Sew-In Hair Extensions Pros and Cons

Sew-in hair extensions have become increasingly popular among individuals seeking to enhance their natural hair. With various options available in the market, it’s essential to understand the pros and cons of sew-in hair extensions before making a decision. In this article, we will provide you comprehensive insights into the advantages and disadvantages of sew-in hair extensions, help you make an informed decision before taking the plunge

What are Sew-in Hair Extensions

Sew-in hair extensions, also known as weave or sew-in weft extensions, are a type of hair extension method where wefts of hair are sewn onto braided tracks created on your scalp. This technique ensures a secure and long-lasting attachment, offering the desired volume, length, and style for your hair.

The Pros of Sew-in Hair Extensions

Versatility: Sew-in hair extensions provide tremendous versatility, allowing you to experiment with different hairstyles, colors, and textures without altering your natural hair. You can achieve long, flowing locks, add volume to thin hair, or try out trendy braids and updos.

Durability: When properly installed and maintained, sew-in hair extensions can last for an extended period, ranging from six to eight weeks. They can withstand daily styling, washing, and heat without significant damage.

Protection for Natural Hair: By adding a layer of extensions, sew-ins offer protection to your natural hair, shielding it from environmental factors, heat, and chemical treatments. This can promote healthier growth by reducing exposure to potential sources of damage.

Natural Appearance: Sew-in hair extensions can blend seamlessly with your natural hair, creating a flawless and natural-looking result. With proper installation and matching, it becomes virtually undetectable that you are wearing extensions.

Low Maintenance: Compared to other hair extension methods, sew-ins require relatively low maintenance. Regular cleansing and conditioning, along with proper care of the scalp and edges, can keep your sew-in looking fresh and vibrant.

The Cons of Sew-in Hair Extensions

Time-consuming Installation: The process of installing sew-in hair extensions can be time-consuming, ranging from two to four hours. It involves braiding your natural hair into cornrows and meticulously sewing the wefts onto the braids, which requires patience and skill.

Discomfort and Tension: Sew-in hair extensions can sometimes cause discomfort and tension on the scalp, especially if the installation is too tight or the hairpieces are heavy. This can lead to headaches or soreness in the scalp and may require adjustment or removal.

Limited Accessibility: Proper maintenance of sew-in hair extensions often requires professional assistance. This can limit your flexibility and increase overall costs, as salon visits for tightening, removal, or reinstallation may be necessary.

Risk of Damage: If not installed or maintained correctly, sew-in hair extensions can potentially damage your natural hair. Traction alopecia, breakage, thinning, or loss of hair can occur if the installation is too tight, the braids are too small, or the extensions are left in for an extended period.

Hygiene Challenges: Maintaining good hygiene can be challenging with sew-in hair extensions. It’s crucial to cleanse the scalp and hair regularly, ensuring proper drying to prevent odor, product buildup, or microbial growth.

4 Ways to Sew-in Hair Extensions

Traditional Sew-In Method: The traditional sew-in method involves braiding the natural hair into cornrows or tracks. These braids serve as a base for attaching the hair extensions. The wefts of hair extensions are then sewn onto the braids using a needle and thread. This technique provides a secure and long-lasting attachment. It is often favored by those with thicker or coarser hair because it offers good support for heavy extensions.

Braidless Sew-In Method: This is an alternative for individuals with fine or fragile hair. Instead of braiding the hair, this technique uses microbeads or silicone-lined beads to attach the extensions. The natural hair is sectioned off and the beads are clamped shut around small sections of the hair, securing the extensions. It allows for more flexibility and less tension on the scalp compared to traditional sew-ins.

Flip-Over Method: The flip-over method, also known as the quick weave or partial sew-in, is a technique that blends the natural hair with the extensions. To start, the natural hair is molded and secured with gel or a wrap, while leaving a portion at the top free. The hair extensions are then attached to this exposed section using a combination of glue and/or a needle and thread. The remaining natural hair is then flipped over and styled to cover the attachment area. This method provides a natural-looking result and requires less time compared to full sew-ins.

Invisible Sew-In Method: It aims to create a seamless and undetectable blend between the natural hair and extensions. Similar to the traditional sew-in, the natural hair is braided into cornrows. But, instead of directly sewing the extensions onto the braids, a net or cap is first placed over the braided hair. The hair extensions are then sewn onto the net or cap, creating a more natural appearance by concealing the braids. This technique offers versatility in terms of parting and styling options.

How Long Can You Wear Sew-in Hair Extensions?

The duration for which you can wear sew-in hair extensions typically ranges from six to eight weeks. The time frame for wearing sew-in extensions depends on various factors, including the quality of the installation, the rate of your hair growth, and the care and maintenance routine you follow.

Sew-in extensions should not be left in for too long. Wearing them beyond the recommended time frame can lead to potential issues such as matting, tangling, and damage to your natural hair. Additionally, leaving the extensions in for an extended period can make it difficult to maintain proper hygiene and scalp health.

Regular maintenance is crucial to ensure the longevity and health of your sewn-in extensions. You may need to visit a professional hair stylist every six to eight weeks to have the extensions re-applied or adjusted. During this process, the stylist will remove the old extensions, reposition them if necessary, and secure them back onto your natural hair.

Keep in mind that the specific timeframe for reapplication can vary depending on individual factors. Your hair growth rate plays a role, as faster hair growth may require more frequent touch-ups. Also, the condition of your natural hair and the way you care for the extensions can influence how long they last.

To maximize the lifespan of sew-in hair extensions, you should follow a proper hair care routine. This includes gentle brushing and detangling, using sulfate-free and extension-friendly hair products, avoiding excessive heat styling, and protecting the extensions while sleeping or engaging in activities that may cause friction or tension on the hair.


Sew-in hair extensions offer a range of benefits, such as versatility, durability, and natural-looking results. However, they also come with potential drawbacks, including time-consuming installation, discomfort, and the risk of damage if not properly cared for. Careful consideration of these pros and cons will help you make an informed decision about whether sew-in hair extensions are the right choice for you. Don’t forget to consult with a professional stylist to ensure a safe and successful experience.