Our Beginner’s Guide to Caring for Your Hair Extensions
Whether virgin or Remy, hair extensions are a great way to add volume to your natural hair. They come in a wide range of colours, making it easy to match whatever style you’re currently rocking. Wearing extensions is one thing, but taking proper care of them is another! If you have just bought your first set, here are things which you should know.
Virgin Hair or Remy Hair? Traits of Each Type
Many people think that “virgin hair” means it’s never been treated or coloured. In reality, “virgin” refers to its condition at the time of collection—if the hair has no greys and split ends, hasn’t undergone chemical processing, and is healthy overall, then it is virgin hair.
Processing this kind of hair requires special techniques; since virgin hair is fragile, you can’t use acid baths or harsh ingredients on it. Virgin hair needs eco-friendly and gentle processes; proper treatment and maintenance can make it last up to two years.
Meanwhile, Remy hair extensions refer to hair that has been collected with cuticles intact. In the best hair extensions, all the cuticles flow from root to tip in the same direction. High-quality Remy hair may have been previously processed but is still healthy. Actual Remy hair does not tangle and blends well with the user’s actual hair.
There are also products on the market labelled Remy hair but are not, at least not in the strictest sense. At times, wig and extension manufacturers collect hair from temple floors, salons, and other suppliers. This collection method yields a lot of hair, but since the strands come from different people, they have different cuticle directions. As such, it will cause shedding, tangling, and matting in the long run.
Manufacturers who use this type of hair stave off the problems which eventually arise. They do this by stripping the cuticles away with harsh chemicals and applying a silicone coating to make the hair look soft. Though this will initially make the strands feel silky and look shiny, the coating does wear off in time. When this happens, the hair will feel brittle and start to tangle. Non-Remy hair will not last beyond a few washes. Moreover, since the cuticles on this type of hair aren’t intact, they cannot tolerate heat or colour treatment.
Other Considerations When Caring for Extensions
Besides the type of hair extensions you have, the different applications also matter. There are different types—there are clip-in hair extensions, keratin, wefts, and tape-in extensions, to name a few. The way the strands are attached to the bonding make care instructions different for each type. The way you wash and dry your extensions could hurt them instead of preserving them for future use.
The hair extensions’ thickness also matters. There are two options for people who use Remy hair—double-drawn and single-drawn. With single-drawn extensions, the hair strands have different lengths. With this type, hair is thickest at the top, tapers halfway through, and thins out at the bottom. Meanwhile, double-drawn hair has the same length throughout. The strands are thick and full from top to bottom.
Finally, the length of your extensions will also affect how much time you need to devote to its maintenance. Six-inch extensions, for instance, will need approximately half an hour for washing and drying. Meanwhile, if you have 28-inch hair extensions, you might need the entire day to wash, dry, and store them properly.
Do’s and Don’ts: What to Keep in Mind
Whether you have virgin or Remy hair, some care tips apply to all types of extensions. Here are only some of them.
DON’T: Rub the Hair Too Much
Keep in mind that what holds hair extensions together is a weft, which is still just artificial. Any tension or pressure can cause it to shed. When washing your extensions, don’t rub them like you would your natural strands—since your actual hair is attached to your scalp, it can withstand a little more rubbing. The same isn’t true for extensions.
DON’T: Comb When Wearing Extensions
When you comb your hair, you subject it to the same pressure as when you rub it. So, if you’re wearing extensions, refrain from combing through your strands. Combing through your hair puts pressure on the weft, which will damage your extensions in the long run. It is true whether you have clip-in hair extensions or other types.
DON’T: Wash Extensions with Hot Water
Hot water strips the hair off of its natural oils, causing it to turn dry and brittle. Heat isn’t good for either human hair or extensions. If you want to wash your extensions, use lukewarm or room-temperature water; cold isn’t good for the hair cuticles either.
DO: Find a Gentle Shampoo for Your Extensions
One thing you could do to prolong your hair extensions is using the right shampoo. If you have extensions, choose products with light and natural formulations. Keep an eye out for harsh chemicals in the ingredients—don’t use shampoos that contain sulphates, silicone, or heavy proteins. These oily products are too heavy and can cause buildup on the strands.
DO: Find the Right Conditioner
After you wash your hair, you need to condition it to restore its smoothness and moisture. The conditioner you use needs to be lightweight yet hydrating and rich in nutrients. Alternate your washes with deep conditioning sessions, and try to wash only two or three times a week at most. Any more will cause more harm than good.
DO: Be Gentle When Blow Drying Extensions
Point your blow dryer downward after washing and moisturizing your hair. You want the water to move down the hair in the same direction as the cuticles. Don’t tousle your hair to dry it—ruffling your extensions will cause them to tangle and knot.
Caring for Remy hair extensions sounds challenging, especially if you’re new to them. However, you’ll find that it’s not that difficult when you get the hang of it. Just remember that the operative word is ‘gentleness.’ When you are light on your extensions, they’ll be more likely to last long.
Find the best hair extensions online from Foxy Locks. Our seamless wefts are made from Remy hair and come in a range of colours and lengths. We ship to the U.K. and the U.S.; check out our selection or contact us for enquiries!