It’s not surprising that self-care, especially when it comes to our appearance, can slip by the wayside during lockdown. It’s still important to care for your hair, and those with extensions may know they need some extra TLC. I don’t have extensions but I know many use them to improve their confidence, especially if they’ve suffered hair loss through stress or chronic illness. Today I’m sharing a guest post where the author provides a few suggestions on caring for your hair extensions at home.
Caring For Hair Extensions In Lockdown
During these uncertain times, it’s even more important than usual to stick to a routine that supports your mental health & self-care. The routine can be something as simple as taking a break from social media, reading from your Kindle, soaking in a bathtub, or taking care of your hair — including your extensions.
If you are currently stuck at home and worried about the state of your extensions, here are some things you can do to make them last until you can visit your favorite salon again.
Brushing Hair Extensions
Hair is at its weakest when wet, so don’t brush it while it is still wet from the shower. Make it a habit to brush your extensions once they’re completely dry, preferably before going to bed.
Separate the extensions into several sections to ensure the brush you use reaches every part. If possible, use a brush that has been specifically designed for extensions. If not, you can opt for a soft bristle brush.
Using short strokes, start brushing from the ends of your hair and work your way to the top. This way, you get to untangle the knots without accidentally pulling any hair extensions out.
Most shampoos contain sodium lauryl sulfate, which can strip the hair of moisture. Since extensions don’t get sebum from the scalp the way natural hair does, they tend to get frizzy easier.
Make sure to use a sulfate-free shampoo to cleanse your hair. Just keep in mind that this type of product may not create a lot of lather compared to regular shampoos.
Gently massage your scalp and the root area of the extensions, but be careful so as not to disturb the bonds. Aside from your regular shampoo, apply a clarifying shampoo at least once a week to remove product build-up and fortify the hair.
Conditioning Hair Extensions
After rinsing shampoo out of the hair, apply conditioner to the midlength and ends. Do not apply on top of your natural hair, because the product will only weigh it down. You can apply it to the length of the extensions, however. Leave it on for five to ten minutes before rinsing.
Use a microfiber hair towel to dry hair once you step out of the shower. Avoid rubbing hair vigorously; instead, gently pat it dry to soak up the excess water.
Air dry your hair extensions instead of blow drying them. If you’re in a hurry and have to blow dry, apply a heat protectant product then use a low heat setting to minimize damage.
A look requiring little to no heat styling is best to give your hair time to breathe from all the styling you did pre-lockdown. A messy bun, braided pigtails, or French twist look great on just about everybody. Avoid high ponytails and sleek topknots, as they can create tension and friction, which is bad for the extensions.
Since hair extensions are susceptible to pulling and getting damaged when wet, it’s recommended that you go longer in between washes, if possible. Since you’re not getting out of the house, you can afford not to wash your hair for a couple of days. If you have online meetings and conferences to attend, spritz some dry shampoo on the top layer of the hair, and then distribute the product to the rest of the hair with a brush.
Without natural oils from the scalp, hair extensions can get dry. Combat the effect by nourishing each strand with a serum or a leave-on conditioner, or apply a hair mask at least once a week.
Put your hair into one large braid before going to bed. This will prevent the extensions from moving around and getting all tangled up while you sleep. Plus, it will give you loose, beachy waves when you let it down in the morning. You can also use silk pillowcases to prevent tangles and breakage.
Hair Care While in Isolation
The best thing to do right now is to give your hair and extensions a much-needed break. By following these steps, you get to keep your extensions beautiful and tangle-free so you can still look your best the next time you go out shopping for essentials or meet friends online.
Once we transition into our “new normal” and things have settled down, keep doing these things even when salons reopen. This will ensure that your hair extensions are well-cared for and will last as long as possible!
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[ This is a sponsored guest post & as such the ideas expressed here are that of the author ]