So you made the investment, and now you're rocking gorgeous, lush hair extensions. Now what? Your stylist probably gave you a handout on how to care for your extensions. But you want to really get the most out of those lovely locks. Whether you got just a couple of accent hair extensions or a whole head, here's a few tips on caring for those extensions from a stylist's point of view.
Shampooing and Conditioning. Maybe you've never used conditioner before in your life. Well, it's time to start! Human hair extensions have been chemically treated to make them clean, manageable, and the right color, so they'll need a little bit of extra care. Your extensions will be drier and more porous than your natural hair, and they can't soak up your natural hair oils. So you'll want to shampoo and condition your hair with a salon brand of shampoo. Use a shampoo that is gentle, and sulfate free, such as a color preserve shampoo or even a moisturizing shampoo. It's best not to shampoo and condition your hair every day. Gently wash your scalp, without scrubbing at your extensions. This can make them tangle and loosen. Try to gently wash your hair as you would a delicate, silk blouse. After rinsing the shampoo, allow conditioner to sit on the hair for a few minutes before rinsing thoroughly.
Heat Styling. Heat styling will help the extensions blend in with your natural hair. Human hair extensions are safe to blow dry and flat iron, but be careful to stay away from the glue bonds or beads that are used to attach the extensions to your hair. You don't want them to melt and get messy. Keep in mind that hair extensions can hold more water than your natural hair, so it may take longer for them to dry. Sometimes extensions tend to clump together, but gently blow drying will help prevent this problem.
Combing and brushing. When brushing or combing your hair, be extremely careful not to catch the bonds or links that hold your hair in place. Gently brush your hair, starting just below the extensions. If your hair is very tangled, start combing gently towards the bottom of your hair, working out any knots, then moving up a few inches and begin again. Your stylist can show you some great, nylon brushes that are specially made for people with hair extensions. The investment will be worth it. These special brushes will help prolong the life of your extensions, and help them to look their best!
Sleeping. Sleeping is probably the most detrimental thing that you can do to your extensions! Extensions tangle easily, and can become extremely knotted while you are sleeping. If your hair is long enough, pull it back in a loose braid. This will help prevent an awful mess of tangles. You could also try sleeping in a loose ponytail.
Maintaining. For best results, have your extensions checked by your stylist about once a month. If your extensions have been applied with the link system, they can easily be adjusted to accommodate for hair growth. If any extensions have fallen out, just save them and bring them along to your stylist so that he or she can reattach them. Enjoy your beautiful, thick hair!