In the pursuit of flawless, flowing locks, hair extensions have become a game-changer for many seeking to enhance their natural beauty. However, embarking on this journey requires a discerning eye and a commitment to the well-being of your extended tresses. The market is flooded with an overwhelming array of hair care products, each claiming to be the secret to a perfect mane. Yet, not all that glitters is gold when it comes to the health and longevity of your hair extensions. Join us on this exploration into the do’s and don’ts of hair extension care, as we unveil the products you should steer clear of to ensure your extensions stay luxurious, vibrant, and undeniably fabulous.
#1: Products That Contain Sulfate
Be sure to check the ingredient listing and ensure you don’t see the words: SLS, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Alcohol denat, Ethanol, SD alcohol 40, Propanol, Isopropyl, and Propyl. These ingredients can spell disaster for your extensions.
Purchasing sulfate and alcohol-free products is a necessity as they are imperative to maintain the health of your extensions. These ingredients strip the hair of its natural oils which, in turn, makes the hair drier and more prone to tangling or matting. Prolonged use of these ingredients will affect their integrity. Always be sure to do one simple thing before you buy any product … flip it over! Not all companies claiming to make sulfate-free shampoos are truly free of sulfates. This is why it is super important to know what to look for when reading ingredients.
Products To Avoid on Hair Extensions #2: Alcohol
There are different types of alcohol and not all alcohols are created equal. Some can be harsh on your natural hair and extensions, leading to dryness, frizz, dullness, and breakage. For example, Isopropyl alcohol is drying and harsh to our natural hair and can usually be found in hair sprays and gels because it dries faster when applied. Constant use of products containing this alcohol can wreak havoc on your extensions.
However, that isn’t to say all alcohol is bad. Fatty alcohols like Cetyl, Stearyl, Cetearyl, Myristyl, Behenyl, and Lauryl are actually beneficial. Cetearyl alcohol and Cetyl alcohol are two of the most common fatty alcohols in hair products as they support moisture and manageability. They also provide slip to our favorite conditioners which allows us to detangle our hair better.
#3: Heavy Oils and Silicone-based Products
While some styling products are necessary, overusing them can lead to product buildup on the extensions. Products such as gels, waxes, and heavy oils will clog up your extensions. While some oils can be beneficial for hair, heavy oils, and silicone-based products can weigh down extensions and make them greasy, so you must wash them more frequently. And overwashing equals dry and tangled extensions.
Also, keep in mind that the products that you use in your natural hair can travel onto your extensions from constant head movement and heat from your scalp. This buildup can make the hair look dull and weigh it down.
Products To Avoid on Hair Extensions #4: Frequent Washing
While it’s essential to keep your extensions clean, washing them too often can strip away natural oils and lead to dryness. You really only want to wash your permanent extensions every few days to keep them healthy. Follow the care instructions provided by the extension brand or stylist or click HERE to discover about the hair extension washing frequency. Besides, exposure to chlorinated and salt water can cause damage to hair extensions.
#5: Chemical Treatments & Harsh Styling Tools
Avoid using heated styling tools at high temperatures, as excessive heat can damage the hair fibers in extensions. If you must use heat styling, use a heat protectant and keep the temperature moderate. Besides, avoid harsh chemical treatments, such as perms or relaxers, on hair extensions, as they can weaken the hair fibers and compromise the integrity of the extensions.
You also need to be cautious with hair ties and clips that can cause stress on the extension bonds or wefts. Opt for gentle, snag-free alternatives to prevent breakage.
Products To Avoid on Hair Extensions #6: Protein Products
Protein products can be beneficial for maintaining the health and strength of human hair extensions. Human hair extensions, like natural hair, contain proteins, and using protein-based products can help keep the hair fibers strong and resilient. However, it’s important to use these products judiciously and not overdo it, as excessive protein can lead to stiffness and brittleness. The below products are “hydrolyzed” which means they are broken down to a concentrate that binds to water and allows for deep penetration into hair strands. These products work very well on natural hair, but will often have adverse effects on hair extensions.
- Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein
- Hydrolyzed Milk Protein
- Hydrolyzed Collagen
In conclusion, choosing the right products for your hair extensions is crucial to maintaining their longevity, shine, and overall health. Avoiding certain products can help you preserve the natural beauty of your extensions and ensure they stay in excellent condition for an extended period. By investing in the right products and adopting a mindful hair care routine, you can enjoy beautiful, luscious locks for an extended period without compromising the integrity of your hair extensions.