How to Make a Stiff Weave Bouncy

by Barbie Carpenter

A bouncy, natural weave requires proper installation by your stylist and a weave made of natural, human hair. Over time, even a high-quality weave may turn stiff, resulting in flat, lifeless strands that are challenging to style. Targeting the cause of a stiff weave -- product buildup -- is the key to giving that flat weave new, voluminous life.

Product Buildup

Daily styling of your weave might be to blame when your hair feels stiff. Weave upkeep requires regular oiling of your scalp, which conditions the scalp and stimulates hair growth. However, if this oil ends up on your tresses, they can quickly stiffen.


  • Choose a natural oil, such as olive, rosemary or coconut, for your scalp. Use a bottle with a pointed tip so you can focus application onto your scalp and avoid oil seeping into your hair.

Similarly, other product buildup can result in a stiff weave that lacks natural movement and bounce. If you're using gels, serums or hairsprays to set your style, the lingering buildup of these products on your strands can result in a stick-straight look that falls flat. Aerosol sprays, in particular, can dry out your weave and stiffen it.

Softening Your Weave

Restoring bounce to your weave requires you to remove this product buildup. Cleansing your hair is the best way to give your weave new life, but proper care is essential.


Use a sulfate-free shampoo on your stiff weave to erase that buildup. Shampoo your hair no more than every seven to 10 days. Rather than vigorously rubbing the shampoo into your weave, gently smooth it on your tresses to avoid agitating the weave. Once the shampoo is rinsed out of your weave, let it air dry.


  • Keep your weave straight when washing it -- run the shampoo down your hair rather than pushing the hair upward. Bunching up your weave may result in irreparable tangles.

Buildup-Fighting Spray

Targeting product buildup on your weave doesn't always require a thorough shampooing. Between cleansing sessions, spritz your strands with a 50-50 combination of water and sulfate-free shampoo, mixed together in a spray bottle. Gently rub this mixture into the stiff portions of your hair, and then rinse them with water. This spot treatment targets your stiff hair, even if you're not due for a cleansing session for another couple of weeks.


  • At-home washing of your weave is only effective on high-quality weaves made of 100 percent human hair. If your weave is synthetic, your stylist will have to rinse the buildup out of your weave to restore it.

Maintaining Your Bouncy Weave

Once you've restored the bounce to your weave, maintaining it can extend its life. Invest in a dry shampoo, which you can apply to your weave to soak up oil and fight buildup. Target application on those strands that are oily, stiff or in need of moisture.

Cut back on styling products to avoid a stiff weave. When possible, avoid them entirely. If you need to reduce unwanted frizz, try a dime-sized dab of leave-in conditioner. The less you use, the better when it comes to maintaining volume.


  • Talk to your stylist about a professional shampooing treatment to deeply cleanse your weave of stiff-strand-causing buildup.

About the Author

Barbie Carpenter worked as a technical writer and editor in the defense industry for six years. She also served as a newspaper feature page editor and nationally syndicated columnist for the Hearst Corp. Carpenter holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Florida and a graduate certificate in professional writing from the University of Central Florida.