Hair extensions provide length without having to wait for your natural hair to grow. They also add volume to thinning hair. The instant gratification that hair extensions provide comes with a bit of work, especially if you want to prolong the beauty of your hairstyle. Fortunately, you can care for your hair extensions to make your mane investment go a long way.
Avoid shampooing for 48 to 72 hours after attachment of your new hair extension. Before stepping into the shower, wet your hair gradually and brush your hair extension gently in a downward motion until it feels smooth and tangle-free. Washing with plenty of water abruptly may swell up and tangle your hair extensions. Once inside the shower, rinse your hair with lukewarm water gradually and gently let your fingers run through your hair from mid-strand to the end. Avoid the scalp area, adhesive or connection points of the extension. Apply shampoo and conditioner in similar manner, keeping your hair hanging loose throughout the process. Do not scrub, rub and bunch your hair together. Make sure to use a good-quality shampoo and conditioner recommended by your hairstylist.
Apply a good spray of leave on conditioning product after washing and conditioning. Use this product instead of water between washing as a way to freshen up your hair. Pat your hair with a towel to remove excess water.
Air-dry your hair whenever possible. If you must use a blow dryer (preferably ionic ones), set it to cold or lowest heat. Severe heat may cause your hair to be frizzy. Dry out the wefted (sewn-in) or glued part of the hair extension first by holding the blow dryer as far away as possible. Never apply direct heat to the bonded area. Finish drying from the ends up. Do not pull your hair in the process.
Brush your hair gently in a downward motion two to three times a day. Always use a soft-bristled brush. Use a comb if you have straight hair extensions. Do not use a comb on a tightly curled hairstyle. Use a wide-toothed comb or fingers to loosen wavy hair. Seek the advice of a hairstylist when you want to wear your hair in braids, ponytails and buns. Always use good-quality clips or bands that will not stretch your hair extension.
Use hairsprays and gels recommended by your hairstylist. Never use products that contain acetone, alcohol or sulfur.
Color, perm and other chemical processes may damage your hair extension, especially if you have a synthetic type. They can also cause your hair to become frizzy and difficult to manage. It is best to have your hairstylist apply these hair treatments for you.
Protection and Maintenance
Loosen hair every morning and before going to bed. Never sleep with wet hair. Wear a swim cap when you go for a swim. Pool chemicals and sea water can weaken the bond. Rinse your hair after swimming. Perspiration may cause salt to build up, making your hair hard and brittle. Rinse and condition your hair after each workout.
Visit your hairstylist for regular maintenance, inspection and replacement of loose or missing hairpieces.
- hair-drier image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from Fotolia.com