How to care for hair extensions
Just like our natural hair, it’s super important to give a little love to our extensions every day. Understanding how to care for your hair extensions properly not only helps keep them looking #stunning but also means they’ll last longer.
ATM, many of us are having to take haircare into our own hands and create a salon experience at home. Here we’ll share Nadia’s top tips on keeping your extensions looking on fleek, including:
● How to wash your hair extensions
● How to brush your extensions
● How to dry your extensions
● How to style hair extensions
● How to care for hair extensions overnight
● How to make your extensions last longer
How to wash hair extensions
So first things first, once you’ve had your extensions fitted you definitely don’t want to wash them for the next 24 hours - you need to give your hair (and your head) a chance to settle. After that, the amount you should wash your hair will depend on your hair type. For fine hair that gets greasy easily, we’d recommend a maximum of three times a week but for afro hair, it could be more like 3-4 times a month.
When wash day arrives, you want to make sure you’re stocked up on products that are going to be kind to your extensions. This means that shampoo and conditioner containing sulfates or alcohol are a no go, as they can damage your extensions, your natural hair and your scalp. The best products for your hair extensions will generally depend on the type of extensions you have and of course, your natural hair type, so we would advise adopting a ‘technician knows best’ mentality. Ask the stylist attaching your extensions for their recommendations and splash the cash on products they suggest - the investment will save you money on new extensions in the long run.
When washing your hair with extensions, Nadia recommends only cleansing your scalp and then conditioning the ends - if the conditioner gets in the roots it could cause your extensions to fall out prematurely - and no one wants that. Another top tip is to make sure you wash your hair in the shower and keep that water flowing downwards. Whilst it may be tempting to flip your hair over the bath and give it a quick wash when you’re in a rush, this is going to cause serious tangles - which are the biggest enemy of hair extension care.
How to dry hair extensions
Just like natural hair, hair extensions are not about that intense heat life, so you need to be careful when drying them. If you’re only washing your hair a few times a week, this is going to reduce the time you need to spend drying it - but of course, there’s going to be occasions when a girl needs a good blow dry.
When blowdrying your hair extensions, the key is to use the dryer for a short amount of time. A great way to do that is by investing in a powerful hairdryer that professional stylists recommend - as this will seriously reduce your drying time. It’s also a good idea to be chill when it comes to the temperature - don’t be afraid to kick the heat setting down a few notches - and always use a heat protecting spray. The Tangle Teezer Easy Dry & Go hair brush is the perfect blow dry tool to help regulate the temperature as you blow dry your extensions, helping to minimise heat damage. The vented design also helps to speed up drying time.
How to brush hair extensions
You didn’t think we could talk about hair extension care without talking about brushing, did you? Hair extensions are prone to tangles and damage just as much (if not more) than natural hair, so it’s important to take extra care when brushing your extensions - and to pick your brushes wisely.
You want to brush your hair as regularly as possible, but the golden rule is to brush them every morning and night and before and after every wash. Nadia is a big fan of high-quality brushes like the Tangle Teezer Wet Detangler which gently and effectively brushes through your thick mane of hair and is perfect for those all-important after-wash brushing sessions. As always, we recommend starting from the ends and working your way up until you can easily brush from roots to ends - following the shape of your head until your hair - and hair extensions - are smooth and shiny.
It’s also a good idea to brush your extensions whenever you can during the day, especially if you end up in a situation where your hair gets messy (cruising in an open-top sports car, being caught in a hurricane etc.) Keep one of our Compact Stylers in your bag for hair care on the go - your extensions will thank you for it.
How to style hair extensions
Half the fun of having hair extensions is experimenting with all the styles they empower you to try out. But just like drying your extensions, you need to be careful of the amount of heat exposure you’re putting them through in the pursuit of your on fleek look. If you’re going to go in with straighteners and curlers, then heat protection sprays are a must.
Always try to go with styles that don’t require hours of heat attention (or your precious time). One of Nadia’s favourite, fast looks is a relaxed curly vibe, created with a 1.25" curling iron. Simply curl your hair, allow it to cool off, and gently brush through using the Tangle Teezer Ultimate Finisher. This not only gives your curls that laid-back, tousled look but the brush will also leave your extensions looking extra sleek and shiny by smoothing out the cuticles. And trust us when we say there will be no other styling required - your curls will be perfect and party (or Zoom Call) ready. The Ultimate Finisher is also our favourite brush for maintaining and blending hair extensions so they look as natural as possible!
It’s also a good idea to try and give your extensions a break and not style them intensely every day. Make the most of chilling at home and embrace the messy top knot once in a while to give your hair a styling detox.
How to care for hair extensions overnight
You best believe you can even care for your extensions whilst you're sleeping. Remember, one of the most important things about overnight hair extension care is to never (and we mean never) sleep with damp extensions. It’s a recipe for tangle disaster and a morning-after look that definitely won’t have you saying ‘I woke up like this’.
If you’ve got long flowing locks, you may want to tie them out of the way whilst you’re getting your beauty sleep. We recommend a loose braid and using an anti-snag bobble or scrunchie to avoid overnight breakage. Another hot celebrity tip for great hair (and skin) is to invest in a silk pillowcase. It might sound a bit extra, but they are great for reducing breakage for both hair extensions and your natural hair. Silk pillowcases come Kim K approved, and if the queen of ever-changing hair looks recommends them, who are we to argue?
How to make hair extensions last longer
Following all of these tips will definitely help your extensions last longer, but Nadia also recommends separating your binds daily and prioritising extension hydration over everything else, as your extensions aren’t benefiting from the natural oils that come from your head.
Combining a daily hair oil routine, with a weekly conditioning treatment will keep your locks looking luscious for longer. We love a pure, natural moment, so for your weekly conditioning treatment, go for something deep and hydrating like Coconut Oil. For daily use after styling, we recommend Argan Oil - it’s lighter and less greasy so won’t weigh your mane down. The big tip here is to nourish the ends of your extensions without getting the conditioning products on the roots - as that can cause the bonds to unravel over time, undoing all your hard work and ruining your look.
Hair extension care
There’s a simple equation when it comes to hair extensions - the more you care for them - the longer they will last. Following Nadia’s top tips will keep your extensions - and your look - fresh between your salon visits and will keep your glam levels high every day!