What Are Sewn in Hair Extensions?

Felicia Dye

Sewn in hair extensions consist of a weave that is attached using thread. The artificial hair used for this styling method normally dangles from a strip that is referred to as a track. As a result, the extensions themselves are sometimes called tracks. Installing a weave in this manner generally does less damage to the natural hair than using hair glue, and it usually remains more secure for longer periods.

People use hair extensions to change hairstyles without cutting natural hair.
People use hair extensions to change hairstyles without cutting natural hair.

For sewn in hair extensions, a special type of weave is required. Though the style of the artificial hair can widely vary, the common factor is that it will be on a track. The track is basically a long strip of material that the strands of the weave dangle from. The weave is normally rolled up when it is sold and must be unrolled and cut to the length of the space where it will be installed. The two other items needed are weaving thread and a needle, which is usually curved.

Before attempting to begin installing the hair extensions, a person's natural hair needs to be cornrowed in the areas where the artificial hair is desired. The track of the hair extensions are then placed on the cornrows. The needle and thread are used to connect the two together by drawing the thread through the cornrows and around, wrapping it around the track. This is done until the weave is secure and the cornrow is covered.

The difficulty of this installation method should not be underestimated. For example, if the cornrows are too big or not properly placed, the sewn in hair extensions may appear bulky at the roots, or the finished style may have an unnaturally lumpy appearance. If the tracks are not properly placed or sewed, they may show, which will also prevent a natural look. Depending on how much of the head will be covered and the areas where the hair extensions will be placed, it can be extremely challenging for an individual to sew a weave into her own hair.

People tend to prefer sewn in hair extensions over some other methods for a number of reasons. When compared to clip-in and glue installation methods, sewing tends to be more secure. Even if it is subjected to heavy pulling, the hair usually will not come out if it is sewed tightly and the cornrows are braided tightly. One problem that individuals often experience with gluing that they do not need to consider with sewing is having the glue pull out their natural hair or leave residue when the weave is removed.

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