If you want your Tricky Hair extensions to look great, shed less, and last longer, then you seriously need to consider your conditioning regimen. Because hair extensions, clip-in or otherwise are not directly attached to the hair follicles on your head (and therefore don’t reap the benefits of your natural sebum), you have to take extra care to prevent them from becoming dry and rough.
To maximize the longevity of your extensions, you will want to invest in a good rinse-out conditioner. You don’t have to spend tons of money, but make sure the conditioner contains the right amount of ingredients to hydrate, nourish, and protect your extensions. Here are some ingredients you should look for:
Fatty Alcohols: If you see alcohols like cetyl, stearyl, and cetearyl listed on the back of your conditioner bottle, don’t be alarmed. Those are what are considered “good” alcohols. They don’t dry the hair out at all — rather, they are fatty alcohols that make conditioners feel rich and creamy but not greasy and heavy. They also help soften and improve the elasticity of your extensions (preventing breakage).
Proteins and Amino Acids: These are essential to healthy hair! They help strengthen your extensions and prevent breakage that can happen in the combing, handling, and styling process.
Natural Oils: Oils like coconut, jojoba, olive, sweet almond, macadamia, and argan are great for hair extensions. They condition, soften, add shine, and moisturize the hair naturally. Just be careful to not overdo it on the oils — they can leave hair stringy and weighed down with overuse.
To maximize the health of your extensions, follow these every steps every few washes:
- Shampoo your extensions with a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo
- Apply a generous amount of conditioner half an inch away from the clips through the end of the hair.
- Holding the clips, use a wide-tooth comb to remove tangles and smooth conditioner through the hair from ends to where your fingers are holding the clips.
- After working the conditioner through, leave it in for 2 minutes.
- Rinse with lukewarm water thoroughly. Use a t-shirt or microfiber towel to soak up the excess water.
- Let extensions air dry, and store for safe keeping.