10 Tips To Help Your Extensions Last
So I know the idea of extensions came seem a little...strange. If you're like a lot of women then you have things you don't love about your hair. Things like: it gets oily easily, it grows too slow, it grows too fast, it's too thin, it's too thick, so on and so forth. Well, the good news is extensions can solve some of those issues and you don't need to be a 20 something blonde to wear them. You also don't need to be on the cover of Vogue or have a social media following in the thousands. :)
Let me tell you who extensions are actually for.....you! Regular moms, wives, and everyday gorgeous women who want longer hair now, thicker hair like yesterday, maybe some different streaks of color (we call that dimension) without the commitment. Good news lady: extensions are 100% perfect for all of those issues!
Let's say you take leap. We've talked about it. I've shown you the different types of extensions such as tape ins, I-tips, or hand-tied wefts and we've chosen which route would be best for you. We've ordered your hair and set a date for install and style. Let's talk a little bit about the at home care. You want to make this investment in yourself worth your while and lasting as long as possible, right? So I'm going to share my top 10 tips to keep your extensions in tip top shape for as long as possible. Some of these tips won't apply to you based on the kind of extensions you have (or are getting).
Shampoo you hair less often.
This will help keep your extensions from drying out as quickly. It will allow the oils on your scalp to keep your natural hair nourished despite the fact that you have something so close to your scalp. It helps prevent any kind of irritation as well and if you have tape ins or I-tips it helps with slippage.
2. Use a styling oil everyday or every other day for optimal shine and protection against dryness.
Keeping a really nourishing oil on the midshaft to ends of your extensions (preferably one with heat protection) will help lock in moisture that your natural hair receives via your scalp. It will help with fly-aways, split ends, and keep the hair silky and shiny 24/7. Take care to not apply said oil close to the scalp. Depending on your extensions that can increase risk of slippage or just make your hair unnecessarily oily.
3. Use a heat protectant.
Please, please use a heat protectant. There are some GREAT stylers that offer UV and thermal protection so your covered no matter the season or your lifestyle. It's so, so important that you don't fry the ends of your extensions. Once the damage is done, it's done and unlike your natural hair, your extensions can't recover on their own for obvious reasons. I highly recommend the Paul Mitchell Neuro Style HeatCTRL Iron Hairspray (a mouthful, I know). It's marketed as a hairspray but it's extremely light. It really just helps keep your style in place all day. It's a staple for me in the salon and I couldn't live without it.
4. Sleep on a satin or silk pillow case.
This isn't a MUST but it certainly does help with tangles, frizz, and just the natural roughness we naturally do to our hair when we're asleep. You can find them just about anywhere but a silk pillow case will really help with potential stress to your scalp with basically all types of extensions.
5. Wear your hair in a low side pony tail, loose bun, or loose pigtails when you sleep.
Basically for the same reasons you want to use a silk or satin pillow case. It reduces stress on the hair and scalp, keeps your extensions neater for the following day (therefore making styling an easier process) and it just keeps your hair out of your way!
6. Shampoo your roots, condition your ends.
If you don't already know this you do not need conditioner on your scalp. If you apply conditioner to your scalp with extensions in then you're looking at slippage which causes breakage which is damage. So please keep your conditioner from the mid shaft to ends and let your shampoo do the work it needs to on your scalp as well as your natural oils.
7. Be gentle.
I mean it goes without saying you live a normal life with extensions but you have all of this extra hair in your head. Try not to put it up and down all day long if possible. I know between work, the gym, the kids, etc. that may be easier said than done but try to find a style for the day and stick with it.
8. Don't put off your retouches.
Now, this is based on hair growth but if your hair has grown a good half inch to inch in 6 weeks then please come in every six weeks. If you keep up with your retouches you prevent unnecessary breakage and damage from stress and tension. As the hair grows, it doesn't grow out totally evenly so once you've got about a half inch of grow out there's some uneven tension going on and it's time for a retouch. The other factor about retouches when it comes specifically to tape ins is that your hair starts to tangle at the scalp and the tape starts to get really worn making your appointment take more time, be more expensive, and potentially more painful from combing out the tangles and removing tape residue.
9. Use a sulfate free, paraben free, color safe shampoo.
You need a shampoo that's nourishing but gentle to your extensions. You can't use drug store products and get the same result. It's really important that you invest in a good shampoo and conditioner that aren't going to wear the bonds out causing your extensions to just sort of fall apart. If you choose to skimp on this tip then your extensions simply won't last as long.
10. Last but not least: Use a wet brush or wig brush to brush your extensions.
When brushing your extensions you want to start from the bottom and gently work your way up brushing down. Don't go in from the scalp down and starting going to town yanking and pulling on the hair. Use a detangler if you'd like! But you want a brush with flexible bristles like a Wet brush or wig brush. Brush regularly to keep the tangles at bay, especially if you tangle easily.
That's it ladies! If you have further questions feel free to ask :) This will help keep your extensions in the best shape possible for the longest period of time!