Whenever someone is thinking about getting hair extensions, one of the first considerations is generally, “How long will they last?” It’s a reasonable question, and the answer is that it depends on how well you care for them. Whether this is your first time getting extensions or you are re-ordering your favorite color for the umpteenth time, a comprehensive understanding of hair extension maintenance is a must.
First and foremost, brush your hair gently. Invest in a loop brush, which helps to detangle hair, but won’t damage it. Just like with your natural hair, you should start to brush your hair from the bottom, using a downward motion, and gradually working your way up toward the top sections. Hold your hair in a low ponytail or hold the bonds while brushing out the ends — brushing gently ensures that you don’t stress your bonds, and that you keep your hair extensions lustrous and frizz-free.
Additionally, the right washing routine is highly important in maximizing the life of your extensions. Brush your hair prior to washing, taking any shed hair out and making sure your hair is tangle free, so that you aren’t creating further knots in the shower. When wetting your hair, use lukewarm or cold water, and tilt your head back so that the water flows down from root to tip. Apply a pH balanced conditioner and then shampoo (without rinsing out conditioner) starting away from the roots and moving toward the tips. Avoid rubbing your hair vigorously or in a circular motion, and wash out the conditioner and shampoo with lukewarm water. After rinsing out the conditioner/shampoo, it’s time to condition again. Apply conditioner to the hair, away from the bonding area, and allow it to sit for a few minutes before rinsing it out with colder water. Even though the colder water can be a bit intense for some (especially during the winter), it definitely helps to prolong the body and radiance of your extensions.
It is recommended that hair be allowed to dry naturally, or gently matted with a towel. However, if a blow dryer must be used, use a low heat, speed, and avoid the bead/tape/bond area. Finally, apply a leave-in conditioner if it’s necessary and brush before allowing your hair to dry completely.
How often you wash your hair depends largely on how active you are, and how much you perspire. Although washing your hair less frequently can lead to longer life for your extensions, it can also lead to oily buildup, which will require more intensive washing that could result in damage. Therefore, it is important that you find the right washing schedule that works for your needs; for some people washing every three days may be sufficient, but for others (we’re looking at you #FitnessFreaks) everyday shampooing and conditioning is a necessity. And while we’re on the topic, keeping your hair tied back in a low ponytail during sports and athletic activities can limit the exposure of your extensions to perspiration and oil.
Since our hair is all 100% human remi hair, it will react to alcohol-based products and excessive heat in the same way your natural hair does — becoming duller, drier, and more inclined to knotting. Furthermore, the use of alcohol-based products will gradually break down bonds and can result in excessive shedding. Just as with blow dryers, avoid beads, bonds, and tape with curling or flat irons, and use low-heat settings. The use of a heat protectant prior to styling will also benefit both your hair extensions and natural locks.
Hopefully, our advice helps you to prolong the life of your hair extensions, so that you are able to enjoy them for as long as you wish! If you have some of your own tips, tricks, or stories, please share them in the comments section below!