Fashion and beauty have always been a part of the human experience. Ever since we’ve been able to record history, we’ve supported colors, dresses, various tools, and anything that makes us look and feel wonderful. One of the most popular beauty accessories on the market today is hair extensions. It’s not hard to see what all the hubbub is about. There’s an infinite array of styles, colors, textures, and lengths that you can add on. The whole point of hair extensions is to give what you already have a good boost—and why not? They’re fun, versatile, and readily available. But what about care? There’s not much on the market in terms of care products for extensions. Sure, there are a few. But in terms of the greater scope, there aren’t that many.
Care and upkeep are essential to anything you wish to keep fresh. This is especially true with beauty products. You need to have a solid routine to make sure that your investment is kept sound. Hair extensions, like anything, need to be cared for and maintained. If you’re new to hair extension or have upgraded to something top-notch, here’s a solid set of principles to keep them looking great and flowing right.
How Long Do They Last?
Every product has a shelf life. It doesn’t matter what it is, there comes a time where everything loses its ability to function properly. The same goes for hair extension. So how long would a set of hair extensions last you? Well, upon application, you’re looking at a few different ranges. According to Eve Hair Extensions, the higher quality products can last you up to a year or a little longer. Let’s push it to a year and three months as a ballpark figure. For the casual inserts—the ones for a party or a weekend out, they can last anywhere from three to six months, depending on what you’re doing and the activities you subject it to. Spending a weekend at a Vegas pool party is going to do more damage to hair extensions than not. On the flip side, if you care for them properly, you’ll bump into fewer issues. It’s as simple as that.
The Right Care
So what kind of products are available in the market for hair extension care? The big thing is making sure that the extension doesn’t get all bunched up or tangled up. They’re supposed to stay soft and like your real hair. So to ensure this, there are a few ingredients you should avoid like alcohol-based products and sodium lauryl sulfate. These are infamous for trying out hair and making them coarse to the touch. That’s the same kind of effect they’re going to have on hair extensions. Your primary go-to for care are hair products that are free of both alcohols (including propyl, propanol, and isopropyl) and sulfates. Sulfates are responsible for that thick lather in shampoo. It’s how you “know” you are evenly spreading the product in the shower. Products that are free of sulfates don’t produce that satisfying lather. But in return, they keep the lifespan of both your hair and your extensions healthy. They also clean just a well as any sulfate-based shampoo.
Beware of Styling Products
It’s a good idea to avoid gels and wax altogether when you have extensions. You run the risk of having them clogged up and stuck together. Since hair extensions have the same texture and properties of your natural hair—but not the active metabolic compensation, it might not react the same as your hair. So the chances of having your extensions clogged and stuck are slightly greater. Not to mention, the way we wash our hair is very routine. It’s muscle memory that washes our hair. With extensions, you’re going to have to be cognizant of what you have going on in there and thoroughly include them in your wash routine. Another point is that the use of products like wax and gel means you’ll have to wash your hair more often. Sure, sulfate-free products and alcohol-free products are great. But the amount of times you wash your hair, regardless of the product, is also a factor. Washing more often will surely dry it out a bit more than you would want. In turn, it will dry out your hair and extensions.
Now that we’ve broken down products, let’s talk about how to brush your hair with extensions. Yes, there is a proper technique. You can’t be as rough with it as you are with your natural hair. So when you brush it, keep in mind the lifespan and the slight texture differences. So the first thing you’re going to do is bunch up that portion of your hair that you want to brush. Grab the end of that bunch and brush the extensions upward towards the roots. You’re not going to brush downwards with the same force as you would your natural hair because there’s a chance it can affect the lifespan. So when you come across a knot, try to isolate that portion and brush it out gently. Do not use excessive force when brushing your extensions. Also, don’t brush your extensions wet. When they’re wet, they’re susceptible to breaking. Your key times to brush are either right before you hop in the shower or after when they’re at least 90% dry. Anything wetter might affect the integrity of the extensions.
Tips and Tricks
Washing, using products, and brushing techniques are the big 3 when it comes to extensions. But there’s still upkeep. Upkeep is massively important. You just have to know the tips and tricks. Here are a few key points:
- Tangling is natural. Your best defense is regular brushing.
- Sweat and heat can dry out your extensions. To keep them from being over-exposed, it’s advisable to put your hair up when it’s windy or when you’re exercising.
- Only use the low heat setting when using your hairdryer.
- Be mindful of all styling and finishing products.
- Instead of using hairspray, pin them up overnight.
If you employ these techniques and methods, you can rest assured that you’ll get the most out of your extensions. Treat them just like you would your hair—if not better. Do that and they’ll go a long way. Good luck!