Extensions Do's and Don'ts
Kristin Grip, owner of KOVI Hair, Tease Salon, and the winner of the Behind the Chair One-shot 2019 gives us her dos and don'ts to get natural looking hair extensions.
Whether you are looking for clip ins, wefts, or individuals, achieve perfect blending, styling, and longevity for your new hair. Whether you're a first-timer or extension pro, these dos and don'ts are universally applicable.
Do: #1 Get it Properly Installed
This is the #1 Do when it comes to extensions. You should do extensive research to find a trusted stylist to not only make sure you have the right method, but the right color and cut. Make sure you get the right installation for your hair in order for it to look natural.
Read our blog 5 Questions to Answer Before Getting Extensions to find out exactly what you should know before even considering extensions for the first time.
Don't: Sleep with Your Hair Wet
My biggest no no is sleeping with wet hair! Girl, I know you get tired and just want to go to sleep right after your night shower but this is by far one of the worst things you can do to your extensions.
When sleeping with wet hair your extensions will tangle and matte, leaving you to have to be too hard on your extensions in order to try and fix it. Best bet is just to go to sleep with dry hair.
Your hair will thank you!
Do: Get the Right Shampoo and Conditioner
Hair extensions are an investment, and one of the biggest mistakes I see clients make is not going the extra mile to get the right products for extensions. Spending a ton of money on your hair and your installation is a waste if you're not going to use products that keep it healthy, shiny, and smooth.
Make sure you go with a sulfate free shampoo and conditioner duo. Remember extensions aren't your hair, so your normal shampoo and conditioner usually won't work for them.
Once you use products that are damaging to your extensions it's hard to go back. Unfortunately once you use them, you can't just switch to the better products, the damage has already been done. Be safe and just start with my recommend products below!
Here are my go-to-holy-grail-would-take-to-a-deserted-island products that seem to work for any hair type and extensions do very well with:
Shampoo + Conditioner
Leave In Conditioner
Don't: Get in the Water Without a Plan
Being in California and loving to travel means my family and I LOVE the water. Unlike myself, my extensions don't naturally love saltwater or chlorine. If you can, get your hair wet in a shower or go with already wet hair. In my experience it will do far less damage than going in with dry hair because it's less likely to absorb all that saltwater and chlorine.
I never go to the beach without UNITE - 7SECONDS™ Detangler Leave in Conditioner and a wet brush, which I use every time I get out of the water.
Never go into the water with a braid or a messy bun because you are just asking for trouble. I recommend wearing a low ponytail and if needed, wrap your hair around the ponytail and secure it with a claw clip. This method has saved me on many beach trips and I promise it will save you too!
Do: Style with the Cuticle in Mind
Anyone who knows me knows I always say that "cuticles are like shingles on a roof" that means the same way shingles lay in the same direction so do your hair cuticles.
Style so the cuticle stays smooth and you can do that by keeping a downward rather than upward direction when blow drying or round brushing. You want your cuticles to lay nice and flat to reduce the likelihood of tangling and matting.
Don't: Wash everyday
To increase the longevity of your extensions, extend the number of days in between washes. The less heat and styling you have to do, the longer your extensions will last.
If you need a quick refresh in between washes, try just washing your natural hair on top - whatever is above your extensions.
Do: Brush Brush Brush
Unlike washing, you want to make sure your hair is always brushed out. Keeping your hair smooth and workable starts with having it constantly knot and tangle free.
Here's a helpful checklist of when to brush:
Don't: Use Permanent Color
When you do color your extensions its always at your own risk. We don't recommend dying extensions, but we certainly advise against using permanent color for a number of reasons.
Permanent color affects the cuticle and actually lifts the cuticle. The colors molecules goes into the hair shaft and the cuticle is supposed to go back down, but hair extensions have been treated far differently than regular hair and may react differently than your actual hair.
Remember hair extensions have be pre-processed with specific chemicals to achieve a desired result, adding chemicals not intended for extension may do far more harm than good.
If you really really want to dye them, we recommend a semi
Do: Keep Maintenance in Mind
Hair extensions can last a long time with proper maintenance and care, but no extensions last forever. A lot of the times when you hear about extensions damaging someone's hair the root of the problem (no pun intended) is typically because they over wore their hair.
Each method of hair combines with your personal hair type will give you a specific time frame for your extensions longevity. Some stylists make justify higher prices by claiming to be able to make them last much longer than intended. Make sure to do your research and know what is the right amount of time for you and your extensions.
If you overwear your hair it can actually damage your hair in the long run.
Here are our maintenance recommendations
BEADED WEFT EXTENSIONS
6 WEEKS FOR FINE/FRAGILE HAIR
7 WEEKS FOR MEDIUM HAIR
8 WEEKS FOR THICK/STRONG HAIR
KERATIN BONDED U-TIP INDIVIDUALS
2 1/2 - 3 MONTHS FOR FINE TO MEDIUM HAIR
3 1/2 - 4 MONTHS FOR THICK/STRONG HAIR
LOC/BEADED I-TIP INDIVIDUALS
2 MONTHS FOR FINE/FRAGILE HAIR
2 1/2 MONTHS FOR MEDIUM HAIR
3 MONTHS FOR THICK HAIR
In the end the biggest tip I can give you is to properly take care of your extensions. They are different than normal hair and have to be treated as such. Once you get the hang of that, it'll be second nature to you!