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Hair Extension Care – How To Care For Your Hair Extensions

Whether you’re new to hair extensions or have used them in the past, it’s always a good idea to refresh your memory on how to properly take care of them. It’s important to get into a good routine with your hair extensions from the start because good habits equal longer lasting extensions. If you are admittedly lazy with your hair and aren’t willing to make the commitment to their care, hair extensions may not be right for you.

Read on to learn all about hair extensions care, tips and, tricks to extend the life and integrity of your extensions. The information is applicable for most types of high-quality human Remy hair extensions.

With proper care and attention, you can ensure your hair extensions last as long as possible and stay looking healthy. So, if you want to learn how to properly take care of your hair extensions, read on to discover all of our care tips and tricks.

How Long Do Hair Extensions Last?

The lifespan of hair extensions can range anywhere between 3 to 6 months to a year or longer, depending on the general care they receive, the quality of the products you use, and how often they are worn. Remember, the more you wash and heat style your extensions, the shorter their lifespan will be, so try to keep washing and product use on your extensions to a minimum. The important thing to remember is that your hair extensions don’t have a natural hydration source like your own hair does, so keeping them moisturized and reducing dryness is crucial to prolonging their lifespan.

Products To Avoid On Hair Extensions

One of the most important things to consider when taking care of your extensions is to ensure that you are using the proper products. This will make all the difference in ensuring your extensions don’t tangle tangle and stay soft and manageable. Be sure to check the ingredient list to confirm products don’t contain: SLS, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Alcohol Denat, Ethanol, SD Alcohol 40, Propanol, Isopropyl, and Propyl.

Sulfate-free and alcohol-free haircare products are a necessity. These ingredients strip the hair of its natural oils which, in turn, dries the hair making it more prone to tangling or matting. Prolonged use of these ingredients can affect the integrity of the hair, shortening the lifespan of your hair extensions significantly. Remember, haircare products that are free from sulfates might not produce much lather, as this is the specific ingredients used to create those soapy suds, however, these products will do just as good of a job cleansing your hair extensions without stripping the hair of moisture.

Always be sure to do one simple thing before you buy any product… flip it over! Many products out there have sulfates and alcohol hidden in their formulas. Not all companies claiming to make sulfate-free shampoos are truly free of sulfates. This is why it is important to know what to look for when reading ingredients.

Additionally, using sticky products such as hair spray, hair gel, or hair wax, can and likely will clog up your extensions. Furthermore, the more products you use, the more you will need to wash them. Remember, over washing leads to dry and tangled extensions. Also, keep in mind that the products that you use in your natural hair can travel onto your extensions from constant head movement and heat from your scalp.

How To Properly Brush Hair Extensions

Make sure that you are always gentle with your extensions and that you brush them properly as this can also impact their lifespan. First, gather all the hair together, then, carefully brush out the extensions from the bottom of the hair slowly working upwards towards the root. If you come across a particularly pesky knot, isolate the weft and brush it through gently. Never brush your hairs extensions when they are wet as this is when they are most susceptible to breakage. Instead, brush them before washing or once they are 90% dry.

For brushing, we recommend using the FILL IN NAME Hair Extensions Brush. Alternatively, you can also use a wide-tooth comb or a soft bristle brush. The Loop Hair Extensions Brush is designed specifically for the use on all different types of hair extensions, as it has unique nylon “looped” bristles which easily glide through the hair and remove any tangles. It won’t cause pulling, snagging, or damage to your wefts, which you may otherwise experience with a regular hairbrush.

Preventing Hair Extension Tangling

PLEIJ Salon + Spa uses only hair extensions made of 100% Remy human hair, matting and tangling is a normal occurrence with not just your natural hair but with all types of hair extensions. This can happen due to a lack of regular brushing, weather, or dryness. A common reason why extensions tangle and get matted throughout the day is because of a combination of sweat, heat, and friction. Also, keep in mind that when human hair is constantly moving around it mattes or ‘clumps’ together in pieces and should be brushed frequently to avoid this. During the day, we generate heat at the back area of our nape and scalp, and often times we sweat back there too. Your sweat is salty and acidic which can dry out your hair extensions. When you add additional hair volume to this combination and constantly move your head throughout the day, tangling and matting is more likely to occur.

Weather including wind, humidity and heat can also contribute to tangling. Humidity adds moisture to the environment, causing hair to frizz and tangle. Heat will do just the opposite as it will dry it out. Fortunately, there are some simple ways to ensure that your hair extensions remain smooth and tangle-free. First, be sure to brush the extensions periodically throughout the day with the Loop Hair Extensions Brush. Alternatively, you can also use a wide-tooth comb or a soft bristle brush. Always have a brush on hand so that you can give your hair a quick brushing. If it’s a particularly windy day, you can tie your hair up.

In addition to brushing your hair to prevent matting and tangling, using proper hair care products make all the difference and is critical to ensuring extensions stay soft, manageable and tangle-free. Use products specifically formulated for dry and damaged hair, as they will help keep the strands healthy and nourished. Also, look for ingredients that add moisture to the hair like argan oil, coconut oil, castor oil, and so on. Purchasing sulfate-free and alcohol-free products is a necessity. As mentioned these ingredients strip the hair of its natural oils and will affect their integrity. This, in turn, makes the hair drier and more prone to tangling or matting.

How To Reduce Shedding

Just like your natural hair, extensions will shed. Shedding is a common occurrence with hair extensions and because they are made of human hair, you can expect some shedding throughout their lifespan. As you brush and style your hair extensions, some fall-out may occur so don’t be surprised or worried when this happens. This, does suggest that you reduce the amount you brush your extensions as you can minimize shedding in other ways. Keep in mind, extensions are more likely to shed when they are dry and brittle.

The first and one of the most important keys is to brush your extensions out before washing them and only once the hair is 90% dry. This helps minimize the possibility of breakage and shedding during washing as the hair is at its weakest point when wet. Always be gentle when brushing your hair extensions and be sure to brush them before bed to reduce shedding and breakage.

Washing your hair extensions too much, or using products that contain sulfates and alcohol will strip the hair of its natural oils which will lead to breakage and shedding. Additionally, using a high temperature when heat styling runs the risk of damaging the hair which can then cause breakage and shedding. This is why we recommend only using low heat setting of 120C/250F and styling tools such as the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer, and GHD Stylers and Curling Irons. While our natural hair may be capable of handling higher heat settings, our hair is constantly revitalized from our scalp, whereas hair extensions do not receive the same amount of nutrients or oil in order to maintain their health and integrity, as well as their look silky and shiny.

Also, be aware that the more hair styling and finishing products you use, the more you will need to wash your extensions, so the best way to reduce shedding is to use a minimal number of products. Your extensions have a beautiful, healthy finish already so you shouldn’t need much product to enjoy them. If you want more hold when curling your extensions, try pinning up the curls and leaving them overnight or even just for an hour to ensure the curls stay in place without the use of hairspray. If you do want to reach for hairspray, consider a lightweight formula which you can still easily brush through such as Davines Perfecting Hairspray. Avoid strong hold hair sprays and styling products which will clog up your extensions, which means more washing.

If purchased your hair extensions through PLEIJ Salon, and are following these recommendations but losing more than 10% of your extensions, return to the salon and troubleshoot with your Columbus OH hairstylist / hair extension specialist.

How Often Should I Wash My Hair Extensions?

Because your extensions aren’t subject to the oils produced by your scalp the way your natural hair is, you do not have to wash as often. As a general rule, the less you wash your extensions the longer they will last. You can use your best judgment on how often to wash them, however, we recommend only washing them once there is a lot of product build up. If your extensions feel like they’re becoming increasingly difficult to style, this is likely a sign that there is product build-up and they need to be washed. We recommend washing them once or twice a week

Washing Your Hair Extensions

When washing your extensions, it’s important you hydrate them as much as possible. Since hair extensions don’t receive the natural nutrients and oils like our own hair does, it’s important to ensure that your extensions are always nourished and moisturized by using alcohol and sulfate free shampoos and conditioners. As discussed, sulfate and alcohol strip the hair of its natural oils which, in turn, makes the hair drier and more prone to tangling or matting.

We highly recommend applying a moisturizing sulfate-free and alcohol-free conditioner before and after shampooing. Sometimes, even skip the shampoo and only co-wash your extensions with conditioner! When washing, make sure to handle the extensions gently and to not scrub them vigorously. Always be sure to rinse the extensions in cold water at the end to lock in moisture. After you are finished, carefully squeeze any excess water from the extensions and make sure that you never rub your extensions dry with a towel.

How To Dry Your Hair Extensions

We don’t recommend blow-drying your extensions after every wash as doing so constantly will make them dry and more vulnerable to breakage. If you must blow-dry your extensions, be sure to use a heat protectant spray such as REF Heat Protection or Cezanne Leave-In Perfector Spray prior to blow-drying to extend the lifespan of your hair extensions. If you need to head out immediately after washing your hair, the most important thing is to ensure that you are blow drying on a cool setting to prevent any heat damage and that you don’t brush the hair until it is 90% dry. This is because the hair is at its weakest point when it’s wet. Instead, use your fingers to gently loosen any tangles. When blow-drying, start by focusing on drying the root of the weft first and then working your way down to the ends. Always blow-dry downwards as this will help to not only smooth the cuticle but it will also prevent the hair from getting tangled since it is being blown in lots of different directions.

We highly recommend air-drying your extensions wherever possible. When air drying, be sure to invest in a micro-fibre towel as it will remove excess water faster and it won’t rough up the hair (which can also cause tangles). Gently pat the excess moisture from the hair. A trick to preventing any frizz once the hair dries is to apply a small amount of hair oil such as Davines All In One Milk to your extensions to ensure the hair remains manageable and silky smooth.

With a good routine, you can  extend the life and wear of your hair extensions and enjoy fuller, thicker, and healthier looking locks.

Take Aways

• Always use an approved hair extension brush (like a paddle brush or a wet brush) or a wide tooth comb. This special brush is made specifically for hair extensions and when used properly will not pull or catch on the extensions. Start at the ends of the hair and work your way up to the scalp.

• Use a high quality, sulfate-free, color-safe shampoo and conditioner. Condition only below the bonds. Do not do a deep condition. You may use Dry Remedy,

• Damage Remedy or Invati from the Aveda collection.

• Shampoo hair in a gentle manner, following the direction of hair flow. The less you shampoo the longer they will last. The bond breaks down over about a 4-6 month period and shampooing too often will cause them to break down faster.

• Blowdry hair 80-90% before using your approved brush or comb to finish blow dry style. Air drying is not recommended. If air drying, at least get the bonds dry and the hair around it, then let the rest air dry.

• Do not go to bed with your hair wet as this will cause dreaded hair. Instead place your hair in a loose ponytail after it has dried, a loose brad is also okay.

• Brush your hair and run your finger through the hair once a day to ensure the bonds stay separated. Hold the roots of your hair with one hand while brushing in a downward motion with the other. If you do not consistently separate the bonds, you will get dreaded hair.

• On average we lose 100+ hairs a day. When breaking apart the bonds you will notice that there will be hair that is coming lose. This is hair that has fallen out but was still attached to the extensions, so do not worry that you are causing extra breakage.

• If you have fusion extensions, stay away from salty and chlorinated water as this will eat away the bonds that are holding in the hair extensions.
Some slippage is common. If you are losing more than 10% of your extensions, and you purchased the hair though our salon, return to the salon and troubleshoot with your stylist.

• Remember, hair extensions require maintenance. The better you take care of your hair, the longer they will last.

Share The Beauty… Earn Rewards!

At PLEIJ Salon+Spa, we offer a simple and easy referral program to our existing clients (and even non-clients). When you refer a friend who is new to PLEIJ, we’ll give them a 20% OFF GIFT to use towards any service. To say thanks, we’ll give you a 10% OFF GIFT to use toward services or products!

Be sure to learn everything about this awesome program and even send out referrals.

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