Many women opt to wear a sew-in as they let their natural hair grow out. Sew-ins let you go natural without sporting a super short hairstyle you may not be comfortable flaunting. They also allow you to slowly adapt to your natural hair, which is good when you’re in the middle of testing products to find a regimen that works — a process that could easily take months or even years. But are they good for your hair, especially if your ultimate goal is to be natural?

What Are Sew-ins?

Sew-ins are a form of weave for the hair that you can actually sew into your hair rather than glue onto your scalp. If you’re going to wear a sew-in while you transition, you’ll want to wear one that covers all of your hair and leaves none of it exposed. This will also save you from having to worry about blending the sew-in with your natural hair color, type and texture.

Who Should Use Them?

In the past, it may have been more common for coilies to opt for a sew-in, but wavies and curlies get them done as well! In the natural hair community, we all go through the same issues, and many of us are transitioning, which isn’t limited to any particular hair type — and neither are sew-ins!


The most important thing to remember when you have a sew-in is to care for your natural hair.

Choosing to wear a sew-in while transitioning has many benefits. If you recently did a big chop, you might be self-conscious about short hair. A sew-in will let you “hide” behind the façade of having longer hair. In addition, sew-ins are available in a variety of colors, textures, and hair types. This means you can change your hair color or type without the risk of over-processing your natural hair and stunting its growth. If you are accustomed to wearing your hair straight (relaxers”>, you can purchase straight-haired sew-ins. On the other hand, if you think you might like to start getting used to curly hair, go for a curly sew-in! Since you’ll want to change your sew-in every couple of months at least, feel free to try a straight one the first time and go curly or wavy the next time.


The most important thing to remember when you have a sew-in is to care for your natural hair. Don’t think that just because your hair is covered in a sew-in that you can just let it go and ignore it! Quite the contrary, you’ll actually need to pay MORE attention to your hair with a sew-in. This is because the added weight can cause damage and stress to your hair that you otherwise wouldn’t have if you didn’t have a sew-in.

Also, when you’re in between sew-ins, you’ll want to let your hair “breathe” a little after covering it completely. The time you’ll need to do without a sew-in really just depends on how your hair reacts, which you won’t know until you take it out. If you have a lot of breakage after you’ve taken out the sew-in, you might consider leaving it out for a few weeks while you work to replenish the moisture your hair needs.

Almost as important as caring for your natural hair while wearing a sew-in is finding a stylist who knows how to properly apply a sew-in. Don’t assume that just because someone “does weaves” that she knows HOW to do them well! Keep in mind that you get what you pay for. While you may find a “hair dresser” who will do your sew-in for $50-60, it might be worth paying closer to $80-90 to have it done by a stylist who will not leave you with a cone head, bald spots when you remove the sew-in, or overall just looking wrong. A good stylist will also take her time on you. Ask for references from friends, and look at a potential stylists’ portfolio of work to see what she’s done and how she does sew-ins. Bottom line: it might be worth the splurge to have your sew-in done right.

What do think about using sew-ins to grow your natural hair?

Tasha Swearingen

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