Tips for caring for hair extensions

Jenessa Williams

Choosing extensions can be quite a high-maintenance process, but the key is in the preparation. Choose your style carefully and get yourself into a proper routine, and you’ll soon forget that that hair isn’t your own. Here are our tips to keep on top of your new mane

Style them right

The hair extensions marketplace is huge, so some shopping around to ensure you get the right style for you is essential. Clip-in extensions are ideal for a low maintenance lifestyle or special event, whereas fusion and pre-bonding is much more durable for extended wear.

Both synesthetic and human hair is available on the market, with human hair naturally being considered superior in terms of it’s texture and finish. Synthetic hair is much cheaper but cannot be styled or dyed as easily as natural hair.

All options are good ones, but consider your lifestyle and amenability to your chosen style before hitting the salon.

 

Maintain the moisture

Artificial hair can be much more sensitive to moisture than natural hair.

Depending on the type you have chosen, take your stylist’s advice on the frequency of washing—less is often better. Use warm water instead of hot, and opt for sulfate-free shampoo that won’t strip any natural oils or damage bonds.

If you’re opting for a protective style such as locs, braids or weaves, remember that the tight cornrows necessary to bond the hair can leave the scalp feeling dry.

Spritz regularly with leave-in conditioner, and avoid chlorine or excessive sun exposure.

 

Sleep well

Going to bed wearing wet extensions is considered something of a cardinal sin in the haircare world. While extensive heat is not ideal either, a gentle blow dry before sleep will stop hair from matting and help maintain shine.

If hair is particularly long, braid loosely before sleep to avoid tangles, or invest in a silk pillowcase—this will help reduce friction and keep your scalp’s natural oils in place.

Should you wake up with unforgivable bedhead, be patient—separate bonds from the root, and invest in a soft bristle brush rather than a plastic one, using long soft strokes to detangle.

 

Know your shelf life

Different extensions have different lasting times, but for the most part, with good care they should look great for a good 4-6 weeks.

Much like with regular hair, using heat protection sprays, deep conditioning treatments and effective brushing will all make sure you get your money’s worth.

That said, it’s important to follow your stylist’s advice on wearability times—braiding hair too tight for too long or weighing it down with bonds can lead to hair loss or more seriously alopecia, so remember to give yourself a break between styles.

 

Remove it right

When it is time to remove the hair, make sure to do it professionally—a botch job can severely damage your natural hair.

If possible, it’s best to revisit the salon that prepared the extensions initially, as they will know exactly what your hair requires.

After removal, your natural hair may seem weak or fragile; this is completely normal.

Apply thick moisture masks or strengthening serums to encourage natural growth and fullness—products that contain keratin or jojoba oil are essentials in your basket.