One popular trend that barbers need to be on top of is the man weave. Also known as ‘brush waves’, this is a hair replacement strategy that takes a little time to master but is easy once you know what to do. Whether you’re not sure where to start or you want to enhance your skills, this tutorial is for you! Here are the step by step instructions to help you give your clients excellent man weaves/brush waves. Follow these steps and, with a bit of practice, you can make sure that customers leave your barbershop with a smile!
What you will need
There are a few bits of equipment to gather before you start:
- An eyeliner pencil
- Thin electrical tape
- Skin protector
- A wig cap
- A hairdryer
… and, of course, the hair itself! Once you have all of that ready, you can dive straight in.
Step one: Cut the existing hair
You can really do any haircut that your client asks for at this point, but it’s important to think about what will look good with the weave. Since you’re going to be laying synthetic hair on top of the hair, you won’t be able to cut it any further once you’ve applied the weave. This means that it’s important to guide your client towards a cut that they will be happy with. A mid/high fade tends to work quite well.
Step two: Mark the hairline
If your client still has some of their natural hairline then you can use this as a guide. Otherwise, spend some time discussing where they would like the hairline to be. Once you have agreed, mark the line with your eyeliner pencil. Usually, the hairline will have receded to the point that you have to draw this from scratch, but if there is still a natural line to use for guidance it can speed up the process.
Step three: Prepare the top of the head
Shave the top of the head. Start at the ‘hairline’ you have drawn, and then move out across the rest of the head, creating a horseshoe shaped line around the skull. Keep this straight all the way around, as the aim is to create a natural looking hairline. Any inconsistency here will make the hair appear lopsided at the end, so make sure your cut is smooth and neat.
Next, clean the scalp using rubbing alcohol. Make sure your cover the entire scalp, and then apply skin protector. This needs to go anywhere that’s going to have glue – which means you should put it over the whole scalp. Finally, wash off the eyeliner ‘hairline’ until it is only faintly visible, and then place electrical tape along the line.
Step four: Add glue
Add glue to the scalp. With the first layer of glue, you don’t need to go all the way to the hairline. Spread it out all over the head and then either let it air dry or use a dryer to speed up the process. Wait until the first layer is completely dry and then add a second layer. The second layer of glue needs to go all the way to the hairline: apply it in the same way, spreading with a brush. It’s fine to get some of the glue onto the hair at the sides, and if you accidently get glue past the hairline at the front then you can use an old pair of shears to carefully wipe it off.
Step five: Attach the hair
Once the glue has started to dry – it should become clear and slightly tacky – it is ready for you to attach the hair. Take one strand at a time and carefully stretch the hair out just a little to create a natural wave formation. Take care to lay it precisely across the head, from front to back, and press gently but firmly into the glue. Lay the middle strand first, and then work out towards one side. It’s important to ensure that all the waves you place are consistent with one and other, as this will ensure that the hair looks natural.
If necessary, you can place a wave over the natural hair too to make sure that the transition is natural. Once you’ve finished one side, you can go back to the centre and work in the other direction. Again, it is important to make sure that every wave is uniform. Stretching the curls out just the right amount and then laying them in a consistent way can take a bit of practice – so use a mannequin first until you an get it right every time.
Once you’ve got the practice, this process should only take around ten minutes. It really doesn’t have to be that time consuming! When all the hair is laid, you can trim off the loose ends from the front and back of the head.
Step six: Dry the hair
Start by pressing all of the hair into the scalp firmly with the palm of your hand. Then, apply the hairdryer for a few minutes before placing a wig cap over the top of hair. Let the client sit for around ten minutes with the cap over their hair, blow dry over the top for around five minutes, and then let it sit for another ten minutes. This compresses the hair into the glue to help it stick. When you’re done, use scissors to remove the cap when it’s done rather than simply pulling it off your head.
Step seven: Style
Use an old pair of clippers that you don’t mind snagging to go over the hair and make it look as natural as possible. As you go over it, you’ll see that the hair starts to blend well with the natural hair and stops looking false. Take the edges down a little bit shorter to help the sides properly. At this stage, take your time – it takes a lot of work to get this far, so you should make sure that you don’t mess it up in the final stages.
Ultimately, practice makes perfect with this kind of style. Put the time in working on a mannequin, and you’ll have the confidence when it comes to actually styling a real client. This is a great thing to master, because it can really transform a person’s look. Let me know how you get on, and don’t forget to subscribe to Adrin’s Youtube channel for new straightforward barbering tutorials or visit my website http://www.larrythebarberman.com for all thing barbering
By Larry The barber Man
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