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I hope your week has been beautiful. I have been wearing hair extensions for almost 10 years on and off now and it is one of the easiest ways to switch up my style while letting my natural hair grow as much as possible. In the past 3 years, I have been wearing human hair extensions or weaves because they are more natural looking and last for a really long time. They have not been cheap at all and their prices depend on what length you choose which is why i always take care of my weaves/hair extensions to ensure they last for a really long time and look healthy while they are installed on my hair. A lot of people think they do not have to take care of their weaves but that's wrong; that's the only way to preserve it and ensure it looks healthy. I daresay you may have to take care of your weave almost as much as your natural hair...ok, a little bit close but you get my drift. I am going to share a few tips that have worked for me to ensure my weaves are always in top form year in year out...
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Great Quality Weaves
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A good style would help maintain your weave for a long time. I prefer to install low maintenance styles that requires minimal manipulation. If you have to pull, tug, brush and comb your hair to frame the style every morning then it would be too much tension both for your natural hair and your extension which is not very good. Furthermore, when you manipulate your extensions every time, you stand the risk of experiencing shedding no matter how tightly wefted the extensions are or how well you sealed the wefts.
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Invest in Good Quality Hair Essentials
Again, I prefer to keep it simple. When i have a weave, i make sure i have the following tools at hand: A wide toothed comb, a smaller comb, a brush (optional), a silk bonnet, a shower cap and bendy rollers. I prefer to use a comb for my weaves compared to a brush but that's just my preference. At night, i give my extensions a good comb-through and put it in two pigtails and secure the ends with a non-grip hair tie and put on my silk bonnet and that's it. I prefer a silk bonnet because it protects the hair from any snags while sleeping and it preserves its natural lustre and shine. In the shower, I put on a shower cap in order to prevent water getting to my weave as that's not very good especially when i am not washing my weave afterwards. If i want curls, I use my bendy rollers overnight protected in the silk bonnet and i go to bed to wake up to lovely heat-less curls.
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Minimal Heat Application
Many people use heat almost everyday on their extensions and they wonder why their extensions look dodgy after a little while. Applying heat consistently to any kind of hair (both your natural hair and your extensions) has never been a good thing. Constant heat applications through curlers and straighteners would only add to eventual collateral damage to your hair extensions. Sometimes, it can even change the texture and the soft silky feel of lovely hair extensions may even disappear forever. I know it can be fun with the rollers, curlers and straighteners but it should not be done too often. With my extensions, i only apply heat to them once in two weeks (I am lazy like that) except i am in dire need of a different look for an occasion. You can always get curls using bendy rollers or even pin curls with thousands of tutorials for heat-less curls on YouTube.
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Weekly Washing and Conditioning
Quite a few people find it really hard to wash their hair extensions while it is installed on their hair hence they do not wash it at all or go to the salon to have it "expertly" washed. oh well!! I know it could be a bit challenging but i wash my hair every week usually on Saturday evening or Sunday afternoons. I don't pour water from the top of my head or anything of the sort instead I part my hair into two sections and take down the shower head so i am in control of the direction of the water. I don't scrub or heavily manipulate while washing; i just use my fingers in a downwards stroke to massage the hair extensions with some shampoo to get rid of any product build up or dirt, repeat on other side and rinse off. Then, I proceed with my conditioner, let it sit for a few minutes with the same downward stroke and rinse off. Most times I air dry (which is why i wash on days i am not going out) or if i am impatient, I would blow dry with my dryer on low heat. My favourite shampoo and conditioner is the Herbal Essence Hello Hydration Range which is amazing and leaves my hair extensions really soft and back to its original soft silky state.
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Moisture, Natural Lustre and Hair Products
As a rule of the thumb, i prefer not to use a lot of products on my hair extensions as i find it weighs it down a lot and it makes it look really limp and dull. If i feel my hair extensions are dry, i lightly apply some serum (John Frieda's Frizz Ease Serum) lightly between my hands and massage it evenly around the hair extensions. Honestly, this is the only product that my hair extensions actually need and it helps restores its shine and natural lustre. If i have to apply heat to my hair extensions, I always use a heat protectant before i apply heat.Again, my favourite one is John Frieda's Frizz-Ease Heat Defeat. I ensure the heat protectant is fairly dry before applying the heat because applying heat to damp hair is an absolute no-no!
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Colouring and Bleaching your extensions
I am not against colouring or bleaching hair extensions, in fact, it is one of the ways of switching up your extensions in a bid look different if you feel bored already. I have bleached, dyed, coloured and ombred most of my hair extensions and it has always been fun. If you buy good quality hair extensions, you won't have to worry about any extensive damage to them. However, once you apply any of these chemical processes to hair extensions, you must always condition your hair extensions for a longer time to ensure it still retains its natural lustre and texture. When i bleached and "ombred" my hair extensions, i conditioned it for almost 15 minutes every week and my hair extensions were super soft. Of course, you don't have to condition for that long but i did it because i just felt like. Most times, these chemical processes could expose your hair extensions to dryness, brittleness and sometimes shedding so it is very important to condition and apply some serum if need be. I know this was a longer post than most of my recent posts but i hope you have enjoyed it. Even if you do not wear hair extensions, you can still apply some of these steps in taking care of your natural hair. See you in my next post...toodles...xx