The world is obsessed with hair extensions — but their lifetime can be largely dependent on how you care for them.
I asked the celebrity hairstylist and Great Lengths Hair Extensions specialist who did my own hair extensions, Yuksel Sanat of Sanat Hair Salon on the Upper East Side of New York City, for some of his tips on how to best care for extensions — keep them in mind when caring for your own!
1. Using a small bristle brush, brush your hair extensions a minimum of two times a day and before every shampoo. Start detangling the ends and brush up towards the roots. Make sure the extensions are tangle-free in the root area. This is very important — skip just once and you may see matted hair and tangles!
2. Dry your hair before going to bed. Never go to sleep with wet hair. The best style to sleep in is a braid or a not-too-tight ponytail. Tying your hair up at night is super important. This helps to keep the hair from tangling and knotting as you toss and turn in your sleep. A soft, low ponytail is enough, but a braid is best.
3. Consult your hairstylist with issues concerning hair color or any other chemical services. Extensions attach to your natural hair and everyone loses several strands of hair per day (anywhere from 50-150), and because they are attached to the extension bond, they cannot fall completely out. These ends can cause tangling. By allowing your stylist to perform a maintenance check, he or she can trim these loose ends near the scalp and reduce tangles.
4. In order to maintain the beauty of the hair throughout the life of your hair extensions, it is very important that you ask your hairstylist specific questions about hair care and maintenance. For example, it is best to use sulfate-free shampoo on your extensions to prevent them from drying out? Using sulfate-free shampoo will keep your hair shiny and moisturized. When washing your hair, always wash with your head leaned back instead of forward. Try to avoid scrubbing motions when shampooing your hair because it can cause your extensions to matte and tangle. Instead be gentle, using a downward motion with your hands. Do not put conditioner on the bonds or tapes as this can cause them to slip out. Put conditioner on your hair using the same downward motion.
5. Yuksel is a specialist in great lengths hair extensions — which I myself wear — and he’s a big fan of the extensions’ 100 % keratin tip. After he applies the hair extensions, he makes sure that his clients have a bristle brush with them in their bag at all times as brushing is essential.
Gentle, gentle, gentle is the name of the game always! Now that you officially know how to care for hair extensions, read more about my personal extension journey here.