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DIY Hair: How to Take Care of Extensions

I'm a big fan of extensions. I've been using several different kinds for almost 6 years. From natural glue-in tracks to 18-inch synthetic clip-ins to 20-inch natural tape-ins, I've picked up a few tricks.

If you're still in the what-sort-of-extensions-should-I-get stage, take a gander at my hair extension guide. If you've already got some hair that you plan to add to your own mop, these tips will help you keep it all healthy.

1. Brush

This is incredibly important, whether your extensions are on your head or being stored. Brush them daily, or else you'll end up with some weird, temporary dreadlocks. This is particularly true for the extensions closer to the nape of your neck. If you're seeing dreads while using reusable extensions, there's a chance you may not be able to reuse them at all!

So, brush in the morning. Brush if you feel tangles. Brush before lunch. Brush before bed. Just be sure that you're gentle - which we'll discuss later - because pulling can cause your hair to break. If you're feeling snarly, take it slow and brush working your way from ends to roots. Hold on to your roots, where the extensions attach, and use a soft bristle brush. It can go a long way in preserving your extensions, and maintaining some sexy ass hair.

2. Condition

I am a HUGE fan of conditioning, all the time. It's good for your normal hair, and great for your extensions!! Hair serum, detangling spray, and conditioner are all possibilities for synthetic and human hair extensions.

I always use leave-in conditioner, working a bit into my damp, post-shower hair (hint: you don't have to buy specially marked "leave-in" - just use a bit of your normal conditioner). This is something you should do whether your extensions are in or out. If you can't handle having long and beautiful hair all the time, make sure you remember to occasionally condition your extensions. Then they'll still be ready for you once you decide to take the jump again.

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3. No Poo

By poo, I'm referring to SHAMpoo, of course. But please don't put any other sorts of poo in your hair either. It probably goes against your instincts to not shampoo, but the chemicals in it can actually serve to dry out and irritate your scalp and hair.

Here, you're presented with two options: to join the no poo movement, or to just lighten up on your shampooing. Use a mild, baby shampoo, and shampoo less frequently. You shouldn't be doing it daily anyway, as it strips your hair of the natural oils that keep it looking and feeling healthy.

This lady has a fantastic blog post about her journey being poo-free!
This lady has a fantastic blog post about her journey being poo-free! | Source

4. Keep Them Braided

If wind, sleep, or other activities that are rough on your locks are in the forecast, opt for some braids. This'll help keep your extensions from tangling and matting. You should braid your extensions every night before sleep, since you'll be rubbin' all up on that pillow. Also avoid speed boats and convertibles.

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5. Minimize Heat Use

Another good tip to keep in mind when caring for both your extensions and your own head of hair is to minimize its contact with heat. Look for alternative ways to curl your hair... Maybe use rag rolls, or go full-granny with curlers. Let your extensions dry naturally, rather than using a blow dryer. If you absolutely must use heat, at least be sure to spray on a heat protectant first.

I know it's hard to break up with your straightener and curling iron, but they've just got to understand. Your relationship is starting to become dependent and unhealthy, and you just can't keep giving when all they do is take. Wipe your tears away and look at this as an opportunity to be more creative with your styling methods!

Successful rag rolled curls!
Successful rag rolled curls!

6. Be Gentle

Everything you do, do with care. Wash and brush gently, to prevent shedding. Don't get into any cat fights, because someone always gets their weave ripped out. Over your extension journey, some hair will undoubtedly fall out. However, you can slow it to a large extent if you're careful in everything you do.

You never know when you'll need extensions to complete an awesome WWE costume... So treat them with love!
You never know when you'll need extensions to complete an awesome WWE costume... So treat them with love!

7. Reduce Exposure

Exposure in this sense refers to many things. Sun, chlorine, nuclear radiation, these are all things to avoid. If you find yourself outside a lot, opt for a hat. If you're a lap swimmer, wear a swim cap! If you're in an area with nuclear radiation, well, I'm not sure what to tell you. Just don't be.

Wear a hat in the sun! While you're at it, dress like a cowboy!
Wear a hat in the sun! While you're at it, dress like a cowboy!

More Hair Help

I hope you'll treat your extensions right, so that they can last for the longest amount of time possible! They're expensive, so save yourself some money by spending a little more time on them. If you're looking for more hair things, check out some of my other articles!

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