How a Hairstylist Maintains Her Own Extensions
from an actual specialist
Hair extension maintenance can seem like a difficult task, but with the right routine in place it shouldn’t be overwhelming. I’m going to go over exactly what I do to maintain my own hair extensions, and how I keep my hair and scalp healthy.
Currently I have Hair Lingerie 20” Tape-In Extensions, but these tips will work with just about every type of extension; Tape, Weft, I-Tip, etc.
It is important to sleep with your hair secured in some way. I prefer a bun on top of my head but a braid will also work. This helps keep your hair from getting caught under or on anything as you’re moving in your sleep. I use a velvet scrunchie, since they cut down on tension that could lead to breakage on the extension or your natural hair, and prefer the velvet ones because they give me that little extra grip.
Even though securing your hair will keep it less tangled while you sleep, it is still really important to brush your hair before you wash it. This can cut down on some knotting post-shower and reduces any matting at the base of the extension.
So when brushing, hold your extensions at the base of the extensions and use a detangling brush (I highly recommend the Sheila Stotts Removal Brush) to slowly work out any tangles. It is always best to start from the ends of the hair and work your way up. Now after all the tangles are out of the length I like to go row-by-row and use a boar bristle brush to lightly brush over the extension application points.
When it comes to shampooing I like to go row-by-row. I will start with the bottom row of extensions and clip all the other hair up and out of the way. I squeeze a little bit of shampoo on my fingertips and work it into a lather. Then with my fingers I make a peace sign and then scrub above and below the extensions and against the scalp. After the first row I let down the second row and repeat. Once the whole head is finished, I rinse and then apply conditioner to the ends.
It is really important to not get the conditioner (or anything containing oils) on the application points. No matter the application this can lead to extensions slipping and eventually falling out.
The most common mistake people make is brushing while the extensions are wet. This is a problem especially with hair extensions because water and product can become trapped at the application point and reduce grip on your natural hair. So by apply tension, like through brushing, you run the risk of having an extension slip out!
To avoid this I just spray a little ‘leave in conditioner’ on the ends and work it in with my fingers. I will once again go row-by-row and blowdry the base of all my extensions before repeating the same brushing technique as before the shower.
The last thing I do is smooth out the ends with a round brush and from there I can style it however I want for the day! It may seem like a lot of work for some, but the extra effort will keep your extensions in your head longer, reduce cost, and most importantly keep your natural hair healthy!
If you would like to see a video explaining all of this is more detail, please check out my instagram page as a featured video! Please don’t be shy if you have any questions or want to know more in the comments below.
Happy to help!