Hello Gorgeous! Let’s Talk Hair Extensions Care
So you’re in love with your new hair, it’s got high volume, it’s seamlessly blended and looking like it is all natural, giving you the self confidence that has allowed you to express to the TRUE you PLUS something fun to play with!
This can be a positive overwhelming change and one you might not want to lose and you might start asking, “how do I take care of my extensions, how I do wash them, what products do I use, I’ve heard you should use protein”.
But don’t worry because we would like to help extend the lifespan of your beautiful new hair, including some very much what ‘Not to do’ as well.
With hair extensions growing in popularity, we could see a shortage of supply in the future. So to get the most out of your extensions, we have created this ‘Ultimate Hair Extension Care Guide’ for you.
In this guide you will find, hits, tips and links to videos and hair extension-friendly hair products and our O&M range are eco-friendly PLUS a bonus section on “How to repair your extensions”.
In a HURRY? You can find our shorten version of this article HERE
“Your Ultimate Hair Extension Care Guide: In Short”
1. Brushing: The Secret to Tangle-Free Extensions
- Why It Matters: As an extension aficionado, I’ve learned that brushing is key to avoiding matting (obviously) and also it helps avoid snapping.
- How to Brush: Let me tell you the gentle technique I swear by. Hold your hair in a ponytail and start brushing gently from the bottom and work your way up. Do this before bed and when you wake up at the very least! DAILY
- My Top Tools: I’ll reveal my favourite brushes that work wonders: The Detangler brush or The Paddle Brush by Original & Mineral.
- Quick Tip: If you find it difficult to work through the knots? Use a serum or leave in conditioner spray, for best results use both, before brushing to help soften the hair. There are LOTS of potential reasons for matting/dryness. This may be because you aren’t sleeping on them correctly or brushing enough (just to name a couple). More tips to come…
My top detangling/hydrating leave-in products:
- O&M Frizzy Logic, O&M Know Knott, Ori Lab Gloss Serum, Muk Leave-in Conditioner.
2. Extension Washing Routine: How often do you wash your extensions?
- Frequency Matters: Once or twice per week is plenty. Too often is an unnecessary waste of product and too little will cause scalp irritations and dryness on the ends.
- The Perfect Wash: Follow my step-by-step guide for a damage-free and product saving wash.
- Brush hair before jumping in.
- Shampoo twice: Focus shampoo on the scalp only, no need to apply shampoo on the extensions (unless there’s product build up). If you feel you need to shampoo your length, gently massage the hair. Don’t be rough!
- Rinse thoroughly: Ensure the product has been rinsed out thoroughly to avoid scalp irritations.
- Avoid the top half: Condition from mid lengths to ends and leave in for at least aminute (great time to cleanse face or shave legs).
- Extra tip: Also focus your conditioner/treatment on areas that need it, like face framers.
- NO RUBBING: Gently squeeze excess water out with a towel. Do not rub with the towel, this will rough up your cuticle and cause frizz and possibly damage. A great shower routine friend is our amazing Turban Towel Wrap! This gentle, micro-weave fibre technology is exclusively designed to dry hair faster than a regular microfiber or cotton towel. You’re welcome!
- Produce Time: Apply your leave in products once hair is damp and gently brush.
- Dry & Protect: Follow on with air drying or blow drying: be sure to use thermal protection!
- Product Recommendations: I’ll share my go-to hair extension-friendly shampoos and conditioners products. O&M Hydrate & Conquer Shampoo, O&M Hydrate & Conquer Conditioner, Muk Ultra Soft Shampoo, Muk Ultra Soft Conditioner.
- Fun tip: Don’t have time to do a full wash? Just wash your crown!
Click here to see how you do that…
- !!!WARNING BLONDES!!! Please use your blonde shampoo sparingly as it can be drying and blonde extensions are porous and can soak up the pigment resulting in overtoned/purple hair. To avoid this, please mix some blonde shampoo with your everyday shampoo and focus the product at the roots!
Here are my favourite blonde shampoo recommendations: O&M Conquer Blonde, Nak Blonde Plus Shampoo.
3. Drying and Styling: The Right Way
- Why It’s Important: This is the part where incorrect drying and styling methods can lead to rapid deterioration of your hair extensions. This will prevent split ends and major dryness.
- My Methods: I’ll walk you through safe drying and styling techniques. Apply your thermal protection and leave in products.
- Allow your hair extensions to air dry to the point where it’s damp before brushing gently.
- On a low heat use your blow dryer in a downward motion to avoid frizz;
- Using a brush that is designed for heat, follow the brush with the blow dryer for even better de-frizzing.
- Try not to go over the same section more than it needs and don’t hold the heat on one spot.
- Insider Tips: I’ll clue you in on protecting your extensions from heat. O&M Frizzy Logic is both a serum and has thermal protection! Muk Thermal Spray is a great humidity blocker and protects your hair from heat styling.
- Side note: some serums/oils should not be used before you use heat! You may cook your hair!
Other Important Care & Maintenance For Hair Extensions:
- Wear hair up for bed: plait, bun or ponytail. This prevents root matting.
- Silk pillowcases prevent friction: this is ideal for those who toss and turn during sleep!
- Use serum/oil after washing (wait until you’ve finished the styling). Also use every 2nd day to prevent dryness.
- Hair extensions are “old”. It took someone 5+ years to grow this length so, this means the hair is not only old but it goes through a chemical process during colouring and manufacturing so a lot of the natural oils have dissipated. You need to treat her like an old lady; gently, lovingly and regular treatments! My favourite go-to treatments: Davroe MCT, Muk Ultra Soft 1-min Treatment, K18 Mask (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED), O&M 7 Day Miracle.
How long between move ups? Use this rough guide as to how long you go between hair extension move ups:
- Tape Wefts: 6-8 weeks
- Sew-in Wefts: 6-8 weeks
- Micro/Nano beads: 8-12 weeks
- Keratin bonds: 12 weeks – 6 months
*Please consult with your hair extensions professional as they may recommend different time frames for you personally.
- Pain, discomfort and concerns:
If you are in any kind of discomfort after 2 days, or in any kind of pain please contact your hair extensions specialist asap to avoid any potential damage like traction or tension alopecia (worse case scenario). Any concerns you have, it is important to communicate this to your stylist. Don’t let things get out of hand.
Myth-Busting and Troubleshooting
“PROTEIN AREN’T SAFE TO USE ON HAIR EXTENSIONS”
This is the age old no-no for your hair extensions. Protein CAN dry your extensions out.
Protein is part of what our hair is made up of and can help rebuild hair structures but it doesn’t mean our extensions need it. Extensions typically need moisture. Not protein. Protein can strip the sebum from your extensions leaving them brittle. But thankfully, modern science has found natural proteins that don’t dry extensions out. This means that SOME proteins are ok – but not all. If you’re unsure, I wouldn’t risk it unless recommended by your extensions specialist.
Safe products to use on hair extensions: The Entire Original & Mineral Range.
Wrapping Up with Love
Here’s a quick recap of our heart-to-heart about extension care. You’ve got this!
- Brush regularly
- Double shampoo on scalp and don’t use conditioner near scalp
- Serums/oils are lifeblood of extensions
- Thermal protection is very important
- Wear hair up for bed
- Silk pillowcases prevent matting
- Avoid unknown proteins
- Don’t wait too long between move ups!
- In pain? Contact your hairdresser immediately.
Save ‘Ultimate Hair Extension Care Guide’ in your ‘Bookmarks” for recaps.
If you don’t want to scroll all the way to the bottom for the quick recap, head over to our shorten version “Your Ultimate Hair Extension Care Guide: In Short”.
For More Hints & Tips Jump over to our Blog page.
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Who am I? Cass, Your Hair Extension Guru!
Cassandra Walsh, Owner of the ‘Tree House Salon’, Hair Extension specialist
A little about me – I live and breathe hair extensions and love sharing my passion with others like you. I have been doing hair extensions since 2008 and my passion only grows with time. I started off my business in 2009 just offering micro bead hair extensions as a mobile service, then one little room in my home to now in a large commercial salon in the heart of the Gold Coast offering all hairdressing services and specialising in hair extensions.