5 Tips to Care for Your Hair Extensions
Nearly every gorgeous head in Hollywood can credit her glorious mane to some help from extensions. If you've jumped on the bandwagon recently, you know just how transformational they can be—but there are a few things to keep in mind to maintain your new 'do. Scroll through to learn what techniques you need to brush up on.
Wash Up Gently
If you've just gotten permanent extensions, avoid washing them for 24 to 48 hours to let them adhere properly, says hairstylist David Lopez who tends to Chrissy Teigen's strands. Then opt for for sulfate- and silicone-free shampoos and gently massage your scalp and roots to break up any debris. Follow with conditioner only on the ends as the "emollients can dissolve the adhesion at the root, causing the extension to slip right out," says Monica Thornton, co-founder of N.Y.C. hair extension and blowout bar RPZL. For clip-in pieces, wash them after every 6 to 8 uses, and lay them flat on a towel to dry.
While we love a glamorous blowout, styling products and hot tools can take a toll on hair, so make sure to give them some TLC. Deep condition once a month so strands look healthy and shiny, says Thornton. Apply a hair mask like Rene Furterer Absolue Keratine ($54; renefurtererusa.com) from mid-shaft to tips and allow it to penetrate for 20 minutes for an extra boost of moisture.
Blame It On the Alcohol
The natural oils from our scalp help moisturize our own strands, but since extensions are not attached to the scalp, they're more prone to dryness. Steer clear of alcohol laden products, which "will lift moisture out of the hair and make extensions look frazzled," says Thornton who recommends a low alcohol hairspray like R+Co Outlands Hairspray ($29; randco.com) to set your style.
Keep Them Tangle Free
If you wash your hair at night, make sure to completely dry it before slipping under the covers. "The weight of wet hair can lead to breakage and tangling," says Thornton. Keep bonded and permanent extensions from getting knotted by "loosely braiding strands at night prior to going to bed, your hair will be tangle free in the morning and you wake up with perfect, soft waves," says Lopez. Always take out clip-in extensions at night to avoid breakage.
Take It Off Properly
If you've opted for permanent extensions, do not consider taking them out as a DIY project. Head to a hairstylist for professional removal to forgo any damage to your natural strands.