Hello My Naturalistas!
Today I’m sharing something a little different…
A WEAVE review! Yes I said it, I got a weave.
Although my protective style challenge is now over and I was rocking my ‘fro all over the streets of Paris a couple of weeks ago, I have fancied a change for a while and wanted to get a weave that was close to my natural texture for 3 reasons:
- I rarely use heat on my hair so I couldn’t blend my hair a straight weave.
- I still want to wear hair that looks like it could have grown out of my head, instead of an Asian or European texture.
- I love Afro hair and I want to rock a BAA (Big Ass Afro) but I’m still a few years away from that with my own hair.
I had my eye on some hair from the USA but it was sooo expensive and I have been stung with those customs charges in the past adding an extra £100.00 to an already ridiculously expensive bundle of hair.
I decided to stick to my principles of supporting UK businesses and discovered that Mane Divas based in Essex, UK provide NHA (No Heat Alternative) extensions especially suited to women with natural hair.
I chose the Afro Kinky Curly texture which is a tight coil that can be defined or picked/fluffed out to achieve a full billowing Afro.
The website has a lot of advice regarding the hair and I was also able to contact the Divas themselves to get advice on how many bundles to buy and what lengths. I was going to buy 12″ and 14″ like I used to when buying straight extensions but I was advised to get 2 bundles of 14 as this texture has a lot of shrinkage.
Each bundle of 14″ costs £75.00 and p&p starts from £4.99 for recorded delivery . I think the price is very reasonable considering it’s Afro kinky virgin, human hair and the company are in UK so the shipping is much cheaper than if the hair were coming from the USA or China. In addition 3% of Mane Diva’s profits are donated to The Sickle Cell Society which I think is fantastic.
One of the best things about buying from Mane Divas is the customer service, they are quick to respond to any questions or queries, I don’t need to try to figure out the time difference if I need to call them and English is their first language so no worries about their being a language barrier and having a misunderstanding. Trina was particularly helpful to me as I bombarded her with about 50 questions before actually buying the hair!
As you can see the hair comes packaged in a lovely sleek box and each bundle is tied up with a pink ribbon.
The bundles measured 7-8 inches un-stretched but they were 14 inches once I stretched the coils out which is how all non-straight extensions are measured.
The hair comes in a natural colour which is a dark brown, roughly colour 2 but it looks lighter in bright sunlight almost around colour 4.
I was worried that it wouldn’t blend with my hair which is dyed black, but it looks fine and as the hair is not chemically treated prior to purchase it can be dyed or coloured, I will be colouring mine later on after I’ve worn it in it’s virgin state for a while.
I only needed 1 and a half bundles for a full weave with my entire perimeter left out in order to enable me to wear the hair up in high buns and puffs, plus my edges are fragile like many women so I don’t like to canerow my edges and add tracks as the stress is too much for my hairline. In the pictures I’ve intentionally exposed my tracks so you can see my leave out, when I wear the hair down it’s so full and fluffy that I don’t need to blend my edges, so I keep my leave out in twists, 2-strand at the back/side and flat twisted across the front. Since my sides are getting pretty long I gather them into a loose bunch with the hair in the back and tuck my ends away.
When I first saw the bundles I thought the hair would be too curly to blend with my natural hair but it was fine, the hair is really versatile and you can manipulate your leave out to blend with the extensions if you want to. The extensions are not an exact match for my varied curl patterns but obviously an exact match is impossible as like most human beings I have several curl patterns all over my head. As my leave out is minimal I had no issues with blending. The hair is very soft and clean when it arrives but I co-washed it and let it air-dry prior to installation anyway.
The wefts are strong and thick, but my stylist didn’t have trouble sewing the tracks in as she sewed over the weft not through it. I have not experienced shedding even though I did not seal the second weft that was cut. I have also not experienced any matting which is very common in Afro-textured extensions but this is because I made sure that my tracks were not sewn too close together and I finger detangle daily, obviously once I run a comb through it there will be some shedding which is normal, my real hair sheds and this hair behaves just like my natural hair. I remember wearing straight weaves back in the day and hair falling out all over the place it was awful!
I have been wearing this hair for a week and I flippin’ love it! On Mothers Day (30th March) I was with my Mum for over an hour before she asked me if I’d dyed my hair, I said no and only then did she ask me if I had “hair” in my hair! I admitted it but my Mum still insisted on coming and looking for the tracks… lol!
My Mum really likes the style on me and trust me my Mum HATES weave!
This hair is not low-maintenance hair, you cannot just get up, shake it out and go but that is just like real highly-textured natural hair that grows out of our scalps. You do need to keep this hair moisturised and detangled, I literally treat this hair like my own natural hair which also means that my leave out and my braids underneath are not neglected.
I moisturise both my hair and the tracks at least once per day, I use Mane Divas Milk Moist or my own water spritz mix. Every couple of days I apply castor oil to my scalp (only) with an applicator bottle and I lightly finger-detangle every night before putting the hair into 2-4 chunky twists and covering with a satin bonnet. I don’t do anything to my leave out except moisturise it, I don’t undo my twists unless I’m wearing my hair up as I’m trying to avoid over- manipulation of my precious strands.
If I wear my hair up, or back in one,my natural hair blends effortlessly into the extensions as illustrated by by ponytail/puff below:
I highly recommend this hair to anyone who wants to add length, thickness or volume to their natural hair or someone who wants to try out a natural texture before taking the plunge. Mane Divas also offer kinky-curly extensions which are a looser curl and various straight textures, if you don’t want to commit to a sew-in weave you can also purchase clips-ins from Mane Divas.
I haven’t washed my hair yet but when I do I’ll do a post on how easy or hard it was to wash the hair by myself. I’m also going to add highlights then colour the hair to see how the hair holds up.
Thanks for Reading
*I bought this hair with my own money, prices correct at time of writing this post.