One of the most important things to remember when you have hair extensions is to take care of them in the same way that you would take care of your own hair. Regardless of whether your hair extensions are human or synthetic, adopting a care routine to ensure you enjoy your new hair for as long as possible is essential. It is very common for women of all ages to opt for a protective style and neglect it soon after. One of the best things about hair is its versatility: there are so many looks, cuts, colours and styles to choose from, but if you want the most out of your ‘do, the maintenance doesn’t end the minute you leave the salon.
It’s been almost a year since my last hair post on the blog, so I have decided to compile a short but sweet guide on how to care for hair extensions. I’ll be talking oils and sprays, damage, heat and more…
If your hair is damaged, stop wearing extensions – The majority of women have had damaged hair at some point in their adult life. If your becomes damaged in any way, the worst thing you could do is continue to opt for protective styling. Protective styles put an unbelievable amount of pressure on your hair (think of the blow drying, the relaxing, the straightening) and what you really need to do is give your follicles some extra attention. The most important thing you can do to prevent further damage is to shampoo and condition your hair regularly, trim away any split ends and use protein treatments on a weekly basis. If you are a fan of natural treatments, olive and castor oils are great for stimulating the scalp and promoting hair growth.
Don’t go O.T.T with oils and sprays – One of the biggest concerns most black women tend to have with their hair is dryness or a lack of moisture. Whether your hair is natural or in a protective style, you’ll still need to apply some oil to your scalp (use a bottle with a nozzle) and some spray (or sheen) on your hair. Forgetting to apply oil to a protective style, especially crochet braids and weaves, can have dire consequences. Take some time at least once or twice a week to use an oil or spray and don’t overdo it because some products can end up giving your hair a matted look in a very short space of time. A tip I have found to be very useful is dividing your hair into two and putting a small amount of product in your hands and applying it. Just to add, don’t be afraid to ask your stylist which products they would recommend – a good stylist should always be able to provide suitable aftercare.
Research any hair suppliers or brands before you part with your money – Hair websites have become increasingly popular recently, and it’s no surprise. We spend a lot of our time online and social media (Instagram and Pinterest in particular) has become a haven for hair enthusiasts to show off their latest hairstyles. The reality is that there are a lot of sellers who simply want a piece of the hype. I think we’ve all seen a few hair horror stories when we’ve scrolled certain social media feeds. Before you part with your hard earned money, research any companies or suppliers. regardless of whether they have been recommended or not. Reading reviews is also really helpful. As someone who alternates between wigs and protective styling, I’m really passionate about seeing and touching any hair I’m interested in before I buy it. I’ll always check whether the brand is stocked in any beauty supply stores. It would be interesting to hear how some of you ensure the hair you buy is top quality.
When brushing any kind of extensions, always start from the ends first – This tip applies to curly styles mainly because they are prone to getting tangled a lot quicker than straight ones. Always start from the ends and work your way up. Depending on the tightness of your curls, it may be ideal for you to use your fingers instead of a brush or comb. Some curly styles differ in that once a comb or brush is applied to the hair, the curl pattern unravels completely, so be weary of this. Also, with curlier styles, opting for a leave in conditioner or a curl activator is always best. A leave-in conditioner will leave your hair looking voluminous and more manageable. With straight extensions or weave, always brush section by section to get rid of any hair that may be shedding.
Always tie your hair up when you sleep or do exercise – Protective styles and heat don’t mix. Protective styles and sweat don’t mix. If you know you get warm during the night, then tying your hair up is necessary. Usually, when new extensions or a new style has been applied to the hair, it will be very difficult to adjust for the first few nights and this makes sleeping a bit of a challenge (we’ve all seen that braid meme, so I know most of us will be able to relate). When you work out, tie your hair up. You don’t need to have a headwrap or a scarf, all you need to do is ensure that your hair is away from your face. Weaves can get sweaty very quickly, so if you know you are active in the gym, I wouldn’t recommend keeping one in for longer than two weeks.
Don’t wear any hair extensions for more than two months – When putting your hair in a protective style, one of the most important things to consider is how long you keep it in. Personally, I have always gone by the eight week rule, so I’ve never kept a style in for more than eight weeks. I also have an advantage because I know how to do my own hair, so sometimes I have a new style after three/four weeks, it just depends on how busy I am. Keeping a style in for longer than you should can tangle your hair and this will definitely lead to breakage. If you do tend to keep in styles for longer than you should, then I highly recommend applying a leave in conditioner, hair softener or aloe vera gel before you start to comb your hair out. This will help to lessen some of the damage. For premium hair extensions and wigs, visit the Lily Hair website.
Thank you for reading this post – I hope you have found it useful. As always, I love to hear from you all, so do let me know what your own haircare tips are (whether you wear extensions or protective styles or not),
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