Taking care of and using hair extensions is not as easy as you think. This is a work that requires the meticulous and thorough as for your natural hair. The shelf life of hair extensions depends on the hair quality and care and use of the user. Here are the habits to avoid when you’re styling your extensions.
Cutting the wefts
Now, I know any professional hairstylist is going to cringe at this idea but for all you do-it-yourself girls. Whether you’re using your extensions for sew-in, quick weave, or you’re creating a wig, cutting you’re wefts is a no-no. I know it may seem like it’s the better way to go for a flat install but it’s only doing damage to your extensions. Your wefts are sewn by machine that holds all the individual strands of hair together.
Cutting one section of the weft can destroy the entire weft. Sure sealing it may solve your shedding for the moment, but eventually, you will not be able to use the hair because all the strands are falling out. Instead, practice folding the ends of your wefts so that you won’t have to cut it but you can also achieve a flat install. Not only will save you from having to buy new extensions within three months but you’ll also be able to keep the original thickness of the extensions.
Using harsh chemicals
My favorite thing to do with my extensions is color them. Coloring extensions usually involves bleaching them several times. Chemically processing your extensions in any way is always damaging to some extent. Always consult a professional for all your coloring needs. Some rules to follow when bleaching your extensions:
One, take the bleaching process slow, don’t get a 50 volume developer just because you’re impatient.
Two, while bleaching keeps your extensions moist. If while you are lifting your hair, the mixture begins to get dry and nearly crumbly apply more of the mix to keep the hair from drying out.
Three, deep conditioning is KEY.
Yes, bleaching causes damage, but proper aftercare of your extensions can keep them looking healthy and fabulous.
Washing too much or too little
If you didn’t know that managing your hair extensions is a little different from how you handle your own natural hair. The maintenance for virgin hair is different from the hair that grows from the scalp. There is no way to repair extensions from the “root” like you would your hair because there isn’t one. Excessive washing, no matter what you wash your extensions in robs them of the natural 'good stuff' that gets left in the shaft of the hair. You should only shampoo every 15- 20 wears or when there is a noticeable amount of product build up.
Heavy oils, heat protectant, and hair sprays need to be washed away regularly, but even every week is too much and will lead to dry, tangling hair regardless of the quality. Washing too often is damaging to your hair, but not washing often enough is just as bad. Imagine how gross your natural hair would feel after a month of regular styling and not washing it once. Your extensions would be the same way, greasy, heavy, tangled, and unruly.
It’s not just product build up you should be worried about either. Exposure to everyday dust and pollution can also add to suffocating your tresses. Washing them regularly will remove all of the harmful chemicals and residue that your hair is bound to collect on a daily.