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Hair Extensions How To Care For Them So Your Own Hair Doesn't Get Damaged

Updated on August 30, 2011

Hair Extensions How To Not Damage Your Own Hair

I learnt about hair entensions and how to care for them when I was in my late teens. I had pretty much always had long hair, but I wanted to experiment with hair extensions anyway. Hair extensions aren't just for people who want longer hair, they're also great for adding body and this is the reason I got them.

I wasn't worried about the effect that hair extensions would have on my own hair, as back then I hadn't heard any horror stories like the ones floating about these days. The heat sealing method was used to apply my hair extensions, and though it does sound a bit daunting when you realise that a form of adhesive and heat are being used on your hair, I can honestly say that I didn't have any problems with damage to my own hair due to having hair extensions put in, or for that matter when I took them out myself at home.

Hair Extensions How To Maintain Them

These are the three steps that I was told to use by my hairdresser, in order to maintain my hair extensions whilst still caring for my own hair.

  1. Always have your head upright when you wash it. I often just used to get the shower head, bend over the bath and wash my hair that way, but that isn't a good idea when you've got hair extensions. The water applies too much weight to the hair and can result in the extensions becoming loose, or worse, falling out and taking some of your real hair with it through breakage. Best thing to do is wash your hair in the shower or if you don't have a shower, in a bath without products. Always use warm water, never hot to wash your hair and extensions.
  2. The reason that you wouldn't want to have products in your bath is because hair extensions that are bonded can be made loose by chemicals in products. This means that you have to use a really mild shampoo and conditioner when you have bonded hair extensions, or else they can fall out way before their estimated life span.
  3. Be careful when brushing! You don't want the bristles of the brush to drag on the bonded adhesive in your hair as it could rip the extensions, along with your own hair out. Always make a note of where the bonds are and the carefully brush below them. This is especially important if you've had your hair extensions in for a while and have root growth above the bond. Always use a brush that won't drag, and like when washing your hair and extensions, never bend over and brush your hair that way. A wide tooth comb, is good for combing through the roots.

Pros and Cons Of Semi Permanent Hair Extensions

I followed those steps and didn't have a problem with my hair extensions, or any damage to my own hair. The pros to having hair extensions are:

  • You can instantly add length or body to your own hair without waiting years for it to grow or having to use an abundance of styling products to get body.
  • You can totally change your appearance in a matter of hours if you feel like a change.

There are a few cons however:

  • The extra weight from the hair extensions can give you headaches, though you do get used to the weight after a few days.
  • You'll probably find yourself playing with the bonded adhesive bits from time to time.
  • You must have them taken out once the roots have grown beyond an inch or so or else your own hair may start to break due to the the weight of the extension being lower on the hair.

There are a lot of horror stories out there about people's hair falling out and breaking, but if you care for your extensions then you should have no problems. Though of course the initial quality of the extensions, adhesive and the skill of the stylist who applies them has to be taken into account. Choose a reputable hair salon and you should have no problems, and go for natural hair extensions if possible, they blend in well opposed to the synthetic ones that can make the hair look fried.

Clip On Hair Extensions

If you don't want to commit to semi permanent hair extensions, or if you've tried them and found that they weren't for you, clip on hair extensions are a great way to transform the hair. Celebrity stylists have been using this method for years on their clients, but now clip on hair extensions have gone mainstream.

Clip on hair extensions still need to be cared for like other extensions, they will need to be carefully washed and brushed when not in the hair, but they are an easy option for a different look. You can add length, thickness and colour, thought they do need to be clipped in properly at the roots, or else they too can drag on the hair and cause damage.

These days, lots of women use clip on hair extensions and they are considered a fashion accessory.

Hair Extensions How To Remove At Home

If possible, I say go back to the salon where you had them put in and get them to take the extensions out. The thing about single strand hair extensions (it's not really one strand, more 50 or so in each bond) is that although they have been bonded, they can easily be put back in, but the extensions have to remain in good condition.

I can't remember why, but I didn't want my extensions put back in, so when they grew too far from the roots I took them out myself. As I said, it's best to go back to the salon and have them removed, but sometimes that just isn't possible. It's costs a lot to have extensions removed, and you dont necessarily realise this until you have them in. I asked the question during my hair extensions being applied and I was shocked at the cost (no point trying to remember the cost as this was years ago!), I also asked what would be used to remove them, the hairdresser told me Acetone.

So after 3 months of having my hair extensions in, I removed them at home with the help of my mum. We got some mild nail varnish remover designed for acrylic nails and set to work. I've read accounts of people who have removed hair extensions by just pulling on them, don't do it! You will destroy your own hair.

If going to a salon really isn't an option for whatever reason, then here is how I removed my hair extensions:

  • Mild nail varnish remover on a cotton pad.
  • Place the damp pad around the bonded area and squeeze between finger and thumb.
  • Once the bond is damp, rub the finger and thumb gently back and forth until the adhesive breaks up.
  • Do this for every bond in the hair.
  • Make sure that all adhesive has been removed and then wash and condition the hair.

If the hairdresser hadn't of told me that she would be using Acetone to remove my hair extensions, I would never have tried this, but it worked with ease and I had no ill effects to my hair, even though it was heavily dyed.

I would still recommend that you visit a salon to have your hair extensions removed, but if you are one of those people who would remove them by pulling and picking, then try this method first. It will be far less damaging to the hair. I could have actually had my extensions put back in they were still in such good condition after I removed them, but I was a teenager and had done the hair extension thing, I no doubt moved onto something else after that.


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    • dreadlockrepair profile image


      8 years ago

      " I thought if I washed my hair it would simply untangle the kinks and knots." This is the first thought that comes to mind for most people in this predicament. The most common mistake made when women remove weaves, braids, hair extensions, twists, dreadlock extensions or protective hair styles- is to shampoo immediately. This creates knots, clumps, or masses of tangled matted hair.

      We know that one of the ways that people keep their hair texture healthy after removing a style is to use some type of conditioner after shampooing. But once they shampoo the damage has already begun.

      With tangled and matted hair becoming among the leading causes of hair loss and damage in women,men and children-hairdressers that professionally detangle hair are in high demand.

      Women are actually causing more harm to their super knotted matted hair when they shampoo without detangling the hair first according to Tangled Hair Techs, Hairdressers that detangle hair.

      Some dry hair detanglers such as the Take Down Remover Cream are designed to be used to instantly soften and untangle knots, kinks, mats or tangles in the hair before shampooing.

    • moonbun profile imageAUTHOR

      Luna Fae 

      11 years ago from UK

      Thanks W4W :)

    • W4W Toronto profile image

      W4W Toronto 

      11 years ago from Toronto

      Excellent post!

    • moonbun profile imageAUTHOR

      Luna Fae 

      11 years ago from UK

      Let me know how it goes Tori :)

    • Tori Maltby profile image

      Tori Maltby 

      11 years ago

      Thanks so much for the advice, will definitely be giving it a try soon.

    • moonbun profile imageAUTHOR

      Luna Fae 

      11 years ago from UK

      Have you considered clip on hair extensions? If you are looking to add body to your hair they would bulk it out a bit, and you don't have the hassle of them being semi permanent.

      After the initial cost of clip ons you won't have to pay anything else. You can use them over and over unlike bonded extensions that require lots of looking after. If I were to use extensions again, I would definitely invest in some clip on extensions, I wouldn't have the bonded ones put it again. The clip on one are much more cost effective long term.

      Thank for stopping by Tori :) Hope you go for it!

    • Tori Maltby profile image

      Tori Maltby 

      11 years ago

      great Hub! I've been considering getting extensions for a very long time as I've got really thin hair that doesn't do anything. My main concern however is the cost...

    • moonbun profile imageAUTHOR

      Luna Fae 

      12 years ago from UK

      I totally agree about the clip on hair extensions, if I wanted to add some body to my hair, I would definitely choose that kind in the future (my hair is already pretty long).

      Thanks for the comment :)

    • Research Analyst profile image

      Research Analyst 

      12 years ago

      Hair extensions are really popular, I think celebrities have really made them look fab, I also like the clip on hair because after watching the videos they seem to be the easiest way to get the length you want fast. Thanks for the informational hub.

    • moonbun profile imageAUTHOR

      Luna Fae 

      12 years ago from UK

      It's never applied to the actual head as the extension will have grown well away from the scalp. It's only applied to the bond which is attached to the hair an inch or so down.

      You will find that most, if not all bonded hair extensions are removed by an acetone solution. Though of course, it has to be used properly.

    • advisor4qb profile image


      12 years ago from On New Footing

      One must be careful usign acetone on the head, however, as prolonged exposure can cause nerve damage.


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