Hair extension care and maintenance
With new hair comes a new routine. Hair extensions are an investment that must be taken care of in order to achieve the best look and to have that look last for as long as possible.
All of the extensions that I install are 100% human hair, no synthetic fibers. The hair is also called Remy hair which means that the cuticle is all aligned starting at the top of the hair shaft and continuing to the bottom. Cuticle alignment is crucial for a product to stay tangle free.
Products: The hair can be “treated just like your own hair” but there is a whole lot more to take care of. You can use very similar products to the ones normally used in hair but you will be looking at these products for different reasons. For example hair extensions tend to become dry over time because they don’t absorb the natural oils produced by your scalp. So moisture must be added to the extensions. The moisture can be added with moisturizing shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioning treatments, and styling products. The hair extensions don’t react well to silicone products, so they should be avoided. Most extension companies have their own lines of cleaning and styling products but I don’t think they are necessary. Through trial and error you will learn what works best in your hair.
You will need an extension brush for daily maintenance. Extension brushes are typically paddle brushes with a round shape. The bristles on extension brushes can be looped which pulls the least amount on the hair, plastic bristles are also very soft and have a lot of give, boar bristled brushes provide more tension while distributing the oils through the extension hair. You can use any or all of these brushes.
Tangling: Before you get the hair wet, brush through the hair with an extension brush starting at the bottom and gently working your way up the hair. To keep the extensions tangle free you will want to sleep with your hair in one or two braids. The hair should be dry before you sleep on it.
When you are in the shower keep your hair smoothed down in its’ natural position. Don’t rough the hair up by lathering it or bunching it on top of your head. Your extensions will rarely need to be washed, mostly just conditioned. Your scalp is what needs to be washed.
After you exit the shower blot the water out of your hair with a towel or an old t-shirt. Use the towel or cloth to gently squeeze the water out of your hair. If there is any tangling while the hair is wet be patient and wait until your hair is 90-100% dry to untangle.
While blow-drying the hair keep the airflow aimed down in the proper direction of the hair. Don’t raise and rough up the hair cuticle by blow-drying in the opposite direction of growth. The extensions will add a minimum of 20 minutes to your normal getting ready routine.
Styling: Most extension clients wash their hair 2-3 times per week, no more. The inconvenience of drying time combined with the loss of moisture through constant shampooing and blow drying make a good excuse for getting your hair wet as little as possible.
A dry shampoo will be one of your most used products. The dry shampoo will eliminate any oil at your scalp while freshening up your extensions. Soon to come in Aveda is a dry conditioner, which will be so wonderful for adding moisture without the weight or wet styling.