For most women, getting hair extensions is quite exciting, and it’s not hard to work out why. Extensions make women feel more feminine and beautiful, and they get a whole new look – it can feel like a whole new identity for some.
With the modern popularity of hair extensions, it won’t be a surprise to hear that every week we are contacted by so many women looking for hair extensions in Manchester. That means we get to talk them through the process from start to finish; we hear about their ideals, expectations and hopes and fears – and of course we pass on lots of tips.
Hair extensions require consistent aftercare…
One thing we have noticed over the years is that although women are super excited to have new hair extensions, they often haven’t considered the maintenance factor. The reality is that hair extensions do require various forms of aftercare if they are to stay looking sleek and beautiful for many months to come. You simply can’t treat your hair extensions like normal hair, which is alive and therefore more resilient and robust.
One of the most important maintenance considerations is how to wash your hair extensions. You will need to pay attention not only to the products you wash them with, but also to pre-wash preparation, and washing and drying techniques.
Here are our best tips for washing your hair extensions:
1.Brush your hair before washing it – This one isn’t obvious to everyone, but it is very important to brush your hair thoroughly before washing – every time. For this we always recommend Tangle Teezer brushes, which have softer, flexible bristles and are gentler on hair extensions.
the reason you always – we repeat always – need to brush before washing is that hair extensions can get tangled. This is especially likely if you’re not brushing them several times a day. Sometimes you won’t notice that the hair is a getting tangled, especially if it’s around the back of the head or underneath, near to or around the micro rings or bonds.
If you start adding shampoo to tangled hair and rubbing it around, you’re going to end up pulling it out or making it even more tangled. Then when you go to brush it, you risk damaging the extensions – or your own hair. Spare yourself such costly damage by aligning all the extensions properly with gentle downward brush strokes ahead of your shower. By removing tangles before the water hits your hair, you’ll have a much easier washing experience and drying your hair won’t have to be a painstaking exercise in knot removal.
2. Use gentle shampoos – All shampoos are not equal – particularly where hair extensions are concerned. Natural products are always a good idea, as high street products often contain silicone that adds a fake shine to your hair. That might make it look good temporarily, but it creates a build up that leads to dull, lifeless looking hair eventually.
You’ve probably heard the rumour that you need to change your shampoo and conditioner regularly, because apparently hair can ‘gets used to’ products you’ve been using. Actually, that isn’t true. It’s just that the silicones in the products are difficult to wash out. They form a layer around the hair shaft that prevents water from penetrating the hair. Inevitably that leads to dry and brittle hair.
Also, stay well clear of medicated shampoos, which can contain very strong ingredients that dry your hair out. Your extensions will suffer if they come into contact with such products. Anti-dandruff shampoo is a no-no too, especially if you have coloured extensions – or coloured natural hair, for that matter – the ingredients strip the colour from your hair. That’s only ever a good thing if you hate the colour! As mentioned in our ‘do’s and don’ts’ blog, dying extensions yourself is not recommended.
3. Always wash your hair with a side-to-side motion
The way you wash your hair is off the utmost importance. The first stage is brushing it, but equally if not more important than that is the technique you use for application and distribution of your shampoo.
As you can see from the picture, well-installed hair extensions are neatly aligned and attached to small sections of your natural hair. That natural hair needs to stay in the alignment we attached the extensions in, otherwise it can get disheveled and tangled. That will stunt your natural growth, and potentially split or damage your natural hair. On top of this, your extensions won’t sit right. In short, incorrect washing techniques can make a mess of your hair.
So here’s the golden rule: never wash your hair using circular motions as you might without extensions in place. Always use a side-to-side motion.
You may be wondering why that is. Well, it’s because the side-to-side motion only pushes the hair from side-to-side and back. Circles lead to tangles, as they’re not controlled. The easiest way to distribute shampoo into your hair is to divide it into sections, starting with one major parting straight down the middle, from front-to-back.
This will give you easier access to areas close to the scalp where the rings or bonds sit. You can and should shampoo these, as where the natural hair has been sat closely together it can get a little greasy around the rings. So by all means lather up, but just make sure you’re scrubbing gently from side-to side only.
4.Don’t apply conditioner near your micro rings
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again! Conditioner applied near your micro rings or fusion bonds means you can kiss goodbye to them sooner rather than later. We know you want them to last as long as possible! It’s a simple one: just condition the actual extensions (starting a few inches lower than the rings/bonds), and if you need to, the natural hair that doesn’t have extensions close to it.
The reason is simple: conditioner will make micro rings lose their grip, and gradually dissolve fusion bonds. Save the deep conditioning for your extensions, especially if they are looking a little thirsty.
So, you’re almost done. Once you’ve rinsed out the conditioner, you’re ready to dry gentle towel dry your hair by wrapping your hair in the towel and squeezing water out of it rather than rubbing it with the towel. We won’t go into drying techniques right now, as we’ve said plenty for one article, but if there’s anything else you want to know, don’t hesitate to ask. We have lots of information in our blogs and we’re always at the end of the phone or email if you’ve got a burning question.
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