Seasons are a-changing and everyone's stocking up on essentials for weathering the new chill in the air. Sexy knee-high boots, check! Fluffy down coat, check! Hot leather gloves, check! A fabulously toasty weave—What?!
A weave's not on your checklist? Well, it is most definitely on mine! That's right ladies, instead of a new cashmere beret or crocheted cap, this year I'm keeping the wind at bay by allowing it to blow over a few layers of the finest natural hair I can find. Spurred by a random thought one morning, I quickly phoned my resident weave-vangelist and scheduled an installation. My short wash-and-wear curly natural wasn't going to prove practical on those upcoming frosty New York mornings, so I sought out a non-traditional yet stylish solution.
Making this spur of the moment decision got me a bit nostalgic about my weave-sprinkled past. It all started when I was twelve years old. Nearly immediately following my wide-eyed discovery that young women could walk into a beauty supply store and leave with the means to transform their ponytails from petite to plus-sized, I got my first hair extensions. Prior to that, my only image of non-natural locks was that of my grandmother's wig perched atop a creepy styrofoam bust on her dresser. I recall staring at it, swearing I'd never wear anything close to that. I couldn't have been more wrong.
Boy was I excited. I'd always wanted longer hair and couldn't wait for my transformation. However, had my first weave been an indication of how my future hair embellishments would be, it would've been both my first and last. It was a borderline disaster situation. Unfortunately, at the hands of a family member I was left with more unflattering fluff than fabulousness. Following that experience, I'd take a break from extension experimentation until the halls of high school called for a major style upgrade.
Growing up in the south, un-be-weave-able styles set the trends for sistas—waves, buns, and ponytails resembling tropical waterfalls were the most popular. And when it came time for me to define my image in high school, I figured it necessary to try all of them! Luckily, my older sister had since become my trusted "kitchen beautician," capable of swapping out my 'do week after week. So back to the beauty supply I ran for my fill of wefted wonderment. This weave chapter wouldn't close until college!
All these years of weave exploration have led me here, where my motivation is far from what it was in my adolescence. Like many sistas, I now see hair as an accessory—malleable according to one's mood, wardrobe, or even seasonal weather changes! And now after much trial and error, I've compiled a collection of trusty tips sistas can keep handy when indulging in the occasional weave rendezvous:
Start with healthy hair: Ensure your hair is in good condition before considering a weave style.
Invest in good quality hair: Always opt for human hair extensions. Shop around and research brands and required maintenance prior to purchasing.
Treat it like a welcome visitor: Remember your weave is "yours", but not yours. Maintenance often requires more care and attention to detail than your everyday 'do.
Trust the pros: When in doubt, consult a professional stylist.
Driven to infuse each encounter with joy-inducing laughter, Dre Brown seeks to offer those she reaches both something for the eye and for the soul. Based out of New York City, Dre splits her time between makeup artistry, hair styling, strategic marketing, writing and entrepreneurship. Follow her exploits on her blog: a Dre in The Life and her Beautylish series "Confessions of a Nouveau Natural Woman"