With hair extensions, you want to ensure you are taking care of your scalp. We often forget that scalp is skin, the largest organ on your body. The types of products you use are equally as important as the application. Girl + Hair has a system that includes a water-to-foam sulfate-free shampoo, a hydrating leave-in conditioner with tea tree and neem oil, and a hair balm that contains castor and Abyssinian oil. The products all come with an easy-to-use applicator tip, allowing you to provide your scalp nutrients with ease.
If you use dry shampoos on your natural hair, you may want to hold off a bit while having extensions. Kimble warns, “Dry shampoo can dry out extensions. Limit the use of these on extensions to keep them looking great longer.”
After you wash and condition your hair, let it air-dry. This will put less stress on your natural roots. If you must use a blow-dryer, use it on the lowest setting, and if blow-drying curly extensions, use a diffuser.
Sleep on silk or satin.
“The best way to sleep with your hair extensions is by wrapping them in silk or sleeping on a silk pillowcase to prevent dryness,” Kimble says. You can easily learn how to prepare your extensions before a good night’s rest. “Using a small soft bristle brush, gently brush the area where the extensions are connected to your own hair (near the roots). Using a silk scarf, tie around the circumference of your head, then tie from around the back and knot it near your forehead area — it’ll keep the hair going in the same direction.”
If you want a wavy look the following day, Kimble suggests putting your hair in “two loose pigtail braids which will give you some texture for styling.” She also gives warns against using some of the most common bedtime styles: “Do not tie up [your hair] in a topknot, low bun, or [leave it flowing freely].” You’ll end up with a matted, knotted mess.
Brush your hair daily and every time you take out your extensions.
Speaking of mats and knots, Francis instructs that you must “brush all tangles out after each use.” Wearing your straight extensions curly? Make sure you brush out the curls before starting a new style. If you’re working with straight extensions, use a paddle brush. If you are working with curly hair, use a wide-tooth comb or a detangling brush when hair is wet and conditioned. Issa Rae’s hairstylist, Felicia Leatherwood, created a (Best of Beauty-winning) detangler brush with flexi-bristles that glide easily through your hair, gently removing knots.
Don’t use too many products.
Sometimes more does not equate better and if you are a product hoarder — this one’s for you. “Product is good… if you know how to use them,” Porsche shares with a slight warning. If your extensions are straight or silky and non-synthetic, she says it’s best “not using much product throughout the style because it’s already straight and straight hair usually stays pretty good.” She adds, “I would recommend using only a heat protectant, dry shampoo, or shine spray.” And remember — dry shampoos should be used sparingly. Use a defrizzer like the John Frieda Frizz-Ease Extra Strength Six Effects + Serum paired with the paddle brush of your choice to keep your hair sleek.