Hair extensions can be a game-changer for anyone looking to add volume, length, or a pop of colour to their hair. However, just like your natural hair, these extensions require proper care and maintenance to ensure they remain stunning and lustrous for the long haul. In this expert guide, we'll dive into the essential tips for extending the longevity of your hair extensions, allowing you to flaunt your fabulous look with confidence.
1. Gentle Detangling is Key: As is the case with your own hair, hair extensions can tangle. To prevent this, use a detangling brush or a hair extension brush. Start at the ends and work your way up, gradually detangling the hair. Avoid harsh tugging, as this can lead to hair breakage and always hold the bonds while brushing.
2. Wash with Care: Wash your hair extensions only when necessary, maximum 2 times a week. Use a sulphate-free, extension-friendly shampoo and conditioner, and avoid applying conditioner directly to the roots to prevent the bonds slipping. Gently lather the products, then rinse thoroughly. Pat, don't rub, the extensions dry with a soft towel. Always wash you hair upright (never over a sink or bath).
3. Mindful Conditioning: Applying a lightweight leave-in conditioner or mask can help keep your extensions soft and manageable. However, avoid products that contain sulphates and protein, as they can cause dryness. Opt for products that are specially formulated for extensions and distribute them evenly through the hair, focusing on the mid-lengths and ends.
4. Heat Protection is a Must: Just like your natural hair, hair extensions are susceptible to heat damage. Before using heat styling tools, apply a heat protectant spray to shield the hair from high temperatures. Use heat tools on the lowest setting required (no more than 200°c) to achieve your desired style, and avoid using them too frequently to prevent excessive dryness.
5. Sleeping Guidelines: Proper care during sleep is crucial for maintaining hair extension longevity. Never go to bed with wet extensions, always dry them after washing and put them in to a loose plait to prevent tangling. Consider investing in a silk or satin pillowcase, as these materials create less friction than cotton and can help prevent tangles and frizz.
6. Mind the Chlorine and Saltwater: If you plan to swim in chlorinated pools or saltwater, be sure your hair is tied back out of the way so it does not come in to contact with the water. Chlorine and salt water not only causes dryness but can also affect the colour of the extensions.
7. Regular Maintenance: Schedule regular visits to your hairstylist or extension specialist for maintenance appointments. These professionals can reposition the extensions, check for any signs of damage, and recommend necessary treatments to keep your extensions looking their best.
8. Avoid Chemical Overload: While some hair extensions can be treated similarly to natural hair, it's best to avoid excessive chemical treatments, such as bleaching or colouring, as they can weaken and damage the extensions over time. If you're considering a new colour, consult with your extension specialist first.
9. Be Sun Smart: Prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause fading and dryness in hair extensions, just like it does to natural hair. If you'll be spending time outdoors, consider wearing a hat or using UV protection products to shield your extensions from the sun's harmful rays.
10. Patience and Gentleness: Perhaps the most important tip of all is to treat your hair extensions with patience and gentleness. Avoid rough handling, and resist the urge to pull or tug at them. With the right care, your hair extensions can look fabulous for months or even years.
The key to maintaining the longevity of your hair extensions lies in a combination of gentle care, proper products, and smart practices. By following these top 10 expert tips, you'll not only enjoy the fabulous look of your extensions but also ensure that they remain healthy, shiny, and gorgeous for as long as possible. Remember, a little extra care goes a long way in keeping your extensions looking their best.