Do you know how long you should leave your weave in place? Can you cut a weave? And what’s the best size for your braid extensions? If you’re “umm-ing” and “uh-ing” your way through those questions, you need a primer on how to keep your weave looking sharp and your natural hair beautiful and healthy. Let Coco and Crème’s hair extension expert Ericka Dotson be your guide.

     • Consult a professional. Ask around and do your research to find a professional stylist who specializes in hair extensions. Then schedule a consultation—before you sink into that salon chair. Look through your stylist’s portfolio, ask for pictures of past clients, and make sure your stylist is a healthy hair care specialist.

     • Before your appointment, decide what kind of weave you want. Select a hair length and texture that works for you and your lifestyle. Remember the cost, money and time you have to style and upkeep hair.

     • Consider braid pattern and size. The braid pattern should reflect the style you choose. And, no matter what, make sure your base braids are small. Bulky braids equal a bulky weave.

     • Personalize your weave with a great cut. This enhances the end result and makes your hair look and flow as naturally as possible.

     • Avoid hairline breakage. Leave ample hair around the edges of your weave. Too-tight braids cause tension that can, over time, lead to hair loss.

     • Give your hair a time-out. While weaved styles can protect your tresses from everyday stress, weaves that overstay their welcome can cause hair loss. Make sure to keep that standing appointment with your stylist, every eight weeks.

     • You get what you pay for. Make sure to get the best quality weave you can afford. Talk to your stylist about options.

But here’s the ultimate pay-off. A well-maintained weave can help you avoid serious hair damage. Click here to read more.