Vixen Sew-Ins Bring Versatility to a Traditional Protective Style

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As fun as it is to play around with different styles like bouncy '90s curls or intricate crown braids, sometimes you just want to give your natural hair a break. Enter: protective styles. These can range from box braids to Bantu knots to various sew-in hairstyles. The biggest downside with the latter option is that certain extensions can sometimes look a bit unnatural, given the way the hair is installed in a beehive pattern.

As a result, many different types of sew-in techniques and products like versatile sew-ins and HD laces have been created to give people the most realistic-looking weaved hairstyles. One that will guarantee you some of the most natural results is a vixen sew-in. If you're wondering what that is, how it differs from other options on the market, and how to care for them at home, keep reading.

What Are Vixen Sew-Ins?

"A vixen sew-in consists of tracks of hair sewn into four equal sectional parts of the head," celebrity hairstylist Arlene Martin tells POPSUGAR. This is significant because the four quadrants allow more styling options that incorporate parts — like half-up, half-down styles or Afro puffs. If you tried to achieve these styles with a normal sew-in technique, it would be more obvious where your natural hair ends and the extensions begin.

"Vixen sew-ins differ from other sew-in styles because of their versatility," Martin says. "You can wear them in ponytails, pulled-back styles, and even topknots and buns."

How to Maintain Vixen Sew-Ins

There are a few things to consider before trying the style. "I look at my client's daily hair regimen as well as their hair length to decide whether or not this hairstyle is a good fit for their lifestyle," Martin says. Typically, this hairstyle requires your hair to at least be ponytail length so it can easily blend with your hair, whether it is in an updo or left to flow down your back.

Additionally, they can require quite a bit of maintenance once you leave the salon. If you want the style to last the full eight to 10 weeks, this may include daily styling, as well as hydrating and moisturizing your scalp on a regular basis. So if you're someone who wants a protective style that requires little to no work on your end once you leave the salon, you may want to skip this one.

The Best Products to Maintain a Vixen Sew-In

If you like getting creative with your protective styles, one of the best parts of this technique is that you can treat it like your own hair. "You can wash and blow-dry both your hair and the extensions used in the vixen sew-in," Martin says. "You can also maintain the style at home by wearing a bonnet at night and following the daily regimen prescribed by your hairstylist."

If you choose to wash your hair at home, consider a sulfate-free shampoo to gently cleanse your hair and remove excess product buildup without overdrying your hair like the TGIN Moisture Rich Sulfate Free Shampoo For Natural Hair ($16) followed by a moisturizing conditioner like the Arlene Martin Hair Premium Conditioner ($24). If you're not a fan of bonnets, consider a silk pillowcase like the Slip Silk Pillowcase ($89) to keep your hair from becoming frizzy and tangled.

How Much Do Vixen Sew-Ins Cost?

There are a few factors that will go into the price of vixen sew-ins. Depending on your location and the experience level of your stylist, you can expect to pay anywhere from $250 or more for the style — not including the cost of the hair itself — to get it installed. The type and amount of hair you use will also cost additional; synthetic braiding hair can cost around $5 per pack, and the style typically requires three to four packs of hair. That price will also rise significantly if you choose to use human hair.

If a vixen sew-in sounds like your next go-to protective style, Martin has some tips for finding the best stylist for the job. "Definitely look for the stylist's lookbook or on their social media to see what they have previously worked on," Martin says. "That will tell you a lot about the talent of the stylist and if you'll love the look."

Now that you know everything you need to know about vixen sew-ins, take a look ahead at some of the best versions of this hairstyle to bring with you to your appointment.