How to Care for Hair Extensions
Hair extensions are wonderful. You can add length to your hair or a beautiful streak of color. They can cover a bad cut or color and allow you to tie short hair in a ponytail. With all the glorious things they can do, can you return the favor and take good care of your extensions? Proper care of extensions ensures they'll be around for a while.
Caring for Clip-In Extensions
Take your extensions out before going to bed.Unlike sewn-in extensions, clip-in extensions must be removed before you go to bed. The tiny combs can dig into your scalp while you sleep, which can be painful. They also tend to be more fragile than sewn-in extensions.
- Start from the uppermost extensions first. After you have taken them out, you can move on to the middle and bottom extensions.
Wash your extensions once a month.Place the extensions in a tub or sink, and dampen them with lukewarm water. If you can, use a handheld shower head. Apply a small amount of shampoo and gently massage the fibers. Rinse the lather out, and repeat with the conditioner.
- If your extensions are synthetic, use a wig shampoo intended for synthetic fibers.
- If your extensions are real hair, use a mild shampoo and conditioner, or a shampoo intended for extensions.
Hang the extensions up to dry, and don't brush them while they are wet.Pat them dry with a soft towel first, then clip them to a pants hanger. Place the hanger in your shower, or in a well-ventilated area. Wait until the extensions are dry before you brush or style them.
- It is very important that you wait for your extensions to dry. If you brush them while they are wet, the fibers will frizz.
Comb extensions using a wide-toothed comb.Make sure that the extensions are dry. Start combing them from the ends first, and work your way to the top. Never comb straight down from the top to the ends.
- Avoid using the same comb that you use on your own hair, especially if these are synthetic fibers. The oils from your hair can degrade synthetic fibers.
- Be patient and take your time when combing your extensions. If you rush, you will damage them.
Keep them moisturized, especially when you style extensions often.When your extensions are dry, comb a little bit of leave-in conditioner evenly. Don't overdo it because they'll become greasy easier than your natural locks.
- The only exception to this is if the extensions are make from synthetic fibers. In this case, skip the leave-in conditioner.
Take care when heat styling your extensions.It is best to avoid heat styling, such as straightening or curling, all together, especially on synthetic extensions because they will melt. If you heat style natural hair extensions, be sure to use a heat protecting spray, and a lower temperature.
- Avoid blow drying the extensions. This can cause them to tangle.
- Make sure that your extensions are dry before you heat-style them. Be sure to style them before you clip them to your hair.
- If your extensions are made from fragile or synthetic fibers, stick to no-heat styling methods instead.
- If you can, get 2 sets of the same extensions. Keep 1 pair "just for curling" and 1 "just for straightening." This will cut down on style time and damage.
Wear extensions in a ponytail only if they were made to be worn that way.Some extensions will fall apart in a ponytail. Read the labeling when buying new extensions to see if you can use them in a ponytail. If it doesn't say whether or not you can, it is best to be on the safe side and do not put them in a ponytail.
- Some people recommend putting extensions in upside-down, with the teeth of the combs pointing upward, then pulling the extensions up into a ponytail. This will allow you to create a more natural looking ponytail.
De-frizz synthetic extensions with water and fabric softener.Fill a spray bottle with 2 parts fabric softener and 1 part water. Close the bottle, and shake it to mix. Spray the extensions with the solution, then comb through them. Use a wide toothed comb, and work in small sections, starting from the ends first.
- Let the extensions dry before using them.
Caring for Sewn-in Extensions
Detangle your hair before washing it, and before going to bed.Use a wide-toothed comb, a wig brush, or a special looper brush. A looper brush is specially designed for extensions, and has looped bristles. Start combing your hair from the ends, and work your way to the roots in small sections. Never comb straight down from roots to ends.
- If you just got extensions, wait a few days before combing your hair. If you must comb your hair, do so gently to avoid causing additional tension. Also, avoid getting too close to the joint.
Wash your hair once or twice per week using a gentle shampoo.You should wash sewn-in extensions about as often as you wash your natural hair.Lather your hair gently, and work the shampoo downwards, from scalp to ends. Try to avoid touching the sewn part. Massage your hair using circular motions.
- Ask the stylist who did your extensions what sort of shampoo you should use. She might be able to recommend a shampoo that is best for your hair as well as your extensions.
Take care where you apply the conditioner.Start applying the conditioner from just below the sewn part. If you apply too much conditioner where the extensions connect with your real hair, your extensions may fall out.
- Conditioner does not actually contain any detergent, so there is no need to place it so close to your scalp. The oils in the conditioner may also cause the extensions to loosen.
Dry your hair all the way to the roots.When you get extensions sewn in, you end up with twice as much hair. It looks great, but it will take twice as long to dry. Make sure that you dry your hair completely, or you will risk the extensions loosening.
- Consider spraying your hair with a heat protectant first. This will protect both your hair and your extensions from the hairdryer's heat.
- Use a lower heat setting, when possible. High amounts of heat can damage your hair. It will take longer, but your hair will be healthier.
Avoid using heat styling on your hair, such as straightening or curling.If you must heat style your hair, use a heat protecting spray and a medium to low temperature.
- Don't tie your hair back just after you get the extensions. Wait a few days.
- You can use no-heat styling techniques, but you need to wait a few days. If you use them immediately after putting in the extensions, the extensions may come out.
Cover your hair with a net or sleeping cap before going to bed.You can also wrap a silk scarf around your head before you go to sleep. This will protect your extensions, and keep them from getting frizzy or tugged out while you sleep.
- Avoid going to sleep with loose hair. When you move around in your sleep, you will loosen the extensions, and they won't last as long. Braid the extensions or put them up in a ponytail before you go to bed.
QuestionI have real hair extensions and I use all the correct products and techniques, but the ends are dry and matted. What else can I do?
Licensed CosmetologistLicensed CosmetologistExpert AnswerDry and matted ends could indicate that the hair extensions are not good quality. You could do a treatment at home to revive the extensions by boiling them and applying conditioner. You should also trim the extensions to get rid of the matted ends.Thanks!
QuestionCan you put sewn-in extensions in a ponytail?
Licensed CosmetologistLicensed CosmetologistExpert AnswerYes, extensions can be put into a ponytail, but tight ponytails are not recommended, especially if the sew-in is freshly done. You don't want to cause any additional tension that could damage your hair underneath the sew-in.Thanks!
QuestionWhat's the best conditioner for human hair extensions?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerAny moisturizing conditioner would be ideal.Thanks!
QuestionHow often should I wash my tape-in hair extensions?Antoria BlackCommunity AnswerOnly wash them when they really need washing, like if they smell or they're visibly dirty. You can usually just use conditioner and cold water to wash them.Thanks!
How do I get the smell out of synthetic hair extensions?
Can I use olive oil serum or coconut oil heat treatments on extensions made of real hair?
To care for clip-in hair extensions, make sure you take them out each night before bed, since sleeping on them can hurt your scalp and damage the extensions. Once a month, clean the extensions by dampening them with warm water and massaging a little shampoo into the fibers. Then, rinse out the shampoo and repeat the process with conditioner. After washing, allow the extensions to air dry in a well-ventilated area. Once they are completely dry, slowly brush them with a wide-toothed comb to get rid of tangles.
- Avoid using heavy products on extensions. This can weigh them down.
- If your extensions are made out of real hair, consider applying a bit of coconut oil to the tips. It will help nourish them and make then shinier.
- Note the material your extensions are made out of (synthetic or real hair). This will determine what products and temperatures you should use. Some synthetic materials can't withstand high temperatures.
- You get what you pay for when it comes to extensions. If you know you're going to be wearing them often, pay a little more for better quality, longer lasting ones.
- Get sewn-in extensions lifted every few months.
- If you can't find extensions that match your hair color, you can always dye the extensions.
Video: How to Wash Fusion, Weft, Tape, & Micro Ring Hair Extensions | Instant Beauty ♡
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