I often get people ask me why their hair is clumping or just doesn’t flow as freely as it used to. Even worse with curly hair, some ask why the curls are gone, why it’s tangling, lost its shine and brittle. And some go as far as blaming their hair extensions vendor for poor quality hair, or hairdresser for not doing a good enough job. Sis, take a seat! Do you yourself take care of the hair? If wearing extensions, do you maintain them the way you maintain your natural hair? and if so, is it as good as you want it to be? Then you already have your answer.
Hair extensions have been on the market for quite a long time now and we ladies, love opting for them, and why not? Extensions are well known for changing our looks, and variety is what we stand for. Now if you are investing in these extensions, you surely want them to give you your money’s worth! A long lasting natural shine, and to still be strong and soft when you put them up, isn’t it? No one wants their hair to look lifeless or damaged, and that is why it is very important to take care of the extensions (or natural hair anyway). Today, I will remind you of simple things that we take for granted, perhaps a few tricks and tips to make your hair extensions long-lasting.
- Everyday brushing – This is the first, the obvious and the most important tip. To make your hair extensions long lasting, you need to brush it at least, yes I repeat, at least twice a day. The more you brush the better, but brushing it twice is mandatory. The regime should include, brushing in the morning and at night, also brushing before you shower or wash the hair. There should be no tangling and no shedding of the hair, and you need to keep it detangled as much as possible. Use a hair extension brush or wide toothed comb. Also, hair brushing should be done from bottom to top to detangle properly as well as to prevent further tangling. This also makes the hair quality better.
- Washing your hair – Hair extensions are either made of synthetic or non-synthetic (virgin and remy) hair, so it should be washed very carefully. Depending on the hair, you can wash it, once a week, or once every 2 weeks. But whenever you wash hair, do keep in mind to use gentle and sulphate free shampoos. Because these are extensions and do not have rooted cuticles, rather they are not attached to your scalp, they should be artificially provided with the nutrients to keep the hair soft. Note though, that over washing can cause just as much damage. Your hair’s natural oils are designed to condition and protect your tresses, so when you shampoo daily, it strips these vital oils away.
- Deep Conditioning is mandatory – Giving your hair extensions a deep conditioning treatment every other week is mandatory. “For curly, highly textured hair, always deep condition,” says celebrity hair stylist Ted Gibson, who tends Lupita Nyong’o’s hair. “No two-minute conditioners here. Deep conditioning involves a conditioner that will add moisture and strength (protein) back to the hair.” You should use heat by either applying conditioner to hair while taking a shower and let it sit while showering, or by covering the hair with a plastic cap and applying heat externally eg with a hair dryer. If you are unsure about which products to use, do consult your stylist, and use the ones they suggest. Argan oil shampoo and conditioners are quite good, but there a lot of them out there on the market. People think curly hair is easy, natural right? It is one of the most difficult hair types to keep up with! And if you slack, it shows.
Things we do everyday, but do them wrong and get the opposite results of what we want. Now, below are few extra tips to make your hair not lose its lustre.
- While Sleeping – To avoid breakage of the hair, it is advised to use either a satin cap or a pillow case. It is up to you whether you want to put your hair into a bun and cover it with a satin cap, or you want to simply use a satin pillow case. These reduce split ends, bed head and don’t rob your hair of moisture like cotton.
- Natural drying – When you wash your extensions, try and avoid drying it with a dryer. That much heat causes your hair to be brittle, causes cracking along the edges of the cuticles, which can lead to chipping. And well, ironing wet hair causes the moisture to burst out in little steam explosions. This causes a bubbling and buckling of the cuticles, that appear as tiny hair blisters under magnification. Then you wonder why your hair doesn’t grow (for the naturals). It is recommended to just let it dry naturally.
- Avoid using hairsprays – Try and use as less as hairsprays as possible. Because though it will style your extensions for the time, in the long run, it will damage your hair.
Now this doesn’t add more work to your busy schedule does it, just how to alter what you do everyday! Hope this helps.
Happy hair journeys!