Master the Art of DIY Sew-In: Step-by-Step Guide, Tips, and Overcoming Challenges

Ever thought about getting a new look without breaking the bank? Well, you’re in luck! With a ‘do it yourself sew in’, you can transform your hairstyle right from the comfort of your home. It’s a cost-effective, fun, and surprisingly easy way to switch up your look.

Benefits of a DIY Sew In

Diving into the world of DIY hair styling can open up a variety of advantages. But let’s focus on what you gain when you opt for a home-based sew in.

First: savings. You’ll be stunned to know that professional salon services can cost anywhere from $150 to $800 for a single sew in. Now imagine the dent on your budget if you’re someone who changes hairstyles often. In contrast, doing a sew in at home can drastically reduce costs. All you need is the hair bundles (typically priced between $20 and $200 depending on quality) and a basic sewing kit – both of which can be utilized multiple times!

Professional SalonDIY at Home
Cost$150 – $800Hair Bundles ($20-$200) + Sewing Kit

Second: your style, your rules. Being in control of your own hair means you can experiment with a variety of styles, textures, and colors – something salons might not offer due to time or cost constraints. Opt for a complete hair makeover, or simply add volume and length – you’re your own master stylist.

Third: it’s a reusable technique. One of the fantastic features of a sew in is your ability to reuse the hair bundles. With proper care, these bundles can last for several installations giving you not just recurring savings but different looks with the same set.

Lastly, let’s not forget comfort and convenience. You no longer have to squeeze in appointments, commute to and from the salon, or sit for hours suffering a stiff neck. You can comfortably do a sew in at your pace, at your preferred time, in your own space. Now, isn’t that a luxury?

Embark on this exciting DIY journey, uncover your creative side, and witness savings like never before. So why wait? Get started and explore the vast possibilities of what you can do with a DIY sew in.

Choosing the Right Hair Extensions for Your Sew In

Selecting the correct hair extensions is a vital part of the DIY sew in process. The right choice of extensions can either make or break your desired look. It’s not just about the color or length, but the quality, texture, and type of hair used in the extensions are equally critical.

Your initial point of focus when choosing hair extensions should be the quality of the hair. Always aim for high-quality hair extensions. High-quality hair not only gives you a more natural look, but also ensures longevity. You wouldn’t want to invest in hair extensions that start shedding and tangling after a few weeks, would you?

Let’s not forget about hair texture. Hair extensions come in a vast array of textures including straight, wavy, curly, among others. Your extensions’ texture should match your natural hair’s texture. Why? A slight deviation in texture can be quite noticeable and defeat the purpose of a seamless DIY sew in.

Moving on to the secret star player of hair extensions – Hair Type. Current market favorites are Brazilian, Peruvian, and Malaysian hair. Remember, each of these comes with its own set of pros and cons. For instance, Peruvian hair is known for its coarser texture and ability to blend well with natural hair while Malaysian hair is loved by many for its luster and shine.

The color of the hair extensions should be in harmony with your natural hair color. A misstep in color can lead to a mismatch that is glaringly obvious to onlookers. Opt for hair extensions that either match your natural hair color, or at least are in a similar color family, to ensure the blend is natural and seamless.

Checkout the markdown table below to help you decide what hair type is right for you.

Hair TypeProsCons
BrazilianVersatile and strongCan be pricey
PeruvianBlends well with natural texturesCan feel coarse
MalaysianLustrous and shinyMay look overly shiny

Preparing Your Natural Hair for a Sew In

Before you dive into doing a DIY sew in, it’s vital to prepare your natural hair. This step significantly affects the final result and the health of your hair in the long run. So, what’s the right way to get your natural hair ready for a sew in?

Firstly, you’ll want to ensure your hair is clean and healthy. A built-up of oil, dirt, or product residue on your hair and scalp can lead to discomfort and potential scalp issues when you have your sew in. Also, dealing with damaged hair can lead to complications down the line. Make sure to treat any hair and scalp issues, trim split ends and get your hair in its healthiest form.

Your chosen hairstyle and hair extensions influence the preparation process. For instance, if you opt for curly Brazilian extensions, you’ll want to ensure your natural hair matches the texture, at least to some degree. There are ways to help alter your natural hair’s structure temporarily. Straightening or curling irons, for example, offer a quick and straightforward method, but remember it can potentially damage your hair if overused.

Deep conditioning and moisturizing your hair is another critical step. It’s important to keep your hair and scalp hydrated and nourished, as you won’t have as regular access to your strands or scalp once the extensions are in place.

Lastly, size up the thickness of your hair compared to the extensions. Aim for a balanced match to enhance your sew in’s natural appearance. Too thick or too thin compared to your extensions can lead to an unnatural look and feel.

Take your time with these initial steps. Attention to detail in this stage of the process can pay dividends in the long run. The quality of your DIY sew in is significantly impacted by these initial steps in a ripple effect of positive outcomes. So arm yourself with patience, care for your natural hair, and get ready to enjoy the fantastic results of your at-home sew in adventure.

Step-by-Step Guide to Installing Hair Extensions

After you’ve prepared your natural hair and matched your chosen extensions, it’s time to get to the exciting part—installing your new locks.

First, you have to get your braiding pattern right. Braiding is the foundation of your sew-in hairstyle. You can either go for straight back braids or you can try a beehive pattern. Both have their merits, and you’ll want to choose the one that fits your style and comfort best.

With the foundation set, it’s time to gauge your spacing. Spacing is key to achieving a natural look. The closer together you sew your tracks, the fuller your hairstyle will appear. It’s all about creating balance without overdoing it.

On to the actual sewing part—begin stitching from the outer edge of the hairline, ensuring the track lays flat against your head. Keep thread tension consistent. Too tight, and you’ll risk damaging your hair and scalp. Too loose, and your extensions may not secure properly.

As you progressively move towards the center, remember to check the fit frequently. If there’s hair left over or if an extension ends before reaching the middle, adjust accordingly. The goal is to have the extensions meet in the middle without causing strain.

Adjustment and customization are crucial to bring out your sew-in extensions to their full potential. You are free to cut, color, or style your extensions as your own hair.

Make sure to moisturize your scalp daily with a lightweight, non-sulfate product to ensure your scalp keeps healthy and your extensions last longer. Maintenance shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Styling and Maintaining Your Sew In

Once you’ve successfully installed your hair extensions, it’s time to bring your vision to life. Initially, do not cut or heat-style the extensions immediately. Let them sit for a day or two, allowing them to settle into the new environment – your hair.

DIY Styling

When you’re ready to style, approach your extensions as if they were your natural hair. Use heating tools sparingly, too much heat can damage the extensions, reducing their lifespan. The beauty of DIY sew-ins is that controlling the style, texture, and color lies in your hands. Enjoy it to the fullest but also be gentle with your new locks.

Extension care

Hand-in-hand with styling your sew-in extensions is the importance of maintaining them. Extension care hugely contributes to how long the hair will last and how good it will look over time. Proper maintenance is vital for the health of your scalp as well.

  • Moisturize your scalp and hair regularly: A dry scalp and itchy hair are the last things you want. It’s crucial to keep your scalp hydrated and healthy.
  • Washing: Shampoo and condition your sew-in extensions at least once every two weeks. Remember, oily and dirty extensions will begin to smell and lose their luster.
  • Tie up or wrap your hair before bed: This helps prevent any tangling or matting overnight.

Tackling DIY Challenges

As with any DIY project, challenges may arise. With sew-in extensions, expect that you may experience little hiccups along the way but don’t worry. Whether it’s a loose track or small sections of uneven hair, minor adjustments can fix these issues. Some possible adjustments include resewing a particular area or layering the extensions for a more blended look.

There’s a learning curve to DIY Sew ins, but with time and practice, you’ll soon be on your way to creating expert-level styles from the comfort of your home, while saving money and expressing your style.

FAQs about DIY Sew Ins

Perhaps you’re wondering about the nitty-gritty details of DIY sew ins. Let’s delve into some of the most frequently asked questions that may help shed more light.

Can I wash my sew in hair extensions?
Yes, absolutely! Hygiene is paramount and you must not ignore it. Regular washing helps prevent buildup and keeps your hair smelling fresh. Use a mild shampoo and aim to wash your hair extensions every two weeks. Make sure to dry your sew ins thoroughly to prevent any moisture buildup which could lead to mildew.

How long does a DIY sew in last?
If done correctly and maintained well, a DIY sew in can last between 6 to 8 weeks before a touch-up becomes necessary. Remember, adequate care is key to ensuring longevity. This includes regular moisturizing and avoiding excessive heat styling which can cause damage.

Can I sleep with my DIY sew ins?
Yes! You might find it a tad uncomfortable initially, but over time you’ll adapt to it. To prevent tangling or undue stress on the extensions, consider braiding your hair or tying it in a loose ponytail. You can also invest in a satin pillowcase or a sleep cap to minimize friction.

Is it normal for my scalp to itch after a DIY Sew in?
A little itchiness is no biggie especially within the first few days of getting your sew ins. However, persistent itching could indicate improper installation, tight cornrows, or an allergic reaction to the extension hair. Always ensure your braids aren’t too tight and double-check the type of hair used in your extensions.


You’ve learned the ins and outs of DIY sew ins. You’ve seen how they can save you money and give you more control over your hair’s style, texture, and color. You’ve learned the importance of choosing the right braiding pattern, spacing your tracks correctly, and adjusting your extensions to achieve the look you want. Remember to keep your scalp moisturized and give your extensions the care they need to keep them looking their best. Don’t forget to let them settle before you cut or heat-style them. And remember, if you encounter any challenges along the way, you’ve got solutions at your fingertips. With your newfound knowledge, you’re ready to take control of your style, and create a look that’s uniquely you. So go ahead, give DIY sew ins a try. You’ve got this!

Can you wash the hair extensions while they are sewn in?

Yes, you can and should wash hair extensions while they are sewn in. Regular washing ensures both your natural hair and the extensions remain clean. Use a gentle shampoo and moisturizing conditioner.

How long can you keep a DIY sew in?

A DIY sew in can typically last between 6 and 8 weeks. However, the lifespan can vary depending on the quality of the hair extensions and your maintenance routine.

Is it possible to sleep comfortably with sew ins?

Yes, by tying the hair into a loose ponytail or wrapping it in a silk scarf, you can sleep comfortably with sew ins.

What can be done about scalp itchiness after a sew in extension?

Scalp itchiness after a sew in may occur due to dryness or tension. Regular moisturizing can help alleviate this. If the condition worsens, consult a professional.

Is the process of sewing in extensions at home challenging?

While it may have a learning curve, with practice, the process becomes more manageable. Following the step-by-step guide and tips in this article can make the procedure less daunting.