How to Care for your Hair Extensions

Applied Correctly, Maintained Correctly and Removed Correctly, Hair Extensions should not cause any damage to your natural hair or scalp. Not using the recommend products and hair care maintenance will shorten the lifespan and hold of your hair extensions. 

Everyone has their own growth cycle of hair, some are faster than others and can change depending on health, hormones, and the season. Normally people can loose upto 100 hairs per day of their natural hair. While this would normally come out in your hairbrush, this hair is trapped in the hair extension bond and you will see the shed hair (including hair bulb) at the top of your extension over time. This is natural and does not mean your extension is pulling your hair out. If your hair extensions are pulling your hair out (causing pain, redness, bald spots) please see your hair extensionist ASAP for assessment to stop further damage as this is not normal.

You can have extensions applied the same day as your colour service, however if you have had a scalp bleach we recommend waiting 3-7 days before you have extensions applied. This is because your scalp is dry and tight and you may have scalp burns from the bleach that may show up the next day. Therefore we want your scalp to return to normal before extensions are applied to avoid any damage. 

Washing your hair -  Don’t wash your hair for 48 hours after application to give the bonds time to fully bond with the hair. Brush your hair while it is dry before you wash your hair. This is to remove any knots and tangles as knots can become tighter when the hair is wet. Do not vigorously, rub or massage the hair when shampooing let the water run from roots to ends. Do not wash your hair in the bath. Only use recommended shampoo, conditioner and treatments in your hair. We recommend that you always use a moisturising treatment instead of a conditioner once a week. On average, you should wash your hair twice a week. Do not tie your hair up while it is wet. Make sure it is out to dry.

Styling-  only use a low heat on your bonds, and sure your airflow is directed to the ends of your hair when blow waving it. Only use a wide tooth comb to gently brush your hair extensions, while they’re wet, or with conditioner in, starting at the end of your hair and working your way up to the roots to avoid breaking your hair. When brushing your hair, use a special loop or soft bristle, brush to brush your hair one to 2 times a day. These brushes have soft prongs that will bounce over the strong knots rather than grabbing and breaking your hair. Do not be too rough when brushing your hair.
Only use an Iron or Curling Tong on low heat with a heat protectant and never use it on the Hair extension joints. When going to bed ensure your hair is 100% dry and if you are a rough sleeper, it’s a good idea to put your hair in a soft plait and use a satin pillowcase or bonnet to prevent it knotting up while you sleep.

When tying your hair back do not pull it so tight that it causes pressure on your scalp where your hair extensions are applied as this can cause traction alopecia. When your hair extensions are applied, there should be a little bit of swing room, as well as attached at natural fall so that you can safely style your hair and tied up straight away without pain and damaging your hair or scalp. 

Product Ingredients and Recommendations.

Oils on your hair is fine but will make your keratin bonded extensions  and tape extensions come out and will weaken your microlink itip bonds. Therefore should only be applied below your bonds. Oils are a good way to protect your hair, especially before swimming. Oils should not be applied before using a heat till such as irons or a curling wand unless the product is specifically for heat protection. As oils and heat (think about cooking in your frying pan) can intensify and burn your hair. 
Oils can also hydrate your hair, smooth your hair and control your hair as well as protect it, so are great for your hair.

Heat Protectant should always be used before adding extreme heat to your hair. Make sure you add it to all of your hair by lifting your hair as you spray to reach all of your hair not just the top layer. Heat protectant works by having molecules that burst under extreme heat. This means that if you were going to go over your hair the next day with your scalp again, you also need to apply heat protectant before doing it again as the molecules have already been burst the first time you used it.

Colouring your hair - As our hair doesn’t contain a silicon coating, it can be direct dyed straight out of the packet. This includes purple, shampoos, and conditioners. We do not recommend using a high volume peroxide colour to colour your hair extensions, as this will open up the cuticle layer, which may not close tightly again, therefore, making your hair, grippy and tangle. As a Hairdresser? colouring Hair Extensions, we recommend using the lowest developer, strength possible. Even though Hair Extensions are human hair, we do not recommend lightning the colour at all. This is for two reasons, One because of the lighter opening up the cuticle layer and potentially damaging the hair As it breaks down bonds, as well as colour molecules and dries the hair out. The second reason is because Hair Extensions are coloured with fabric dye, not Hair dye.This means that the underlying pigments are not what you would expect when lightning natural coloured hair and it also doesn’t respond the same way as hair dye lightning does. Fabric dyes are used instead of hair dye so that the colours of your hair extensions won’t fade as quickly as Hair dye normally does. It is also done in a slower process that causes less damage to the Hair. 
When colouring hair darker, we recommend using the colour extensions only one shade lighter than your target Colour. This way there is lessColour correction and underlying pigments to worry about, and you are more likely to have a successful Colour result. Most of the hair extension colours are warm and can be toned. Toning, the Blonde Hair Extensions will give them a lighter appearance. Often, Hair Extensions will tone quicker than the clients own Hair will. That means if they’re using a purple shampoo, the Hair Extensions may overtone more than their own hair. 

Toning with purple Shampoo and Conditioners - As toning shampoos aren’t very moisturising. It is recommended to use one only every now and then. Not as part of your weekly shampoo and condition. If you use it, too often, your hair will dry out and break.  If your natural hair is quite gold and needs regular Toning, we recommend using a level #9 hair extension rather than a level #10 hair extension to help avoid over toning and having purple or silver extensions. We also recommend using a Moisture treatment instead of conditioner, if you regularly use toning shampoo. 
How to tone your extensions with Toning shampoo straight out of the packet - put some warm water in the basin and squirt some of your Toning shampoo in swirl it around to make the water coloured. Then simply dip your Extensions, or soak your Extensions in the water until the desired colour is achieved, Avoiding putting your extension bonds in the Toning water, especially Tape Extensions as you’ll need to replace the tape if this happens before use. This will give you an even tone throughout the Hair extension rather than applying the product and then trying to spread it through the Hair. If you need a stronger toner, add more Toning Shampoo to the water and repeat. When you have desired Color, rinse thoroughly under cold water, and then follow with conditioner as normal. 

Swimming - Salt and Chlorine can dry out your hair and make it tangle. Regular swimming is not recommended, and you are better off with Clip in Hair Extensions or a halo that you can remove to swim. However, if you are going swimming with your Hair Extensions in, there is a few things you can do to protect it. You can use a hair protectant in your hair, such as a living conditioner that is silicon oil based before you go in the water. If you wet your hair with fresh or clean water before going in a pool or the beach, it won’t absorb as much of the salt, water or chlorine water, which will help protect it as well. We also recommend clipping your hair into a bun while you’re in the water, and then undo it as soon as you get out to help protect from spinning in the waves and creating tangles. Do not leave it tied up as hair shrinks when it dries, and you can end up with a knotted bun. Wash and treat your hair as soon as possible after swimming, don’t wait until the next day. 

Let’s talk ingredients in Products. It’s always interesting and hairdressers have such strong opinions on it. Unfortunately we don’t get taught enough about ingredients from trade school and rely on our Hair Product Companies to educate us on them.

Marketing is amazing - Eg making your hair look and feel healthy in 12 days does not equal healthy hair. Look and feel was the only promise, but most people just hear healthy in 12 days.

Ingredients just seeing the Chemical names, most of us don’t know what they are, or what they do.

Names can be misleading as well as there are different levels of quality for an ingredient too. So below is a little science information for you. 

Alcohols like cetyl, stearyl, oleyl, caprylic, myristyl and lauryl all sound scary and like they are drying,  but are all fatty alcohols. They are moisturisers, good for the hair and scalp and used as emollients. 

Ethanol type Alcohol is an ingredient that is in extension remover. Therefore can make your extensions slide or come out. It can be present in hairspray, dry shampoo and other products, so avoid applying them to your extension bonds.

What ingredients strip colour from the hair and dry it out if it’s in large quantities? Salt -

Sodium Chloride and Tetrasodium EDTA. And Disodium Edta.

Salt can also build up in the hair causing chemical reactions. - this is the most common thing causing your chemical reactions with bleach from some supermarket brands , not just silicon.

Most quality shampoos have a salt ingredient as it’s needs it to stabilise the product. So you can’t avoid it, but you certainly don’t want it in high quantities or a bad quality.

Also on a side note- if there is coconut in a shampoo it has a higher level of salt to balance out the coconut. Coconut oil is a very unstable ingredient. If you’ve ever had a jar of coconut oil in your cupboard, you’ll find on hot days. It is liquid and on cold days it is solid. Therefore, when coconut oil is used in a product, it needs salt or sodium to stabilise the ingredients so you don’t have to shake it up every time you’re going to use it. Salt or sodium is drying on your hair and will make it grippy. 

Proteins : Keratin : Bonding Products -  Proteins are a natural part of our hair that give it strength and hold curl. Our own natural hair’s proteins and bonds get broken down over time due to styling and chemical services. Which is why overtime you’ll find your hair may not hold curl as well or break easily. if this happens to your natural hair, your hair will benefit from a protein treatment or bonding treatment. Hair extensions are coloured differently to the hair dye that we use, they do not break down the bonds, which is why your Hair Extensions hold curls very well. Your Hair Extensions do not need protein treatments, bonding treatments or keratin products. If you use these on your Hair Extensions, it will over protein your hair extensions which will make it dry, brittle, grippy and break. This is why you should avoid products that contain keratin, protein or bonding ingredients. These are usually in repair products or products for damaged hair. A small amount is good, but it should be a small amount compared to moisture content.

Silicones. Not all Silicones are created equal. Most good dimethicones are shampoo soluble, you use a shampoo and it's gone, and quality dimethicone is one of the best ingredient for hair out there. Why? Because it smooths the hair, fills in the ‘potholes’ makes it shiny and stops the hair from gripping and becoming more damaged. Styles last longer so you are doing less work with your hair and it saves its condition it in the long term.

Bad silicons build up on the hair, coating it so that no moisture can get into the hair and it dries out, gets brittle and starts snapping off.  Not all silicons give the hair a ‘plastic dolls hair shine’ some give it a matte finish which then makes it even harder to detect.

 "Bad" silicones (the ones most often claimed to be "bad" are dimethicone, cetyl dimethicone, cetearyl methicone, dimethiconol, stearyl dimethicone, cyclomethicone, amodimethicone, trimethylsilylamodimethicone, and cyclopentasiloxane) are the ones that are not water-soluble—meaning that no matter how much you rinse, they may stubbornly coat your hair.. However some can be removed if your using a sulphate shampoo. So only minimal use is ok

There are a couple of “good” silicones out there—or rather, silicones that are water-soluble. These include dimethicone copolyol, stearoxy dimethicone, and behenoxy dimethicone. Thankfully, these silicones won’t cause buildup.and protect the hair. Helping it to be smooth, shiny, lock in moisture and not tangle. Protecting the cuticle layer from more damage as well as the inside of the hair .

We DO NOT recommend Sulphate free shampoos on our Hair Extensions and never have.

WHY- here are some reasons we have found through testing over the years.

*These shampoos tend to leave your hair  Squeeky clean, have you felt it? Run your fingers up or down the hair after shampooing, it’s because they strip the hair making it dry out, knot up and feel not so nice after a couple of weeks.

*They make it really hard to remove tape extensions from the hair. This is our first question if someone says they have trouble removing, and the problem is solved by simply changing the shampoo to one with Sulphate. The next move up is easy.

*sulphate can be made from plants and isn’t always as bad as the marketing campaigns of others can lead you to believe. Look st most of your most expensive salon professional shampoo’s or skincare body washes. It’s in there.

*sulphates are in there to cleanse the hair, remove that and you are just replacing it with another detergent of another name that is often more harsh/stripping/drying.

*other hair companies we have spoke to have supported our findings and others recommend sulphate free. Some have reasons to back up their answers, some do not.

*some companies make sulphate free shampoo especially for hair extensions, but all do not have a hair extensions company. We have worked close with numerous product companies and their reps over the years testing shampoos and products on our extensions to determine what works best long term & short term on our hair extensions.

* we have spoken to chemists (scientists not the local pharmacy) about what these ingredients in shampoos are and what they do. They have recommended sulphate shampoos.

 *some companies coat the sulphate ingredients with a wax that then means they can label their product sulphate free when in turn it now has a waxy build up that can bond to your hair. 

* we have spoken and tested and worked with manufacturer’s who make shampoos overseas for many popular brands and this all supports our recommendations.

* is sulphate good for everyone? No, there are a small Percentage of people who have allergies to it. Like most things in the world, some people will ha e allergies. Just like latex and Gluten, if you don’t have the allergies, it’s fine.

While I’m educating- shock, some supermarket shampoos & colours are the exact same as salon ones. Just packaged in a different bottle & label. But most are not, so unless you know what’s in them, most aren’t recommend for your hair. Nearly all salon professional products are good for your hair (some are not and also contain a nasty type of silicon). So we recommend salon over super market.  As a hair extensions company there are more brands of shampoo we recommend then what we just sell ourselves. It’s all about what works

Recommend Products that have been tried and tested for years  (unless the companies change their ingredients after we wrote this). There are more then listed here that are suitable but this give you a good range to choose from.

GKMBJ Hydrating Shampoo & Honey Creme Conditioner,  & 1 Minute Treatment, Leave in Treatment

Deep MUK Ultra Soft Shampoo & 1 Minute Treatment 

Redkin Allsoft Shampoo & Conditioner 

Milkshake Colourcare Shampoo & Moisture Plus Conditioner & Whipped Cream

Wella SP Hydrating Shampoo & Repair 30 Second Conditioner, Repair Mask or Hydrate Mask 

Kerastase Nutritive Hydrating Collection

Thankyou for taking the time to read all of this information and we hope it has been helpful. Enjoy your extension journey 🤗