I got my platinum hair extensions applied around 2 months ago. As a hair extension virgin, I’d been told that they required loads of maintenance and work to keep them looking right. Well after weeks of wear and tear, I can say that they are still absolutely perfect. I had a full head applied (I believe that’s around 125 strands… Someone correct me if I’m wrong please) and I have not lost a single one…not one! Even my hairdresser Kelley was surprised, but the trick to this was very simple…I’ve done exactly what she told me to!
Hair extensions are fantastic, particularly for anyone who struggles with thin or fine hair, but you do need to be prepared to look after them. Although to be fair, I’ve treated them pretty much exactly the same as I would my own hair. Aside from general TLC, there are a few things that you’re advised to do to protect your extensions and prolong the life of them. All of these things have really helped me to keep mine in place and looking as good as new.
No to sulfates
Sulfates are a big no no when it comes to extension care, as they break down the bond in the extensions, causing them to fall out. Most “drugstore” shampoos contain sulfates so my biggest piece of advice if you’re investing in hair extensions – invest in good quality shampoos and conditioners. I’m currently using products from the Tigi range. Yes, these are more expensive but if you’re spending money on expensive extensions it’s well worth forking out a little bit extra on products. Plus, I find these products last so much longer than your regular shampoo and conditioner. I typically get around 2-3 months out of mine so when you break it down, it’s really not that expensive in the long run. Applying conditioner on the bonds can also cause them to loosen and come out so avoid conditioner around your roots and concentrate on the mids to ends. I’d never really put conditioner around my roots though as my hair would become oily looking too quickly!
On a separate note, the Tigi shampoo and conditioner I’ve been using is insane for thing hair. I’ve been using this with my extensions and sometimes my hair is too big! Yes, there is such a thing as hair too big! I’ve been pulling a bit of a Tina Turner on it lately so I may have to switch shampoo! If you fine or thin hair that lacks volume, though, you absolutely have to try this out! I promise you won’t regret it! This range can be bought from salons and salon supply shops but I’ve found the bargain of the century here. Only €18.25 for a 750ml shampoo and conditioner!
Big hair, beware!
No wet bonds
Another thing I was advised of by Kelley when she put in my extensions was to always ensure the bonds are dry. The extensions do take a good bit longer to dry and style so for all the lazy girls who like to air dry their hair, this is perfectly fine, just make sure to blast the top of your head and where ever the bonds are with the hairdryer. Leaving the bonds wet can, again, break down the keratin bond formula. I always make sure to thoroughly dry the bonds after I’ve washed my hair, using my new ETI Turbo Stratus hairdryer (Peter Marks, €59.90). This hairdryer, used in salons and by professionals, makes the job much easier and quicker.
No more tangles
In the two months that I’ve had my extensions, my hair has actually grown quite considerably so the extensions have moved down a good bit. As this happens, it’s important to ensure they don’t become matted. You can do this by brushing your hair throughout the day. Anyone who works, lives or spends any amount of time with me will notice me doing this regularly (see, I’m not just a total weirdo) but it does help to keep your flowing locks tangle free and fresh looking. I use my trusty Tangle Teezer (Boots, €15.99) which I find is brilliant for gently getting rid of any little knots or pesky tangles. I haven’t been tying up or plaiting my hair religiously at night – another warning message you’ll come across when doing your research into extensions – and mine are just fine. The main message I want to get across is that extensions are easy to manage. If you’re committed to taking care of your hair, you’ll be just fine.
I’m a sucker for hair treatments. I’ve used some in the past that have been great and others that have been completely underwhelming, but never before have I been as excited as I am about Olaplex. This little wonder has come onto the Irish market recently and has started to receive so much media attention. You may be familiar with it through Kim Kardashian’s blonde transformation earlier this year. I’m not going to go into the science behind Olaplex (because really, I don’t understand it) but in essence, it works to multiply the bonds in your hair and join broken bonds to make them stronger. Basically, it’s really, really good for your mane! It is most commonly used for drastic colour changes , like Kim’s, that would, otherwise completely destroy your hair. With Olaplex, someone could go from a dark hair shade to blond in a far quicker time , without your hair breaking or snapping. However, it doesn’t have to be used when colouring your hair. I had it done as a treatment last week and it was fantastic for this. It was just applied to my hair and extensions in a two part process, rinsed out and blow dried and it has left my hair in great condition. My hair wasn’t bad before but it just feels in much better condition. This will be amazing for repairing damage done to hair and definitely a must in my eyes for any of you ladies who like to colour your hair. I love how it’s worked to treat and condition my hair and I am so excited to incorporate it into my colour next time. I’ll keep you guys informed of how that goes.
So that’s how I’ve been caring for my extensions since I got them in. There’s very little else that you need to do. Of course, all of these tips can be used on your own natural hair. I was already in the practice of looking after my hair so maybe this made it a bit easier for me but once you follow your hairstylists’ instructions, your extensions will last. I’m two months into the life of mine and I reckon they’ll last the same amount of time again if not more!
What are your secrets behind looking after your locks? Have any of your tried Olaplex or done your research on it? If you’ve got any questions on hair extensions and maintenance, drop us a comment below or on Facebook or Instagram!