Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about sew-in methods

Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about weave hair and sew-in methods.

Weave hair, sew-in methods and installation are the most important things you need to know about the hair world. With the weave and sew-in game constantly evolving, we are always on the look out for new styles, cuts, techniques and textures. This can be overwhelming when navigating what methods to choose for your next hair install. But don’t worry, “weave” got you covered!

Hair by Sisi has been in the hair game for a number of years, so we are confident we can help you with everything you’ve ever wanted to know about weave hair and sew-in methods.

The nitty gritty about weave hair

The best human hair in Johannesburg | Weaves & Wigs | Johannesburg

Before you get your hair sewn in, you need to know the basics. Here are a few key words to know:

The weft:

The single line or bundle of hair.

Machine weft:

The hair which is sewn onto the track is done so by a machine, much like a large sewing machine. It allows the hair to be sewn together, facing the same direction, thus creating a natural-looking row of hair extensions. This type of weft is also the most common and offers great versatility when installed correctly.


These are the visible parts when your weave and cornrows are sewn in. The weft is sewn onto the cornrow, and when visible, e.g. when the wind blows, we say, “your tracks are exposed.”


When the weft is sewn onto the cornrow.

Virgin hair:

Hair that comes from one donor, who has never cut, coloured or altered their hair’s natural state. Also, it is when the hair is collected and turned into extensions/weft with the hair cuticles facing the same direction.

Remy hair:

Although remy hair can still be considered as virgin hair, in that it comes from one donor, it is classified as remy hair because it has been chemically altered, coloured and texturized.

Now, it can become difficult to differentiate between virgin hair and remy hair, particularly considering the grading scale of the hair. But the key differentiator between the two types of hair is the life span. Virgin hair will outlast remy hair, especially if it is treated well (through washing, conditioning etc.)

Sew in methods:

There are also several sew-in methods for the corresponding styles. 

The full weave:

None of your natural hair is left visible. Usually done to protect your natural hair or to wear hair that is different to your natural hair.

The partial weave:

This is not a complete sew-in, so it usually does not make use of a closure. This will allow you to tie your hair up in a bun, but your hair must match with the extensions. 

The leave-out:

This is the small amount of your natural hair which is left out to give your installation a natural looking parting. This can only be done if your natural hair matches the texture of the hair you are using.

Having great hair every day starts from the root to the tip of your hair. In order to get the best hair experience, we recommend that you start with purchasing great quality hair. Secondly, use an experienced stylist who can install your weave or make your wig to perfection. Finally, you need to ensure that you buy the best hair care products that are specifically designed for hair extensions.

At Hair By Sisi, we offer quality services and products to ensure that you always get the value you deserve. Visit our website or follow us on social media for great hair every day!

Website: hairbysisi.co.za Instagram: @myhair_hairbysisi Facebook: Hair by Sisi

Lace Frontal – The Good, Bad and the Ugly

Lace Frontal – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

So why is everyone fussing over the LACE FRONTAL?

How are you tying a top bun with that weave? Half-up, half-down, how is that even possible with no visible tracks? These are just two questions that people always ask me when I have my hair up. The answer is always the same, I’m wearing a lace frontal.

After 4 years in the hair game, only now am I confident enough to talk truthfully and with real experience about the lace frontal.
Lace Frontal - The Good| Hair by Sisi

What is a lace frontal?

Frontals are basically larger, longer closures.  Instead of just giving you a natural parting (the closure) a lace frontal will give you full, protective styling, cover-up while giving you a natural looking hairline if executed properly.

Lace Frontal - The Good, Bad and the Ugly

What’s is good about Lace frontals:

1. As mentioned above, a frontal is a 100% protective sew-in option, if you wear it without glue or adhesive and IF it is professionally installed and removed.

2. Frontals offer versatility, unlike the closure, you can part your hair wherever you want to.  This added lace size gives you space to style your hair in various updo styles.

3. Time savers! If you think sewing in a full weave takes up too much time, a frontal is going to change your life. A full frontal sew-in takes about half the time of a closure sew-in.

Lace Frontal - Bad and the Ugly

What is bad about Lace frontals:

1. Frontals are delicate and call for great attention to detail. If you don’t have patience, move on up. Frontals are relatively new in the hair world so remember that not everyone will know how to install them properly.

2. Frontal installations call for teamwork. During your installation, you will have to hold the unit down for your stylist, so that there is tension being applied to both ends of the frontal. If you’re not prepared to hold your frontal down, you might find the installation process somewhat annoying.

3. They can appear more wiggy that actual wigs. Most frontals require some degree of customization and if the hair on the frontal is very dense it will look unnatural, so you will have to put in the work to make the hairline look as realistic as possible (Hair by Sisi will do the customization for you).
Remember, frontals are not one size fits all, so they will look different on different people.  Sometimes people have unrealistic expectations as to how their install will come out because they have seen a frontal installation on someone else.

4. Frontals are VERY high maintenance. Your hair should look amazing when you leave your stylists chair, but the next week is really going to test your skill and patience. From the moment you get up in the morning, your frontal is going to require a bit of TLC. If you are not good with basic upkeep, a frontal is probably not a good option for you. The long and short of it all is that frontals require a lot of daily attention, they are not a “wash and go” kind of installation.

5. Your hairline is at high risk. Frontals can “eat away” at your hairline, so if your hairline is weak, be very careful. Rather opt for an installation with a closure, or go for a wig option.

6. Frontals, like lace and silk closures, are not a real scalp. Excessive scratching, constant tugging and manipulation will cause bald spots on the base of your frontal. Once your lace is damaged, it will be more difficult to use it again.

Lace Frontal - the Ugly

What is ugly about Lace frontals:

1. Your skin complexion matters! The fact is, the darker you are the less likely your frontal will match your skin tone (and appear invisible). This is because lace only comes in 3 different shades; Kim K, Beyonce, Naomi Campbell.  If you are not the same shade as the lace (very few people are) you will run into a few issues. If you don’t use your foundation on your frontal (preferable before installation) you after your instructions lace sill stick out like a sore thumb post installation.  You can ask your stylist to tint the lace to match your skin color, but keep in mind over time it will fade, bringing you back to the high maintenance portion of frontals.

2. Glue will need reapplication. Glue is not a one application type thing. Generally, it will last about 7-10 days. This means when you lace lifts, you have to get to work. You will probably need to get your hair done every two weeks in order for your frontal to continue slaying and looking fresh.

3. If your stylist uses adhesive and is still in the learning phase of installing frontal, you could be the victim of flaking frontal, that unnatural shiny look, or visible lace which is not a good look especially if you want it to look natural.

Tips for you next frontal install.

Consult, consult, consult, I can’t stress this enough. Do not buy hair and walk into a salon with your frontal in hand expecting it to come out looking like Beyonce 2018 (because even she had it tough with the frontal game). Chat to people, ask for a consultation BEFORE your installation. Not only will this give you a proper indication of what’s to follow but it will also give you a better understanding of what your install will look like.


Happy Weaving XXX

10 Weave Fails You Might Be Making

Everyone knows that great hair can make any woman feel amazing, but just as quickly as it can make you feel great if you don’t know how and what you are working with, it can bring just as much trauma into your life.  Anything from visible tracks, bald patches, and poor leave-out blend can have you looking like a hot mess. Clearly, a lot can go wrong while wearing a weave, so to have you and your weave looking 100, here are a few ways to prevent embarrassing hair mishaps from happening in the first place.

1. If your weave ain’t installed correctly your tracks will start to show. A great weave can really boost your confidence and even give you the ability to go from short to long hair in a matter of minutes. If done correctly the weave will have people thinking that it is your actual hair ( which is the point really). If one member of the track clan, decides to step out of line, your whole sewn-in can turn on you. Exposed tracks are not cute. Most people find themselves sharing the spotlight with their weave tracks because their weave hair has been installed too close to your “leave out,” which means there is not enough of your natural hair to cover the track. Sometimes your natural hair is just shorter than the weave hair you are trying to install. Ladies, if your natural hair is 12”, tell your self it 10” (maybe even 8”). Remember one thing your leave-out is prone to SHRINKAGE. This small miscalculation will end up ruining your whole installation.  Both of these are due to a bad installation and ain’t nobody got time for that. If this is happening to you as you sit and read this post or you know someone who knows someone walking around looking like these ladies in the pictures down below, then tell them to head on over to the Hair by Sisi Installation Bar so we can do them (her & her weave hair) justice.

Bad weave Installation         VS                Exposed Tracks

Bad weave Installation Visible weave tracks

2. The edges of your (real) hair start to thin out. Losing your hair is never funny thing. Once your edges decide to take a step back, it’s bad news all around. It is of the utmost importance that you protect your edges from the very beginning. The best way to do this is to keep them intact: always make sure that your extensions aren’t installed too tightly. If anyone says you have to suffer for beauty, or that the tightness should settle over the next two days, then they don’t care about your edges boo, so you shouldn’t care about their service either (read more here). #GirlBye

3. Is your weave is coming undone? A properly installed weave should last between six-eight weeks. If your weave comes undone before then, then you should get it tightened. If your weave is loose, ask your hairstylist to tighten the weave after washing it. This should be done every 2-3 weeks.


4. Your hair looks stringy. Four words:

Wash  your hair booboo!

Just like your natural hair, your weave needs to be washed (every 7-10 days and every 3-5 days if you work out a lot). Your weave hair can easily pick up a bad scents, dirt, and debris, so be good to her and she will be good to you. Washing your weave is generally very easy, just step into a shower and you are good to go. The tricky part is making sure your natural hair underneath is cleaned, dry, well taken care of and doesn’t develop mildew (dampness/sweat buildup cause mildew). If you are not getting your natural hair proper hygiene then best see your hairstylist so you can be sure the job is done right. If you can’t get to your stylist for a thorough wash, try using a dry shampoo, to mask the scent and soak up the oil.

5. Your weave sheds like crazy. If people are able to track your movement by the trail of weave hair left behind, then it’s time to rethink your purchase. Synthetic hair often sheds more than human hair, which is why it’s always better to purchase real human hair when you can. Great hair extensions are an investment, so choose wisely, and remember installation is key, so always get a professional to install them for you.

6. Your weave looks like an old-school wig. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wearing a good wig every now and again, but if your weave looks like a wig, then something has gone terribly wrong. Even though wigs these days looks so good they get mistaken for weaves, a wig-looking-weave is never a compliment. Your weave will always look like a wig if, the hair you are installing is synthetic. Sythetic hair has an unnatural-looking sheen to it which makes the hair look fake. Fake hair = wig-looking-weave. Another problem happens when your frontal has not been customized and the baby hairs aren’t laid. This will make your afterall weave install look wiggie.

 Wig looking weave                 VS            Perfect installation

bad frontal install good frontal-sew-in-install

7.  Bad blend. This is honestly the worst thing that can happen to a Beweaver. If your weave hair doesn’t match your natural hair, the only person you will be fooling is yourself, so pay attention when choosing your texture. If you plan on wearing your hair curly, don’t install straight hair extensions. Instead, go with the curly weave to match your (naturally) curly hair.

  Bad blend                                VS                  Perfect match


8. There’s a bad smell coming from the weave. When you sweat and the dampness builds up on your scalp, it can cause a bad-smelling weave. When washing your weave, it’s important to take your time and to make sure you get all of the weave hair (and your natural hair underneath your weave) completely dry, so that mildew cannot grow. We always recommend washing your hair on a lazy Sunday,  sitting outside with a good book to read, while your hair air dries. If your hair already smells, wash it thoroughly using the Hair by Sisi a Clarifying Shampoo and then use a blow-dryer, focusing directly onto the scalp, to make sure the roots of your weave are completely dry.

9. The weave doesn’t match up with your hairline. A good weave should match up seamlessly with your natural hair and hairline. If your weave looks obvious, it wasn’t installed properly. Sometimes when your natural hair grows it can cause the weave to shift back or lift, but you should only start seeing this happen at the six-week mark and not anytime before then. If you weave is badly installed, get it redone.

10. You’re not wearing your weave the way it was styled. Too many times, women with weaves will wear their hair in styles which the weave install won’t allow.  If you are wearing your weave in a high pony, when it was installed with the intention of being worn loose, your track will show and your weave will bump. This is not a good look #StopIt #YouTriedIt. To keep this from happening, inform your hairstylist before she starts your installation of the styles you want to achieve, so that she can plan accordingly. Remember if you want your install to look even more natural, have the weave hair trimmed slightly, so that it looks more natural on you.

Hope this helps. Happy Weaving XXX

My weave is too tight

One of the biggest misconceptions about a weave installation is that a tight braid (or cornrows) will make your weave installation “last longer.” This is not true. A tight weave will simply cause damage.

Installation is very important:

Installation takes place on two levels. The first is the braid pattern, the second if the actual weaving. These two methods are crucial to a great hair experience.

 Best braid pattern for weave  

Tighter is never better

It is very important that your braids (cornrows) are not too tight. If the braids are too tight not only will you experience pain, but once the pain wears off, you will experience itchiness and you will see white dots or bumps near the roots of your natural hair. These white bulbs are NOT the root, but rather the Root Sheath which surrounds the root. This is a sign that the hair has been pulled.

Constant pulling and tugging at your natural hair will eventually cause Traction alopecia, which is a type of hair loss that happens over time. The constant strain or tension put on your natural hair will cause permanent hair loss.

Sometimes it’s not only the braid that causes hair loss but the sheer weight of the hair (bundles) that causes damage. Yes, we all imagine ourselves with the perfect, voluminous hair bouncing around with every step we take, but Beweavers remember that 3-4 bundles are enough.
Weave is too tight traction alopecia caused by tight weaves

Don’t be afraid to speak up

If your weave too tight, let your stylist know while they are braiding your hair. When the weft is sewn onto the braid it will only get heavier and could become unbearable.
If the pain is only felt once you get home, it is best to go back the stylist and let them know that the installation it is too tight, so that he/she can adjust it. If for whatever reason you cannot go back to your stylist, try squirting some conditioner or coconut oil on the sore spots or washing your weave. Make sure to hold the hair in a ponytail while you wash it because the water will weigh the hair down, and will cause even more tension. Naturally, the hair should loosen up in two or three days, but waiting this long may cause damage. If there is no loosening up, after two days, then the install has got to go.


Take care of your edges

If the weave is pulling on your edges, then you have to take it out immediately. Your edges are extremely sensitive and the hair is much weaker than any other hair on your head. Because of this, any tension caused will result in damage.

If washing, conditioning or basing your natural hair with oils does not cure the pain, I’m afraid the only thing to do is to take out the weave. Remember no install is worth any permeant damage. #AintNobodyGotTimeForThat

For a perfect install come to the Hair by Sisi Hair Boutique and Installation Bar at 27 Boxes in Melville, Johannesburg. All installation are done on Friday – Sunday. To avoid disappointment make sure to book your appointments in advance. #HairBySisi #GreatHairEveryDay

Happy Weaving XX



No more Split Ends

“What’s going on with my weave?! It keeps getting tangled and matted, even after I detangled it and given it a bit of TLC… ”

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard this very phrase and every time I tell Beweavers what is going on, they can’t believe what they are hearing. So, I decided to write a (two-fold) blog post about how split ends are the cause of so many tangled and matted human hair weaves & wigs, even if the hair is virgin human hair.

The main reason some Beweavers will struggle with their hair is because they don’t know much about split ends and or think the weave is invincible!

Human hair weaves and wigs are usually put under more stress than your natural hair. This is due to things like styling, bleaching, the constant use of electronic styling tools like straightening irons and curling wands. If hair is not properly taken care of, it will result in split ends, which can potentially be your worst nightmare.

What Are Split Ends?

Split ends can occur on both your natural and on your weave or other human hair extensions. Depending on where and how the split end is situated on the hair shaft, a single split can unravel and move up the hair shaft or peel away or break off near their starting point. Split ends will cause more problems to human hair weaves and wigs, because unlike your natural hair, your extensions will not receive any natural nutrients which are excreted directly from the scalp to the hair. Therefore, it is important to take care of the tips in order for the hair to retain its overall healthy look and live out its full lifespan. Here are the three main cause of split ends, followed by five tips on how to prevent and manage your weave in a way that will lessen split ends occurring.

What Causes Split Ends?

1. Heat

Heat will cause your hair follicles to lose their much needed natural moisture, which will result in split ends and a dried out looking weave. It is, therefore, important to use as little heat as possible on your human hair extensions if you want them to have a lengthy lifespan. So limit the use of blow drying, flat ironing, straightening and other heat emitting styling tools. (For more on how you can straighten your hair safely click here.)

2. Harsh Hair Products

If you are a Hair by Sisi Beweaver you will know that our basic motto is “Great hair deserve great maintenance.” Your hair extension will need a little extra product to keep them looking their best, but using harsh hair products like hair dye, gels, waxes and hair sprays can weaken your hair and cause split ends. You need to make sure that when you invest in good hair, you do the same with the product. Make sure to use products that are specifically made for hair extension, or are gentle enough to use on your weave or wig. Reduce the use of hair spray, gel and wax as they stay longer on your hair, which means you will have to wash your hair more often than required.

3. Strong Shampoo

Having a great hair experience is 50% dependant on the correct hair care products. This is key and particularly important when it comes to washing your hair. Shampoos are made specifically for different hair types and using a shampoo that is not meant for human hair extensions, weaves or wigs can run the risk of damaging your hair extensions. The Hair by Sisi Hair Extensions Shampoo is made with hair extension in mind. The product has the ability to clean your weave thoroughly with every wash, but because it is mild, it prevents damage like stripping (which causes your hair thin out, feel rough and become brittle) caused by strong shampoo. If the shampoo you are using in not specially made for hair extensions, then choose shampoos that are sulphate and paraben free and keep your washes to a limit of two washes per week.

Sadly, there is no actual treatment for split ends, so try by all means to prevent them.

How To Prevent And Avoid Split Ends?

1. Trimming

If you notice that your human hair weave has split ends get a professional to trim the tips off. A professional will be able to determine what bits may be split ends, which you may not recognise as split ends. You can trim the tips of yourself, but be careful not to trim too much or too little off.

2. Moisturise Your Hair

This might seem weird but washing your hair more than you should, can cause split ends. Wet hair is very fragile and detangling while wet can tear the hair. Rather moisturise your hair before you wash it, using natural oils like argan oil, jojoba oil, sesame oil or almond oil. The right oils will protect your hair and reduce damage during a wash.

TIP: Avoid products with petroleum.

3. Drying

Always, always, always air dry your human hair weave, wig or extensions. Wrap a soft cotton towel around your head for about 5 minutes, remove it then pat dry your hair. Do not rub the towel against your hair, as it will cause friction, twists and create unwanted tangles. If you are in a rush to get your hair washed and dried, rather wait until you have time to naturally air dry your hair.

4. Combing and Brushing

Using the right brush to brush your hair is key. Brushing your virgin human hair weave with the wrong brush or comb can cause split ends. For most virgin hair styles and textures a paddle brush is best, safe and can be used as an everyday hair brush (for more info on brush, read click here). For the BlowOutKink, Mongolian Bounce, Malaysian BeacbBomb and the Cambodian Curl hair stick to a wide tooth comb. A wide tooth comb is the best way to get rid of tangles and knots because the spacing between the teeth allows the hair to pass freely while brushing. Always remember to comb from the tips of the hair, working your way up to the roots or the track.

TIP: combing from the roots increases the risks of tangling which generally lead to hair breakage.

5. Less Heat

Heat is one of the major causes of split ends, especially on virgin hair. Too much heat can cause hair trauma, leaving it dry and feeling rough. Another thing about heat damaged hair is that reversing the damage is extremely difficult. If heat can not be avoided, then always use a product like the Hair by Sisi Heat Protectant that will proctect your hair applying any heat to your weave.
Additional Tips:
Avoid rinsing your hair in hot water while showering, as hot water, dries hair and washed away your protective oils.
Always use natural oils like olive oil and coconut oil to protect your hair before swimming even if you’ll wear a swimming cap.


Happy Weaving

Real Wig Hacks

The biggest transformation in the wonderful world of hair has to go to wigs. Just 5 years ago wigs were only worn by the elderly and were worn for religious or medical reasons. Fast forward to 2016 and females everywhere are turning to wigs for their protective styles. Wigs are amazing, they are relatively easy to pull off, come in many different styles and textures and can last about a year. But like anything wigs have their downside so before you rush to buy your next unit, get familiar with the wigs hacks so you know what to expect when you wear a wig.

Five wig hacks no one talks about!

1. Price tag

Virgin human hair wigs are expensive and range from R4000 – R7000. Unlike weave bundles, which are usually machine made, full lace wigs are hand made.  This usually makes them labour intensive and very costly. Alternatively, you can get a lace front wig, which is less expensive, but the constant on and off can cause friction to you edges and cause damage.

2. Lack of ventilation

Wigs come in two main types, full lace wigs and lace front wigs (if you don’t know the difference, read up more on wigs 101), when you wear a full lace wig, it is usually sewn done onto you head, similar to a weave.  And even though this has great befits like security, your natural hair doesn’t get enough air to breath while you wear the wig.  This can cause problems like itching, odour, dry scalp and other such #wigproblems. To avoid this, after every wash, make sure both your wig hair and your natural hair are completely dry. You can also use a hairdryer, but make sure you use a diffuser attachment so that you can dry your natural hair. When wearing a full lace wig, make sure you only wear the wig for a limited time (2 months per install).

3. Nape problems

If you have ever worn a weave you will know that the hair behind your neck (nape) tangles easily. With wigs, this is exaggerated. When you wear a wig, the hair at your nape area will tangle more than your real hair does because your scalp produces natural oils that keep your hair from drying out and getting caught in itself. The hair at your nape area is in direct contact with these oils and therefore ends up tangling. There is also a lot of heat coming from one’s neck that can make the wig go a bit wild.

Although this is difficult to avoid, simple things like keeping a brush on you to brush out small tangles and prevent them from becoming bigger problems. Try staying away from certain fabrics like wool or anything that has a bulky collar. These things will cause your hair to ball up on the back of your neck. Also try choosing straight hair as a posed to other textures, because these problems are less likely to occur with straight wigs.

4. Tangling

Synthetic, natural, expensive, inexpensive — they all end up in knots. Tangling can be caused by a lot of different things and like weave bundles, if the cuticles are not all facing the same direction, the hair will tangle. Virgin human hair bundles are easier to keep the cuticles in one direction, because the hair is cut in a ponytail (from the donors head) and stays together. With wigs, once the hair is cut at the ponytail (from the donors head) it is then sent to factories to be turned into wigs.  The hair is separated and sew by machine or hand and therefore the cuticles are more likely to end up facing different directions. Furthermore, if the hair has been coloured or processed with chemicals or if it has been laid in wrong, yes you guessed it, it will likely tangle.

So, how do you fight the struggle against a tangling wig? First thing first, always use proper shampoo and conditioner when washing your wig. We recommend the Hair by Sisi hair care products which are specially designed for human hair extensions, you can also try very mild shampoos. Make sure the shampoo does not strip the hair, should be sulfate-free and have a low pH. Also make sure that when you wash your wig, place her on a mannequin head and shampoo it on the head so that it keeps its shape. Be gentle when you wash it, don’t scrub the hair like you do your natural hair, you have to use your fingers as the comb, rubbing your fingers through the hair as you go. Remember to keep the hair all facing downwards, in its natural direction in which the hair falls. Don’t turn it upside down.  Lastly, make sure to rinse it very well by dipping it into water and pulling it out. Remember to be gentle.

5. Stay away from processed or synthetic wigs

Processed and synthetic hair will always tangle faster than virgin hair. Unfortunately, this hair will tangle if not brushed frequently, but constant brushing can cause shedding and can damage the wig altogether.

Remember that experiences may differ from Beweaver to Beweaver, so don’t be afraid, go ahead and try a wig, it’s just alway good to know what you are getting into before you do. Remember to watch our YouTube video about wigs for more information on the different kinds of wigs we offer at Hair by Sisi.

Happy Weaving



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