Difference Between a Partial and Full Sew-In Weave

Overview

Talk about hair weaving and the sew-in technique is an option that's bound to come up. While the idea of sewing anything onto your head might sound a bit unusual, if not painful, this technique is one of the most common methods around (and painless too). There are two sew-in weave options, partial and full, that involve braiding your locks flat against your scalp and sewing extension hair onto the braids. While the results can be amazing, you'll need to understand the differences between the two techniques to get the style you want.

Purpose

Full and partial sew-in weaves are both meant to give you and your hair a different look than what you're already working with -- but just in different ways. Full weaves are all about totally transforming your look, and are often worn by women who want to give their real hair a timeout from styling and chemicals. Partial sew-ins are about making your natural locks look fuller or adding length.

Amount of Hair That's Braided

Your real hair's going to be braided regardless of which method you use. The difference is in how much of it has to be braided. With a partial weave, only part of your hair gets braided, leaving sections of your real hair loose. This loose, visible hair blends in with, and covers up, the weave tracks (that's where the weave hair's sewn onto the braid). Your natural locks are left loose between each braided section, or track, for a more natural appearance and flow. With a full sew-in, all of your hair is put into braids. Depending on the style that you're going for, a small amount of hair along your hairline may be left out to cover the tracks on a full sew-in.

Hair Type

When doing a full sew-in, you can put in extension hair that's completely different from what's growing on your head, without anyone knowing the difference. Because your natural hair's tucked safely away in braids, no one will know that what they see isn't exactly matching what's hidden beneath the weave. This gives you more room to experiment with different textures and colors without altering your own locks. Partial weaves are a little more limited in that the weave hair needs to match the texture and color of your natural mane (or at least the color and texture that it is at the moment). Because it's more visible, major differences won't blend and will be glaringly obvious.

Expense

When it comes to getting a weave done, a part of the difference between the two boils down to expense. A full head sew-in weave is more expensive than what you'll pay for a partial sew-in. The labor needed to create more braids and sew in more hair is a part of the reason. Another cause for the higher cost of full head weaving versus partial is the amount of hair that must be purchased. Because you'll be covering your entire head, you'll need to purchase more hair to get the job done. This makes partial weaves less expensive even if you've decided to the do the job yourself.

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