We do a number of things to look glamorous – including wearing natural hair extensions. Hair extensions have become a diva favorite because they are known to give your natural tresses instant volume and length. With natural hair extensions, it is possible to go from a bob to afro kinks overnight. Some find it an easy solution to their hair growth challenges and others explore the curls and styles they've been wanting to try.
Natural hair extensions give you style versatility and are often a large beauty investment. To get the most out of your kinky hair extensions it is vital that you know exactly how to take care of your natural hair extensions. Whether you are wearing tape-in curly extensions or sown-in weaves, you need to stick to the care guidelines if you want them to last longer.
In this brief article I talk about the most recommended ways to care for your natural and kinky hair extensions. Remember that quality hair extensions require the same amount of hair care as your own natural tresses to remain vibrant and stylish.
Co-washing your extensions
Co-washing or conditioner washing is a process of cleaning your hair without the use of shampoo. In other words, you only use conditioner to clean your natural hair extensions. There are also many co-washing shampoos available on the market today. It is recommended that you use a moisturizing conditioner instead of a protein based variety, as protein conditioners are more likely to make the curls in your extensions frizzy. The best thing about co-washing your extensions is that it gets rid of the dryness, eliminates any traces of dye and odor, and softens the hair. It is ideal to co-wash natural hair extensions at least once or twice a week.
Air dry your extensions
It is extremely important that you allow your kinky curly extensions to dry naturally. Do not blow dry your hair because the heat will only cause your curls to flatten or frizz. Heat also damages the hair and causes excessive dryness. Letting your extensions dry naturally will also maintain the durability and the quality of your curls. If you are in a hurry, you can use your blow dryer, but remember to use the diffuser attachment.
Laying the extensions flat out on a towel after you have washed them is the best way to air dry them. Doing this not only keeps the curls intact, but it will also ensure that the extensions don’t get tangled. Leave your extensions to naturally dry on the towel over night to help ensure your extensions last.
Use a good leave-in conditioner or serum
Just like your natural hair, curly natural hair extensions can also be difficult to maintain. This is where your leave-in conditioner comes in handy. Leave-in conditioners or serums give extensions the extra dose of moisture they need, reducing frizz free and controlling any tangles or knots. While buying the leave-in conditioners or serums ensure that it is a good quality one and is made specifically for your hair type. For example, if your natural hair extensions are inspired by hair type 4, you can use heavier leave-in conditioners to help shape the curls such as jojoba oil. However, if you hair extensions are inspired by hair type 3, it is recommended you use lighter leave-ins such as coconut oil based products.
Finger combing is the best way to go
Curly extensions are very delicate and need a lot of care and attention. One of the most important things to keep in mind about these extensions is that you should not comb them when they are dry, under any circumstances. This can and does cause a lot of damage to your natural hair extensions. When the extensions are dry and you are trying to comb through the curls, there is a higher chance of them breaking off because of knots and tangles. Combing dry curls often disturbs the curl pattern as well.
When you are trying to get rid of the tangles in curly extensions, it is important to be very gentle. Gentle agitation to the hair using your fingers to remove tangles preserves the life of your extensions while also helps reduce shedding.
Resist the temptation to caress your curls
Curls like to be undisturbed. Once you have used co-washing and dried your curls naturally, it is vital that you resist the urge to run your hands through your extensions unnecessarily. Excessive touching will be counterproductive. When you touch the extensions regularly, you are slowly siphoning off the moisture from them. This, in turn, will cause your natural hair extensions to become frizzy and for your curls to be less defined.
Rainy weather may create chaos for your extensions
Damp weather and curly hair never get along, which is why, managing curly extensions during the rains becomes more difficult. If you pay close attention, you will notice that these your natural extensions are bound to be dry and frizzy when the weather is damp. Proper conditioning and good quality anti-frizz serum become very essential during this weather. This is the time when you should avoid using your hair dryer to dry your natural curly hair extensions and work to protect them from the elements as much as possible.
Take special care at bedtime
The shine of your extensions can be unfavorably affected by cotton sheets and pillowcases. Instead of going shopping for satin bedsheets and pillow covers, the easy solution to this problem is to wrap your hair with a silk scarf while going to sleep. Along with maintaining the shine of your extensions, this will also prevent the formation of knots as well as keep your hairstyle undamaged. You can also consider removing your hair extensions prior to going to bed or simply cover your extensions with a bonnet.
If you are planning a particular hairstyle for a special occasion, it is important that you pay attention to the kind of products you use. You must avoid drying out or damaging your curly extensions at all costs. Therefore, it is advised that you only use alcohol-free products and serums.
When you are done wearing your natural hair extensions remember to store your extensions in the best manner: clean, conditioned, and dry. Store your natural hair extensions in an air tight container to protect them from dust and other moisture reducing elements. You can also use clothes clip or wig head to hang your extensions as this will ensure that their shape remains intact.
These few guidelines will go a long way in helping maintain your curly extensions for a long time to come. With proper care your natural hair extensions can last for up to 5 years.