Updated: Mar 14
Quick answers to the most frequently asked questions about the care routine your new hair extensions will require, in one convenient place.
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Installing high-quality hair extensions only takes us half-way to the gorgeous mane of our dreams. The rest of the journey consists entirely of the work we ourselves invest into the nurture of our new locks. Please keep in mind that, unlike your own hair, fitted extensions do not benefit from your naturally secreted oils. They need extra attention and maintenance on your part in order to retain a healthy, beautiful appearance for as long as possible. Simply put, proper and diligent care results in longer-lasting extensions.
But I get that to beginners, sorting through the ins-and-outs of correct extension care procedures may seem no easier than untangling matted strands with the wrong type of brush. So, to save you some time, I have put together a list of 7 highly helpful tips, in addition to my more detailed general care guide. Making these steps part of your daily routine will help ensure that your Bio or Tape Hair extensions continue bringing you joy for many months to come.
7 EASY TIPS FOR TAKING CARE OF YOUR HAIR EXTENSIONS
#1: HOW SHOULD I WASH TAPE-IN OR BIO HAIR EXTENSIONS?
Make sure that you wash your head no sooner than 48 hours after your extension fitting. This is the time needed for the adhesive to set in your hair. Getting it moist within the first 48 hours may cause extension strands to slide out.
This tutorial video will demonstrate how to wash hair extensions correctly.
Never attempt to wash tape hair extensions with hot water if you don’t wish to find yourself, well... in hot water (pun intended). Hot water may soften the glue holding the strands, which can in turn induce shedding, make the tapes too sticky, or cause them to slide off entirely. The best option for washing your new mane is a lukewarm shower.
Flipping hair over during a shower is a habit we are all too used to. However, it may prove harmful when you have tape hair extensions in, so watch out! Two weeks after your extension application, you may bend forward and flip your hair over during the wash to rinse under the tape. But whatever you do, please avoid flipping wet hair over back and forth, as this can lead to excessive tension on the root area and, consequently, shedding.
Shampoo should only be applied to the roots of your natural hair, whereas hair care products such as masks should be spread throughout the strand lengths. You may use dry shampoo in-between the washes. How often to wash tape hair extensions, you may wonder? No more than twice per week.
If you are wearing tape-in extensions, you should apply conditioner from strand mid-shaft to tips only. Avoid contact with the tape at all cost, as this may lead to it sliding off. Keep in mind that both the conditioner and the shampoo should be sulfate-free.
A QUICK SHAMPOO GUIDE
These are the types of shampoo you MAY use:
For oily scalps;
pH-balanced shampoo. pH is an indicator that specifies a solution’s acidity or alkalinity on a scale of 1 (most acidic) to 14 (most alkaline), with pH 7 being neutral.
Avoid these types of shampoo to prevent the ungluing of extension tapes:
The 2-in-1 shampoo series;
Shampoo with oil ingredients;
Shampoo for dry or colour-treated hair
To keep your tape hair extensions looking healthy and shiny, you may apply natural products such as coconut oil to the tips of your locks. However, similarly to conditioners, please keep oils or serums (especially those containing ethanol or alcohol) away from your root area with the tape. These substances will wear away the adhesive, causing your strands to shed faster than leaves in an autumn breeze! Apply such products only starting from the mid-length and down.
Make sure you use hair nutrition products of high quality only. But be warned! While nourishing your hair is a great practice, there IS such a thing as “too much of a good thing”. Going into overkill mode may result in unwanted product build-up that will lead to tangling as time goes by.
Please remember that combing or brushing extensions while they are wet is a BAD practice, unless you are using a specialised ‘wet brush’ to distribute a hair care product.
If drying your hair with a towel, use gentle patting motions. Please do not squeeze, pull or apply too much force.
Try drying your hair without using a blow dryer. However, if you do use it, make sure to ALWAYS apply heat protectants beforehand. And don’t expose your roots to hot air for too long!
#2: HOW SHOULD I BRUSH TAPE-IN AND BIO HAIR EXTENSIONS?
You can prevent or reduce those nasty tangles by taking the time to brush your tape hair extensions daily with a proper brush.
Utilize a special hair extension brush to set those strands straight at least a couple of times per day. When brushing, hold your hair at the roots to avoid pulling on extension bonds.
Your comb arsenal should include a soft massage brush, as well as a tool with natural boar bristles.
#3: CAN I USE HOT TOOLS ON TAPE-IN OR BIO HAIR EXTENSIONS?
Since I only use natural locks for my tape hair extensions, you may indeed use hot tools for styling the hair you have purchased from me.
Heat protectant products are a MUST when using hot tools. Excessive heat reduces the longevity of your extensions.
Beware of your tape tabs coming into direct contact with a flat iron! The adhesive bonds holding strands together will deteriorate, making strand loss unavoidable.
#4: HOW DO I SLEEP WITH TAPE-IN OR BIO HAIR EXTENSIONS?
Never go to bed with wet extensions, unless you enjoy wasting time on detangling a matted mess in the morning. The ideal bedtime coiffure is braided (or at the very least pulled up), fully-dried hair. Braids are preferable as they prevent tangles best.
#5: CAN I DYE OR BLEACH MY HAIR WITH EXTENSIONS IN?
I do not recommend this, and here’s why. Before adorning your beautiful head, extension hair underwent various treatments at the factory. This process included bleaching and dyeing. Hence, if you subject your locks to these procedures again, you risk overdrying the extension strands and making them too brittle. If your roots need a colour retouch, it’s best to wait for the extension maintenance appointment first, and touch up your hair while the extensions are off.
#6: CAN I GO SWIMMING WITH TAPE-IN OR BIO GEL EXTENSIONS?
Whether you plan on skinny-dipping in salty waves of the sea or chlorinated pool water, please wear a swim cap at all times. I do not recommend visiting saunas due to the risk of extension damage caused by the heat.
#7: WHEN IS IT TIME FOR A REMOVAL OR MAINTENANCE APPOINTMENT?
If you have experienced hair damage due to bleaching; have thin, delicate hair; or suffer from an excessive-shedding condition, you should schedule your touch-up appointment to take place 4-5 weeks after the fitting.
Additionally, if you fall into any of the above categories, or if this is your first extension fitting regardless of your hair type, I’d recommend that you return to my studio 4 weeks after the fitting, for a check-up on the state of your natural hair.
If you have regular hair which isn’t prone to shedding and this isn’t your first fitting, then 6 weeks is your recommended wear time before the appointment.
Timely maintenance is vital to the health of your hair. Wearing extensions for longer than recommended will very likely harm your own natural strands.
On average, one usually sheds somewhere between 50 and 100 hairs per day. As a result, you will witness a tiny amount of such naturally discharged strands in the bonds when the tape is removed. Some worry when they see this, but there’s no need to. This is an outcome of your natural hair renewal process.
Taking proper care of your extensions is essential if you’d like to enjoy the same set for more than just a couple of months. Hopefully, this guide has been helpful in outlining all the do’s and don’ts of your new hair care routine. If you found it useful, please don’t forget to share it on Facebook. I’m also curious to know your thoughts - was there any practice in particular that you realized you need to start (or, to the contrary, stop) doing after reading this article?
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