It’s no secret that I love the versatility that hair extensions can bring, from different colours to lengths, playing with extensions is so much fun. However the annoying thing is that often you are limited to either having your hair down or in a low bun/ponytail. Yes, you can create a ponytail with clips ins but half way through the day you can’t just take out your hairband and flick your hair like they do in the movies. That’s why when I got my new ombre hair extensions from Weaveland Marketplace* I knew that there was only one way that I was going to put them in, why, a vixen sew-in of course.
What is a Vixen Sew-in?
As the name suggests the wefts are applied by sewing them onto pre-braided hair. But what’s different to a regular sew-in is that the hair is braided in such a way that you can put the hair in a bun or half up half down. With a four part vixen sew-in you could wear your hair in four ponytails (why you would do this I have no idea) or bunches or two plaits…the possibilities are almost endless.
So in this tutorial I’m going to go through how I installed the hair extensions and next week Tuesday come back to see how I got the honey blonde colour and styled the hair. So make sure you follow my blog!
- Ombre Malaysian body wave hair extensions in 14″, 16″, and 18″ (3 bundles) from Weaveland
- Black thread and a curved needle from eBay (or any good black hair shop)
Difficulty rating: Hard, this tutorial assumes that you know how to braid and sew-in hair extensions (I’ll do a video on the basics soon). It also assumes you have the patience to braid your hair or a good friend who will do it for you.
For the two-part vixen sew-in to work you need to have leave-out around the edges of your hair, all the way around (about an inch to an inch and a half depending on how well your own hair blends with the extensions). This is so that when you put it up in a ponytail or a bun your own hair covers the wefts and tracks. You also need to leave a section across the middle of the hair so that the extensions can be worn half up half down. You will want to keep the leave-out out of the way when you start braiding your own hair. I braided mine very loosely so that I wouldn’t confuse it with the tighter weaving braids. Also section the leave-out for your part, I chose a side part.
Braid the top and bottom sections, above is the pattern that I used. Tip: When I do my next sew-in, i’ll use the same or similar pattern but to ensure my hair is super slick when I put it up I’ll do the braids half the size.
Lay the 18” hair out and fold the wefts in half, then sew them together. I do this to sew double the amount of hair on in half the time. You will want to sew through the weft for the first incision and double knot the thread, after that sew around the weft to prevent shedding and ensure that you can use the hair again. (I’m planning on starting a YouTube this summer so that I can demonstrate how to sew hair in).
Step four Start sewing the wefts on your braids but remember don’t sew the leave out! I put one 18″ bundle in the back and one 16” bundle and half of the 14” bundle in the front so that it would give the hair a layered, thicker look.
FYI: I chose not to use a weaving net as I have a dry scalp and I like to be able to get in with the dry shampoo and hair oils to condition and moisturise.
Tip: When you sew-in the final weft around the leave-out for your part (see picture above) don’t use the double weft technique. Just sew on one weft so that it sits flatter and it’s easier for your leave-out to cover it.
Total time I’m lucky that my Mum taught me how to plait and canerow (braid) at the age of five or six so it comes pretty naturally – though braiding the back of my head isn’t the most comfortable of things! In total the braiding took about an hour and a half (I did a lot of faffing around to make sure I left out just the right amount of leave-out) and the sewing took about two hours.
Come back next week Tuesday for a review of the hair and to find out how I gave my hair a warm honey tone and styled the extensions.