Sew-in hair extensions are fairly low maintenance, although the initial installation process can be taxing. It’s worth it!
In this article, I’ll break down how long sew-in hair extensions last and additional information you should know if you’re considering this type of hair extension.
I’m Katy and as a former beauty school attendee and I had been doing hair for over 5 years, I’ve got all the information you need to know about sew-in extensions.
I’ve tried and tested many hair extensions and application techniques during my beauty school days, and I still have sets of hair I wear from time to time. Let me give you the scoop on sew-ins.
Sew-In hair extensions are a fantastic semi-permanent option when it comes to adding length and volume to your hair. This type of extension, with routine maintenance, can be easy to upkeep and allow you to have the hair you’ve always dreamed about.
Besides, sew-ins last longer than most other types of hair extension techniques, making them ideal for long-term wear.
Keep reading to learn more about sew-in extensions and how long they last!
How Long do Sew In Hair Extensions Last
The short answer is that most sew-in hair extensions will last between 6-8 weeks with minimal upkeep.
Due to the nature of the installation process, these extensions are built to last. As the hair is sewn directly into your natural hair braids, they are less likely to be pulled out accidentally.
The long answer is that sew-in hair extensions can last up to 3 months if kept in good condition. The routine maintenance and at-home upkeep the hair to stay sewn in for that length of time.
If you’re willing to put in some extra work to keep your hair in good shape, you can extend the duration of the sew-in wefts by an additional four weeks.
However, just because sew-in extensions can be left in up to 3 months doesn’t mean they should.
If the hair is still in good condition and your natural hair has not grown out to the point that makes routine maintenance a challenge, you can leave them in a bit longer, but this is not advised.
You can push your touch-up appointment out a couple of weeks if needed but 6-8 weeks is the ideal length of time sew-in extensions should be attached to your head.
When do Sew-In Extensions Require Maintenance?
When you first sit down in a salon chair to get a new set of sew-in extensions installed, the initial installation of the new hair can take anywhere from 3-6 hours. In other words, get comfortable! You’re going to be there for a while.
After 6-8 weeks of wear, the extensions will require some upkeep to help them stay looking their best. Without proper maintenance, sew-in extensions can become irritating to the scalp, and excess oil can build up around the root of the hair that has been braided.
This can lead to further irritation around the scalp and make routine maintenance a challenge.
When you sit back down in the salon chair, if the hair wefts are still in good condition, they can be un-sewn from the braids and re-used.
This is done by unbrading the natural hair, shampooing, and deep conditioning it, and then braiding it into cornrows just like before!
Once that step is done, hair wefts can be sewn back into the braids with a needle and thread. Your stylist will see you back in the chair in 6-8 weeks! Twelve weeks if you’re taking top-notch care of your hair.
Best Method for Maintaining Sew-In Hair Extensions
After you’ve got the hair all sewn in and looking fabulous, you have the responsibility of keeping it that way! You know what they say, with great power comes great responsibility.
To keep both your extensions and natural hair in tip-top shape, it’s essential to keep the hair moisturized, clean and healthy.
A good way to ensure this is by using a protein-rich deep conditioner on your hair approximately once a week and paying special attention to the roots around the braids where the hair is sewn in.
It’s also a good idea to add an extra dollop of deep conditioner to the ends of the hair so ends don’t split and become frayed.
After hair has been washed and thoroughly conditioned, practice holding onto the root of the hair when you brush it. This will hopefully eliminate any wefts getting accidentally pulled out of the braids.
It will also help preserve the natural hair braided by not expediting the grow-out phase by pulling on it.
Can I get Sew-In hair Extensions if I have Thin Hair?
While this type of hair extension is designed with thick hair in mind, it can be done on thinner hair as well.
The biggest risk with installing these into thin hair is that the sewn-in wefts may begin to slip out of your natural hair as braids loosen, or your natural hair may break more easily.
If you have concerns about whether or not sew-in extensions are right for you, most stylists will offer consultation to assess your hair type and quality and see if your natural hair can withstand a set of sew-in extensions.
If all goes well, they’ll book you for an installation appointment, and you’ll get to try them out for yourself!
How Much Do Sew-In Extensions Cost?
Keep in mind that if you’re planning to get these installed professionally, which of course you should, then you will need to pay for both the cost of the hair and the labor. Remember that it can take several hours to install these properly, and the price will reflect that.
Most full coverage sets of hair range in price from $100-$300, and with the cost of installation, you could be paying up to $1,000 for a high-quality sew-in experience.
While it is a taxing appointment for you to sit there that long, it’s also taxing for the person braiding and sewing in the hair; it should be expected that they’re compensated fairly for the effort.
Can You Wash Sew-In Extensions?
Yes! You can. Because most sew-in hair extensions are done using high-quality, human hair, you can wash your hair just like you usually would. The addition to this is the deep conditioner I talked about earlier.
When having a set of sew-in hair extensions, it’s advisable not to wash your hair more than once a week. Once every two weeks is even more ideal for preserving the hair and the braids. Obviously, proper hair hygiene is still a good idea, but avoid getting it soaked regularly.
After washing your hair, make sure to pat it dry gently. Using a towel to dry your hair can rough up the hair wefts and braids they’re sewn into. This can lead to a more frizzy look as hair begins to separate where it shouldn’t.
Overall, sew-in hair extensions are a great option for long-term length and volume without compromising the integrity of your natural hair. Just remember, touch-up is 6-8 weeks, and don’t push it past the three-month mark!