and will do my best to give my hair TLC so it will be healthy.