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How to Keep Your Hair Extensions Soft and Healthy for Longer

In an ideal world our clothes would last forever and we would never need to replace them, our tyres would never wear out and our make up brushes would stay soft and fluffy forever. In that same world our hair extensions would stay soft, thick and full of lustre for the rest of our lives.

Unfortunately the bitter reality is that hair extensions, like clothes or tyres, are a highly consumable product and have to be treated very carefully and will eventually need to be replaced. However, there are ways to care for your extensions to ensure you get maximum use of out them and make them last longer.

Firstly, let’s get into why your hair extensions get dry, while your own hair stays healthy. Your own hair receives a natural oil called sebum, which is produced at the scalp. When you brush your hair, this nutritious oil coats your hair follicle and is absorbed, leaving your hair feeling soft and shiny and keeping it healthy. You may have heard your hairdresser tell you not to wash your hair too often. This is because you wash away all the sebum and your hair is left feeling dry and coarse. Hair extensions do not receive any of this natural oil and instead are synthetically coated with a type of silicone which, after a few washes, fades and leaves the hair feeling dry. 

Keep reading to learn the best ways to prevent your hair extensions from drying out and making them last longer…

The better the care, the better your hair!

Ways to Keep Your Hair Extensions Soft and Healthy for Longer:

1. Tips for washing your hair extensions

It is very important to use sulphate-free and paraben-free products to wash and condition your extensions.

Sulphates create that foamy texture when you are washing your hair and it does clean your hair, however, because sulphates are so strong, they can strip your hair extensions of all their moisture. This can leave them looking dry and frizzy. Try our shampoo and conditioner hair care kit products, which are specifically designed for hair extensions, providing them (and your own hair) with nourishing and moisturising ingredients. 

You only need to wash your hair extensions every 15-20 wears. To do so, follow these steps: Gently wash the extensions, separately from your own hair, in lukewarm water. Leave the extensions to air dry overnight, to avoid heat damage, and once they are dry you can then style them. Brush through your hair extensions and then gather and hold them from the top. Gently run the product through the hair and rinse thoroughly. To nourish your hair extensions, you can do a deep conditioning using good quality products.

2. Use a low heat setting and always use heat protection spray!

This is so important in order to protect your hair extensions from getting burnt or damaged by heat. We recommend adjusting the temperature on your heat styling tool to a low heat setting to avoid burning the extensions, as well as not leaving the iron on a focused area of the extensions for a long period of time. 

ALWAYS use a heat protection product before using a heat styling tool. This will prevent heat damage and allow the extensions to last for longer. After taking the necessary precautions, the hair extensions can be styled in any way you see fit - straightened, curled, waved, etc. 

3. Use the correct brush and brushing technique on your hair extensions

You should never ever use a fine tooth comb on your hair extensions, this will damage the hair and destroy the cuticles. You should also avoid teasing your hair extensions. Avoid blow drying brushes, as they tend to pull the hair from the bonds, causing shedding. 

So what can I use? 

We recommend using a high quality paddle brush that easily glides through knots.

Important to remember when brushing extensions -  always work from the bottom up!

Picture of woman brushing hair in front of mirror with paddle brush

4. Avoid blowdrying your hair extensions

Blowing your hair extensions all over the place will leave them knotty and frizzy. Rather leave your hair extensions to air dry naturally, laid flat on a towel overnight. If you wash them carefully, they should be mostly tangle free. Once they are dry, they can be brushed with a paddle brush and styled before being applied to your own hair again.

You can use our nifty carrier hanger to hold your hair extensions while styling them. 

Picture of Frontrow carrier hanger

 5. Don't leave your extensions in direct sunlight

Too much time in the sun can allow the UV rays to damage the outer cuticle of the hair, exposing the inside shaft of the hair strand. This can cause your hair extensions to become dry, frizzy, and increasingly difficult to manage. Leaving the extensions out in direct sunlight can also alter the original colour.

Use a heat protection spray on your extensions when you venture into areas with a lot of sun exposure and wear a hat for extra protection - for your own hair extensions. 

6. Do not bleach your hair extensions and avoid colouring

Did you know that most hair extensions were black or a very dark brown colour before they were dyed to the variety of different blonde colours available for you to purchase online?

Think of yourself or a friend you know who has bleached their hair many times. Now think about the kind of strain their hair took…

While hair extension manufacturers have very clever techniques for bleaching hair extensions, there is no way to do this without causing damage to the hair. Even your darker shades will have undergone a bleaching and recolouring process. It is for this reason that we NEVER recommend bleaching or lightening your hair extensions. A silver shampoo can work to tone the extensions, but even silver shampoo used multiple times can cause the extensions to feel dry. 

You can dye hair extensions darker with minimal damage, but we find unless you are solely depositing colour without a developing agent, there will always be some level of damaged caused to the hair extensions. Rather  dye your own hair to match the colour of your hair extensions.  

7. Use nourishing oils on the hair extensions

This will keep your hair extensions looking soft and tangle-free for longer. It also makes it easier to brush knots out of them, so you don't have to tug at the wefts.

8. Store your hair extensions carefully

Leaving your hair extensions bunched up in the bottom of a drawer or in your travel case will cause them to knot and ultimately damage them over time. The difficulty you experience when brushing out these knots adds to the amount of damage that is caused during brushing. Tie your extensions together at the clips and store your extensions in your Frontrow box. Using our hanger for storage works well, but only for short-term storage, as leaving them on the hanger for long periods of time can cause them to dry out. 

Picture of collection of Frontrow packaging boxes