Guide & Tips: Scalp Care How-to for Hair Weave Beginners

A Black woman washes her natural hair in the shower

Hair weaves are a popular protective style that allows you to switch up your look while giving your natural hair a break. However, maintaining a healthy scalp is crucial for the success of your weave and the overall health of your hair.

This guide covers essential scalp care tips for hair weave beginners, helping you keep your scalp in top condition and promote healthy hair growth.

Understanding your scalp and hair type

Before discussing scalp care, it's essential to understand your hair type and any potential scalp concerns. Knowing your hair type will help you choose the right hair care products and techniques, whether you have curly hair, straight hair, or something in between. Additionally, be aware of common scalp issues such as dry scalp or seborrheic dermatitis, as these may require special attention during your scalp care routine.

Pre-installation scalp preparation

A pre-installation scalp routine ensures the long-term health and look of your natural hair and weave.

Cleansing and deep conditioning

To prepare your scalp for a weave installation, start by thoroughly cleansing your hair and scalp. Use a clarifying shampoo to remove any product build-up, then follow up with a deep conditioning treatment to nourish and strengthen your hair.

This step will help ensure your scalp and hair are in optimal condition before installing.

Scalp treatments and moisturizing

After cleansing and conditioning, focus on treating and moisturizing your scalp. Apply a scalp treatment or oil like coconut or tea tree oil to help soothe and nourish your scalp. Be sure to massage the product gently into your scalp to promote blood circulation and distribute the nutrients evenly.

Protective styling

If you have natural hair, consider putting your hair in a protective style, such as braids or twists, before installing the weave. This will help minimize tension on your hair and scalp during installation, reducing the risk of damage or traction alopecia.

Maintaining a healthy scalp with weaves

Regularly washing your hair and scalp is critical for maintaining a healthy scalp with weaves. Follow these tips for proper washing:

  • Use a sulfate-free shampoo to avoid stripping your hair and scalp of natural oils.
  • Focus on cleansing your scalp rather than the weave itself.
  • Gently massage your scalp with your fingertips to remove any dirt or product buildup.

Moisturizing and conditioning

Keeping your scalp moisturized is crucial in preventing dryness, itching, and irritation. Here's how to keep your scalp hydrated:

  • Use a lightweight leave-in conditioner to nourish your scalp and hair.
  • Apply natural oils, such as argan oil or jojoba oil, to your scalp using an applicator bottle.
  • Avoid heavy, greasy products that can lead to build-up and clog your hair follicles.

Avoiding common issues

Be aware of common scalp issues that can arise when wearing weaves:

  • Traction alopecia: Caused by excessive tension on the hair follicles, leading to hair loss.
  • Product build-up: Occurs when products accumulate on the scalp, clogging pores and hindering hair growth.
  • Dryness and itching: Can result from a lack of moisture or an adverse reaction to hair care products.

To avoid these issues, be gentle when styling your hair, use lightweight products, and give your scalp regular breaks from weaves.

Post-installation scalp care

After weave installation, it is important to closely track your care schedule and adjust as necessary to head off potential issues.

Regular washing and conditioning schedule

Establish a regular washing and conditioning schedule to keep your scalp clean and nourished. Aim to wash your hair every 1-2 weeks, depending on your scalp's needs and lifestyle.

Use a sulfate-free shampoo and a moisturizing deep conditioner, focusing on your scalp and the roots of your natural hair.

Scalp massages and oil treatments

Incorporate scalp massages and oil treatments into your post-installation care routine. Gently massage your scalp with your fingertips or a soft-bristled brush to stimulate blood flow and promote a healthy scalp. Apply a lightweight, nourishing oil, such as coconut oil or almond oil, to your scalp using an applicator bottle, ensuring even distribution.

Handling new growth

As your natural hair grows, you may experience discomfort or tightness around your braids or weave. To alleviate this, gently massage your scalp and apply a small amount of oil or leave-in conditioner to the new growth. Consider visiting your stylist for a touch-up or adjustment if the discomfort persists.

Best practices for healthy scalp and hair

A beautiful older African American woman practices mindfulness

Long-term best practices start with selecting the right hair care products. When selecting products for your virgin hair weave and natural hair, opt for those specifically designed for your hair type and concerns. Look for products that are:

  • Sulfate-free
  • Lightweight
  • Non-comedogenic (won't clog pores)
  • Rich in nourishing ingredients like shea butter, aloe vera, or natural oils

Protecting your hair from heat damage

If you plan on heat styling your weave, always use a heat protectant to minimize damage to the weave and your natural hair. Opt for low to medium heat settings and avoid applying heat directly to your scalp. When possible, let your weave air dry to reduce the amount of heat exposure.

Maintaining a balanced diet and lifestyle

A healthy scalp and hair start from within. Maintain a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals, particularly biotin, vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids, essential for hair health and overall stronger hair.

Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and try to minimize stress, as high stress levels can contribute to hair loss and scalp issues.


Proper scalp care is essential for maintaining healthy hair and promoting growth, especially when wearing weaves. By understanding your hair type, preparing your scalp before installation, and following a consistent care routine, you can keep your scalp in great shape and enjoy your protective style without compromising the health of your natural hair.

For the best results, remember to choose the right hair care products, protect your hair from heat damage, and maintain a balanced lifestyle. You can find exceptional haircare products on BundleFactory, and we will add more over the coming weeks and months.

Frequently asked questions

Should I oil my scalp before a sew-in?

Yes, oiling your scalp before a sew-in is a good idea. Oiling your scalp helps nourish and moisturize it, which is essential for maintaining a healthy scalp under the weave. Choose a lightweight, non-greasy oil like argan oil, jojoba oil, or almond oil, and apply it gently to your scalp using your fingertips or an applicator bottle. Be sure not to oversaturate your scalp, which can lead to build-up and irritation.

How do I prep hair for weave?

To prep your hair for a weave:

  1. Wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo to remove any product build-up
  2. Deep condition your hair to nourish and strengthen it.
  3. Detangle your hair gently, working from the ends up to the roots.
  4. If you have natural hair, blow dry or stretch it using a heat-free method like braiding or twisting.
  5. Apply a lightweight oil or leave-in conditioner to your scalp and hair to keep them moisturized.
  6. If desired, braid or twist your hair to protect it and minimize tension during the weave installation.

How do you clean the scalp under your weave?

To clean your scalp under your weave:

  1. Part your weave into sections, exposing your scalp.
  2. Using a spray bottle, apply a mixture of water and sulfate-free shampoo or a specially formulated weave cleanser directly to your scalp.
  3. Gently massage your scalp with your fingertips to loosen any dirt or build-up.
  4. Rinse the shampoo or cleanser from your scalp using cool water and a spray bottle or a shower head with low pressure.
  5. Apply a lightweight, moisturizing conditioner to your scalp and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing.
  6. Pat your weave and scalp dry with a clean towel and let them air dry completely before styling.

How do I keep my scalp moisturized under a weave?

To keep your scalp moisturized under your weave:

  • Use a lightweight, water-based leave-in conditioner or moisturizer on your scalp daily or every other day.
  • Apply a small amount of natural oil, such as coconut oil, jojoba oil, or almond oil, to your scalp using an applicator bottle.
  • Avoid using heavy, greasy products that can clog your pores and lead to build-up.
  • Drink plenty of water to keep your body and scalp hydrated from the inside out.
  • Use a humidifier in your room to add moisture to the air, especially if you live in a dry climate.
  • Avoid over-manipulating your weave or putting too much tension on your scalp, which can cause dryness and irritation.

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