A partial sew-in is a form of weave or hair extensions. The method of weaving hair that involves sewing was reportedly invented and patented by Christina Jenkins in 1951 (although there is some debate about this since ancient Egyptians were also rumored to have sewn in their hair extensions).
When and where the idea for a half sew-in came to be is unknown, but the method can still be traced back to the origination of a traditional sew-in.
Weaving Needle Combo
What Is a Half Sew-In?
A half or partial sew-in is a sew-in weave that only covers part of a person's head. A half sew-in or partial sew-in is very indicative of the name as it is essentially a traditional sew-in but with some of your natural hair left out.
The style is loved for its natural appearance, which often sets it apart from a traditional sew-in. Unlike a traditional sew-in, portions of your hair, particularly in the front, are left out of the braided pattern meaning you don’t need to utilize closures or frontals to achieve the style.
Sew in half up half down| start to finish
How to do A Half Sew-In?
Achieving a half-sew in is very similar to installing a traditional sew-in. With the half-sew in method, however, you will want to consult with your stylists on how much of your natural hair is to be left out and where.
There are many ways to create a half-sew in as you can choose to have as much or as little of your natural hair left out as you would like. There are many ways to approach the style, but the basic technique is imperative for completing it.
1. Begin by making sure your hair is prepped.
Your hair should be washed, conditioned, moisturized, and blow-dried.
2. Choose the area to leave out
Once your hair is thoroughly prepped, you’ll want to now decide how much and in what areas you want your natural hair to be left out. This will depend on the styles you would like to achieve while your sew-in is in.
After determining this, you’ll want to tie up or section off these areas to ensure they aren’t accidentally intertwined with the remaining hair that is to be braided.
3. Choose your braiding pattern
Depending on where your leave out is at will determine your braiding pattern. The braids can be done in any design, but they do need to be as flat as possible to create a flat installation.
Bulky braid downs will result in bumpy sew-ins that look very unnatural. You can take the ends of the braids and sew them down to the portion of the braids connected to your head, so they’ll lay flat against the braid pattern.
4. Secure the hair with a weaving net
After braiding down your hair that is to be underneath the sew-in (this is optional), securing it with a weaving net or cap can be useful. This will add to the longevity of the style and protect your braiding pattern. Sew the net on top of the braiding pattern.
5. Sew through the net
Now you are ready to begin sewing the tracks of weave onto the net. You will want to sew through the net onto the cornrows underneath while making sure you’re only stitching through the top of the braids and not all the way through. Having sturdy needles and thread are important for creating a durable sew-in. During this process, you can choose to cut your wefts of the weave to continuously layer them from bottom to top, or you can opt to fold over your wefts.
Folding the wefts will make reusing the weave easier in the future and cut down on shedding. For a fuller look, you can also double up your wefts here by sewing two layers of the wefts together in one row of the sew-in. You can add as much or as little hair as you’d like, depending on the volume you would like to achieve with your sew-in.
The final step is blending. Blending is very crucial for completing a half sew-in. You don’t want your weave to stand out from your natural hair, so it’s important to blend your natural hair with the weave as much as possible. This can be done by matching your natural hair texture to the weave.
If you have a straight sew-in, straighten and blend in your hair by combing it into/with the weave. For body wave hair you can wand your natural hair slightly for a good blend. Curlier textures may require your hair to be a similar curl pattern for it to appear natural without having to add any heat to your hair to blend it.
Partial sew-in using raw hair
Is A Half Sew-In Versatile?
A half sew-in is very versatile. Compared to a traditional sew-in, with a half sew-in you can create several more styles as your hair can make the style look more natural. If you want to be able to manipulate your sew-in into multiple updos, a half sew-in makes that possible.
A half up half down sew-in is very popular and can be achieved by leaving out hair in the front and middle of your sew-in for a natural blend.
Also, just like with a normal sew-in, with a half or partial sew-in, you can get them in any length and thickness.
How Long Does A Half Sew-In Last?
Half sew-ins can be very long-lasting as they can last for at least 2 months. It all depends on how fast your hair grows because as your hair grows, your cornrows will become bulky. This will result in your sew-in also becoming bulky and less kempt. Also, prolonging the build-up of shed hair within the cornrows can be damaging upon taking down your hair. Leaving the style up past its grown-out state isn’t advised.
Who Is A Half Sew-In Suitable For?
Half sew-ins are good for all hair textures, especially those ranging from 3C to 4A as these textures of hair are strong enough to withstand the manipulation involved.
For tender scalps, the style can be tight and uncomfortable for a few days after the installation as the cornrows as well as the sewing will create a tightness on the scalp.
When to Wear A Half Sew-In?
Half sew-ins can be worn at any time of the year and usually are. They are great styles for the workplace as they can be very professional. They are all around a great style for anyone looking for time off from heavily manipulating their hair for a few weeks.
Pros and Cons
- Half sew-ins are a versatile style. They can be useful in creating multiple updos and different partings in your hair. This makes them vastly more versatile than traditional sew-ins.
- Half sew-ins appear to be more natural. Since half sew-ins involve leaving some of your hair out to blend into the weave, it will make the style appear much more natural if blended correctly.
- Half sew-ins have a short installation time. Installation time for half sew-ins is typically 2 hours, which is good timing compared to other styles.
- Half sew-ins can result in heat damage. Since you must blend your real hair into the weave, this can cause heat damage if your hair isn’t easily blending into the weave. Constantly having to apply heat tools on only certain sections of your hair will drastically affect the natural texture of it compared to the rest of your hair.
- Half sew-ins can be hard to blend. The point of a half sew-in is to bend your left out hair with your weave. Sometimes this can be difficult if you have naturally curly hair and you’re wanting to make it sleek and straight.
- Half sew-ins are not good protective styles. Although the style is very versatile, you’re compromising the health of your hair with the style. Since you are still manipulating the portions of your hair that are left out it negates the protectiveness of the style. Traditional sew-ins are far better if you’re wanting an overall protective hairstyle.