Sunday, 9 October 2011

Sunday Salon #2: Caring for Hair Extensions

Evening ladies!!
Has it really been a week since my last Sunday Salon?? WOWZERS!! 
Since I received a fresh set of Halo Hair Extensions this week (love love LOVE them), i thought i'd dedicate this week's Salon to caring for them and keeping them looking their best. 

My previous set of 20" clip in extensions are still with us. However, since i've been wearing them almost every day since i got them they are looking, what can only be described as "Well Loved". After all they are exposed to everything our natural hair is exposed to, but they need that little extra TLC and a gentle hand to keep them looking fabulous. Hopefully this post will start to cover some of the BASIC rules when handling, styling and caring for your extensions. 

First up?? Washing....

I've heard some girls lamenting over twitter that their extensions were never the same after that first wash. I'm going to tell you how to do it RIGHT.  Just the way you wash your extensions can really affect how well they work for you and careful washing can really help to prolong the life of your hair extensions. Unless you are CAKING them in product and hairspray (going easy with these is the best way in my opinion)  I definitely would not recommend washing the extensions after EVERY use as this really is not necessary. You will just KNOW when they are ready for a wash. Here are my top tips and recommendations for washing human hair extensions...

- Halo actually manufacture their own shampoos and conditioners for their extensions. I received miniature sizes of these with my first set and they work really well. They also smell YUMMY! (they retail for £4.99 each for 400ml from halohairextensions.com). If you do not have these to hand i also like to use a gentle shampoo such as Johnsons Baby shampoo which will give them a good clean but is not harsh enough strip the hair and dry it out. Similarly you want to be using a hydrating conditioner, but it doesn't have to be a posh brand. A 5-10p size blob in the palm of your hand should be enough for one weft of hair. 


- I prefer to wash my extensions in the sink, which i part fill with WARM water (not hot and not cold). I also put a little blob of conditioner in this water before i start. I tend to wash the 2 and 3 clip wefts seperately and then the single clip wefts all together. I usually use the same water for all wefts (as i always rinse each weft with clean water straight from the tap) but you can empty and refill the sink as many times as you like.

 - When shampooing and conditioning the BEST way to apply the product is by running it through the weft then gathering the whole thing in your palm SQUEEZING it into a lather in your hand. Do NOT rub it into the hair as this will roughen the hair's surface.

- After rinsing the shampoo apply a small amoung of conditioner using the same method. I like to leave this in the hair for a couple of minutes before i rinse to let it sink right it and give it maximum shine! 

- Rinse  the conditioner off with CLEAN water (i just run the weft through my hand under the tap) and, just to give it that extra glossy finish you can also do a COLD rinse after this as well. 

-Once you have thoroughly rinsed the weft and squeezed out the excess water with your hand, take a clean, dry towel and wrap the weft in it and pat or squeeze the worst of the water out with your hand (again, do NOT rub)!! 


Now you're ready for Drying!!
- I prepare the wefts by spraying them with a leave in heat protector and giving them a gentle brush through  to tease out any unwanted tangles.

- And THEN.... Here's my genius, DIY, top tip for the day: Although you CAN just place the wefts carefully on top of a towel and leave to dry, I do not have enough room in my SHOEBOX of a bathroom (and i need to keep them out of reach of ferrety paws), I have simply attached a piece of string across my shower rail to act as a washing line and simply clip the wefts onto the string. I also find this helps them dry quicker as the air circulates much better around the hair.

- I REALLY would not recommend that you blowdry human hair extensions. They will honestly last a LOT longer for you and remain much softer and shinier if you allow them to dry naturally. I usually wash them the night BEFORE i need them and it's a good idea to set aside that time. That way you can wake up in the morning and have a lovely, clean, dry set of extensions waiting for you!! 

So, now you have a clean, dry set of hair extensions.....
Whats the best way to Brush them???


I'm not being paid to say this and I have bought EVERY Denman brush i've ever owned, but i would highly recommend them for use with hair extensions. Both of these brushes are available from your local Boots or Superdrug for less than a tenner!

- When the hair is WET i like to use a medium sized Denman D3 brush. I start brushing from the ENDS of the hair and work upwards. This way you are teasing any tangles GRADUALLY and the hair will not break from tugging it at the root. You could also use a decent quality paddle brush using the same technique.

- When the hair is DRY i always use my Denman Grooming Brush. I would always recommend brushing dry hair with natural bristles because it is more gentle on the hair and promotes shine and these brushes seem to be PERFECT for extensions. Use them to brush the wefts before putting them in your hair or after tonging/curling to soften the curls and give a glossy, smooth finish to the style. 

And what about Styling??


So here's the rules about using heated styling equipment with your human hair extensions....

- Halo extensions (and indeed various other brands on the market) ARE made from 100% Human hair and ARE suitable for heat styling. HOWEVER, don't just go flying in there with your GHDs on full whack and expect them to come out unscathed! 

- GHDs are NOT the ideal heat styler to use on extensions, purely because they only have ONE heat setting. And that is HOT HOT HOT!! Supposedly, this setting is 160 degrees, but i really do believe that they heat up to nearer 200. 160 degrees barely touches my NATURAL hair. If you need to i would suggest purchasing a cheaper straightener with adjustable heat to use with your extensions. When i'm using my curling wand on them i ALWAYS use the lowest heat setting (see above).  

- A great and gentle way to curl your extensions BEFORE you want to use them (thus saving time and styling energy in the morning) is to use heated ceramic rollers on the wefts. I have actually done a video tutorial on how to do this over on my YouTube Channel

- Human hair extensions do not take as much heat to curl as natural hair. You only really need to hold your styler/wand/waver/whatever in the hair for a couple of seconds to achieve a decent curl. For a tighter, more defined curl effect you could take it a little longer but not a lot. Don't want to hurt your babies!! Another way to minimise the amount of heat you use on your extensions is to take LARGER sections.

- Before putting ANYTHING even remotely warm near your extensions make sure you give them a good spritz of a decent quality, leave in heat protector. This really is sooooo important!! I use the Aussie 'Take the Heat' spray but i know Tresemme also do a good one and i'm sure there are many out there worth checking out.



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I hope this post has given you some good pointers on how to keep you extensions at their loveliest for longer. If you would like me to expand upon ANY of the pointers i've given in this post please do let me know. I do intend to make more youtube videos on this kind of subject so give me a comment and tell me what you would like to see.  Apologies for the EPIC-NESS of this post but once i get a bee in my bonnet about something its hard to shut me up!!

I'd just like to put in a special mention (alright, it's a shameless PLUG) for the lovely people over at Halo Hair Extensions.......
Over on Twitter we are fighting tooth and nail to get them to 2000 followers. What's in it for you?? Well, once they GET THERE there will be a FANTASTIC opportunity to win one of TWO sets of Clip in hair extensions in their Celebratory GIVEAWAY!!!

So go and FOLLOW!! They won't bite... in fact, they're some of the friendliest, most approachable Tweeters i've come across! 

What else would you like to know about caring for extensions?? Ideas/requests for a topic for the next edition of Sunday Salon?? Comment me!! Cos i LOVE IT!!
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7 comments

  1. Fab post! :) very informative. Love the ingenious drying method too!

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  2. Great post, Going to check out the YouTube channel now x
    www.knightseclectic.blogspot.com

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  3. i've been wearing extensions for 5 years and i now feel like i know all there is to know about clip ins. however my foxylocks extensions lasted 2 months after everyday wear. not impressed! when i read this i thought maybe i was washing them wrong but that's exactly how i do mine and i looked after them extremely well. i'm completely out of ideas with what to do. my headkandy ones have lasted 5 months and are still going strong, so why no my foxylocks ones. any ideas? xx

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  4. Guess it must depend on the processes applied to the hair before they're sold. It might be different hair. Asian and Chinese hair is, generally a LOT stronger than european ANYWAY. Usually the hair has to be chemically dipped in some way and dyed before its suitable for sale. It probably differs between brands slightly. My Halo extensions ARE still alive and kicking but they are definitely past their best. I've worn them almost every day since i got them 2 months ago too xx

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  5. Loved this post, I will be purchasing some halo clip ins in the next few weeks (hurry up payday!) so need to know as much as possible on caring for them! xx

    Visit The Other Side Of Cool
    Tweet me! @othersideofcool

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  6. love this! I have permanent weave extensions and mine tend to last a year. my biggest advice is thick conditioners and conditioner sprays work wonders. like you I am an extension addict. I used to hang mine on leggings/shorts hangers! haha :)

    Liz
    http://www.aspirationsofglam.blogspot.com
    xxx

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  7. Great Post!!! I love using thick conditioning treatments on them to keep them in fab condition xx

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