The Fast And Easy Way I Use Sew-In Extensions

Get long hair in under two hours!
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Get long hair in under two hours!

Getting longer hair doesn’t always have to be a damaging or lengthy (heh) process. Adding length on the bottom is just a braid away, and depending on how it’s done it can last a week or six!

I stopped by my good friend Steph’s house to play with some luscious hair that I bought recently and was dying to test-drive. I have a long history with sew-ins that Steph is very familiar with. (Usually clip-ins are my way to go, allowing me to take hair out to perform treatments and wash at a more regular intervals.)

Steph also knows one of my other quirks, which we refer to as hair dysmorphia. I just can’t deal without extensions. It’s as if looking in the mirror without any hair enhancements shows me the chin length bob I had growing up. But I have been getting better and better at keeping my natural hair healthy and growing, and progress is happening, albeit really slowly.

Steph, wondering how to make Dani realize that her hair actually grows like other humans.

Steph, wondering how to make Dani realize that her hair actually grows like other humans.

Sew-in hair extensions are, very simply, wefts of additional hair that are stitched onto a foundation made either completely or partially of your own hair. Braids are the simplest way to create this base, but micro links and other methods can also be used. I prefer braiding because it’s less damaging--and it's easy to take out.

BEFO' ! (P.S. VERY RARE naked hair pic #veryrare)

BEFO' ! (P.S. VERY RARE naked hair pic #veryrare)

For this, we did a super chill setup with braids that weren’t crazy tight and just 1.5 tracks to add some length in the bottom.

What You Need

  • Wefted hair (I used Indique’s SEA collection)
  • Curved sewing needle
  • Thread to match hair
  • Elastics to match hair
  • Small scissors
  • Clips
  • Rattail comb

Steps

Section up hair above the ears and secure with clips (or a chopstick).

Section up hair above the ears and secure with clips (or a chopstick).

Braid securely from temple area to the center back of the head and tie off with an elastic.

Braid securely from temple area to the center back of the head and tie off with an elastic.

Repeat on the other side.

Repeat on the other side.

Thread the needle and sew the two braids together.

Thread the needle and sew the two braids together.

Measure wefted hair to the length of the braid, from temple to temple, then double this length.

Measure wefted hair to the length of the braid, from temple to temple, then double this length.

Sew a doubled weft of hair onto the braid, and tie off knot.

Sew a doubled weft of hair onto the braid, and tie off knot.

Done!

Done!

This is a simplified version, so if you know someone who is a decent braider, chances are they can perform this for you, easy-peasy! You can also see a pro and leave it totally in their hands. Pricing varies greatly, but typically just getting in a track or two is around $15 per track, whereas a whole head can run up to $150, as it takes more time. Don’t forget to refer back to some of Christine’s awesome posts to shed light on some more configurations of braiding, as well as how to use a closure if you want your entire head done.

Steph busted this look out in less than an hour, and even before cutting the hair, it looked so great! 

  • Have you worn extensions? Which type are your favorite?
  • Would you try doing this at home or would you rather leave it to the pros ? 

Photos by Jesse A. Caldwell