17 Nov How To Properly Care for Hair Extensions
If you’ve invested in extensions, it’s obvious that you’re serious about your hair. You should baby your extensions in the same way you keep your own hair healthy: with a little extra attention. While you’re learning how to properly care for hair extensions, remember that they don’t benefit from the nourishing nutrients and oils from your scalp, so to extend the life of your extensions and keep them looking their best, moisturize them generously, and be gentle.
You can safely use a wide-tooth comb, a soft bristle brush, or a “loop” brush that’s especially easy on tresses. Holding or stabilizing the extension from the top or middle, brush the lower part of your hair first to avoid damage, and then repeat the process as you move higher on the strands.
Work through your extensions with your fingers to keep them tangle-free or to dislodge tangles. When you come across a knot, isolate it by clipping away the rest of your hair. Be patient as you use a wide-tooth comb to loosen it from the bottom. Conditioner or detangling spray can help, too.
There are many kinds of hair supplements, and your stylist will likely have custom-dyed yours to blend into your hair. So ask your hair extension specialist if they have special instructions for you.
If your extensions are attached, you shouldn’t need to wash more than every few days. Too much washing will dry out your extensions and shorten their lifespans. If you have clip-ins, you can wait until after 30 wears or so. If you find the extensions more difficult to style, washing them will restore their effectiveness. Rinse with cold water to lock in moisture.
Use your fingers to loosen any tangles, but don’t brush until the extensions are dry. If you can remove your extensions, carefully blot them dry with a microfiber towel and lay them out on a flat surface. Air drying will get you the best results. If you don’t have time, you can blow-dry on a cool setting, blowing downward to smooth the cuticle.
Make sure your shampoos, conditioners, and styling products are free of sulfates and alcohol, as these chemicals can dry out your extensions quickly. Check labels, and avoid ingredients with those words, as well as SLS, ethanol, propanol, isopropyl, and propyl. Be aware that shampoos without sulfates don’t produce much lather, but that doesn’t mean they’re not cleansing—and they won’t strip your hair of moisture.
If your hair is long enough to braid, doing so can keep your extensions from tangling. A silk or satin pillowcase is gentler for your tresses than cotton.
Just like every head is different, extensions should be just as custom. That means that learning how to properly care for hair extensions should start with specifics from your stylist. Kat Kern Hair Design is the Bay Area’s premier hair extension specialist, so if you’re nearby, book a consultation for more information.