The biggest mistake people make when wearing extensions is they neglect their hair.
Just because your hair is braided up and “put away” doesn’t mean it doesn’t need moisture.
Ironically people often do the most damage to their hair when they wear extensions.
There are two reasons…
- Stress on the hair (extensions that are too tight can thin your edges)
- Hair becomes overly dry
And this is a double-whammy if you happen to be transitioning to natural hair. Your hair is already in a very, very delicate state because of the line where your relaxer and natural hair meet (the demarcation line).
That’s why moisturizing transitioning your hair is crucial — even if you are wearing extensions or weave.
I don’t know about you but I would NEVER moisturize my hair while wearing extensions. I thought my hair was already protected due to the hairstyle.
Even worse… I would shampoo my hair weekly (which of course dries it out even more) and not replace any lost moisture.
A double no-no!
Then I’d take the extensions down and my hair would break like crazy due to never getting enough moisture for weeks!
Not good. 🙁
Water Equals Moisture
In order to properly moisturize your hair in extensions, it needs water. And you need something to seal that water in (a light pomade made with natural butters).
I know. Using water can sound counterintuitive because we associate water with frizz and messing up our hair.
You fear that your style might not last as long.
And who wants to pay $100 for some extensions only to mess them up in a few weeks?
I hear ya!
Prevent Frizz When Moisturizing
Here’s the key to moisturizing your hair with a water-based product and minimizing frizz.
- Lightly mist your hair with a spray bottle of water. (Check out the potion I whipped up for my Nubian Twists)
- Then lightly coat it with a light moisturizing cream (Make sure it’s not too thick because it won’t dissolve as well and leave build-up)
- I like to add a light pomade to help seal the moisture in
- Grab a silk or satin scarf (cotton is a no-no and will soak up the moisture) and tie your hair down to prevent fly-aways
A few hours before bed is the ideal time to do this. That way the scarf will help your hairs lie down over night and keep your extensions looking fresh for the next day.
Repeat this every 3-4 days to keep your hair moisturized.
Why I Hate Braid Sheens
I know a lot of beauty supply stores sell braid sheens and moisturizers. I don’t like them because they contain all these added chemicals that either leave build up or make my scalp itch.
I prefer to make my own braid spritz so I know exactly what I’m putting in my hair.
When you are ready to take your extensions down, use a cheap rinse-out conditioner (Suave, for example, is 99 cents at many drugstores.)
- Spritz your hair with water and add the conditioner
- Slowly begin unraveling each extension
- As you remove them, gently section your hair into 4-6 sections.
- Be liberal with the conditioner to smooth out any tangles while separating your hair.
- You should be able to detangle with your fingers. A comb might be too harsh, especially on natural hair.
- Take any natural oil and rub it in your palm
- Glide your hands in a prayer method over each section to remove shed hairs.
Yes! You will have a lot of shedding, but it’s OK.
Remember, our hair sheds about 100 hairs per day, so this is just what couldn’t shed during the time you had the extensions in.
The longer the extensions were in your hair, the more shed hair you will have.
It’s important to remove as much shed hair as you can BEFORE shampooing so you don’t create tangles in the shower.
And that’s how you keep your hair healthy while you have extensions.