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How to Create Realistic Looking Man Weaves: A Barber's Step-by-Step Guide

Author: InsiderTime: 2024-01-19 21:10:00

Table of Contents

Introduction to Man Weaves: Benefits and Overview

Man weaves, also known as hair replacement systems for men, are a popular solution for men suffering from hair loss or balding. A man weave is an undetectable hair unit that is glued directly onto the scalp for a natural look.

In this comprehensive guide, master barber Adrin shares his expertise on the entire process of installing high-quality man weaves, from start to finish.

Overview of Man Weaves

A man weave, also called a hair unit, is composed of human hair dreadlocks that provide natural-looking fullness and coverage. The hair is tied to a lace base, which allows the scalp underneath to breathe. Man weaves are customized for each client based on their unique balding pattern and desired look. The dreadlocks mimic the look and feel of real hair growing directly from the scalp. When properly installed and maintained, man weaves can last from one week up to two months.

Benefits of Man Weaves

For men suffering from hair loss, man weaves offer many benefits:

  • Provide immediate thick, full hair that looks and feels natural
  • Customizable to match hair color, texture, hairline shape
  • Option to style just like real hair - can cut, color, wet, etc.
  • Non-damaging temporary solution without surgery
  • Boost confidence for men of all ages

Preparing the Base for Man Weave Installation

Proper base preparation is crucial for achieving the best results and longevity when installing a man weave unit. The following steps help create an optimal foundation before attaching the hair.

Be sure to carefully follow barber Adrin's techniques for creating a clean, protected base that allows maximum adhesive grip.

Cutting the Hair Short

The first step is cutting the client's existing hair very short using clippers. This leaves a smooth surface and eliminates any hair that could get tangled in the weave base later on. It also gives a blank canvas for designing the new hairline shape and placement. Cutting the hair down creates an ideal foundation for gluing the unit.

Cleaning the Scalp

After cutting the hair, thoroughly clean the entire scalp and bald areas with alcohol. This removes any oils, products or debris that could interfere with glue adhesion. A clean scalp allows the adhesive to grip strongest for the longest hold. Be sure to cover all areas where glue will be applied later during installation.

Applying Scalp Protector

Next, apply a scalp protector evenly over the entire scalp and bald areas. This creates a protective barrier between the skin and adhesive glue, preventing irritation. It also helps the hair unit last longer by shielding the base from sweat and moisture from the scalp. Let the protector fully dry before moving to the next step of glue application.

Using Hair Glue Adhesive

An extra-strong lace wig adhesive specially formulated for hair replacement systems is used to glue the base of the weave unit directly to the scalp. Apply a thin first layer evenly over the scalp protector where the hair will be placed. Blow dry to set the initial adhesive layer, then apply a second coat focused on the hairline area.

Installing the Man Weave Hair Unit

Once the bald scalp is prepped, it's time to carefully install the customized man weave unit for a natural, undetectable look. This is the most intricate part of the process requiring precision and skill.

Follow along as Adrin demonstrates his techniques for attaching the hairline first, then adding the rest of the dreadlocks row-by-row.

Starting with Natural-Looking Hairline

The most critical visual aspect of a man weave is crafting an undetectable hairline in the very front. This frames the entire look. Adrin combs out the bottom portion of the dreadlock hairpieces to allow the scalp underneath to show through slightly. This helps it blend right into the client's natural hair growth pattern. He then carefully glues each dreadlock along the front hairline one-by-one, letting them fall in the direction they will lay naturally. This creates the illusion of hair growing directly from the follicles for a realistic look.

Attaching the Rest of Unit

After completing the front hairline, Adrin moves on to gluing down the rows of dreadlocks across the rest of the balding areas of the scalp. He uses a stronger black adhesive specially blended to hold the weight of the thick dreadlocks securely in place. It leaves an undetectable bond while keeping a strong grip even as the hair moves. He uses a stocking cap over the glue base to increase durability so the unit can better withstand sweat and moisture from the active lifestyle of his clients.

Checking for Proper Tightness

Once the full head of dreadlocks is attached row-by-row, Adrin does a final check by pulling on strands of hair to ensure proper tightness. He then compresses the dreadlocks to maximize contact between all glue points and the base of the unit. This press down allows maximum strength and glue adhesion across the whole piece.

Styling and Perfecting the Man Weave

Now the fun part begins! With the base installed, Adrin can style and cut the dreadlocks just like real hair to perfect the look.

Adding custom finishing touches makes all the difference in creating a man weave that looks incredibly natural.

Trimming and Texturizing

Just like a normal haircut, Adrin begins trimming the excess length of the dreadlock strands that overhang pass the perimeter shape he wants to create. He texturizes the thickness in certain areas to vary it up and make it look more realistic. This also allows the scalp underneath to be partially visible between some of the strands.

Defining Realistic Hairline

The most important finishing touch is crisply defining the hairline by outlining it. Adrin creates separation around the hairline perimeter to accentuate the dreadlocks framing the face. This makes the hairline and hair growth pattern look even more realistic. It is the final step that makes clients truly feel like the hair is their own.

Using Enhancements

On some clients depending on their level of balding, Adrin needs to use hair fiber supplements or colored enhancers to perfect the look. He strategically adds these enhancements to blend any visible seams or patchy areas between dreadlock rows. This helps camouflage the hair system for a seamless finish.

Conclusion - The Life-Changing Power of Man Weaves

Installing high-quality man weave hair replacement units requires advanced techniques combining artistry and precision for undetectable results.

But the lengthy process is well worth it when Adrin sees the emotional reactions from clients who haven't had hair for years, sometimes decades.

The ability to restore confidence and youthfulness for men coping with the stigma of balding keeps Adrin passionate about perfecting realistic man weaves everyday in his barbershop.

Final Thoughts

For men struggling with hair loss looking to regain their self-assurance, man weaves offer new hope. The customized hair systems provide an instant yet temporary solution without surgery. With proper installation and care, man weaves allow men to feel like themselves again by styling and looking how they want. And gaining back that self-confidence is truly life-changing.


Q: How long do man weaves last?
A: Man weaves can last anywhere from 1-2 months with proper care.

Q: What tools are needed for man weaves?
A: Standard barber tools like clippers and shears are needed. Adhesives and scalp protectants are also used.

Q: What is the hardest part of doing man weaves?
A: Managing client expectations and giving them a realistic look is often the hardest part.

Q: How do you create a natural hairline?
A: Let the hair hang over the line, then trim the excess to reveal the scalp underneath.

Q: When does a man weave start to look realistic?
A: It looks most realistic after trimming, cutting, and edging to blend with their natural hair.

Q: Should enhancement fibers be used?
A: Use minimally if needed to blend seams or balding spots for a natural look.

Q: What reactions do clients have to their new look?
A: Reactions range from crying to hugging the barber. It restores their youthful appearance.

Q: How often do clients need maintenance?
A: Maintenance like a normal haircut is needed as the hair starts to grow out.

Q: What mistakes should be avoided?
A: Don't use black glue on the hairline. It doesn't dry transparent to reveal the scalp.

Q: How is man weave different than a lace wig?
A: It is directly bonded to the scalp for a more seamless, natural look.