At-Home Hair Care

     Whether you visit the salon for hair color or you indulge in wearing Hair Extensions, your at-home hair care is very important.  The products that you use and the routine that you put your hair through will determine how long your hair color lasts, how healthy your hair looks and the lifespan of your hair extensions.  It's true!

     When you come to the salon I can use high-end professional products, I can do treatments, and I can pamper your hair *********, but none of that compares to your day-to-day hair care routine. 

     Below I will list some steps that you can do at-home to keep your hair healthy, keep your color looking bright longer and make your hair extensions last much longer!

     Coming into the salon to have your hair pampered or your extensions installed is definitely a treat but it's also an investment....please make sure to protect your investment at home!

                                                Annette C.  xoxo

HOW TO WASH YOUR HAIR

I highly suggest you brush through your extensions before showering.  This will make sure your tangle-free.

When choosing a shampoo and conditioner you want to use products without any sulfates.  Depending on your hair goals you want to look for color care, strength, moisture.   FOR EXTENSIONS, you want to choose products that will add moisture, and are light weight.  Some products can leave a film on the hair extensions.

When washing your hair, don't be afraid to get your fingers in-between the rows.  Don't be afraid to get your fingers up near your scalp and really get everything clean. 

You should never "scrub" your hair or your extensions.  Not only is that not necessary, but you will create major frizz and you will damage the hair's cuticle.  Apply the shampoo and squeeze the hair in a downward motion.  Again, put your fingertips near the scalp and wash the top of each row.   Rinse your hair very well.  You do not want any product left over.  This is what causes build-up.  Repeat if needed.

When conditioning your hair keep it away from the scalp.  This can cause you to have an oily scalp.  Again, apply the product and distribute it by squeezing or gently massaging into the hair.  Don't bundle up or do anything vigorous.  Rinse very well.  HAIR MASKS:  For your natural hair, I suggest a mask once a week.  Choose the mask based on your hair goals.  For Hair Extensions, I actually don't like to put masks on hair extensions.  They can be too heavy and cause the hair extensions to be weighted down and look limp. I can do special treatments for you in the salon that are a much better choice.

When drying your hair with a towel you want to be very gentle.  Always squeeze!  NEVER rub or scrub.  Drying your hair extensions with a towel in an aggressive way can dramatically reduce the life of your extensions and cause them to be very frizzy.

After shower products can be very important.  If you have dry hair or are wearing extensions I highly suggest a leave-in conditioner.  Again, you want a light weight product.  

Image by Aw Creative

HOW TO DRY YOUR HAIR

When brushing out your hair you also want to be very gentle.  Hair is the MOST susceptible to breakage when it is wet.  You should never tug at the hair.  You want to be sure you use a brush that has bendable bristles such as The Wet Brush.  this allows the bristles to move with the hair.  Stiff bristles will pull through the hair and most likely snap the hair off.  Always start at the bottoms of the hair and work your way up.  

 

Invest in a good heat protectant.  Spray it in the hair and distribute by brushing gently.  Use your blowdryer on medium heat.  Have the dryer above the hair and pointing down to be sure the air is pushing the cuticle down into the smooth position.  Use the dryer to remove 80-90% of the moisture from the hair.  Brush through the hair to remove any tangles.  It is important the hair be almost dry before you use your round brush.  Brushing wet hair causes tension and this can damage the hair, irritate your scalp and loosen the extensions.  Now take the hair section by section and use your round brush to dry the hair the rest of the way.  Start at the neck and work your way around the head using small sections.  Have plenty of clips to keep the job clean.  OPTION 2:  When I am short on time I use this method - Blow-dry the hair 100% dry.  Very important to keep the airflow going down the hair strands.  When hair is completely dry I do the same sectioning as above and flat iron my entire head.  This helps me to create frizz-free hair that silky and lasts for days!

I suggest finishing off by applying a light weight oil.  Put oil into your hand, rub around like lotion and then evenly distribute the oil all over the hair (avoiding the roots).  If you need you can focus on one side at a time.  If needed apply a bit more to the very ends.  A good oil will soak into the hair and give moisture, shine.  

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HOW TO STYLE YOUR HAIR

Hair extensions are great for so many reasons! But one of the best things about them is how well they hold a style.  They can hold a curl or stay styled for dayssss!  This is great because it can dramatically reduce the amount of styling you have to do.

If you are wanting to curl your hair use a heat protectant.  Take small sections and curl your hair in your desired method.  I suggest smoothing the ends of the hair through the curling iron to give the hair a more polished result.

There are many ways to curl hair.  Try new methods and have fun with your extensions.  To keep from burning the hair or drying it out, keep the curling iron from under high heat.  The heat protectant spray will help.  

If your are wanting straight hair, again use the heat protectant.  Use a flat iron and go over the hair in small sections.  Use clips to keep the job clean.  Move the iron over each section in a slow but constantly moving motion.  Don't hold the iron on hair longer that 3 seconds in any one spot.

When wearing your hair up in any kind of ponytail or bun be sure to use a hair tie that is large enough to hold all the hair comfortably.  Once you get the hair up, be sure to use your fingers to pull some of the hair around the head in order to release any tension.  You especially want to do this around your face.  If you are wearing weft extensions your front/anchor bead is near the front and by gently pulling some of the hair you will reduce all the tension off that bead.  If you choose to wear a "messy bun", I highly suggest you use a large, soft hair tie (scrunchy)  When you take this style down be sure to gently brush the hair.  That hairstyle can really "scrunch" up the hair and can cause rough spots on the hair shaft if the elastic is rough or too tight. 

Choose all finishing products carefully.  Alcohol based products can dramatically dry out the hair.  Again, I suggest using a hair oil to finish off a style or polish the hair.  For a messy look try a texture spray.  When styling hair extensions, you do not need a lot of any product.  Remember, the extensions will hold the style.

Most importantly...HAVE FUN!  Extensions are beautiful.  They accentuate your natural hair and allow you to do hair styles that you may not normally be able to do.  Try new things!  Wear that braid you see all over social media and have fun with it!  

Trendy dressed fashionable girl wearing

EXTEND THE LIFE OF YOUR

EXTENSIONS

As I mentioned before if you take care of your extensions, they will last much longer.  If you choose not to care for them and not to follow these suggestions they will not last as long.  They will become very dry, they will tangle and they will break at the ends.

To extend the extension life I highly suggest investing in a good, light-weight oil.   Never use oil that is not meant for hair.  Regular coconut oil, avocado oil or any seed oil is not good for extensions.

Never leave the extensions wet for a prolonged amount of time or go to bed with them wet.  This can cause matting.

At bed put the hair into a loose, low braid. (make sure it is not tight)  This helps to keep the hair contained and sleek.   Again this is best for the hair cuticle.  Caring for the cuticle of the hair is crucial to extending the life.

If the hair needs coloring of any kind always see a professional.  It is crucial that they use good quality products.

Some services are not appropriate for hair extensions so seeing a professional will help to decide that.

FOR MY MERMAIDS: It is normal to want to go to the pool or beach with your extensions.  Both of these are very hard on hair extensions.  The chemicals and salty hair can wear down the hair very quickly.  When going to the beach wear the hair in a bun or braid.  If possible wear a hat to cover the hair.  When applying sunscreen keep it away from the hair extensions.  It can dramatically discolor them. (especially be careful of the hair brushing your back when you have sunscreen on) When going to the pool try to keep your extensions out of the water.  If you choose to go in the water BE SURE to wet the hair before going in.  Imagine your extensions are a dish sponge.  If the sponge is dry and you put it in water it will absorb water until full.  If the sponge is already wet and you put it in water it will absorb very little water. Even better... If you can add some leave-in spray conditioner to the hair before going in the water.

Try not to wash the hair everyday, aim for every few days.  Washing the hair too often can dry out the hair.  Find a great dry shampoo and use it at the roots only.  If you have an oily scalp or need to wash every day it is crucial you are using superior products and being careful using heat everyday.  You will need to learn a few no-heat styles.

On the other hand it is important that you don't go too long in-between washes.  Hair products, natural scalp oils, pollutants in the air and so much more is gathering on your hair everyday.  After too long this will form a layer over the extensions and can be hard or even impossible to remove.  It is important to be washing the hair on a regular basis.  You also need to be taking care of your scalp by cleansing.   Sometimes the scalp can respond to the hair extensions by producing an excess of natural hair oil.  You want to be cleaning that on a regular basis.

 

Brush your hair often.  I suggest keeping a small extension brush in your bag.  This helps to keep the hair smooth, the cuticle tight and eliminates the chance of matting. 

When brushing, don't be afraid to get all the way to the top of your extensions.  You need to be brushing the entire weft.  Be gentle and never tug on a tangle but be sure not to ignore a knot in the hair.

Every few days run your hands along the tops of your rows to inspect the extensions. If you feel anything concerning, any matting or bumps on your scalp be sure to let me know ASAP.  Most of the time any issue that is reported is nothing or its a minor adjustment.  However, if left unattended certain issues can be become a problem.

Don't over do it with toning shampoo.  Certain ones can dramatically dry out the hair.   These shampoos are great for neutralizing unwanted tones but they can also turn the hair unwanted colors.   This looks terrible, is hard to remove and can make the extensions not match your hair anymore.  It's better to come into the salon for a toning treatment.  It lasts longer and is moisturizing.

Invest in your hair,

it's the crown you never take off!