Leave it to social media to spread misinformation. For most hair mavens, achieving long, healthy strands is the ultimate beauty goal. Whether that’s utilizing protective styles to experimenting with trendy treatments like rice water rinses, there is almost no option that’s off the table. However, with so many self-proclaimed “beauty gurus” online, it’s easy for harmful beauty tips to make its rounds. As of late, the latest hair tip that has given me major pause is none other than six-month sew-ins being deemed safe.
Yes, you read that correctly! Thanks to a viral Instagram reel from Abra Kadabra Hair & Healing, many people now believe that leaving a sew-in for six months is a great way to boost hair growth. In a lengthy caption, the brand explains that sebum (natural oil) production works in our favor to grow hair.
“There is magical power in your own sebum production (oil). Power! It shocks us every time. Your entire head of hair transforms because of it. If you think about it… of course your body knows what your body needs,” the caption reads.
Naturally, many users had tons of questions about the process and how often the sew-in should be washed. In the comment section, the brand shared that sew-ins stay in place for a full six months with the hair being washed every six to eight weeks. All I can say is, fix it Jesus.
While it’s true that sebum is essential to keeping our strands healthy and moisturized — which can aid in hair growth — this method is very problematic. Truth be told, your mane should be washed every two to three weeks when wearing a sew-in. This routine helps to cleanse, moisturize, and nourish your hair to keep your natural mane and extensions in tip-top shape. So, opting to only wash your hair every six to eight weeks can wreak havoc on your strands. As for leaving your extensions in for six months, you’re asking for trouble and celebrity hairstylist Stephen Hudson agrees.
“As far as extensions go, it’s something that was made to be temporary, especially in regards to a full head of sew-in extensions or micro linked,” Stephen says. “However you choose to install, it should be in for no longer than 1.5 to 2 months. When extensions are in for an extended period of time, sweat can create mold and bacteria that grows and will cause a fungus in your hair.”
Making matters worse, leaving extensions in longer than the recommended time can cause your natural hair to get matted underneath. Once you finally decide to remove the installation, severe breakage will likely become a factor which is counterproductive to your hair growth journey. Hence why it’s important to not only properly wash your hair after un-installing extensions, but to add a treatment into the mix.
“It is extremely important to remove your extensions in a timely manner,” Stephen told us. “When they are removed from your hair, the scalp must be treated. For treatment, I like to use Sebastian Professional Potion 9 ($14.21, Amazon.com) to bring the hair back to a balance, restore the hair’s natural condition and enhance the manageability and shine.”
Keep in mind working with a licensed hairstylist is all you need for your hair growth journey. They’ll provide you with a proper haircare regimen that’ll help make your hair goals a reality.
There’s nothing wrong with experimenting with different methods that may aid in hair growth. However, consulting with a licensed hairstylist is key to maintain a healthy mane. In other words, taking advice from social media hairstylists is an absolute no-no. Let’s make better decisions in 2022 and beyond!