how long does a sew in last

How Long Does a Sew in Last?

How long can you expect your new sew-in hair extensions to last before needing maintenance or removal? With proper care and styling, high-quality human hair sew-ins can last 3-4 months or longer!

A sew-in hair extension involves sewing wefts or tracks of hair extension bundles into your natural hair, usually on braided cornrows or a net foundation. Sew-ins using lace frontal or lace closure pieces give a natural hairline appearance. The result blends seamlessly with your natural texture for beautiful long locks. Sew-ins allow versatile styling while protecting your natural hair underneath as it grows out.

Popular human hair types used for sew-in extensions include virgin Brazilian hair, Peruvian hair, Indian hair, Malaysian hair, and Mongolian hair. But to get the most longevity out of your sew-in hair weave, you’ll need to understand what impacts its lifespan.

Factors Affecting Sew-In Longevity

The quality and type of hair used, installation technique, aftercare, and lifestyle influence how long sew-ins last before needing removal.

Hair Type and Quality

The hair bundled in wefts or tracks for your sew-in will significantly affect durability. High-quality human hair that hasn’t been excessively processed or heat damaged can last considerably longer than synthetic fibers or over-processed bundles.

Virgin and Remy’s human hair resists dryness, matting, tangling, and shedding even through months of wear. They better withstand heat styling as well. Synthetic hair extensions are prone to tangling and shedding within a few weeks of installation.

So, to maximize the lifespan of your sew-in weave, invest in the best quality human hair bundles, frontal, and closure pieces you can afford.

Installation Method

Installation Method
Photo credit: pexels

How neatly and securely your stylist sews in the weft tracks or lace pieces impacts longevity. Very tight braids put excessive tension on your natural hair and the extensions, causing friction, shedding, and loosening over time. Opt for a comfortable braid pattern that doesn’t overly pull on your edges.

The sewing technique also matters. A skilled stylist will neatly sew hair bundles to the braided cornrows using optimal thread tension to keep the weave secure yet not too tight. Sloppy, rushed sewing can cause tracks to shed quickly.

Aftercare and Maintenance

Caring for your sew-in once installed is crucial for longevity. Regular cleansing, conditioning, and moisturizing keep both natural hair and extensions from becoming dry and brittle. Over-washing can cause shedding, while buildup from under-washing leads to matting.

Limit the use of heating tools like blow dryers, flat irons, and curling wands to avoid heat damage over time. Opt for gentle, low-tension styling techniques whenever possible. Be gentle when brushing, combing, and handling hair to prevent excessive breakage.

Moisturize the scalp beneath your braids to prevent dryness and itching. Use a spray applicator to apply oils, serums, or moisturizers directly to your scalp in between shampoos.

Lifestyle Factors

Your habits and environment impact your sewing, too. Frequent sweating from exercise or heat accelerates the loosening of extension tracks, potentially requiring re-sewing along the hairline.

Swimming in pools or salt water can dry out and damage hair. Promptly wash away chlorine or salt residue after swimming to retain moisture.

Daily environmental pollutants, dirt, and grime buildup also take a toll, so maintain your regular cleansing routine.

Typical Lifespan of Sew-In Extensions

With proper maintenance, most sew-in weaves last 4-8 weeks before requiring removal, re-braiding, and re-installation. But with exceptional care, high-quality human hair sew-ins can stay pristine for 3-4 months or longer.

Here are typical durability estimates based on hair type:

  • Synthetic hair sew-ins typically tangle and matt within 4-6 weeks.
  • Low-quality human hair lasts an average of 6-8 weeks with care.
  • Virgin and Remy human hair that is well-installed can often last 12-16 weeks before needing removal.
  • Curly textures like kinky curly or deep wave hold up better than straight hair when sewn in. The texture hides shedding and tangling better.

Maximizing Your Sew-In Longevity

Here are tips to make your sew-in last as long as possible:

  • Choose a comfortable, moderate-tension cornrow pattern to minimize stress on your natural hair and edges. An experienced stylist helps here.
  • Invest in quality virgin human hair bundles and frontal and closure pieces for maximum longevity. Brazilian and Peruvian hair is recommended.
  • Have your sew-in meticulously installed by a skilled stylist using optimal tension and technique for security.
  • Handle gently, and avoid excessive brushing, combing, and tugging that could loosen threads.
  • Wash, deep condition, and moisturize hair and scalp regularly but not excessively – 1-2 times per week is ideal.
  • Limit the use of heating tools like blow dryers, flat irons, and curling wands to prevent damage over time. Air dry.
  • Gently remove shed hairs as needed using detangling spray. Don’t pull aggressively and cause breakage.
  • Get a removal and re-install once extension tracks significantly loosen or matting/tangling occurs. Typically, 8-12 weeks for maintenance.


How often should I wash my sew-in extensions?

Wash your sew-in 1-2 times weekly to keep hair and scalp clean without over-drying. Use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner.

What causes a sew-in to mat and tangle?

Infrequent washing allows buildup, excessive heat styling damage, low-quality hair, and friction from tight braids can cause matting.

How do I make my sewing in the last 3-4 months?

Get a well-done install with quality hair, gentle braids, and neat sewing techniques. Handle gently, moisturize regularly, limit heat styling, and remove shed hairs promptly.

When should I take down my sew-in?

Remove your sew-in once edges are loose, tracks are lifting, or you see excessive matting and shedding. This is typically 8-12 weeks in for the average sew-in.

How often do I need to get my sew-in re-tightened?

Expect to have your stylist re-sew the perimeter 1-2 times throughout the lifespan of your sew-in as the hairline gets loose.

What’s the best human hair for a long-lasting sew?

Virgin Brazilian, Peruvian, and Indian hair are top choices for durability and longevity when correctly cared for.

Can I still exercise/swim with my sew-in extensions?

Yes, but sweat and chlorine can accelerate loosening and damage. Rinse out sweat and chlorine after workouts and swimming.

Concluding Thoughts

With exceptional care, high-quality human hair sew-ins can remain flawless and secure for 3-4 months or longer before requiring removal and replacement. But average longevity is 4-8 weeks under normal wear and tear.

Monitor your sew-in extensions closely and avoid pushing past excessive matting, shedding, and loosening of tracks. With diligent maintenance and gentle styling, your sew-in weave can maintain its fresh-installed look for months!

What’s been your experience with the lifespan of sew-in extensions? Share your tips and tricks below!


Main image: pexels

Priti Nandy
Priti Nandy
Articles: 169

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