How to care for hair extensions is and really should be one of the most important steps in your decision to get them. Sounds a bit odd, I know, but think of it this way – would you be happy with extensions that look good only about a month or so? Of course not! Taking care of hair extensions is an ongoing process, girlies, the results of which depend on you, your efforts and knowledge as well as your hair stylist. So, before you decide to shell out a serious amount of cash thinking that’s all it takes to have gorgeous hair, take a look at these helpful tips on hair extensions maintenance:
1. Brush, Brush, Brush
First things come first so I’m going to open this list of advices on how to care for hair extensions with something that ought to be as important as brushing your teeth each morning. Brushing your extensions is a regular upkeep kind of thing, something you should remember to do often, right and with the help of a good tool. Soft bristle brush or pro, Looper brush will, therefore, be perfect for that job, helping you detangle your hair without damaging it. As for the technique that ought to ensure long lasting good looks of your extensions, I’ll just say things are much simpler than you though. Patience and care – that’s all there is to it. Start at the bottom, as you would with your natural hair, detangling that area first before you move up to work on the top sections. Be gentle with you extensions too, as pulling will cause serious breakage, turning your gorgeous, shiny clip-ins into a frizzy, dingy-looking mess no girl in her right mind would want near her head.
2. Wash Carefully
Your clip-ins probably won’t get dirty as often as your natural hair does, although that doesn’t mean you are to wash them once in a blue moon. In fact, washing in crucial for the proper maintenance of hair extensions and there are a couple of rules to follow to make sure they continue on looking good. First- detangle before shampooing, second – use a good shampoo and third (and maybe the most important of all) - take it slow. Wet your extensions bit by bit to prevent tangling using a downward motion when shampooing and rinsing them. You can, of course, follow up with a wide-toothed comb in case they start to knot but you must be super-gentle.
3. Condition like a Pro
A nice, nourishing leave-in conditioner will be a perfect follow up for your hair-extensions maintenance routine. Spray it on or work it in using the same downward motion, brush out any remaining tangles carefully and voila – your hair pieces are ready to be left to dry. No need to apply a whole lot of nourishing products at once as this could put your extensions at risk of being over-conditioned which normally isn’t a good thing at all as it will make them look dull and limp as well as cause them to get dirty again at a much faster rate, not to mention the extra tangles you’ll have to deal with.
4. Let Them Dry Naturally
Easier said than done, especially if we’re talking about non-removable hair pieces, but since this is what hair stylists always suggest when asked to reveal a few secrets on how to care for hair extensions, sticking with the “A stitch in time saves nine” proverb might not be such a bad idea. Pros often stress how detrimental excessive heat is to hair extensions and, since I’m sure you’re using it to style yours, laying off and giving poor hair a break may be in order. Furthermore, being 30 minutes early when it comes to washing your hair and letting it dry fully will save you at least as much time in the morning as you won’t have to deal with tangles and odd creases resulting of sleeping with semi-wet hair.
5. Blow Dry Carefully
In case you’re not into proverbs and believe the only thing an early bird can hope for is a set of gravity-abiding eyelids, you can at least make room in your routine for one cool blow drying tip. Use a low-heat setting to dry bonds and surrounding hair first then style/dry the rest of your hair as usual. See? It’s quite simple, it won’t make your life complicated and you’ll still get to use your blow dryer with the only difference being the fact that you’re not applying excessive heat to this highly stressed area thus visibly reducing shedding, breakage and the possibility of your bonds getting all sticky.
6. Go Easy on Your Bonds
Speaking about bonds, let me just point out that tip-toeing around this area is highly advised. You see, all of your careful maintenance of hair extensions goes down the drain (literally) when bonds or overstressed hair around them starts degrading. In order to keep them good-looking and long lasting, you’ll need to treat them with care not only when blow drying but while styling as well which, in plain English sounds something like this –“Do not clamp your flat iron over the bonds.” Simple, huh?
7. Store with Care
Your clip-ins, wigs or quick weaves need to be stored with love when unused! Only that way you can rest assured there won’t be any unpleasant surprises next time you decide to put them on. Clean, condition, dry and detangle them first then place them in an air-tight container big enough to accommodate them perfectly. After all, you don’t want to check on them after a month or so only to find a moldy, discolored, messy bundle – don’t you? Oh, and keep reading to find out more about hair extensions maintenance and learn how to care for hair extensions like a pro.
8. Tie Back
In case your gorgeous locks can’t be removed before sleep or intense physical activity, you can always sweep them back in a ponytail. Make it a low one in case you won’t be doing much more than just sleeping to avoid not only tangles but creases too, or opt for a high pony while exercising to limit their exposure to sweat.
9. Wear a Swimming Cap
Taking care of hair extensions in summer needs to include a serious cap-wearing habit as chlorine and salt aren’t your hair’s best friends. I know, I know... swimming cap isn’t exactly the hottest headwear of the season but hey, the same could be said for a rat’s nest which is exactly the way hair you paid good money for is going to look if exposed to these elements on daily basis.
10. Ask around
Okay, now this probably isn’t the most ingenious tip out there but it sure is useful as there are tons of things you can learn from taking other people’s opinions into consideration. Not sure which shampoo, conditioner or brush to use, how to care for hair extensions that have already suffered some damage or when is the best time to get a trim? Consult a few pros! The advice is usually free, you can learn a lot and, hey, if you’re not cool with what you’ve heard, you can always ask for a second opinion!
11. Get Informed about Your Extensions
Are your extensions made of synthetic or human hair? Now that’s one thing you must know for sure as maintenance of hair extensions differs significantly depending on the material. Human hair can be brushed, straightened, curled, even re-dyed should you decide to change your hair color while synthetic strands usually can’t benefit from such things. Some types of synthetic extensions can be styled using heated appliances although the general rule still says you can’t dye synthetic hair nor you should brush it too much.
12. Be Gentle with Your Hair
Harsh pulling, wringing or a habit of knotting your hair tightly with no respect for its texture is a no-go if you want your extensions to last long! Furthermore, this might even damage your real hair, causing the bonded length to break off and ruining your chances of having beautiful longish hair after the extensions are removed.
13. Stay Away from DIY Anything
Well, I’m usually into DIY stuff, no doubt about that although I must admit this list of tips on how to care for hair extensions is better off without them. Why? Because the chances to mess up are too darn great and we’re talking about potential hair damage and financial losses here, not temporary setbacks such as banana chunks that won’t wash off or a greasy scalp as a result of too much mayonnaise in the mayonnaise mask. Want it cut – get it done by a pro! Want it dyed? Same rule applies! Experiencing shedding? Have the bonds checked and no… as budget-friendly as it sounds, rebonding at home isn’t a good idea unless you’re studying to become a pro, have all the right tools and have no problem playing a lab rat for the sake of knowledge and experience.
14. Tilt Your Hair Back when Washing
Can’t remove your extensions and wash them separately? No biggie! I have a few more tips on hair extensions maintenance that ought to help you wash like a pro. Avoid tangling by simply hopping into the shower and tilting your hair back instead of flipping your hair up and washing it over the sink or tub. It is a significant change of habits, I know, but it’s definitely worth it.
15. Visit Your Stylist Regularly
Even the best quality extensions need upkeep which means that caring for hair extensions also involves regular trips to the salon for a pro checkup. Your hair can look absolutely gorgeous up to six whole months if you decide to follow the rules and check back with your stylist every 5 to 7 weeks for professional, thorough detangling, styling, chop and eventual re-fitting.
16. Protect Your Hair from Direct Sunlight
Hot bonds aren’t exactly the most beach-friendly option and I’m sure you’ve heard how spending too much time in the sun can cause them to melt and either completely fall off or leave a lot of sticky mess for you to handle when you should be having fun instead. Hey, I even know a few girls who could share an almost identical vacation horror story that has everything to do with melted bonds. Luckily, there are ways to avoid a potential catastrophe, the first and the foremost, of course, being a pre travel re-fitting session with your stylist while the second is up to you. Be sure to ask your hairstylist how to care for hair extensions in this case, or in case this little issue had slipped your mind, do invest in a nice hat to keep direct sunlight and excessive heat at bay.
17. Say No to Alcohol-Based Products
Alcohol based products are not the best ones to be using on your hair extensions as they will dry them out, matte them down and make your hair pieces prone to tangling. Furthermore, applying a lot of alcohol-based products and failing to rinse them out fully and in good time can weaken the bonds and cause a lot of shedding.
18. Keep the Bonded Area Tangle Free
Hot or cold – bonds can generally be quite a tangle-magnet and a perfect recipe for disaster if left on their own. Now, I know you can’t spend hours grooming yourself like a lazy house cat but a detangling session now and then might be in order. Simply use your fingers to pry away any looped strands that don’t belong there, inspecting each set of bonds for knots. Taking care of hair extensions this way will definitely earn you a pat on the back by a stylist and help you reduce the costs of maintenance which, I’m sure you’ll agree, isn’t so bad at all.
Do you have some tips on how to care for hair extensions to share with fellow fans of this type of hair beautifying treatments? Do share! Oh, and don’t worry – caring for hair extensions isn’t as hard and time consuming as this super-long list of tips might make you believe. I just wanted to make sure you know everything there is to know about various types of extensions so you could care for them properly and enjoy them for as long as you’d like!
Top Image Source: frozenfashions.wordpress.com