Recycle Old Hair Extensions
DIY, Hair Extensions

Stop Throwing Them Away! Ways to Recycle Your Old Hair Extensions

Give Your Extensions One More Chance

If you are anything like me and love to play with hair extensions, you have hair everywhere with no clue what to do with it.

Stop giving up on your extensions thinking they are not worthy of one more try. I’ve thought to myself plenty of times; it’s time to let this go when in actuality you just didn’t know the endless possibilities you could do with old hair.

Don’t get me wrong, some hair is dead and not able to be used again, but I see too many times where it’s revivable, and we could save money if only we knew proper alternatives for this problem such as ways to recycle.

Before we begin discussing your options, the first step to recycle and use your old tracks would be the revival also known as bringing your extensions back from the dead.

Model wearing clip-in extensions

Bringing Your Tracks Back from the Dead

Often we do not want to deal with trying to reverse our tracks back to life because we think we can’t. Reasons for getting rid of these extensions can be the hair’s dryness, shedding, or lack of luster.

Honestly, the only reason to get rid of tracks should be shedding, or the hair just isn’t of good quality. You can resolve dryness and lack of luster with specialized hair care products made to help restore your weaves and permit you to recycle, but we can tap into those tips later.

As of right now, be cheerful because I am going to teach you how to wash your tracks properly which can help to revive them.

There are a couple of different options for washing your bundles, but the main thing you need to know is always to condition first, then wash. I’ll repeat it, you condition first, then wash!

washing wig

Proper Washing

Starting off with conditioner is how you begin to wash your bundles properly.

I say this because hair bundles carry weight easily, that’s why you don’t spray your weave with oil. All of this is the same concept! When you condition your bundles first, you give the hair the nutrients it craves.

After washing, it leaves those nutrients that made your extensions soft but removes the conditioner’s weight. If we washed first and then conditioned, we wouldn’t remove as much weight from the hair as the shampoo.

You can simply do two conditions with your bundles and two washes, or there is a way to bring those tracks back to life, and that’s boiling them. Yeah, you heard me!

Putting a pot on the stove with conditioner and water and letting your tracks boil on low for 20-25 mins. It brings the body back to your bundles! Once you have finished them, then complete another wash and let air dry.

If you don’t have as much time on your hands to boil your tracks, just stick to the condition and wash.

conditioner

Products to restore your extensions

Believe it or not, there are products out there specifically designed to help take care of your hair extensions and if they are truly 100% human hair tracks you can use products to restore the quality of the hair so you can recycle them in the long run!

We often use shampoo, for example,  with sulfates and parabens in them not realizing it strips the hair extensions of its natural oils and cause splitting much sooner than using the proper shampoo for extensions. Try a sulfate free shampoo. Do your research on some shampoos and conditioners that may work best for your extensions.

hair products

Nutrient Products

Products with Vitamin E, argan oil, wheat protein, and tea tree oil help nourish your extensions without adding to much weight after washing them thoroughly. Try looking into organic shampoos and conditioners like a thorough coconut milk conditioner treatment. After your first use of these nutrient products, you guys will be thanking me!

If you want something to moisturize your tracks after you have completed the shampoo and condition process, research some products that best suit the style you’re looking for at the time.

As I Am Coconut Co wash

Turning your Frontals into Closures

After wearing your frontal, time and time again, you may think its trash, but have you ever thought of a resolution for your frontal?

Once your frontals are worn out, feel free turn it into a convenient closure. Use your mannequin head to pin your frontal down, part the frontal into the width you desire for your closure and cut where parted. Boom, a classy closure for your style of choice. I know…you didn’t even think of that. Well, trust me, this is about to get a lot more interesting!

lace closure

Turning Old Extensions into Clip-ins

Your hair needs a breather sometimes after wearing weave repeatedly. I hear many complaints, and often, it’s about the volume of client’s real hair.

Clip-ins are an excellent resource for adding the volume you long for while still giving off a realistic look. Yes, you can turn your old hair extensions into clip ins. You can buy clips, and it’s quite easy to make them at home. You can get these items at your local beauty supply.

Supplies you would need:

  • Hair Clips
  • Thread (hair or clothes thread)
  • Needle

After properly washing your tracks discussed previously, you cut the widths you would like to expand your hair. If you want to add volume to the back of your hair, take the old track piece and measure from one end of the head to the other.

The clip in pieces that you buy will have holes at the top of them where you will use the thread to secure the track onto the clip. The number of clips you will need for one track piece will depend on the width of the track. You want to have a clip on both ends of the extensions, but if too broad you may need one or two clips in the middle.

synthetic clip ins

Steps to Follow

Now, I’m going to teach you how to secure your track to your clip correctly.

Step #1 Threading your needle

Pull the thread through the hole of the needle and measure arm’s length. Double knot the ends of the thread.

Step #2 Sewing

Place the clip in on one end of the track and hold it together. Then poke the needle through the track and the hole of the clip in at the top. To secure the track to the clip continuously run the thread through the hole until you feel its secure before moving onto the next hole.

Step #3 Security

Once you have sewed the entire clip into the track piece, cut the thread and triple knot it.

Clip in’s can turn any frown upside down when you want to add that sexy voluptuous volume to your hair you need for your perfect night out.

kinky curly clip ins

Color

If you have tracks that are old and not chemically processed with color, this is your chance. Once your extensions have air dried, feel free to play in color and mix it up a little bit. Go blond or red or even a rainbow colors like blue, pink or purple.

Paul Mitchell Hair Color

Bleaching Your Extensions

Bleach your extensions first to achieve the color you want. The higher your liquid developer, the more your hair will lift. Be sure to know what grade of extensions you have to determine how your completed color with come out.

If you want to try an ombre, you can color your clip ins and add them to your hair without chemically processing your own. Even if you are not a fan of color, just give it a try. You can make a wig out of colorful hair extensions you have, that allows you to take it on and off when ready. This conversation brings me to my next topic.

Coloring Hair Extensions

Worry-Free Wigs

Wigs come in handy all day every day. I mean, what is there not to love about a great wig? You can leave it on or take it off which means you don’t have to sleep in it.

If you make multiple wigs, you can choose which one would be best suited for the day. Your options are endless with wigs, but right now I’m going to teach you how to make a quick wig out of your old hair extensions.

Below you will find items to help you construct your wig which you can find at your local beauty supply.

  • Adjustable dome cap with straps
  • Thread
  • Needle
  • Scissors
  • Stick pins
  • Mannequin head
  • Hair Ties
wig heads beauty supply

Steps to Constructing Your Wig

  • Step #1 Positioning the closure or Frontal

    • Place your mannequin head directly in front of you. Put to dome cap on without adjusting it. Put your frontal or closure in the position you desire and secure it down to the dome cap with stick pins. Sew around the perimeter of the frontal or closure except on the actual lace in the front.
  • Step #2 Sewing the Hair

    • Apply the techniques you would use in a regular sew in and sew the hair down onto the dome cap. Sew the hair from bottom to top until it meets with the closure or frontal.
  • Step #3 Checking your Wig

    • At this point, the only thing you need to do is cut the excess under the frontal or closure of the dome cap. Try the wig on, if it’s a little too big use the adjustable straps for better security.

After trying your wig on, you can then style it to your desire.

I hope the tips you have learned about turning your old extensions into a wig helped. Now there are no worries about the hair becoming worn out because you can wear it at your disposal.

wig stand

Hair Gadgets Made Out of Hair

I know the title is throwing you off, but I’m here to help you think outside of the box! Did you know there are a lot of tools you can make out of hair? You can make hair bows out of hair; hair brushes out of hair…the options are endless!

Hair Bows and Headbands with Old Extensions

Use the hair to make hair accessories like an actual hair bow. Form the old tracks into a hair bow and hot glue it to a hair clip. Easily use the bow to jazz up the ponytail or a bun.

Utilize your old extensions by also making a braided headband. You can buy a basic stretchy headband and use it as a guide. Tack your extensions and braid them all the way down. Take a glue gun and attach your braided extension to your headband. Glue it all the way around. Ta-Da, a new realistic hair headband to grace an elegant bun or a timeless ponytail.

braided bang

Hair Rat Volumizer with Old Extensions

Another not so fancy invention you can make out of old hair extensions is a hairball better known as a “hair rat.” It’s initially a huge ball made out of hair used for brushing hair upward to add volume to the client’s hairstyle.

Clip-in Bangs with Old Extensions

Last, but not least, recycle your hair extensions by creating a clip in bang. We already discussed how to make clip ins properly but this time cut the hair into an easy attachable bang piece for an on-the-go fierce look. How easy is all of this? Can you believe it?

cut bangs

Donations

If all else fails and you see no other use for your tracks, allow someone else to recycle your extensions. Charitable companies are willing to take 100% human hair donations.

Just google some resources on the instructions of how to donate and be a helping hand to someone else who would appreciate the hair.

Inspiration to Recycle

Hopefully, this post gave you a reason not to act so fast to throw your beautiful bundles away or have them idly sitting in your drawer. Old hair extensions matter and like I previously stated the only reason to get rid of hair should be due to extreme shedding, color damage or the hair just isn’t good quality.

middle part sew in

By now, you’re probably realizing all of the innovative ways to recycle your old hair extensions. From past experiences, I wish I would have held on to those beautiful extensions. Stop being wasteful and recycle those extensions to the best of your ability. Who knows, even if you don’t wear them you may have a friend in use of a quick wig or a stylish hair piece.

You master the element of turning old tracks brand new; your friends may ask you to help them create what seems to be nothing into something. As I said, do your research, and the opportunities are endless on how to bring those tracks back up from the grave!

Spread the word and comment below on how you’re planning to recycle your extensions!

About Joydan Dawson

Joydan D'nay is a writer and an aspiring publicist. She acquired her cosmetology license in high school. She used that license to financially support herself through college doing hair and nails. Graduating in 2016 with a B.A. in Communication, she has an entrepreneur mindset and ready to get her feet wet in the field of media, public relations, and all things beauty.

5 thoughts on “Stop Throwing Them Away! Ways to Recycle Your Old Hair Extensions

  1. Monique Casson says:

    Wow, this was very informative. I have a lot of old extensions and didn’t want to throw them away. Now I’m going to go and revive them all. Now would I do the same for wigs? Is there a different way to revive synthetic and human hair wigs?

  2. Jasminn Segovia says:

    Another great educational post. I would always turn my old sew ins into clip-ins, I always thought it was more convenient and I was getting tired of constantly having my hair braided lol. Boiling my hair with conditioner has always been my go to and I love it! I’ve also tried washing my extensions with conditioner then putting the hair extensions with conditioner still on them in a ziplock and setting the ziplock in boiled water for more moisture and it works amazing as well.

  3. Lauren Dawson says:

    Great educational review

  4. Lydia cintron says:

    I have pieces of hair extensions that I do not use anymore. They are not made out of real hair but look close to real hair and are in good condition. I have different lengths. I would like to know where I can sell them. Live in Seffner, Florida. Lydia. Thank you.

    1. Private Label Extensions says:

      We do not know where you can sell used extensions, but we definitely have great tips on how to rejuvenate and recycle your extensions for re-use on this blog post.

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