You’ve finally made the jump and invested in quality hair extensions. Congratulations! The next step to healthy and beautiful hair is to take good care of it. To get the most out of your investment and maximize the lifespan of your extensions, make sure you have a good maintenance routine.
Here are some of the steps to include in your hair extension care routine:
Develop a foolproof washing routine.
Tape-in extensions need to be washed more often than clip-ins since they stay on your head longer. With these extensions, shampoo should be applied near the roots of your hair, while conditioner should be applied towards the middle and ends of your hair.
Clip-on extensions, on the other hand, are washed less often. The washing schedule will largely depend on how often you wear them. Most experts recommend washing after 30 days. Just clean your sink, fill it up with lukewarm hair, and clean your extensions with shampoo and conditioner. Make sure the clips do not get wet in the process.
Planning to go swimming? You’ll need to remove the extensions before taking a dip or use a swimming cap to protect them. Saltwater and chlorine can dry your extensions out, so minimize exposure to these agents as much as possible.
After your shower, dry your hair gently with a microfiber towel and avoid aggressively rubbing your hair with it.
Implement a brushing routine.
After washing your hair, make sure the extensions are completely dry before brushing. Hair is at its most fragile state when wet, and is, therefore, most susceptible to breakage.
Use a brush that’s specifically designed for hair extensions and be gentle with the strands. Start brushing from the bottom, then work your way up to the top to successfully untangle any pesky knots.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
Your own hair gets nourished by natural oils that come from your scalp. Hair extensions don’t have access to these oils, however, so they have a tendency to dry out.
Apply a deep conditioning treatment at least once a week to provide much-needed moisture to your extensions.
Use premium hair products.
Avoid using hair care products that have sulfates, parabens, and alcohol. These ingredients strip the hair of natural oils, which results in very dry and brittle extensions that are prone to tangling and breakage. Instead, use products that have been specially formulated for dry hair.
Avoid heat when styling.
If you’ve purchased Remy human hair extensions, you can style them as you would your natural hair. However, using high temperature settings with your heat styling tool can cause the extensions to shed or break.
Instead, it’s best if you air dry and use natural ways to style your hair. For example, you can braid or tie your hair up in a ponytail before going to bed. This will prevent the strands from moving around and creating tangles. When you remove the style in the morning, you’ll get instant beach wavy hair without having to use heat tools!
Of course, if you’re attending a special event and using styling tools just cannot be avoided, you can still curl or straighten as needed — just be sure to use low heat settings. Instead of pausing your iron on a particular section of your hair, let it glide through the strands quickly. You can also use a heat protectant spray to prevent further damage.
Practice smart hair extension storage.
Make sure to properly store your hair extensions. If you’re going to shove them in your closet, they are going to get tangled up and be difficult to work with.
Once you’ve removed the extensions from your hair, wash and brush them thoroughly. Make sure they are completely dry before storing. Never store damp extensions, because they could become a breeding ground for bacteria or mold to grow. Also, check to see if the clips are closed properly before storing them.
You can place the extensions in an airtight box or hanger, but it would be even better if you use a hair extension storage bag. If you’re a frequent traveller, you can even buy a carrier case that will make it easy to transport your extensions. Caring for natural hair extensions for black women is also quite the challenge.
A great hair maintenance routine is the key to prolonging the life of your extensions. Make sure to follow these steps so you can enjoy your hair extensions for as long as possible!