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How to look after hair extensions so they look good and last longer

Whatever form of extension you choose, it will need to be maintained. We spoke with some of the industry’s best hairstylists to obtain their tips on how to take care of your hair extensions and keep them looking immaculate.

Regularly replacing extensions is recommended.

You won’t be able to wear the same extensions permanently, even with the finest care. According to Porsche, a sew-in can last up to three months with proper maintenance and regular visits to your hairstylist. “You’ll know it’s time for your hair to come out when your install is completely visible, because your hair has grown out so much.” “Kim Kimble, a renowned hairstylist who worked on Black Is King and has worked on the crowns of Zendaya, Tyra Banks, Brandy, and others, agrees that it’s also time to come out if it’s been a few months and your style is starting to look completely different from what you started with — and not in a good way. “She recommends removing extensions “every six to eight weeks, depending on how fast your hair develops, across the board for all extensions at all lengths and textures” to minimize matting and tangling.

According to hairstylist David Lopez, who is known for adding exquisite lengths to the hair of models like Ashley Graham and Hailey Baldwin Bieber, strand-by-strand extensions can be worn for up to six months. If your hairstylist does not provide adequate care and maintenance, they will not last as long – you should arrange a monthly session. “If you leave microlinks in for too long, the beads bend out of whack, and when you try to remove them, the beads bend out of whack,” Porsche explains. They tangle and have the potential to rip your hair off.” “If you’re not sure you can commit to so much upkeep, try clip-ins.” Clip-ins are convenient since you can take them out after each session

Make sure your extensions are correctly installed.

Continue to wash your hair.

Porsche explains, “I believe most people are unaware that they may wash their hair while the extensions are on.” Yes, you can, and you should. Even if you’re using extensions, your natural hair and scalp require attention. “I wouldn’t wash the hair as often as you would your real hair,” Porsche warns, “since excessive washing can loosen the install and you won’t get as much wear out of it.” She suggests cleaning and conditioning the extensions at least every two weeks, and once a month at the very least.
According to hairstylist Marcus Francis, “over washing or over conditioning the roots of your hair” will result in “a short-lived adherence to your skull.” This is especially important while wearing microlinks or keratin bonds because you don’t want the beads or bonds to loosen. Be gentle with your roots when washing your hair for these styles; if you are too rough, the style will not last as long. When washing your hair, try to wait as long as possible between washes and be gentle with your roots.
“Hair extensions require special treatment since no oil penetrates down the hair shaft, causing the hair to dry,” notes Kimble. “Use hydrating and gentle-on-the-hair products at all times.” Look for sulfate-free, moderate detergents, and ample of moisture and hydration in your shampoo and conditioner.

Satin or silk are ideal for sleeping.

“The easiest way to keep your hair extensions from drying out is to wrap them in silk or sleep on a silk pillowcase,” Kimble suggests. You may quickly discover how to prepare your extensions before having a good night’s sleep. “Using a small soft bristle brush, gently brush the region where the extensions are linked to your own hair” (near the roots). To keep your hair in the same direction, tie a silk scarf around your head’s circumference, then bind it from the back and knot it at your forehead.”
If you want a wavy look, Kimble suggests braiding your hair in “two loose pigtail braids that will give you some texture the next day.” “Do not tie your hair up in a topknot, low bun, or [let it flow freely],” she advises against some of the most popular nighttime styles. You’ll be dealing with a matted, knotted mess. Brush your hair daily and after removing your extensions.
Francis advises “brushing all tangles out after each use” when it comes to mats and knots. Are your straight extensions curled? Make sure the curls are combed out before starting a new style. If you’re working with straight extensions, use a paddle brush. Detangle your hair with a wide-tooth comb or a detangling brush when it’s damp and conditioned. Issa Rae’s hairstylist, Felicia Leatherwood, created a detangler brush with flexi-bristles that glide easily through your hair and gently eliminate knots (which won Best of Beauty).
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