If you want to have hair extensions, why not try sew-in weaves? In this procedure, your hair is braided into cornrows and then the hair extensions are sewn onto the braids. This can give you longer and fuller hair.

There is evidence that seems to suggest that sew-in weaves go right back to Ancient Egypt. However, modern-day weaves gained popularity in the 1950s when Christina Jenkins patented the technique. 

The pros of sew-in weaves are that they are natural-looking and that they promote hair growth. You don’t have to wash, dry, and blow-dry your hair on a daily basis which means that your own hair is left to rest. However, in some people, it can lead to hair breakage.

There are two options of weave, the full sew-in or the half sew-in. The half sew-in probably gives you more versatility and looks more natural. However, the full sew-in is more protective as it covers all of your natural hair and it means that you don’t have to blend your own hair with the weave.

In this article, we will be taking a look at both full sew-ins and half sew-ins. They are similar, but there are a few important differences.

The Full Sew-In

Prepare the Hair

Before you can think about braiding your hair you need to get your hair ready. You may have 

remnants of hairspray in your hair so it needs to be washed out especially as your hair won’t be washed for a couple of months. After washing your hair, condition it and then put in a leave-in moisturizer. To make braiding easier, blow dry your hair. 


It’s not easy to braid your own hair so now is the time to get a friend in to help. You need to decide on a braiding pattern first. Choose whatever suits you. It’s not too important as it will all be covered by the weaves. When you have done this, you can sew a net on the top of the braids. You will only want to sew on the top of your braids, not all the way through. A net makes the sew-in stronger.


Next, you will want to sew down either a closure or a frontal onto your braids or net. This will give you a guide to follow when you are sewing in the wafts of hair. Begin by sewing around the perimeter of your head, making sure to sew through both the top of the cornrows and the net. When you have done this, tie a knot and make sure that it can’t be seen. 

Now it’s time to sew on the wafts of hair. Start sewing from the bottom and move upwards. Make sure that the braids are all covered. To do this, you choose from different options. You can sew on individual wafts of hair, fold them over, or even double them up if you want a thicker look. Folding the wafts of hair makes reusing them easier and it also cuts down on shedding hair. 

When you have finished sewing in the extensions it is time to finish your style. You can style the extensions into almost anything you want, be it curls or straight hair. Most sew-in weaves are from natural hair and can be styled easily. Avoid synthetic weaves as they don’t look authentic.

Half Sew-In

The half sew-in is good if you have long or thick hair, but it’s not so good for those with short hair. It is easy to style and gives fullness on the side and at the back of the head. However, it doesn’t give as much protection as a full sew-in does as you still see some of your own hair.

You will have to decide on how much of your own hair will be exposed and where you want it to be. Quite often people choose to have their own hair in the front, but it all depends on what styles you plan to have.

Prep Your Hair 

Before you start a half sew-in weave you will need to check that the wafts of hair you will be sewing in match your own hair. You want the weave to be the same color as your own hair and that the textures natch. Otherwise, the final look may be unnatural and you might be able to see where your hair stops and the weave starts.

As with a full sew-in, you need to wash, condition, moisturize and blow-dry your hair. When you have decided where your own hair will be showing, tie this section off to ensure that it doesn’t get braided.


You can choose any braiding pattern you want, but it is best if it lies flat against your head. If your braids are bulky, they will give your hair an unnatural look as it will be bumpy. You can sew the ends of the braids into your braids and tuck them away.

The next step is to sew a net onto your braids and then it is time to sew the wafts of hair onto your cornrows. Make sure that you only go through the top of the braids, not right through. If you want you can layer wafts of hair on top of the first layer. Do this from the bottom to the top. This will give your hair a much fuller look. You can fold the wafts and this helps to stop your hair from shedding.


It takes a while to fit sew-in weaves into your hair, but the effort is worth it if you want to have a fuller head of hair. Sew-in weaves will give you versatility. You can color and curl or straighten them just as you would your natural hair. They can be put in a ponytail or a bun as long as the cornrows are hidden. 

Sew-in weaves suit all hair textures although sensitive scalps and fine hair may have a slight problem with them. However, the great thing is that they last for 6 – 8 weeks.