Monday, December 18

Caring For Hair Extensions

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Hair extensions, especially the kind performed by professional stylists, can be very expensive.  Therefore, it is a smart idea to protect your investment by properly caring for them.  This can be tricky, since extensions made from synthetic hair require different methods of care than those made from human hair.  This article will tell you how to properly care for both types of hair extensions.

Human Hair:

The best-looking extensions on the market are made from 100% human hair.  Human hair is also very expensive compared to many synthetics, so these extensions will require more care.  The first step is to use the right products for shampooing and conditioning.  Products that contain too much oil can cause extensions to fall out, especially the types of extensions that are applied with heat or with glue.  When washing the extensions, make sure not to get shampoo or conditioner on the area where the extensions are attached to your own hair.  Also, avoid using a circular motion when shampooing, as this can cause the hair to tangle.  Clean the extensions by gently working an oil-free shampoo from the mid-shaft of the hair to the ends.

The nice thing about human hair extensions is that they can be styled with blowdryers, curling irons, and straightening irons.  However, it is possible to damage the extensions if the heat from your styling tools is too high.  Use a medium heat setting on your blowdryer and irons, and always protect the hair by applying a thermal protection spray.

The most common problem with human hair extensions is tangling.  Extensions should be brushed daily because a small tangle can quickly turn into a large knot if you are not careful.  Always use a natural-bristle brush when brushing human hair extensions and brush gently from the ends up to where the extensions attach.  Brushing too hard or using a poor-quality brush can pull out the extensions.  To further reduce tangling, put the extensions in a loose braid before going to bed and use a silk or satin pillowcase.  Most tangling occurs from the friction of a pillowcase against the head.

Synthetic Hair: 

Synthetic hair extensions are less expensive, so failing to care for them properly will make the hair look very artificial and un-natural.  Synthetic hair fibers are easily damaged by heat, and will melt if you try to curl them with an iron.  Always use low heat when blowdrying.  In order to curl synthetic extensions, make sure that the extensions are damp (not soaking wet), and use the lowest heat setting on your curling iron.  How hot is too hot?  If you can burn yourself by grabbing the barrel of the iron, then it is too hot.  If you can grab the barrel of the iron for 2-3 seconds, then it is the perfect temperature.  If you can grab the barrel of the iron for more than 3 seconds without burning yourself, then the iron isn’t hot enough.

Synthetic extensions are generally easy to clean.  No special shampoos are necessary, and some people even use liquid hand soap to clean them.  Synthetic extensions also are more resistant to tangling than human hair extensions, but they still need to be gently brushed.

Following these tips will help ensure that you get the most life out of your extensions, and will help to keep your hair extensions looking their best.

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