Hair extensions have the potential to be a very effective protective style when installed and maintained properly. Your real hair's propensity to grow and flourish while wearing an install is directly related to how well you maintain it. Luckily avoiding hair breakage and thinning is quite simple. Here are 5 best practices to ensure healthy hair under your installs.
1. Wash and moisturize your hair prior to installing:
Your hair will possibly be locked away for weeks, so it’s only right that you wash it prior to your extensions being installed. After all, clean hair is healthy hair. Most importantly, having a clean and clear scalp will ensure your hair follicles are not clogged allowing hair to grow healthy, strong, and full.
2. Ensure your install is not too tight:
Your install should feel secure but it should never be so tight that it is uncomfortable or giving you a headache. If your install feels like this then it means you're putting too much tension on your hair which will result in breakage and over time this can be permanent. Traction alopecia is a common hair condition which can be irreversible over time. Make sure that you communicate with your stylist throughout the install process if you feel as if the braiding is too tight.
3. Moisturize your hair on a daily basis.
It is easy to forget that even though your hair isn't exposed, it still needs to be moisturized. Use a light, water-based leave-in conditioner or a light oil like grapeseed or jojoba oil to avoid making your extensions too greasy and avoid build-up. Remember to wash your hair weekly or bi-weekly (depending on your personal hair needs) to avoid build-up that can also lead to clogged hair follicles and breakage.
4. Do Deep Treatments
Deep treatments are your best friends. Beyond a regular hair conditioner, deep treatments penetrate the hair follicles well...deeper... giving it strength and prolonged moisture. Regular deep treatments promote growth as well as protect against breakage and thinning.
5. Protect your hairline using a satin bonnet/scarf
Even though you’re wearing a protective style, you must still protect your hair from moisture loss and tension by using a satin scarf/ bonnet while you sleep.