How to Care for your Hair Extensions
Treat them like your natural hair. Because your extensions are sewn in, you can wash them along with your natural hair in the shower. Be gentle, though, so that you don’t loosen your extensions. If you’re too rough with them, they won’t last as long. Be sure to use a moisturizing formula shampoo. The more that a shampoo moisturizes; the better it will be for your hair.
Use sulfate-free shampoo. Sulfates are the cleaning detergents in shampoos that cause them to foam. Sulfates are effective cleaners. However, they can dry out the natural oils in your hair that serve to protect it. Your body is constantly creating new oils for your natural virgin hair, but your extensions do not have a direct supply, so you need to be very careful about drying them out. Sulfates can cause split ends to form in your hair. Sulfates can make your hair look dry or frizzy over time.
Use conditioner. Each strand of hair has a protective cuticle layer. Not only does the cuticle layer protect the hair strand, it also reflects sunlight which gives your hair its shine. Throughout the day, the cuticle layer gets broken down, leaving your hair looking limp and dull. Conditioners give your hair back its body and shine by releasing positively charged particles that latch onto the negatively charged parts of your hair and repair the cuticle layers. Make sure to work the conditioner all the way into the roots of your hair. If you have braids or curly extensions, you should use a leave-in conditioner on them during the day.
Wash your extensions three to five times a week. Don’t wash your extensions every day. Just like your normal hair, they will become dried out if you over-wash them. On days that you don’t wash your hair, give it a gentle rinse and use some conditioner. How often you should wash your hair depends on its thickness, oil content and how much product you use in it. For example Someone with thick, dry hair who doesn’t use too much product wouldn’ t have to wash as often as someone with thin, oily hair who styles it daily.
Dry your hair. Blow-dry your hair completely before going to bed. You should never go to bed while your permanent hair extensions are wet. Wet hair extensions will bunch up causing tangles to form. As you move around in your sleep, the tangles in your extensions could get stuck and pull on your natural hair, damaging it. You can use an ionic hair dryer to limit your hair’s exposure to heat. Ionic hair dryers release negative ions that attack the water molecules in your hair. The water molecules then divide allowing them to evaporate quickly.
Make a bath for your hair extensions; Put a teaspoon of moisturizing shampoo in about a half cup of lukewarm water and mix them together. When you’re finished mixing, fill your sink with warm water and pour in the diluted shampoo. Make sure to use sulfate-free shampoo.
Add your hair extensions. Slowly dip your extensions into the water. Comb through your extensions a few times before submerging them to get rid of any tangles. Let them soak for about ten minutes. When detangling your extensions, comb down from the end, then from the mid-length and finally all the way down from the roots. Don’t swirl your extensions in the water to get them clean. You’ll only cause tangles to form. Try your best to keep the top weft and the clips dry. The top wefts of your extensions can swell causing them to look uneven and the clips may rust.
Rinse your extensions. Gently take your extensions out of the sink and rinse them under the running faucet. Make sure the running water is cold so that it locks moisture in the extensions. Wiring out any excess water and spread the extensions out flat on top of a fresh towel.
Condition the extensions. Apply some conditioner directly to your extensions. Comb the conditioner into them. Make sure to comb in the conditioner from the top weft of each extension down. Place the extensions back on the towel and fold it over. Let them sit for about an hour. Make sure to only comb the hair in one direction at a time or it could lose its shape. Never comb extensions that are soaking wet or they will become tangled.
Dry your extensions, rinse the conditioner out of the hair. Apply a separate leave-in conditioner. Lay your extensions flat onto a new, dry towel and fold it over. Leave them to dry naturally overnight. When your extensions are dry, comb through them one more time to straighten them out.
Wash your clip in extensions at least once every six weeks. Because you don’t wear your clip in hair extensions to bed, you don’t need to wash them as often as permanent ones. However, if you wear them all the time, you might have to wash them a bit more.
Brush your extensions. Not only does brushing remove any tangles from your extensions, it also spreads the essential oils in them evenly across the strands. Brush your extensions every day to smooth them out and give them a healthy luster. Be sure to use a soft bristle brush and be gentle.
Make your own hair freshener. Mix some of your favorite essential oil with some water in a spray bottle. Keep your spray bottle with you throughout the day and spray your extensions whenever they start to dry out. Coconut oil and rosemary oil are great to use on your hair.
Use heat protectant spray, heat protectant spray adds moisture to hair while stopping natural moisture from escaping it. Make sure to add some heat protectant spray to your extensions before you dry them or before you go out on a hot day. Heat protectant spray makes a shield around the cuticle of a hair strand and allows it to keep its shine.
Wear a swim cap. Both chlorine and salt water can be very damaging to your hair. If you plan on taking a dip wearing your extensions, you should always wear a latex swim cap. Wash your hair immediately after swimming in chlorinated water just in case any chemicals happen to get past your cap.
Replace your hair extensions; You should replace your sewn in hair extensions every eight to ten weeks. If you keep them in longer, the hair growing underneath them will come in matted. You can keep a clip in hair extensions as long as they look healthy and keep their shape. Always get sewn in hair extensions taken out by a trained stylist. Store your clip in hair extensions in a breathable material like cotton to maximize how long they can last.