Hair extensions during Lockdown

We’ve been told repeatedly to head to our hairdresser for anything hair extension related, but how should we look after them during lockdown?

We turn to hair extension experts Fernando Spano and Kelly May for the lowdown.

How should I shampoo my hair?

“When shampooing tape extensions, you brush your extensions through first using a paddle brush to remove any tangles. Wet hair down thoroughly, ring the water out of your hair and apply the shampoo to your hands and spread evenly throughout your hair, with gentle circular movements. When shampooing be cautious not to tangle your extensions. Wash your hair twice to ensure hair is cleansed as extensions tend to hold onto dirt and impurities more so than your actual hair” says Kelly May. Nando adds “ keratin bond extensions can be washed normally”.

Can I use conditioner when I am wearing extensions?

Conditioner is a must when wearing extensions as it helps to keep the extensions hydrated and beautiful. However it should be applied only from mid lengths to ends to avoid loosening and/or damaging the bonds and glue.

Which shampoo and conditioner do you recommend for hair extensions?

“For tape extensions I tend to recommend Olaplex No4 shampoo & Olaplex No5 conditioner. Olaplex will insure you are getting the most out of your extensions. It transforms your extensions leaving them feeling and looking beautiful” says Kelly May. Nando Spano, on the other hand recommends a sulphate free shampoo for bond extensions.

What does cleansing your hair extensions mean and should you do it? If so how?

Cleansing your extensions is an indispensable process and necessity if you wear hair extensions as you tend to accumulate a build-up of product and impurities. Nando and Kelly recommend for both tape and bond , that you use a clarifying shampoo such as L’Oreal Pure resource once every two weeks.

My extensions are too grown out, can I remove them by myself?

Neither Kelly or Nando recommend attempting to remove your extensions yourself as it may cause irreversible damage to your hair. Chances are if you are wearing tapes, they will slip out over time! If this happens Kelly recommends applying conditioner to the root of the tape which will loosen it, however you should not attempt to pull it out. When it comes to Keratin bonds, Nando suggests applying a strong mask over the bonds for 30 minutes. This however should not be applied to fresh extensions.

Can I use heat appliances?

Kelly says heat appliances can be used on hair extensions as long as you use a heat protector such as L’Oréal Professionnel Tecni art heat constructor. This should be applied to dry hair and styled as required. Nando adds ; “ Make sure you don’t apply heat to the bond”.

Should I do hair masks, if so which ones?

Yes you can use a hair mask. I recommend only using a mask on the middle and ends of your extensions you can apply a small amount to the natural hair that is left out. Always choose a hair mask for your hair type. For coloured hair, I recommend Kérastase Reflection Masque Chromatique it helps reduce colour fade and colour stays true and vibrant, while hair is left feeling nourished, supple with an intense shine.

How should I brush my hair and which brush do you recommend?

When brushing your extensions, split your hair into two sections. Using the Neville oval paddle bristle brush, start from the bottom working your way up to the roots. Don’t pull on the extensions but hold the hair while brushing.

How should I dry and style my extensions?

When styling and drying your extensions at home, I always advise applying a heat protector on towel dried hair. Your hair should then be rough dried 100%. Using a bristle brush smooth our your natural hair. You can then choose to use either a curling iron or straightener depending on the desired look. Just be sure not to go over the bonds or tapes.

Any particular styling product you recommend for extensions?

For styling hair extensions, we recommend Olaplex No6. bond smoother. This is a nourishing styling creme which eliminates frizz. Resulting in your hair being left moisturised with a silky finish. To compliment Olaplex No6. you can use Olaplex No7. bonding oil to add extra shine and minimise flyway’s.