Maintaining Hair Extensions – A Basic Hair Care Guide
Hair extensions have offered plenty of men and women worldwide a convenient way to change their appearance without making a permanent decision. If you own good-quality hair extensions, you know the benefits they can provide, especially when you want to look different every day.
It’s commonly thought that hair extensions are for short-haired individuals wishing for longer locks. While this is still true, these implements are becoming more popular for everybody for several reasons. People with fine or thin hair purchase extensions to achieve a thicker mane, while some just want to change their look the way they’d vary their makeup!
After some time, hair extensions can start to depreciate because they go through a period of wear and tear due to the countless times you use them. But it’s safe to say that you can extend the lifespan of your natural hair extensions the moment you get them from the store.
Whatever your reason may be for getting them, looking after your hair extensions is a must! Whether you’re new to the idea or are getting them done for the first time, it’s always good to refresh your memory on how to look after your hair extensions. Doing so will keep the extensions looking better for longer periods!
Keep reading below to find out how to maintain hair extensions properly:
The lifespan of hair extensions
Before we first look at how to care for extensions, a question we’re commonly asked is ‘how long do they last?’
Hair extensions can last from three to twelve months, depending on how often they are used and cared for. Washing and wearing hair extensions regularly will shorten their lifespan, so try to do these sparingly.
Knowing how to care for your extensions is essential so you can keep using them for years to come. You want to ensure that your hair extensions remain soft and luscious, whether they’re temporary clip-in extensions or permanent weaves.
Cleaning hair extensions
Hair extensions don’t have a supply of natural oils coming from a person’s scalp. To remedy that, treating them with hair products that can substitute for the nourishment provided by the scalp should keep them in good condition.
While you might shampoo your hair vigorously in the shower, the same treatment cannot be afforded to your extensions. Remember that they have gone through the processing of colouring and sanitising before being purchased, so you must handle them with care to ensure that they last as long as you’d expect. Be gentle when applying shampoo and conditioner, and soak your clip-ins in shampooed water before rinsing them thoroughly.
Wash Your Hair Only When Necessary
Your clip-in extensions are different from your natural hair, so it’s essential to control the number of times you wash them. When you overdo it, you can remove the natural oils on your extensions, making them look dull and dry. Overwashing can also strip your hair of moisture, causing breakage and split ends, eliminating the look of smooth hair extensions.
You should use a gentle shampoo and conditioner to wash your extensions, especially when you’ve previously applied hairspray or other hair products.
Reduce Your Water Temperature
While hair protection products are vital when styling, heat-damaged hair can often start in the shower. If your shower regularly creeps up to near-scalding temperatures, you’re not doing any favours for your hair (or skin, for that matter). You can end up stripping your hair of essential oils, leaving it looking dry and dulled. Opting for lukewarm water is much better for limiting heat damage on your tresses, while a blast of cold water can give your hair a healthy shine.
Cleanse & Condition Correctly
When you wash your hair, make sure you’re using the right techniques. Rather than lather down the length of your hair, shampoo should be concentrated on the roots to help cleanse away oil build-up while avoiding breakage at the ends. In contrast, conditioners should typically be focused from the mid-length to your ends to avoid weighing down your hair and contributing to greasy roots.
Heat-damaged hair crying out for moisture? Alongside regular conditioner, a deep conditioning treatment can work wonders in repairing damaged hair and hair extensions. Adopting our sulfate-free Foxy Locks Argan Oil Deep Hydrating Hair Mask into your routine will help strengthen, soften and nourish your thirsty hair and get it back to its best in no time.
Keep Your Extensions Dry
Remember that moisture is the enemy of hair extensions. If you leave your hair wet for too long, it will make the adhesive in your hair extensions more susceptible to failing, which is why you must dry your hair after washing it.
You should never sleep with wet hair extensions, whether you keep them in or put them away. If you blow dry your hair before bed, try to use straighteners for styling the next day as this can limit the required heat you have to apply.
Even if you want to remove your hair extensions, you shouldn’t purposely leave your hair wet to remove them. Your extensions may partially fall off if they are wet, leaving you with a mess that will be very difficult to fix.
Products to use and avoid for extensions
Using the right products for your hair extensions can help prolong their lifespan and the number of uses you get out of them. The right shampoos and conditioners will keep your extensions looking and feeling soft and manageable.
Check the ingredient list on hair products before purchasing them to ensure they don’t include sulfates and alcohol. Using sulphate and alcohol-free products ensures that your hair extensions are not completely stripped bare of any oils they might already have to protect them from wear and tear.
Avoid sticky hair products, such as mousses, gels, and sprays, as this will keep your extensions looking and feeling fresh. Such products clog up the hair follicles and are usually difficult to wash out, so avoiding them altogether while you have extensions in is your best bet!
Use the Right Hair Brush
Whether you’re wearing your hair extensions or not, you should take the time to brush them to prevent tangles from appearing and causing damage to them. The brush you use should allow you to detangle your extensions while avoiding pulling on the strands, which could affect their roots and possibly your natural hair.
As wet hair snaps far more easily than dry hair, it’s important to be careful with the brushes you use post-shower. One of our top hair care tips is to stick to wide-tooth combs or detangling brushes whenever extensions are wet to avoid breakage.
Stay Away from Heat Tools
While you can use heat to style your hair, you must be wary of heat tools when wearing extensions. Hair extensions don’t have the natural oils and nutrients that regular hair does, making them prone to drying out and becoming brittle. It is best to go for heat-free styling options.
Use Heat Protectants
Heat protectants are not only used to protect your natural hair from the heat of styling tools but also your hair extensions. If you need to use heat tools, heat protectants protect your hair extensions from the heat of blow dryers, hair irons, and straighteners.
Storing your hair extensions
Storing your hair extensions properly can keep them looking new and prevent them from getting matted, tangled, or otherwise damaged. When removing clip-in extensions, brush them through, then clip them shut. After making sure they are completely dry, store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. It is also helpful to use a hair tie to gather the extensions in a loose ponytail before placing them in an airtight box.
Switch up your style
Another great tip for looking after your hair extensions is to switch up your style to prevent repeated damage to the same areas. Partial to a ponytail? While we love a classic pony, elastic bobbles are one of the worst offenders for snapping hair. Leaving your hair down or switching to another style can help save your locks from damage over time.
You can also achieve different looks and maintain your hair extensions with regular trims. While it can be tempting to avoid a trip to the hairdressers if you’re longing for waist-length locks, this habit can be counterproductive to growth, especially if you have heat-damaged hair. As split ends will inevitably snap off and can creep further up the hair shaft, getting regular trims is one of the best ways to keep your hair looking and feeling much healthier and less brittle in the long run.
Massage Your Scalp
A healthy scalp is key to healthy hair. A build-up of hair oils, product, and dead skin cells can leave our scalps dry, stunt hair growth and leave our hair lacking lustre. Massaging your scalp regularly with your fingers or a soft brush is one of our favourite, super-easy natural hair care tips you can incorporate into your daily routine.
Sleep on Silk
Another one of our easy hair protection tips is to swap out your cotton pillowcases for silk ones to make wild bed hair a thing of the past. Because silk pillowcases have such a smooth surface, they help prevent the friction that causes hair frizz, tangles and breakage. Waking up with smoother extensions will also reduce your need to tackle your mane with a brush come morning.
Maintaining hair extensions is the best way to get the most wear out of them. They can amp up and change your look with a simple clip-in or blend in with your natural hairs for a lustrous look. Hair extensions are a beautiful addition to your locks, whether they’re thin, short, or just need a bit more flair for the night!
Finding good hair extensions in the UK can be tricky. With Foxy Locks, you can have your own luxurious-quality Remy hair, whether it’s clip-in hair extensions or ponytail extensions. We pride ourselves on offering fantastic products and excellent customer service, browse our store today and find the best hair extensions for you!