As hairstylists and hair extension experts we often take our knowledge for granted that everyone has a lot of the same information. Things that can seem obvious to us aren’t always obvious to clients and we end up glossing over things we should focus on more.
Hair extensions means more hair and that NEVER means less at time spent on hair at home. Period. End of story.
So, in the interest of everyone being more informed, here’s the four things that ought to be stressed more:
- HEAT PROTECTION/OILS/SILICONES— these are a MUST. No matter what method of hair extensions, no matter what quality of hair, no matter what; human hair responds poorly to heat damage/moisture loss and requires protection and moisturizing on a regular basis. Most heat protectors are oil and silicone derivatives in a mixture and these are great for protecting your hair on days heat is used. Separate moisturizing oils should be applied daily, even without additional heat, because your pillowcases and hands and brushes and clothing that your hair touches will all pull oils back out of your hair and leave it dry. It doesn’t matter if you don’t want to use product, the simple matter is that if you don’t use the correct care products your nice new hair extensions will turn to velcro in less than a month.
- SLEEP RULES— to prevent tangles it is necessary to avoid going to bed with wet hair, and also to brush hair up into a bun/braids/side pony for sleeping. Leaving wet hair can cause mildewing (depending upon the method) and bad tangles in the extensions and above the attachment point. Tangles above the attachment point cannot be undone without removing the extensions, and tangles in the extensions themselves can be very uncomfortable to remove or even create slipping or damage when pulling to detangle.
- BRUSHING–basically you need to carry a hairbrush with you. No amount of product is going to prevent tangles from starting, having a brush with you means you can manage your hair before it starts to bunch up. Without enough moisture and proper brushing your hair extensions will become unmanageable. Hair should be brushed thoroughly before every shower and as often as you can in general. I try to shoot for 4 times daily as a minimum. Four quick brushes per day will save you from a 2 hour salon visit for detangling.
- HAIR EXTENSIONS ARE MORE WORK AND WILL NEVER ACTUALLY FEEL EXACTLY LIKE YOUR REAL HAIR— I mean, c’mon with this; it’s not ever a perfect match for your hair texture because it’s not actually your hair, there’s an attachment method near the roots, and there’s a learning curve because it didn’t just grow out it just shows up suddenly… Why would you expect it to behave exactly the same as your real hair? Stylists need to be more upfront about this fact because clients need to have realistic expectations before spending their money on a service like hair extensions. We explain a million times in a row the realistic expectations for a color correction trying to go blonde, why aren’t we upping our game with client consultations everywhere else on our services?