How to Care for Your Hair Extensions So They Look Better, Longer – Whether you want to add length, volume, or simply switch up your style for a new season, hair extensions are a great option. They offer flexibility, but without proper care, you can end up with matted hair, dull strands, or even worse, irreversible damage to your real hair. We want you to snatch your edges… not lose them.
Even though it doesn’t grow from your scalp, you must take care of extension hair as if it does — after all, you paid for it, sis! “The best way to maintain your extensions is to take care of them as you would your own hair. Use products that you would use on your hair and [avoid] too many harsh chemicals,” advises hairstylist Sabrina Porsche, who worked on Black Is King and gave Beyoncé those golden beaded braids for the “OTR II” tour book.
Not all extensions are created equal. The look you are trying to achieve as well as your hair texture will determine the best extensions for you. Sew-ins are extensions that are literally sewn onto cornrows made with your own hair (plus added braiding hair for durability). While this technique is often illustrated on Black women, anyone can try this particular method. Porsche explains, “The benefit of sew-ins are that you can get a super long wear, a protective style, and it promotes hair growth.”
Another extremely popular option for your hair are tape-ins, which work as the name suggests: The extensions are placed on thin tape wefts and sandwiched between your real hair. They aren’t bulky if installed correctly; in fact, Porsche says one of the main benefits is that they “look super natural and undetectable.” She also raves about clip-ins for the woman who may not have a lot of time on her hands or has minimal experience with extensions. She elaborates, “They are great for quick and temporary length and to add volume.” ADVERTISEMENT
Other options include microlinks, a type of hair extension that is attached to your hair by taking small strands and securing the extensions with little silicone beads, which Porsche says are also great for length and volume. These are also slightly higher maintenance with necessary hair appointments at least once a month for upkeep. The next level up from microlinks are keratin extensions. Like microlinks, they fuse small strands of your hair with the extensions; however, unlike microlinks, they use heated keratin protein to bond and fuse your hair and the extensions. They’re pricey, but pretty much undetectable — making them a popular option amongst celebrities.
No matter what type of extension you decide to get, they all require some upkeep. We spoke with some of the best hairstylists in the game to share their tips on the best way to maintain your hair extensions to keep that install looking impeccable. […]