Thursday, January 30, 2014

hair extension care

I've had my second set of hair extensions for almost six months now. I've taken care of this set much better than my old set that only lasted two months. While I don't wear my extensions everyday (because sometimes I'm too lazy), I've gotten much better at taking care of them so they stay clean, soft, and blend well. This post is dedicated to my tips on washing, styling, and traveling with hair extensions, with a few tips on blending them into your hairstyle.
First off, I use the Euronext 18 inch set in dark brown from Sally's Beauty Supply, since my hair stylist recommended it. I went into the store to find the shade closest to my natural hair color.
After I took these photos for an outfit post (left), I got the extensions and tweeted this one later that day!
Washing, Traveling, Styling, and Blending Tips:

Washing
At Sally's, the ladies there showed me what kind of products I should be using. (On my old set, I didn't use any products, so they got ruined pretty quickly.) About once a month (since I don't wear them every day) I wash the extensions with this shampoo and spray in this leave-in conditioner. I LOVE that this set smells like a hair salon!

It's up to you on how long you between washing your extensions. I do about once a month since I don't wear them every day, and when I do, I don't always style them with products. When they feel kind of rough and crunchy is when you know you should absolutely wash them!

After washing, lay the extensions flat and on a towel. I wouldn't recommend blow drying them.

Traveling
It can be tricky taking extensions with you when you are traveling. Sometimes clip-ins can get uncomfortable and you don't want to wear them on the plane. For me, when I had my 10+ hour flight to Italy last August, I just wore them the whole way there. Personally, I think clip-ins are pretty comfortable if they're clipped in right. They also did not set off the metal detector going through security in the US, Amsterdam (my layover), and Italy.
If you don't want to wear them on a flight or during a road trip, you can stow them in your suitcase. When I do that, I tie them together with a hair tie, and keep them in a plastic bag. This way, they have less of a chance of getting tangled in other things or getting spilled on from accidental liquid leaks.

If you want to use an actual hair extension travel carrier, this one from Etsy would work and has a fun zebra print. I haven't tried using a travel carrier, but they seem like an easy and safe way to travel with extensions.

Styling Products
My number one rule with styling hair extensions is to always use heat protectant. It's really important to do this to protect the extensions, because even if they are human hair, they're not "alive" and attached to the scalp anymore. Does that make sense? It sounds kind of gross...haha. I spray heat protectant on the ends of my real hair in addition to any part of my extensions that will get heat.

After styling, a leave-in conditioner will further protect the extensions and keep them somewhat moisturized. I use this kind from Sally's.

Lastly, use the lowest heat setting possible on your curling iron or flat iron. My hair doesn't hold curl easily, so I bump it up just a little past the lowest setting.
The lighting/shadows in this photo make my hair look two different shades...it's all the same! Haha, I promise!
Tips for Blending
Curling your hair extensions is the best way to make them blend into your real hair, in my opinion. Especially if your extensions aren't quite the right shade (mine are just a tad lighter), curling will make your hairstyle look more "real." (And also more voluminous!) I use this curling wand.
--Side note: my old set of extensions faded dramatically and it looked like I had ombre hair. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't....so far my newer set hasn't faded in color. You can see what it looked like at the bottom of this post.

Depending on what it looks like, you don't need to wear every piece in the set. My set has four layers with four small side pieces. I only wear two layers with the side pieces because if I wear every piece the extensions won't blend.

If I'm wearing a side ponytail or braid, I don't wear the small side pieces.

A teasing comb just may be your hair extensions' BFF. After clipping in the layers, tease the hair above the clips to hide the clips. You don't want the extension clips to show!

If you have any more tips on hair extension care, let me know in the comments!

xo-ally

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