Braid Your Way to a Flawless Sew In: Mastering the Art of Hair Braiding for Weaves

Braiding hair can be a challenging task, but when it comes to a sew-in weave, things can get even trickier. Not only do you need to master the art of braiding, but also make sure that the weave is sewn in seamlessly for a natural-looking finish. But fear not, as we have you covered with this guide on how to braid hair for a sew-in weave. Whether you’re looking to add some length or volume to your locks or simply switch up your style, this technique will have you slaying your sew-in game in no time. Get ready to unravel the secrets of a flawless and long-lasting sew-in with these step-by-step instructions.

Understanding Sew In Weave

A sew in weave is a popular type of hair extension method that involves braiding the natural hair and then sewing wefts of hair onto the braids. This technique allows for a more permanent and secure hold compared to other types of extensions. It is also known as a “track” method because the wefts are sewn onto tracks or braids.

Sew in weaves are suitable for all hair types and textures, making it a versatile option for those looking to add length, volume, or change their hairstyle without using chemicals or causing damage to their natural hair. This method also provides more styling options since the wefts can be easily manipulated.

It’s important to note that sew in weaves should be done by a professional stylist to ensure proper application and reduce the risk of damage to your natural hair. Improper installation can lead to tension on the scalp and bald spots.

Preparing Your Hair For A Sew In Weave

Before getting a sew in weave, it’s crucial to prepare your hair properly for the installation process. Here are some essential tips to follow:

1. Wash your hair: Wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo to remove any product build-up, dirt, or oils that may prevent proper installation. Make sure not to use too much conditioner as it can make the braiding process challenging.

2. Deep condition: Use a deep conditioner or hot oil treatment before installing the weave. This will help nourish and strengthen your natural hair, preparing it for the added weight of the weave.

3. Detangle: Gently detangle your hair using a wide-tooth comb or brush before your appointment. This will save time during installation and reduce breakage.

4. Trim split ends: It’s advisable to trim any split ends before getting a sew in weave as they can get tangled in the braids, causing damage to your natural hair.

5. Give your hair a break: If your hair is already braided or in a protective style, it’s suggested to give it a break before getting a sew in weave. This will prevent putting too much tension on your scalp.

The Braiding Process

The foundation of a sew in weave is the braiding process. It’s essential to have the right technique and proper braiding patterns to achieve a seamless and natural-looking result. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

– The number of braids needed depends on the desired coverage and volume of the weave. For a full head sew in, around 8-10 cornrows or regular braids are usually enough.

– The size of the braids should be consistent throughout to ensure an even distribution of weight and avoid lumps or bumps.

– The tension of the braids should be secure but not too tight as it can cause discomfort and damage to your natural hair.

– Make sure the edges or hairline are not pulled too tightly as it can lead to traction alopecia (hair loss due to constant tension on the scalp).

– Leave out: Depending on your preferred style and the amount of leave out you want, some sections of your natural hair should be left unbraided near the hairline and around the perimeter.

Adding The Weave

Once the braiding process is done, it’s time to add the wefts. Here’s how:

1. Measure and cut: Measure the wefts against each section of braid before sewing them on. This will ensure an accurate fit and reduce any excess weight that may cause discomfort or stress on your natural hair.

2. Use thread: Use weaving thread (mostly made from nylon) instead of regular sewing thread for added strength.

3. Be cautious around edges: When sewing near your edges or leave out, make sure to secure the weft without sewing through your natural hair. You can do this by making a knot before starting to sew and avoiding the edges themselves.

4. Covering the tracks: Some people prefer to have their tracks completely covered, while others like them partly visible. If you’re going for a natural look, ask your stylist to braid the sections of leave out with the wefts to blend them in better.

Caring For Your Sew In Weave

To keep your sew in weave looking fresh and lasting longer, it’s essential to follow a proper maintenance routine. Here are some tips on how to care for your sew in weave:

1. Keep Your Scalp Clean: Wash your hair regularly with a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner (avoid silicone-based products as they can cause build-up). Start by gently scrubbing your scalp between the braids using a cotton ball or applicator. Rinse thoroughly while avoiding any rubbing or pulling on the braids.

2. Moisturize: It’s crucial to keep your scalp and hair moisturized even with a sew in weave. You can use a water-based leave-in conditioner or oil (e.g., coconut, jojoba) spray on your scalp and massage gently.


Benefits of Braiding Hair for a Sew In Weave

Braiding hair for a sew in weave is one of the best ways to achieve a fabulous long hairstyle without any commitment. It is a technique where your natural hair is braided to create the foundation for the sew in weave. This helps to protect your natural hair and also provides support for the added hair extensions. If you are considering getting a sew in weave, here are some benefits of braiding your hair first:

1. Protects Your Natural Hair
Braids act as a protective style for your natural hair. By braiding your hair before installing the sew in weave, you are protecting your hair from styling tools and products that may damage it. This helps to reduce breakage and promotes healthy hair growth.

2. Adds Support and Comfort
One of the biggest advantages of braiding your hair before getting a sew in weave is the added support and comfort it provides. Braids evenly distribute the weight of the extensions across your scalp, reducing any chance of tension or pulling on your natural hair. This makes it much more comfortable to wear and also prevents any damage to your scalp.

3. Provides Longer Lasting Style
Braids help to keep the sew in weave in place for a longer period of time. They act as an anchor for the extensions, preventing them from slipping or moving around too much. This means that you can enjoy your new hairstyle without having to constantly worry about readjusting it.

4. More Versatility with Styling
One of the best things about braiding your hair before getting a sew in weave is that it adds more versatility when it comes to styling options. With braids, you can create different patterns such as cornrows, box braids or even individual plaits which all provide different looks when wearing a sew in weave.

5. Easy Maintenance
Having braids as the base for your sew in weave makes it much easier to maintain. You can simply wash and condition your scalp and braids as you would with your natural hair. This allows for better hair hygiene which is essential for healthy hair growth.

How to Prepare Your Natural Hair for a Braided Sew In

Before you get a braided sew in weave, it is important to properly prepare your natural hair to ensure a successful and long-lasting style. Here are the steps you should follow:

1. Deep Condition Your Hair
Start off by thoroughly deep conditioning your natural hair. This not only helps to strengthen and nourish your hair, but also makes it more manageable and easier to braid.

2. Detangle Your Hair
Using a wide-tooth comb, gently detangle your hair starting from the ends and working towards the roots. This helps to remove any knots or tangles that may cause breakage during the braiding process.

3. Moisturize Your Scalp
Keeping your scalp moisturized is crucial when getting braids installed. You can use a lightweight oil or leave-in conditioner to keep your scalp hydrated and prevent any dryness or irritation.

4. Section Your Hair
Sectioning your hair makes it easier to braid and ensures that all of your hair is evenly distributed throughout the extensions. Use clips or rubber bands to make clean sections before beginning the braiding process.

5. Choose Your Braiding Pattern
Decide on the type of braid pattern you want before getting started. This will depend on factors such as how you want to wear your weave, the texture of your natural hair, and personal preference.

Step by Step Guide: How to Braid Hair for a Sew In Weave

Now that you have prepared your hair, here are the steps to follow for braiding your hair for a sew in weave:

Step 1: Start with Clean Hair
It is important to start with clean hair as it makes the braiding process smoother and cleaner. Make sure to shampoo and condition your hair before beginning.

Step 2: Begin from the Nape of Your Neck
Start at the nape of your neck and take a small section of hair for the first braid. Separate this section into three equal parts – left, right, and center.

Step 3: Begin Braiding
Cross the right strand over the center then cross the left strand over the center. Continue this pattern while adding more hair from each side as you go.

Step 4: Braid All the Way to the Ends
Continue braiding until you reach the ends of your natural hair. Secure with a small elastic band or braid to the very end if you prefer.

Step 5: Repeat Steps 3-4 on Remaining Sections
Take another section of hair next to first braid and repeat steps 3-4. Continue this pattern until all of your natural hair has been braided.

Step 6: Install Extensions
Once all of your natural hair is braided, it is time to install your chosen extensions. Simply thread them through each braid using a needle and thread until all sections are filled.


1. What is the difference between a traditional sew in and a sew in weave?

A traditional sew in involves braiding the hair closely to the scalp and sewing wefts of hair onto the braids, while a sew in weave involves braiding the hair and then sewing the weft onto a net that is placed on top of the braided base.

2. How do I prepare my hair for a sew in weave?

To prepare your hair for a sew in weave, make sure it is clean, detangled, and moisturized. It is also important to cornrow your hair neatly, leaving enough space for proper placement of the wefts.

3. What type of braid pattern should I use for a sew in weave?

The most common braid pattern used for a sew in weave is the beehive pattern, which involves creating circular braids on top of the head and horizontal braids at the nape of the neck.

4. Can I braid my own hair for a sew in weave or do I need professional help?

While some people may be able to successfully braid their own hair for a sew in weave, it is recommended to seek professional help to ensure proper placement of the wefts and reduce potential damage to your natural hair.

5. How many tracks (wefts) do I need for a full head sew in weave?

The number of tracks needed depends on how thick your natural hair is and how full you want your weave to look. On average, 8-10 tracks are needed for a full head sew in.

6. How do I maintain my braid pattern while wearing a sew in weave?

To maintain your braid pattern while wearing a sew-in weave, avoid sleeping on your stomach or back with your head directly on the pillow. Instead, sleep with your head elevated on a satin or silk pillowcase to prevent friction and preserve the braid pattern.

In conclusion, learning how to braid hair for a sew in weave is a skill that can be both time-consuming and challenging, but incredibly rewarding. By following the proper techniques and tips, anyone can achieve a flawless weave that not only looks natural but also protects their natural hair from damage. It is important to make sure the hair is properly prepped and cared for before installation, as well as maintaining proper aftercare to ensure the longevity of the weave. Additionally, understanding the different types of braiding patterns and choosing one that suits your hair type and desired look can greatly enhance the success of your sew in weave. Lastly, don’t be afraid to experiment with different styles and techniques to create unique looks and maintain healthy hair. By continuously practicing and honing your skills, you will become an expert at braiding hair for sew in weaves in no time. Remember, patience and attention to detail are crucial when it comes to achieving a flawless sew in weave. So take your time, enjoy the process, and have fun with it! With these tips and tricks in mind, you are now equipped with all the knowledge necessary to master this hairstyling technique. Happy braiding!

Author Profile

Jill Nammar
My name is Jill but everyone calls me Jilly. I design original cross stitch patterns inspired by vintage French and flowers. Roses are my muse.
I hope you have a cozy time stitching my patterns. Put the kettle on, relax and create a heartwarming piece of hand-embroidered art. Personalize your home and turn up the soulful charm with soulful stitchery.

My goal is to provide you with pretty patterns that promote peaceful stitching. My wish is for you to discover the gentle beauty of hand-embroidery.My patterns have been featured around the web and in Homespun Magazine and Boston Magazine. I find my bliss in cross stitch.

From 2024, I have embarked on a new venture—writing an informative blog on the “Embroidery and Cross-Stitch” niche. This blog is an extension of my passion, where I share detailed posts and respond to queries related to embroidery and cross-stitching.

The blog covers a wide range of topics from beginner tips, pattern creation, historical insights, and the therapeutic benefits of stitching. My goal is to build a community where enthusiasts can learn, share, and grow in their embroidery skills, ensuring everyone can find their own bliss in cross-stitch just as I did.

Thank you to all my customers and readers who have supported Sew French. Your kind emails, photos of completed patterns, and continual encouragement fuel my dedication to this beautiful craft. Join me in stitching a world of beauty and peace, one pattern at a time.