How to Sew in Hair Without Braiding the Hair

oriental swirling hair image by Allen Penton from

Braiding a client's hair is commonly considered the only way to prepare the head for sewn-in hair extensions, otherwise known as weaves. However, an alternative to braiding known as "braidless weaving" or "the Malaysian method weave" allows you to create a strong base for the hair tracks in far less time using only a needle and thread. This method creates a less bulky, more free-flowing look and is more gentle on the client's scalp than braiding.

Thread the needle with a long length of thick thread of similar color to the client's hair. Make a double knot in the end and cut off the excess thread.

Create a horizontal ear-to-ear parting using the point of the rat-tail comb and clip the hair out of the way above the parting.

Grasp the loose hair in one hand and gently pull downward to tighten the hair slightly at the roots and create an even base for the track.

Loop the curved needle under a small section of hair (approximately a quarter-inch) at the left of the parting as close to the roots as possible.

Pull the thread under the section of hair without letting the knot pass underneath.

Pass the needle back under the same section of hair and pull it up inside the new loop of thread tightly to create a knot around the hair.

Repeat this process and work along the parting from left to right, creating an even row of tightly knotted sections of hair. Tie off the last knot tightly and cut the excess thread.

Sew in the first track. Work along the parting from left to right, ensuring the track is secure along the sewn-in base.

Create another parting an inch above the first and parallel to it and repeat the whole procedure, then continue through the hair in this fashion until the desired result is achieved.