10 Steps to Great Extensions
By Master Hair Artist Mallorie Porter
Mallorie Porter is our Master Hair Artist and Extension Specialist at our Zandi K Salon Denver West location. She loves doing extensions on her clients and on herself. Whether it’s to have the thick, full hair you’ve always dreamed of or to add some serious inches, extensions are an instant transformation that give you the luxurious hair you may not be able to grow yourself. Below, Mallorie gives us the inside scoop on what extensions are all about!
STEP 1 – TRUST
There are so many different types of extensions and plenty of stylists that offer them to choose from. A stylist you trust will be able to help you make the right decision on what type of extension is best for you. They will make sure they are done correctly without damaging the hair as well as provide you with the knowledge of how to care for them correctly.
STEP 2 – MAINTENANCE
Your stylist will advise you on when it is best for you to come back to have your extensions redone. Listen to them! If you let them go too long past the date they recommend, it can be damaging to your natural hair. Also, NEVER try to take them out yourself. Leave that to your stylist who knows what they’re doing, otherwise you’ll end up in a lot of pain and with a lot of broken hair.
STEP 3 – BRUSH THEM (LIKE ALL THE TIME)
Like a lot. Extensions can tangle more easily than your normal hair. Make sure that you are using a good brush and don’t pull too hard. It’s best to have a firm grip near the roots with one hand, and with your other hand begin brushing from the ends up.
STEP 4 – DON’T OVERWASH
Keep your extensions clean but don’t overdo it! Your extensions will get dry and tangled much more quickly if you wash them too frequently. Try to go at least a couple days between shampoos if you can. If your roots are feeling too oily, use some dry shampoo to absorb the excess oil and get that fresh smell back. I love Aveda Shampure Dry Shampoo!
STEP 5 – SHAMPOO GENTLY & WITH THE RIGHT SHAMPOO
When the hair is wet, it is more fragile and could break more easily. Work the shampoo between the extensions but don’t be too aggressive with your scrubbing. As always, rinse your shampoo out thoroughly, making sure the water is getting the suds out between the extensions too. Be sure to use a sulfate free shampoo. Your stylist will help you figure out what Aveda shampoo will be best for you.
STEP 6 – CONDITION THEM
Because your extensions are not connected to your scalp through the hair follicle, they don’t get all those amazing oils your scalp produces. Try wringing the water out of your hair after shampooing and towel drying your ends a bit before applying your conditioner. You’ll be amazed at how much better your hair soaks it up. Ask your stylist which conditioner will be best for you. Also, use a deep conditioning masque every few washes to keep those extensions feeling great. I always recommend the Aveda Smooth Infusion Smoothing Masque.
STEP 7 – OIL EM’ UP
Since you are not washing and conditioning your hair everyday, your extensions still need some moisture. Applying a light oil or a dry oil daily will keep your extensions soft, shiny, and tangle-free. I love Aveda Shampure Dry Conditioner Spray.
STEP 8 – BRAIDS FOR BEDTIME
At night as you are tossing and turning your extensions can get really tangled. They can also pull on your natural hair which could cause damage. Throw a loose braid in them before you go to bed, but make sure that the braid is very relaxed and loose at the scalp. Night, night Rapunzel!
STEP 9 – PROTECT THEM FROM HEAT
Even though sometimes it seems like your extensions are invincible, they’re not. Hate to break it to you, but they are still real hair and need to be protected from heat. Make sure to apply your thermal protectant before using that curling iron or straightener. Think of it as an oven mitt for your hair. I’m loving the new Speed of Light product from Aveda. It detangles, protects against heat, adds shine, and speeds up blow drying.
STEP 10 – ROCK THESE LOCKS, BABY!
Your hair is your best accessory! Look up some tutorials online to get ideas on new, fun styles if you are feeling bored. You have amazing, thick, envy-inducing hair, so you better flaunt it. If someone asks if that is all your hair, tell them “hell yes it is!” After all, you bought it!