Are you looking for a miracle for your hair? Are you tired of your short or low volume hair? ‘Hair extensions’ is the perfect solution. Hair extensions are the most recent and by far the most useful addition to the hairstyling industry. They instantly transform your look. They help you add that extra volume and length to your hair; you have been dreaming of for a long time. They have become a hot topic among celebrities. And everyone seems to be trying them.
If you are using or thinking of going for extensions, your first priority should be to learn how to use them and keep them looking healthy.
Taking care of these extensions is as important as natural human hair. In fact, they need more care than your natural hair, since human extensions don’t have a natural nutrition or hydration source. So they require more effort to keep them moisturized and healthy. Taking proper care of them also helps in prolonging their life span. The life span of hair extensions can last from 3 months to 6 months to 1 year. This completely depends on how you treat them.
Let’s Check Out Various Types Of Hair Extensions
1. Permanent Extensions
Permanent hair extensions are those extensions that are attached to your hair. These extensions are attached so close to the scalp. It cannot be removed without the help of any professional. Usually, natural hair grows 1cm each month so permanent extensions move away from the scalp. So it needs reattachment. There are various types of permanent extensions available in the market. Here have a look:
Every extension has different advantages and disadvantages, functions, caring, styling, etc. Loop extensions are attached to the scalp and fix it with small metal loops on each small section. The whole process of installing loop extensions are two to three hours. These extensions give longer, fuller hair but last up to two to three months. It can easily match your highlights.
Disadvantages of Loop Extensions:
- Loop extensions are attached by compressing the micro metal rings which can cause hair breakage.
- Metal clamps show if you wear a ponytail or high bun.
- Extensions are sipping down whenever your natural hair grows so you need to go to professional to remain it entactin its place.
Tape in extensions are attached by the adhesive tape on natural hair. It takes one and a half hours to apply and lasts up to 5 -8 weeks. When reapplying previous extensions are removed with the help of the oil technique. It is very lightweight and comfortable.
Disadvantages Of Tape-In Extensions
- Sometimes adhesive glue reacts badly to the scalp.
- Not suitable for thin fine hair it may visible through hair strands.
- Not recommended for very damage natural hair
- You cant use this extension to make braids.
Protein Bonded Extensions
Protein bonded extensions are also known as keratin extensions. These extensions are attached with natural hair by applying heat to fuse and melt the keratin glue to each strand of hair. It takes six to eight hours to stick properly. Protein bonded extensions last up to one to two months with proper care. This extension looks very natural and available in every shade.
Disadvantages Of Keratin Extensions
- Extensions are stick with glue so while applying it is painful.
- It may create irritation to the scalp because of the heat and glue.
- For proper maintenance regularly visit stylists become costly.
- It doesn’t come in the budget of many individuals due to its preciseness and time frame of applying for the extensions.
How To Take Care of Your Permanent Extensions?
Permanent extensions are tightly attached to your scalp so treat them as your natural hair. Some methods help in the maintenance of permanent extensions.
- Washing: Extensions are attached by various methods like glue, micro linked, taped so be gentle while washing. Use sulfate-free shampoo because they can dry out the natural oil in your hair. It can make your hair dry or frizzy. Instead of this shampoo use moisturizing formula shampoos for better results. Wash your hair three times a week.
- Conditioning: Every strand has a protective cuticle layer that protects them and provides shine to your hair. With pollution or other pollutants, these cuticles broke down so Conditioners repair these cuticles and release positively charged particles. Use conditioner from the roots to the ends.
- Drying: Dry your hair properly before sleeping to avoid tangling. Do not braid your hair while it is wet because it will leave an unpleasant odor.
- Styling: Most of the styling products contain heating rods or plates which is harmful to every hair extension. Make sure to detangle or brush your hair properly before styling. Do not heating tools directly on loop and tape in extensions it will weaken their glue and fall out easily. Use a wide-tooth soft-bristled brush for making hairstyles. Start brushing your extensions from ends.
- Use coconut, argan oils for maintaining moisturizer.
- Exercise: Exercises like swimming chlorine and saltwater can damage your extensions so always wear a swim cap to avoid more exposure to chlorine and water. If possible after swimming washes your hair with shampoo.
- In summer season heating levels are high so while walking use umbrellas or stay under the roof. More exposure to the sun will melt adhesive of your extensions and it will fall out.
2. Clip-in Hair Extensions
Clip-in hair extensions are those extensions that come with the clips. These extensions are easy to attach and remove on your own. It can last up to 5-6 months if maintained properly. These extensions are easy to use and style for daily routines.
How to Take Care of Clip-in Extensions?
Few techniques help in taking care of your clip-in extensions.
- Shampooing: Like your hair extensions become dirty after using. Avoid sulfate or alcohol-containing shampoos and conditioners to wash. Do not wash your extensions daily but if you are using styling tools, sprays, gels, etc. then wash it after using 4-5 times. Mix shampoo in lukewarm water and slowly dip your extension from ends to avoid rusting on clips.
- Drying: Always dry your extensions without using any dryer. Place your extensions on a towel and let them dry outside for about an hour.
- Styling: Before using heating straighteners or curlers use a heat protectant to protect fibers of extensions. Avoid using any product which contains sulfur because sulfur is too harsh for these extensions and will ruin their natural look. In summer season mix rosemary oil with water and spray it on your hair to maintain their glossiness.
- Storage: Always store extensions in a separate box. Braiding your extensions before storing it will help them not to tangled with each other. Do not store instantly after washing let them dry properly and then brush it properly. If not used regularly then once a week just open your storage box and detangled your extensions and then again store it. This method helps to avoid the unwanted smell.
- Coloring: Coloring is not a big deal. You can color your extensions according to your choice. Make sure you get proper knowledge about how to color your extensions or leave it to the professionalist. Excessive coloring may decrease the shelf life of extensions.
Comparison Between Permanent and Clip Extensions:
- Permanent extensions not affordable but clip-in extensions are affordable.
- Clip-in extensions take only 30 minutes to style and permanent extensions take 2 hours to style.
- With permanent extensions, You can easily do swimming but can’t swim in clip-in extensions.
- Wash permanent hair extension on every 4th day and clip in hair extensions wash after 10-20 years.
- Permanent extensions are available in many shades and highlights but clip-in extensions are not available in many shades.
- Clip-in extensions do not damage your natural hair but permanent extensions may damage your natural hair.
- Clip-in extensions easily hide under high ponytail but permanent extensions are visible through the ponytail.
Few Common Hair Extension Care And Maintenance Tips For You:
1. Wash, But Carefully!
Keeping your extensions clean is very important, and so is washing them. The permanent extensions are washed along with the natural hair, but in a slightly soft manner, to not shed them. Whereas, the clipped in extensions are removed and always treated separately. Wash your hair two or three times a week with permanent extensions is normal. Whereas clip in extensions only needs to be washed once in 6 weeks. Never overwash your extensions because it results in shedding of hair and also shortens their life span. Few things to consider while washing them are-
- Always wash your extensions very gently. Avoid tangling them or treating them harshly. This will lead to a lot of shedding of hair.
- Use moisturizing formula shampoo. That is the only way to provide them hydration.
- Use sulfate- or paraben-free shampoo. Sulfates are cleaning detergents present in shampoos and will make your hair
- dry as extensions don’t have any natural oils. Sulfates will make them look very frizzy and dry and cause split ends.
- Always use conditioners. They help to hydrate them and make them look healthy and shiny.
2. Post-Shampoo Care
- Never go to bed and sleep with wet hair. Also, avoid tieing your hair when they are wet. If you have clipped-in extensions, never pack or use them when they are wet.
- It is very important to dry your extensions. You can use a blow-dry, but the best way will be to always air dry. You can also use soft towels to dry them. Just like pizza and pineapple, heat and extensions should never meet. Always avoid using excessive heat on your extensions or use heat protectors very time you do so.
Brushing and Detangling
- Brushing your extensions to remove tangles should become a routine for you. For permanent extensions, it should be a daily activity for you. Whereas for clip-in, brush them only before and after you use them.
- Brushing your extensions before washing them and only once the hair is 90% dry avoids shedding and tangling.
- Brushing also helps in spreading essential oils evenly throughout your extensions.
- Always be gentle while brushing your extensions, and be sure to use a paddle brush.
- You can use wide-tooth combe and make sure not to pull the extensions.
3. Give Your Extensions Some Color
If you are a big hair coloring fan, this is good news for you. Human hair extensions could be colored without any problem. You can do this yourself, but it will be best to let the professionals do their job. They know how to do it better and it will include fewer risks.
It is easier to color your extensions yourself if you are making them a darker or altering the tone, but if you want to make your extensions lighten or highlight, consider taking help from professionals.
Also, human hair extensions are easier to color than artificial hair. Make sure to check your extensions before coloring them. For artificial hair, you can use acrylic ink and isopropyl alcohol. Mix these with your synthetic hair dyes. Follow the steps below to color your human hair extensions-
Choose a Color and Gather Your Supplies
Select the color of your choice from a professional hair color and developer line. Avoid using a boxed color from a drugstore as they don’t have the option of choosing the developer on your own, which is what we need with the hair extensions. We recommend to use a 10-volume developer or demi-permanent color; this is best. You can also go for a 20-volume developer if necessary, but avoid 30- and 40-volume developers as they can damage your hair extensions. We recommend Joico Vero K-Pak Hair Color and Joico VERO K-Pak Veroxide Gentle Developers. They are good choices. They provide a variety of color shades that are vibrant and long-lasting.
After you’ve purchased your color and developer, the other things you need are as follows
- Color bowl and brush
- Hair color gloves
- Plastic wrap
- Wide-toothed comb
Organize Your Workspace and Mix Color
You should set up your supplies on a large counter or table space with plenty of room to work comfortably. Keep the room both warm and well-lit. Spread the sheets of tin foil across your work area. This will prevent staining your workspace from the color.
Now prepare your color and do this by following the directions given by the manufacturer. Mostly color is mixed with equal parts color and developer. Mix approximately 3–5 ounces of prepared color for your extensions. If you have longer extensions, more color may be necessary. You don’t need to wash your extensions prior to coloring, but always comb them through to remove tangles. Then, lay them across the tin foil. Never color your hair extensions while they are wet or damp. Let them dry.
Apply The Color
To apply the color solution properly to your hair extensions, use gloved hands and a color brush. Be sure that the color completely coats the extensions that include both sides of your extensions, from their tops to the very ends. It’s better to use too much color, rather than not enough. Always Start at the top of the extension (where the clips are located) and then move down to the ends. Avoid Applying the color upwards. As this could damage your extensions, and will leave your extensions frizzy and disheveled.
Process The Color
Loosely cover your extensions with plastic wrap, After you’ve applied color to each section of your extensions, to prevent the color from drying out. Let color to process at standard room temperature for the amount of time specified on the manufacturer’s directions— which is usually from 20 to 40 minutes.
Take a small section of the hair extensions and check it every five to 10 minutes during the processing time. Use a paper towel to rub the color of the extension gently. Reapply the color using the brush once you check the earlier coat after being dried. Always keep in mind that hair color when wet appears darker than it does when dry. When the processing has been completed, it’s time to rinse out the hair.
Wash and Rinse
Wash the color from your extensions using cool water at low pressure, using your fingers to work the excess dye out gently. Always allow the water to flow in the direction that the hair naturally falls, which is from the clipped portion of the extension to the ends. Thorough washing and rinsing take an absolute minimum of 15–20 minutes. Make sure you remove all the color. Keep rinsing until you feel so. Then shampoo your extensions with a mild, sulfate-free, moisturizing, or color-safe shampoo.
Comb And Dry Out
Once you’re sure that your extensions are rinsed thoroughly, its time to dry them out. For this, lay a towel down on your workspace. Use a leave-in conditioner and apply it to each section of your extensions. Then comb them gently with your wide-toothed comb. Allow the extensions to air-dry thoroughly (never use a blow-drier).
4. Care Needed On A Regular Basis
Hair Cut For Extensions
Trimming your hair extension is a good option when they start to deteriorate. Extensions have their own life span, and a time will come when they will get old and completely damage and out of use. This starts with split ends. Getting a professional trim to your extensions will help you prolong the lifespan of your extensions.
Never Let Your Extensions Swim
Don’t forget about your extensions before jumping into a pool or your long showers. This causes excessive tangling and frizziness. Also, the salt and chlorine in pools are very harmful to your extensions. Clip-in extensions are easy to remove before doing so. But if you can’t leave without these babies and in case of permanent extensions, make shower caps your best friends. They will protect your extensions.
5. Give Your Extensions Their Own Home
We know you love your extensions, but you gotta show that to your extensions as well. Don’t ever abuse them. In the case of clip-in extensions, store them in their clean bag or box with proper care. Don’t throw them here and there. This will protect them from unnecessary bacterial infections. They will always remain clean, safe, and detangled in their home (respective boxes or bags).
You gotta show your hair extensions, how much you love them and care for them. In the end, it would be hard to say goodbye, but it is better to replace the permanent extensions after eight to ten weeks. Because after some time, the hair growing underneath them will start to come in matted. Whereas, you can keep your clip-in hair extensions until the time they feel and look healthy.