Itching for a hairstyle change but don’t know where to start? Adding a bit of extra hair might solve your problem. Hair extensions are always a great option if you want to give your next look that extra edge it needs, and trust when we say that your hairstyle options never end when you have that much hair to work with!
But just like with regular hair, extensions also need a lot of attention and nurturing care to make them look gorgeous (unless you’re using synthetic extensions), and it’s not just a matter of clipping them on and hoping for the best. That’s right, just shampooing and towel drying them simply won’t cut it. Thankfully, we’re here to provide you with all the techniques, products, and useful tips to make your hair extensions the talk of the town next time you come back from the salon:
- Avoid Dyeing Them
- Washing, Drying, and Styling Techniques
- Always Remove Them Before Bed
- Use Nurturing Products
- Brush Patiently
Avoid Dyeing Them
Since human hair extensions often come in a variety of natural colors, if you want to try something different, we suggest you buy some that are already in your desired color. If you decide along the way that you would prefer a zanier color like hot pink or navy blue, head straight to the salon and have a professional color them.
Do not try any home experiments, as this is how you can ruin the extensions’ integrity in one fell swoop. The sad reality is that, despite its accessibility, over-the-counter box dye is not healthy in the slightest, containing plenty of harmful chemicals that will cause irreparable damage to your hair extensions. Simply put, box dye is made and advertised for all hair types, which generally translates to "stay away from this," especially when the hair you'd be dyeing isn't even your hair. You wouldn't want to have paid all that money for your beautiful extensions to have them end up destroyed from a bad batch of chemicals.
Washing, Drying, and Styling Techniques
Keep hair washing to a minimum. Just like your own organic hair, extensions will quickly become dry and brittle if you wash them too often, especially because they are not part of your scalp, and therefore cannot benefit from the natural oils that your hair follicles produce.
Dry thoroughly and attentively. Do not, under any circumstance, go to bed with your hair extensions wet, or store them somewhere without them having dried completely. Drying makes all the difference in your extensions' lifespan because otherwise they can grow mold, and in the case of weaves, affect your scalp with long-term infections caused by bacteria growing in humid places. If you have clip-ins, after drying, store them in a place away from the sun’s rays and surrounding moisture – such as the storage box they came in.
Essentially, when it comes to styling your hair extensions, using heated tools is the last thing you want to do, as it makes them incredibly prone to permanent damage. If possible, try to avoid using the straightener and curling iron as much as possible, and only use the blow-dryer on the lowest setting, only after applying a good heat protectant.
Always Remove Them Before Bed
If you have clip-in extensions, you always have to remove them before going to sleep to prevent any mid-night tangles and morning-after frizz. Take as much time as you need when removing them, and do so gently, not forcefully, to avoid any potential breakages.
For sewn-in extensions (also known as weaves) removing them is not possible, so to prevent any tangles and frizz, you might want to try wearing a silk sleeping cap or scarf to bed. Alternatively, if you’re the “tossing and turning” kind of sleeper, getting a silk pillowcase will achieve the same result, and you won’t have to worry about waking up with frizzy extensions the next day.
Use Nurturing Products
You probably know this by now, but you should always go sulfate-free when it comes to human hair extensions! Sulfates are the cleaning agents responsible for the foam that forms when washing your hair. They are not terrible for your hair, but they do scrape away any natural oils, which, as mentioned previously, hair extensions already do not benefit from enough, which will result in them becoming dry, brittle, and frizzy. If you are unsure on how to choose the best shampoo and conditioner for human hair extensions, do not fret – we are here to help you track just the right shampoo and conditioner for your needs!
First things first, now that we got sulfates out of the way, you should know that there are some good chemicals out there too – more specifically, fatty alcohols extracted from coconut and palm oil. For instance, using a coconut extract product can go a long way for your extensions’ integrity, as it helps with detangling, smoothness and shine. Most often found in conditioners, rather than shampoos, it is highly advisable that you invest in products that complement each other in terms of organic blends, in order to obtain the full extent of their chemical properties.
The best shampoos and conditioners for extensions should contain organic ingredients that help strengthen and moisturize the extensions, while also providing care for your natural hair. Some of the best products that activate at the root of the scalp contain a multitude of natural oils, such as castor oil, coconut oil, argan oil, and olive oil, to name a few. The best part? All of these natural oils are perfect for an instant healthy hair treatment, giving your hair extensions that extra shine and needed hydration.
When brushing your hair extensions, make sure you do so gently. Start from the bottom and go all the way up to their ‘roots’ gradually. If you happen to meet a particularly stubborn knot, keep brushing underneath it, and it will eventually detangle itself. Do not be forceful or rough, or you will risk creating frizz and potentially breaking some of the strands.
Most importantly, pay extra attention to the brushing tool itself! You won’t get the results you need with that old, hair-filled brush you’ve had for years now. It’s in your best interest to detangle extensions with a brush that has soft bristles, or a wide-toothed comb.
Fortunately, WOW’s gentle flex detangling brush gets to be both at the same time. Not only is its detachable bracket perfect for making its teeth as wide as you need, but its adjustable bristles also make the brushing experience as simple and as breakage-free as possible.
Extensive Care for Extended Hair
All in all, while hair extensions might require that extra bit of care and attention to keep them going, they are always a worthwhile hair investment. Plus, we guarantee you that the above-mentioned tips will become part of your hair-care routine before you know it, and your hair extensions will soon become just as prized as the hair that’s been attached to your scalp all along.
Be sure to share your experience with hair extensions down below and tell us how helpful you’ve found these tips!
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