Maintaining Extensions

The Importance of Maintaining Your Extensions

Gina Reynolds - Sunday, July 02, 2017

We all love extensions, at least I know I do and I've been wearing them for years! However not maintaining your extensions can lead to damaging results. As with anything not natural to your hair including color, relaxers, perms, etc there's always a possibility of damage from extensions as well. Properly maintaining extensions reduces the chance of damage to your natural hair while wearing extensions.

Everyone's hair is different, some extension wearers never get damage, but there's no way to predict who will or who won't. Not just from the extension, but also from how the client is caring for their extensions at home. I know the internet and YouTube says this won't damage and that wont damage, but I've been doing extensions for years so I'm giving you my honest opinion. Also not all extension methods are suitable for every head or hair type.

Upon the initial installation I advise:

- microlinks 6-10 weeks (maintenance appointment)

- braidless weave 8-10 weeks (new installation)

- fusion 2-4 months, ideally 2 to 3 (new installation)

- regular weave 8-10 weeks, don't stretch past 12 especially if wearing a closure or frontal (new installation)

- tape extensions 6-10 weeks (maintenance appointment).

Unfortunately, many are stretching their extensions from over 3 month to almost a full year.



Microlinks, Fusion, Tape Extensions Braidless Weave

When you keep your extensions in too long your root area will have a lot of new growth. The new growth can twist around and create knots and locs. This can make the comb out process difficult, painful, and take allot of time. It can result in hair loss or having to cut your natural hair. Your new growth can cause tension between the extension and your scalp from hanging because there's so much space between them and cause hair breakage or alopecia. Your hair is stronger when the scalp and extension aren't far apart. This is also true with the braidless weave process. I recommend to have your braidless weave no longer than 8-10 weeks. Once it starts to grow out much the hair will flip over the wefts and create knots and locs. Especially when you're washing your hair. Also I advise not to go to sleep with your extensions wet. If you absolutely have to please comb them out thoroughly and make a loose braid or pony tail before going to sleep. And remember to make sure your natural hair is also combed out properly so it's not bunched up under the extension.

If you're seeing your colorist in between (and it's ok to get color) please advise them to properly neutralize and remove excess color and bleach product from your hair. They need to pay extra attention because you have extensions in. If they do not properly remove color and especially bleach it can be very damaging. Also with tape extension and fusion, certain shampoos and conditioners will break down the adhesive in the tapes and they will slip out faster.


Weave

Your natural hair will shed more upon removal and comb out when it's left in too long. There will be more knots in your natural hair. There's more pulling around the hair line which can cause tractional alopecia especially if wearing a closure or frontal. Your pores can be clogged due to dry scalp, scalp inflammation, and debris which can stunt hair growth. There's more dry scalp and debris stuck in the hair and scalp. The hair inside the weave is often more dry and brittle. Please properly dry your corn rows after shampooing your weave. Even if you can't get it 100% dry, dry your corn rows as much as you can. If not they can get mildew and it start to smell.

Maintaining extensions can be a timely and expensive process, but for the health of your hair and scalp its best to budget for reinstallations and maintenance appointments to get the best use out of the extension hair and installation. This is also important for scalp and hair health.

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