How Does a Weave Work?

by Kristie Karns

Different Weaving Techniques

Hair weaving is done in several different ways, all of which can be maintained to look perfectly natural. Human hair and artificial hair can both be used and in some cases, Yak hair is also used though some people are allergic to it. The different methods used in hair weaving are the bonding method, tracking, fusion, netting, tree braiding and clip in. Bonding involves gluing clumps (tracks) of hair to the natural hair with a glue designed for that purpose. These are left in only a week or two because they can be very damaging to the natural hair. Tracking involves braiding the natural hair in circles around the scalp. The braids are then sewn flat to the head and the extensions are sewn directly to the braids. These extensions are then cared for the same way the natural hair is and should be washed at least once a week.

Fusion and Netting

The fusion technique involves using a hot glue gun to attach hair extensions to small portions of natural hair, (usually the amount of hair involved in a micro-braid) creating what appears to be authentic natural hair lengths. With this technique the hair can be cared for exactly as the natural hair, using shampoos, conditioners, mousse, and whatever other products the wearer would normally use. The fusion method is one of the most expensive and time consuming weaving techniques but the end result looks perfectly natural and is more versatile than any other method. The netting method involves braiding the natural hair and attaching a net on top to which the hair extensions can be sewn. This is a highly flexible technique as far as styling is concerned but the hair should be thoroughly dried after washing to keep the hair beneath the net from growing mildew.

Tree Braids and Clip-ins

Tree braiding involves using cornrows braided into the natural hair. A long length of artificial hair is folded in half in the front of the natural hair and gradually braided into the natural hair from the front of the scalp all the way around to the nape of the neck in back. The hair extensions are incorporated gradually all throughout the braid and the strands allowed to hang loose, adding to the volume of the natural hair. Clip in hair extensions involve tiny clips sewn into the wefts of extensions which are then attached to the natural hair working from the nape of the neck upwards. The natural hair is then combed very carefully to cover the clips. These are temporary hair extensions and should not be worn to bed but are perfect for both day and evening wear. They are also less damaging to the natural hair.