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When I’m pressed for time or want to switch up my look, I grab my instant weave. It’s a quick and easy way for me to achieve the hairstyle I want without adding stress to my real hair. Having worn an instant weave on and off for seven years, I’ve discovered a few dos and don’ts on how to select the right color, texture and how to decide between synthetic or human.

First, what is an instant weave?

An instant weave is a great option for those who want a temporary look without shelling out lots of money and lots of time. There’s no appointment necessary and no stylist needed. Instead, you just need a comb, a curling iron, and a half wig or instant weave.

Similar to a full cap wig, an instant weave or half wig has synthetic or human hair sewn into a cap. Small hair combs are sewn into the crown and nape of the net and used to secure it to your real hair. Unlike a full wig, it doesn’t cover your full head, allowing you to wear your real bangs out. Your real hair also covers where the wig begins. I’ve found this makes an instant weave look a little more authentic than a full wig.

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With a comb, I separate my hair at the crown and the sides and pin them. I take the remaining loose tresses and wrap them with bobby pins as if I’m preparing for bedtime. Because my hair is sitting under a cap all day, I apply a lot of moisturizer prior to pinning. Next, I tuck the wrapped hair under a silk thin skull cap to act as protective layer between my real hair and the net. I brush out my instant weave before securing it on my head using the hair combs. Finally, I curl my real hair and the hair of the wig then style it so that everything blends well together. This process takes me no more than five minutes. However, the first time you apply an instant weave it may take longer as you may want to style or trim the wig accordingly. Since it’s been sitting in a bag for awhile, I usually brush it out once I bring it home and may even layer the hair so that it looks real.

Selecting Your Instant Weave

When searching for the perfect instant weave the good news is you have a lot of options. Several manufacturers offer wigs in a variety of textures, colors, and lengths. You can look like Beyonce, Nicki Minaj or Nia Long. It’s up to you. When searching for an instant weave, keep several things in mind.

1.      Color

Select a color closest to the shade of your bangs, this includes any highlights you might have. Instant weaves come in a variety of colors and feature highlights from red to blond. You want the instant weave to blend well with your real hair.

2.      Texture

You may have to do a little digging but don’t settle for a wig if the texture is European silky and your hair (whether natural or relaxed) is more coarse. Keep in mind, a new instant weave can be very shiny and this may contrast even more with your real hair.

3.      Human or Synthetic Hair?

Do you want to style it with heat? If so, you should purchase a human hair wig. Human hair can withstand heat, allowing you to mirror a style that fits your personality or go from bone-straight one day to spiral curls the next. A synthetic instant weave will singe as soon as heat is applied. I know this from experience, unfortunately. Synthetics usually begin around $19.99 while human hair instant weaves can cost upwards of $80 or more depending on where you purchase.

4.      Maintenance

Whether you shelled out $20 or $120 make sure you take care of your hair (the wig that is). Store your wig on a plastic or foam mannequin head when it’s not in use. If that’s too diva for you or if you want to be a little more discreet in front of your partner, keep it covered. When you bring it home or take it off after a long day, it may need to be brushed out so that it doesn’t become matted down over time. Carefully, brush out the tresses, run your fingers through it or shake it out. Since the hair won’t grow back like the strands on your head, you’ll have to be very gentle.

Just like our real hair, your wig needs to be washed over time. Select the appropriate shampoo for synthetic or human hair. You’ll get your money’s worth if you try washing it instead of trashing it and shelling out more money for a new one.

I’m interested now in hearing from you. Have you ever worn an instant weave? What’s your favorite manufacturer and style? Share your tips with me then take a look below at how I prep, apply and style my instant weave.

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