The difference between a quick weave and a sew-in might seem self-explanatory by their names alone.
However, there is more to these weaves than meets the eye, and many people wonder which one would suit their needs the best. There are several key areas in which these two products differ.
What is the Difference Between a Quick Weave and a Sew-In?
A quick weave is a weave that is applied using glue and a wig cap. The hair is not directly applied to the head and the install is much faster than a sew-in.
A sew-in is a weave that is applied by sewing the wefts (or tracks) onto the natural hair that has been cornrowed. This style takes longer and is more expensive than a quick weave, but also lasts longer.
Quick Weave vs. Sew-in
Here’s a quick rundown of the differences between a quick weave and a sew-in.
A quick weave is way less expensive than a sew-in due to its quick install. A typical quick weave costs around $100 or less – just for the install. Many choose this option for its affordability, because not only do you have to pay for the hair, but the service as well.
Another factor that makes this option more affordable is that it is easier to do yourself, therefore, you would not have to pay a stylist to install it for you.
In addition to the ease of putting the weave on, it is also easier than a sew-in to remove. A quick weave is glued onto a wig cap, so many people favor the convenience of this removal. Due to a sew-in being more complicated to remove than a quick weave, some people go to a stylist to properly remove the weave.
With a quick weave, the extra cost of going to a stylist after installation is unnecessary.
A quick weave first requires that the natural hair is laid flat on the head. In order to achieve the flatness that is required, you can either cornrow the hair or gel it down.
The next step is to apply a wig cap to the head. Some people apply a coat of hairspray on top of the cap as a protective layer from the glue. The hair wefts are then attached to the cap with glue. A quick weave can be applied with or without a closure. Some people prefer to leave their hair out on the top, to create a more natural look.
The whole process takes about 1.5 hours to complete – which is significantly less than installing a sew-in. It is also a process that can be done at home. There are many YouTube videos on how to install a quick weave as a DIY, which is why many people are opting for this style.
A quick weave can last for up to 5-6 weeks, depending on how well it is taken care of. The good part is that it does not require as much maintenance as a sew-in.
There is not as much movement that happens, due to the limited stying options you can do with a bonded weave – so maintenance is less required.
The glue used to apply tracks on the head is pretty strong and should be able to withstand the pressure that is placed on the hair for the whole time. However, sometimes if not applied properly, a few tracks can fall out.
Also, the quality of the glue is a factor in how long the weave will last. Higher quality glue is stronger and will last longer.
The cons to a quick weave have to do with the usage of glue.
During the installation process, it is hard to see if the glue was applied to the hairline. The hairline is the most delicate area on the head. It is not until the removal process that glue on the hairline becomes evident, and it can pull the hairs in that area.
Also, gluing onto the cap can be an issue, because some of the glue can seep through the cap and onto the hair if it is not installed correctly. If someone decides to lay their hair flat with gel, this can cause an issue if the gel contains alcohol. Alcohol can dry out the hair causing breakage, especially if the hair is constantly manipulated.
The application of other products on the head could cause buildup on the scalp over time, which is why it is important not to exceed the amount of time that the weave is to be worn.
However, quick weaves are said to cause less damage than sew-ins, and they are left in the head for a shorter amount of time.
Read More: Do Weaves Damage Your Hair?
A sew-in is considerably more expensive than a quick weave. A typical sew-in installation service can cost about $150 or more. The increased price is due to the amount of time it takes to complete this style and the expertise of sewing the wefts into the hair.
There is also more maintenance involved after installation, which some prefer to pay for. The natural hair still grows under the weave, so touch-ups are required to keep the wig laying flat on the head. The natural hair underneath still needs to be washed and cared for, to avoid matting and dryness.
A quick weave does not require this type of maintenance because it is completely under the wig cap, so a sew-in is much more costly as far as maintenance.
The removal process for a sew-in is also difficult, especially when avoiding the hair being pulled out. Removing a weave is a time-consuming and delicate process, so many people pay to get it removed – increasing the overall price of a sew-in.
Sew-ins require that the hair be cornrowed flatly on the head. Then, the wefts are sewn straight onto the braids. A hairnet can be used on the head to take the pressure off of the hair itself in the sewing process.
Similar to a quick weave, a person can either leave their natural hair out on the top or completely cover it with a closure. There is more skill required for braiding the hair in a certain way and for sewing in the wefts. A typical install can take 3 hours or more.
A sew-in can last for up to 2 months with proper care. It is not recommended that someone go past the 2-month mark, because the natural hair is being pulled on the entire time.
Weaves are known to be a protective style, which is a style that covers the natural hair and protects it from the elements and manipulation. If one is going for a protective style that they can wear for a long time, a sew-in is a good option.
Sew-ins are very durable and are more flexible when it comes to styling ability.
The concern with sew-ins is mainly that the wefts are sewn straight onto the hair.
The natural hair is already braided tightly for this style, so the extra tugging from the thread can cause the hair to be pulled out. If sew-ins are done regularly, this can cause traction alopecia. Traction alopecia is a condition that causes hair loss to the scalp due to excessive pulling and manipulation over time.
Also, if the sew-in is done using cotton thread, the cotton can soak out the moisture from the natural hair, causing dryness and breakage. It is best to use nylon thread when installing a sew-in.
The Final Word
Whether you choose a quick weave or a sew-in really comes down to your preference. If you prefer convenience, then you may want to go with a quick-weave. If you prefer long-lasting durability, then you may want to sew-in.
Neither one is inherently better than the other, but the more research you do, the more one will stand out more than the other.