You’ve finally taken the plunge! You invested in virgin hair extensions and are in LOVE with them. In fact, you wish you’d done this sooner!
You love the way the tresses feel as you run your fingers through them and can’t wait to wear them.
There’s only one problem – you don’t know how to take care of your investment so that it lasts for a long time.
No worries! Keep reading for everything you need to know to make virgin hair extensions last longer.
Check for Damage
If you ordered your virgin hair extensions online, the first thing you should do is make sure the hair looks and feels the way you expected it to. If it’s not up to your standards, check with the company to find out about their return or exchange policy. You have the right to get what you paid for, and the ethical companies will be happy to remedy any issues with hair quality.
You might be tempted to wear your extensions straight out of the bag, but if you really want to experience the hair’s texture in all its glory, we highly recommend that you co-wash it. In other words, wash it with conditioner (not shampoo). It’s super easy! First, dampen the hair and rub in a good amount of conditioner all the way through. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes so the conditioner has time to work. Detangle the hair with a wide tooth comb. Then, fully rinse out the conditioner. Once you’ve given the hair a good rinse, let it air dry for 6-8 hours.
Seal the Weft
Once you have co-washed the hair, it’s time to seal the weft (otherwise known as the tracks) of your extensions. Why is this important? Using a weft sealant reinforces the roots of your extensions and helps to prevent shedding! There are a lot of weft sealing options on the market. Do your research to find the best fit for you. Some are designed specifically for virgin hair, but many people swear by fabric glues. It will likely take a bit of experimenting to figure out what you prefer.
After your extensions have fully dried from the co-wash, lay them out on a towel. Be sure to comb the hair down so it’s nice and smooth. Then, brush a thin layer of your chosen weft sealer directly onto the weft. Allow it to dry completely before flipping the extensions over and repeating the process on the other side. For an even better hold, do a second layer of sealer on each side AND on the ends of the weft. Let the sealer dry completely before installing and be sure to use rubbing alcohol to remove any sealer that accidentally gets on hair strands. (Note: Weft sealers may have a strong fume, so you might want to wear a face mask to prevent inhalation).
As an added note, to further minimize shedding, make sure that you (or your stylist) installs your extensions by sewing AROUND the wefts, not THROUGH them. Sewing through them can damage the bonding that you just achieved by sealing the weft.
Use the Right Tools
Just as when you’re taking care of your own hair, when you’re trying to make virgin hair extensions last longer, you need to have the right tools on hand.
Here are some things you should keep in your bathroom cabinet:
These are great for detangling. If you don’t have one, a wide-tooth comb works as well. Whichever you use, make sure you detangle from the bottom of the hair and work your way up and not the other way around.
Because virgin hair extensions are 100% human hair, they need moisture. A good, light leave-in conditioner will do the trick, keeping your hair nice and soft. Use leave-in conditioner when you detangle as well!
If you want to avoid all the frizz and tangles that can happen as you toss and turn in your sleep, be sure to wrap and cover your hair at night – preferably with a silk scarf.
If you plan to use heat to curl or straighten your virgin hair extensions, be sure to invest in a good heat protectant. Also remember to ONLY use heat on dry hair and avoid high heat (if you’re going above 350-400 degrees, it’s too much!).
Again, treat your virgin hair extensions the way you would your natural hair. That means not being rough when manipulating it. Also, pay close attention to the QUALITY of the hair you buy – all extensions are sourced from different manufacturers around the world. Do your research on which virgin hair companies sell the best quality hair so you have the best chance of making your extensions last.
Wash & Condition Weekly
Don’t be afraid to wash your virgin hair extensions! In fact, you should do this weekly. Detangle the hair first and then use a sulfate-free shampoo to clean it. Follow up with a rinse-out conditioner. (Note: Always wash and rinse with lukewarm water, not hot water. Hot water can cause tangles in unprocessed hair)
Deep Condition Twice Monthly
Hair starting to look dry and dull? Deep condition it every 2-3 weeks!
Reinstall As Needed
Although virgin hair extensions can last around a year if you take care of it, if you’re rocking an install, you will need to freshen it up regularly because as YOUR hair grows, the tracks will need to be tightened up. Be sure to find someone who can uninstall the extensions properly so they can be reinstalled.
That’s it! You now have all the knowledge you need to make your virgin hair extensions last for a long time. Now, go out there and turn heads!
Featured Image: Shutterstock