Hair extensions are an amazing beauty investment. We don’t need to convince you of that. Extensions add length and volume, are personalized to your style, and can be adjusted for color changes, seasons, and life events. It’s important to use the best extensions (like our JZ Styles Extensions) and a professional salon for installation. But you also need to take care of your hair extensions after installation. When you take care of your hair extensions properly, they last longer, look better, and give you stress-free confidence in the health and beauty of your hair.

Don’t worry, hair extension care isn’t complicated. While it takes some extra time to keep hair extensions beautiful and healthy, our tips fit smoothly into your normal hair care routine.

We’re giving you all the tips and products you need to keep your extensions beautiful for as long as possible. Ready to get started?

Why hair extension care is so important

Hair extensions aren’t cheap, right? It’s no secret that professional installation with high-quality wefts is a time and money investment. Installations can take hours, after all. Remember, though, that properly installed, high-quality hair extensions are worth your time and money.

This is the biggest reason to take good care of your hair extensions: you invested in them! And when you follow our professional hair extension care advice, your extensions will last longer and keep their volume and shine. Also, your real hair will be protected in the long run. We want your hair extensions to look gorgeous for as long as you wear them.

It’s all about self care, wellness, and your beauty.

These are our 9 steps to take care of your hair extensions. If you have any questions after reading, leave a comment at the bottom or contact us.

hair-extension-care-guide-before-after

1. Professional installation and maintenance

We’ve already mentioned this, but it’s worth mentioning again. Professional installation of hair extensions is the first step in making sure your hair extensions have a long life, are comfortable, and don’t damage your natural hair.

Are there ladies who can apply their own extensions? Sure, but many have taken classes or watched a lot of educational videos. If you order your own hair extensions and try to install them yourself (or have a friend do it for you), you’re going to run into problems and uncertainties.

Save yourself the headache of incorrect applications by seeing an extension professional.

What to expect at an extension consultation

A hair extension consultation with your stylist should smooth over all of your questions and concerns, while encouraging your ideas and goals. Choosing the best hair extensions for you might seem simple, but there are many considerations you’ll want to discuss with a pro.

  • Tell your stylist about your hair. Is it fine and you’d like to add volume? Do you have full hair and want to add length or color?
  • Are your extensions meant for a specific event like a party, wedding, or vacation?
  • How long do you want to wear your extensions?
  • Do you want your extensions to add any color to your hair, or should the color blend seamlessly?
  • How much upkeep and adjusting are you willing to commit to?
  • What’s your budget?

If your specialist doesn’t ask at least these questions (and any others that come up as they learn about you), that’s a red flag 🚩. Find someone you trust and feed confident with! You should leave your hair extension consultation feeling informed and excited.

Your hair extension specialist can help you select your extension type, positioning, and installation method (we install JZ Styles extensions using 4 different techniques). Additionally, you’ll know exactly how to take care of your extensions, after they’re installed.

Salon maintenance

Tightening or reweaving your extensions is an excellent way to save money, rather than taking them out and starting over again later. Use your professional salon! Let them know what your goals are and how long you plan to wear the extensions.

Okay, your hair extensions were professionally installed. What’s next?

2. Hair care products we love

Why are your product choices so important? Hair extensions do not receive nutrients from the scalp, they are prone to drying and breakage, and they are easily stripped of color and vibrancy. So which products you put on your hair and scalp matter a lot.

Because we’re an Aveda salon (here’s why that’s important), we have some favorite products to recommend to protect your hair extensions.

This is one of the most important pieces of hair extension care. What you put in your hair and on your scalp will keep your natural hair healthy while ensuring the vibrancy of your extensions.

We recommend writing some of our favorites down, doing your own research, and reaching out if you have any questions. When you’re ready to try these favorite products for hair extension care, click here.

Did you know Aveda products are free from silicones, sulfate cleansers, parabens, gluten, mineral oil, and petrolatum? Whether you’re caring for hair extensions or just your natural luscious locks, Aveda products take care of you, the environment, and humanity. Read more about Aveda here.

nutriplenishâ„¢ by Aveda

Hair extensions do not receive nutrients from the scalp. That’s a big deal. Natural hair needs nutrients to stay shiny and maintain its volume. Aveda nutriplenishâ„¢ products gently cleanse and feed your hair without stripping it. Superfood ingredients hydrate while preserving color, shine, and volume. This line of essentials keeps your hair extensions from drying out, something that happens when extensions aren’t properly cared for (you’ll read more about this below).

Here are our favorite nutriplenishâ„¢ products to keep your hair extensions healthy, hydrated, and vibrant…

  1. nutriplenishâ„¢ light hydration set: shampoo, conditioner, and leave-in conditioner created with superfood-powered hydration for lush, visibly healthier hair. Organic pomegranate oil rich in omega-5s, organic coconut oil and mango butter, and UV-protectant ginger extract. Lightweight oils are fast-absorbing and replace lipids while sealing in moisture and shine.
  2. nutriplenishâ„¢ daily moisturizing treatment A heat-protectant superfood complex of oils and butters give your extensions and natural hair instant protection and moisture. Because this treatment is excellent for fine hair, ladies who use extensions to add volume will be very happy with their Aveda replenished hair.
  3. nutriplenishâ„¢ multi-use hair oil. This oil has five uses to maintain shine and brilliance: pre-shampoo, leave-in, post-styling, overnight, and as a hydrating scalp massage oil. A blend of powerful plant-based oils pack hydration into every layer of your hair.
  4. nutriplenishâ„¢ replenishing overnight serum. With hair extensions, overnight hydration is crucial to longevity and shine. This overnight serum is highly rated for giving you hydrated and healthy-looking hair every morning. nutriplenishâ„¢ overnight serum is also safe for color-treated, highlighted, and chemically processed hair, making it a favorite for ladies who have colored extensions.

 

I have hair extensions. Should I use nutriplenishâ„¢ or botanical repairâ„¢ products?

nutriplenishâ„¢ products are focused on replenishing nutrients, hydrating hair from the inside out, and protecting the vibrancy of your hair. botanical repairâ„¢ products have more strengthening, cleansing properties that act to prevent build-up at the scalp and strengthen hair.

Discuss these options with your hair care professional. When in doubt: ladies with dry or dull hair may choose nutriplenishâ„¢ while ladies with fine hair who worry about breakage and damage will love the results and protection of botanical repairâ„¢.

botanical repairâ„¢ by Aveda

Environmental stresses, UV exposure, heat styling, and chemical treatments can weaken your hair’s natural bonds. Aveda botanical repairâ„¢ products are focused on strengthening the hair, repairing damage, detangling, and reducing split ends. Plant-based ingredients like avocado and green tea oils give your hair a silky touch, too.

Here are our favorite botanical repairâ„¢ products to keep your natural hair and hair extensions strong, healthy, and luminous…

  1. botanical repairâ„¢ strengthening shampoo and conditioner. Shampoo & conditioner focused on cleansing and strengthening your hair. These products remove excess sebum and product build-up. This plant-derived formula builds bonds to strengthen hair.
  2. botanical repairâ„¢ strengthening leave-in treatment. Just like the botanical repairâ„¢ conditioner, this leave-in treatment detangles hair and prevents breakage. It also prevents UV damage and heat damage, great for warm summer days.
  3. botanical repairâ„¢ bond-building styling cream. Hair bonding (a consistent benefit of all botanical repairâ„¢ products) and styling meet with this vegan styling cream. We’ve seen this popular product give all types of hair a silky smooth touch.
  4. botanical repairâ„¢ strengthening overnight serum. Stronger, healthier hair doesn’t take months of effort. This overnight serum absorbs quickly into the hair follicle and builds resilience from the inside out, with visible effect.

 

More Aveda products we love for hair extension care

  1. color control light shampoo and conditioner. This highly rated shampoo protects color-treated hair extensions (and natural hair) by gently cleansing without stripping the hair. A formula focused on color preservation leaves your hair feeling airy, weightless, and vibrant. Pair the light shampoo with the color control conditioner to protect your soft, radiant hair from color fading.
  2. blonde revivalâ„¢ purple toning shampoo and conditioner. For hair extensions and natural hair that is dyed blonde, this shampoo & conditioner combination restores the salon-blonde look to your hair, neutralizing yellows for an illuminated sheen.
  3. smooth infusionâ„¢ style-prep smootherâ„¢. Apply this leave-in serum to damp hair and start styling. It protects from heat, sun-damage, and frizz for up to 72 hours. With properties that protect against humidity, your hair will stay in place and look amazing all day. It’s great for styling extensions because it protects the hair heat-styling damage and is very lightweight, hydrating your extensions without adding extra weight to the wefts.

 

3. Keep your hair extensions detangled

Keeping your hair extensions detangled avoids frizz, split ends, and damage. Just like natural hair, hair extensions tangle. To avoid excessive tangling and breakage, brush your extensions firmly twice per day. The first time should be in the morning, right after you wake up.

And this isn’t just running your brush through your hair.

You need to start and the bottom and work your way up to the roots, then go back down. Don’t be lazy with brushing when you’re wearing extensions! Proper brushing is third on this list because it’s super important for the longevity of your extensions.

Before brushing, run a comb through your hair to gently loosen any existing tangles and take the stress off your extension connections. Never pull a brush through tangled hair, especially expensive extensions that aren’t connected to your scalp!

We recommend gentle detangling before styling and washing, too.

Finally, during your hair extension installation, ask your stylist for brushing and maintenance tips.

4. Moisturize

Moisturizing is a big theme in this care guide. Most of the tips here come down to hydration and moisturizing! Remember, your hair extensions aren’t connected to your scalp, so it’s up to you to nourish and hydrate them. Hair care products like the above nutriplenishâ„¢ light shampoo, conditioner, and leave in conditioner are a great place to start with hydration, but lifestyle choices have an effect, too.

Swimming in chlorine water is bad for hair extensions. If you’re a swimmer (and you must enter a chlorine pool with your extensions 😫), please wear a tight swim cap and rinse your hair thoroughly as soon as you’re out of the pool.

Similarly, after swimming in the ocean or any fresh water, rinse your hair thoroughly and gently untangle with a comb.

Silk pillowcases come widely recommended for ensuring the longevity of your hair extensions. Other materials like cotton are more likely to dry out hair, and extensions need all the help we can give them. Silk is also smoother and gentler on hair as you toss and turn at night.

Finally, shampoo less often when wearing hair extensions. We recommend shampooing two to three times per month with hair extensions, and using protective shampoos and conditioners like Aveda nutriplenishâ„¢.

5. Allow the extensions to dry

The safest way to dry extensions is air drying. However, you can also pat your hair with a towel and blow dry on a low heat. Vigorously rubbing your head with a towel and heat drying are very risky with extensions. You risk stressing the connections and weakening them over time, and even one instance of rubbing your head too intensely with a towel can remove locks of hair.

Remember how important moisture is to your hair extensions? Only blow dry your hair on low heat if absolutely necessary. Medium and high heat settings are never a good idea for drying (and styling) hair extensions.

Always give your hair time to dry completely after a workout and shower, and never go to bed with wet hair. Wet hair tangles and breaks much more easily, and tossing and turning at night on your pillowcase with wet hair will damage your locks.

At the root of extensions, you’ll want airflow after washing. Consider putting your up hair to air dry with some exposure at the connection point of the extension.

6. Detox to get rid of build up

Sebum, oil, and product can build up at the connection point of hair extensions and on your scalp, and you should practice detoxing to remove this build up. A cleansing shampoo like Aveda’s botanical repairâ„¢ strengthening shampoo is designed just for this. Formulated to fight build up on the scalp, this shampoo has a plant-based formula that is great for cleaning hair extensions at their connection point.

Ask your hair care specialist for his or her scalp cleansing shampoo recommendation, and treat yourself to a warm, luxurious, detoxifying treatment every so often.

7. Adjust extensions when needed

Most hair extensions won’t damage your hair when you practice regular maintenance, including regular adjustments. When you come in to get your extensions adjusted, your hair professional does more than ensure the connection point stays hidden and the extensions blend well, they’re also giving your natural hair locks that have been supporting your extensions a break.

In order to keep your extensions looking fabulous (and to protect your hair), talk with your salon about how often adjustments should be done, and book the necessary appointments. You won’t regret it!

8. Styling your extensions

Excessive heat styling is not a good idea when you’re wearing extensions. These locks (even the natural human hair extensions, like the JZ Styles our clients wear) are susceptible to drying and breakage. Always opt for a low-heat setting when heat styling or drying are absolutely necessary.

Hair extensions are easiest to hide when you wear your hair down. We recommend finding some inspiration online (YouTube videos like the above are helpful) and discussing your vision with your stylist.

9. Sleeping with extensions

Lastly, we need to talk about sleeping with hair extensions. To start, never sleep with your hair wet, especially while wearing hair extensions. Wet hair tangles quite easily, leading to breakage and damage to your extensions.

Before bed, untangle any locks that need it, with a comb. Then, if you haven’t brushed your hair since morning, consider brushing your hair again. Lastly, style your hair in a loose up do with a soft scrunchie. This prevents your hair from tangling and takes some stress off the hair your extensions are secured to.

If you’re wearing clip-in extensions, definitely take them out before you fall asleep. If you’ve fallen asleep with clip-ins in your hair before, you already know how frustrating it can be to take them out in the morning.

Finally, like we mentioned before, invest in a quality silk pillowcase. Smoother silk allows your hair to glide over the pillowcase with less resistance (and therefore less tangling) while keeping more moisture in your hair.

We’re happy to answer any questions you have about extensions! Leave a comment below or contact us!