Hair extensions, or weaves as they are popularly known as, literally saved the world for a lot of women. Want long or short hair, more voluminous hair or different hair styling without really changing your natural hair then hair extensions are your best bet. However, most women do not accord proper maintenance to their hair extensions and tracks resulting in short-term use and in the worst-case scenario damage to their actual hair.
Nourish Both Your Extensions and Hair
Taking care of your extensions is a two-step process; you have to take care of your extensions and at the same time take care of the hair underneath. Most women will place emphasis on taking care of the actual extensions forgetting that the hair underneath requires equal attention.
When it comes to the actual extensions, they literally function as your hair for the duration that you have them on and you have to treat them as you would your actual hair. A good wash every often should be part of your routine and it is important to remember that your extensions require more care, because they lack the natural oils that your hair receives from the scalp. It is typically ideal to shampoo your hair weekly or bi-weekly depending on whether you sweat a lot or workout.
A gentle shampoo is ideal and in the case of bonding you should be careful with the type of shampoo you use, because some may quickly weaken the bonding. Consult with your hair stylist on which shampoo would be best to use for your bonded or sewn weave.
Use a good leave-in conditioner to both your natural hair and weave after every wash. A leave-in conditioner also comes in handy for maintenance in-between washes to restore luster to the hair and also keep it fresh. Avoid heavy use of oil because they tend to weigh down the extensions causing tangling, but a minimal amount of oil comes in handy after several washes to restore luster to your extensions.
Drying and Detangling your Extensions
After a good shampoo session it is best to allow your extensions to air dry. Extensive exposure to high heat drying agents results in quick damage of the extensions as well as your natural hair. If you must use drying agents, it is advisable to use the lowest heat possible to avoid loosening the bonding agent (in the case of a bonded weave) or drying out your weave.
Detangling is among the main daily maintenance routines you have to go through with your extensions. Have a detangling spray at hand is very useful particularly after washing your extensions to easily comb out the kinks out.
Daily Care and Maintenance
Comb out your weave everyday just as you would your natural hair. Use a wide-toothed comb for a straight weave and your fingers to comb out a curly or textured weave.
When going to bed, plait your weave up into 6 sections and apply a liberal amount of leave-in conditioner. Use a scarf or bonnet to cover up your hair to protect it for the night.
Oil your scalp every often and if you have on a human hair weave you should oil it as well. However, in the case of a synthetic weave you should oil only the scalp, because synthetic weaves often do not require additional use of hair care products.
Take Out Your Weave When It’s Time
It is unsightly and not proper practice to have on a weave that is falling off its tracks. It is recommended to take out your weave after an estimated 6 to 8 weeks. Your natural hair keeps growing underneath the weave and in this time frame it will have grown out by ½ an inch to 1 inch resulting in looser hair and your weave begins to look ragged and old.
The care and maintenance you extend to your hair before putting in a weave is equally important in determining how effectively the weave will serve you. Color your hair in preparation of putting in a colored weave. Your stylist should be able to match the color of your hair to your chosen weave.
Avoid bonding if possible; there have been a number of horror stories going around of women who have had to shave off their hair after getting weaves stuck on their scalps. Bonding is also the leading cause of receding hairlines and it is therefore wise to settle for the traditional sew-in weaves.
Choose quality, to get quality. A good weave will serve you longer and it is therefore ideal to invest in a good human hair weave if possible. A good human hair weave that is properly maintained can serve you for years and it also pays to get it properly fixed on your hair professionally.