Hair extensions are no longer an extravagance left to people who frequent the red carpet. Nowadays, there are plenty of women that enhance their looks with weaves and hair extensions in both Hollywood and suburbia… People such as your co-worker, your Orange Theory instructor, or maybe even yourself. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that! Even though hair extensions have gotten a bad reputation for being high-maintenance or damaging, that is not actually the case. They are a great way to make your hair appear thicker or longer, to hide breakages, or to instantly transform your look with a new color, without having to grow new hair!
But like your natural hair, extensions require tender, love, and care on a daily basis. Good maintenance means knowing how to wash, what products to use, and how to prevent damages. If you take proper care of your extensions, they can last upwards of a year!
To help you have happy hair and reach your hair goals, we share some tips to properly care for your tape-in extensions.
Shampoo & Conditioner
Your natural hair is able to gather natural oils produced by your scalp to keep it moisturized. On the other hand, your hair extensions do not have the natural oils, because they are not attached to your roots.
This is why it is especially important not to use a shampoo and conditioner that contains sulfates or parabens when you have extensions. These chemicals are harsh on your scalp and can strip your hair of its natural oils, drying them out and making them very unmanageable. If you want your extensions to last and remain beautiful, use moisturizing, sulfate-free products, and stay away from volumizing products.
Hair Washing Technique
When you have tape-in extensions, you have to be extra meticulous when you wash your hair. Apply shampoo everywhere from the roots to the ends. Reach every layer by lifting your bonds, and wetting and massaging shampoo into the layers. This helps remove any product buildup and prevents your hair from drying out.
Remember to be very gentle! We recommend washing with your head up, rather than with your head down. This is easiest when standing in the shower or at your salon. Do the same when you rinse… lift every layer and be very gentle!
Hair Drying Technique
It is best to let your hair dry naturally. Squeeze your hair with a microfiber towel or T-shirt, but do not rub or it can damage your hair cuticles! We also recommend slightly drying the bonds even if you decide to air dry. But, if you are running late to meet your girlfriends or are on a time-crunch, it is okay to blow-dry if you have natural extensions.
Synthetic extensions will melt when exposed to direct heat. We recommend starting at the bonds and roots, then work your way to the shaft and tips. This can help protect the bonds. And like when you are washing, do not blow-dry your hair upside-down, because the tapes used for hair extensions are not meant to hold the weight of the extensions. Keep your head up!
Proper Hair Care
- Brush your hair at least twice a day with an extension brush. If you want to look your best, it is important to spend the extra time and brush through every layer of your hair from root to tip, carefully and gently.
- Use only brushes with soft bristles, like loop brushes.
- Loosely braid your hair or put into a low pony-tail before sleeping to avoid rubbing, tangling, or waking up with a bird’s nest in your hair.
- Use a heat protectant before styling or blow-drying to protect your investment!
- Sleep with wet extensions. This is an easy way to damage them.
- Use oil-based products like Argan oil or Moroccan Oil, near the roots. These products can loosen the bonds of your extensions.
- Use a regular brush to comb through your extensions.
Strands products are great for natural weaves and extensions
Caring and keeping your extensions beautiful can be tricky! If you wear a natural weave or natural extensions, we at Strands are here to make it easier for you by creating the perfect shampoo and conditioner formulations tailored to both your natural hair and extension hair. All you need to do is include them when collecting your hair sample. But, if you wear a synthetic weave or synthetic extensions, please avoid collecting hair from them when providing your hair sample to Strands.