Take Your Hair Extensions From Dull to Radiant
Shiny hair is absolutely gorgeous! There is something extraordinary about a fresh pack of extensions ready to install.
The excitement of changing up our hairstyle is incomparable. Extensions are a great way to try out a new trendy hairstyle, add volume, length or color, and they are a great protective style to keep our own hair out of the way for a while.
Good, high-quality extensions have a beautiful shine and go great with that summertime tan. Once I took the plunge to go all black, and I installed straight 24-inch raven black extensions. They were a lot of fun and looked fantastic every time as I went out. Of course after a while, like years, my extensions started to lose some of its luster.
So what do you do when after some time has passed and your extensions no longer have that show-stopping radiance you fell in love with at the shop? Are your extensions over for good because they lost their glimmer? Well, no.
There are several ways that you can easily restore the shine and luster to your hair extensions and extend the lifetime and wear time of your beloved tresses.
What is “Shine” Really?
Before we dive into how to get your extensions shiny, I want to make a quick note about what makes our hair shine in the first place.
Although the definition of shiny hair can be subjective, there is a universal reason as to why some hair is shinier than others. Shine ultimately comes down to the health of your extensions, namely the porosity.
Porosity deals with the cuticle layers of the hair and how close or far they are from the hair shaft. When you have a high porosity, your layers are wide open. This level of porosity usually leads to split ends (yes, you can have split ends in your extensions), dullness, and brittle hair.
The goal is to have an average porosity, where the cuticle layers are slightly opened, but close to the hair shaft. When these layers are close to the hair shaft, light is more easily able to reflect off of the hair. Of course, straight hair reflects the most, but curly hair can also be shiny. Moisture and shine go hand in hand.
When your extensions have enough moisture, then they will be able to reflect more of the light and appear shinier. Merely keep in mind that light reflects more off of a smooth surface rather than a rough one.
The healthy tips and advice I give you here will be able to achieve the ultimate porosity and give you the shiniest extensions, even if you have had them for a while.
In the beginning…
Honestly, long-lasting hair extensions begin when you first purchase them. Hair extensions that are cheap or formulated with a blend of synthetic fibers will not last as long.
High-quality extensions that made from 100% human hair are guaranteed to give you more bang for your buck and can quickly be revived long passed your initial install. Huge prices and good quality hair are not synonymous. Make sure you do your research to find the best extensions for your within your budget.
PLE has a massive selection of affordable and high-quality extensions in a variety of curl patterns and colors. You can always choose us as your one-stop-shop for the best extensions.
Now, let’s get into the seven easy ways to restore the radiance back into your extensions.
Much like your own hair, human hair extensions will need a routine trimming to ensure the health and longevity of the hair.
The ends of our hair are the oldest and come in contact with the environment much more than the hair closer to the scalp. By trimming away this older hair, you will give your “more youthful hair” less dead weight that can cause strain and damage to your extensions.
Damaged hair typically has a high porosity, which will not reflect light as we want it. When you trim your hair, you are increasing the number of healthy strands in your hair than broken and dull ones. It is recommended to cut about half an inch to an inch off of your hair to rid your hair of any damaged ends.
Yes, your hair will be shorter, but it will be healthier and above all shinier.
2. Deep Conditioner
Applying a deep conditioner to your extensions once a week will not only restore the shine, but it will also strengthen and retain the moisture of your strands.
With a deep conditioner, the nutrients your hair needs can penetrate through the hair shaft and supply everything your hair needs to shine and refrain from being dry and brittle. Do you notice a pattern? Yes, a lot of the same techniques and routines you implement with your own hair will also keep your extensions vibrant and shiny.
Apply the deep conditioner on the middle of your hair to the ends, avoiding the roots. You do not want the deep conditioner to loosen up your install nor have conditioner get trapped in between your tracks.
Trapped conditioner can do the reverse of good on your hair and scalp by causing product build-up and inhibiting bacteria from growing. Rinse your hair out thoroughly to reveal gorgeous and shiny extensions.
3. Brush and Detangle
Have you ever heard of the saying that brushing your hair 100 times a day keeps it healthy?
Do not worry; I am not going to recommend that you brush your hair that many times a day, but brushing is necessary to bring back the shine to your extensions. When we do not brush our extensions, the hair can get tangled, and tangled hair results in drier and more brittle hair.
Again, it is hard for light to reflect off of a rough surface. To avoid dryness and tangles, add a small amount of oil to your extensions and, with a paddle brush, thoroughly brush through every area of your hair.
After a few strokes, you should immediately see a difference. Take the time daily to brush your hair in the morning and the evening before bed. Not only will you have to deal with less of a tangled mess come wash day, but you will also have shiny hair that people can see their reflection.
4. Skip a day in between shampoos
With extensions, we tend to go outside the norm of our regular hair routine.
For example, some of us may wash our hair more often and with a different shampoo when we have extensions installed. When you shampoo your hair, the sulfates in the soap and the friction of your fingers remove some of the oils that are helping to retain your hair’s moisture and shine.
The more you shampoo, the more your hair will feel dry, brittle and appear dull. A simple fix is to wash your hair less frequently. If you are washing your hair every day, try to stretch to every other day. I recommend that a healthy frequency of washing your hair is once a week. Of course, if you are working out a lot or have a naturally oily scalp, there will be an exception.
For extensions, use a specialized shampoo specially formulated to protect the shine and lifecycle of your extensions. Bonus tip: Always wash your scalp in between your tracks thoroughly as well as dry your scalp thoroughly.
You want to make sure your scalp is clean of debris and buildup, but you also want to keep it dry as to not allow bacteria to grow with your install.
5. Hair Masks
Spa night, anyone? Treat yourself and your extensions to a hair mask.
Much like a deep conditioner, hair masks contain vital nutrients and ingredients to improve the shine and beauty of your extensions. Hair masks are typically thicker in consistency and are left on the hair for a more extended period to ensure the hair gets everything that it needs.
There are a variety of different hair masks which natural and synthetic ingredients all for the benefit of your hair. Look for hair masks that contain egg, banana, avocado, Dimethicone, which are ingredients that will help your hair to retain moisture and inevitably shine.
6. Oil Treatments
Is coconut oil not our hair’s and skin’s savior? Coconut oil is excellent, but there are tons of wonderful oils to use on your hair to keep it shiny and healthy.
Argan oil, almond oil, avocado oil and vitamin E oil are only a few of the oils that can be purchased online or at your local supermarket. The key is that these oils lock in the water or moisture in the hair strand. Oil and water do not mix, and they do not like to interact with one another.
Therefore, when you seal your moisturized hair with oil, the water will remain “trapped” inside the hair strand giving you luscious tresses that shine effortlessly in the sun. Oil can be applied while hot, cold, or room temperature.
Depending on the oil that you choose, it may take on a different form at varying temperatures. I prefer hot oil treatments because it helps me to use less oil and the heated oil can lock onto my hair better because the molecules are moving around quickly and able to bind to my hair more easily.
Of course, the best part of any oil you choose is that it will have your extensions shiny and ready for the summer vacay!
7. Reduce heat tools
Especially as summer is upon us, there is even more of a reason not to use your heat tools.
It’s hot, sis. Leave your flat iron and blow dryer in the bathroom cabinet. Heat styling tools like curling and flat irons strip the moisture out of our hair and leave it damaged and dull. Instead, opt for styles that require little to no heat and still looks fabulous.
Yes, it is true that you notice more of the shine in your hair when your extensions are bond straight, but consider the trade-off. To get flawlessly straight hair, you will have to straighten it daily and you will need to replenish the moisture back into your hair after each style.
Additionally, using heat styling tools on a consistent basis raises the porosity of your hair, which will dry it out faster. Not to mention the heat from the sun is already causing some amount of heat damage every time you step outside. The summertime is about being carefree and looking fabulous while doing it.
Take the path of least resistance and put your heat tools away. Your hair will thank you and glimmer all season long.
With these tips and tricks to restore the shine in your hair, you will never have to be caught dead in dull, lifeless extensions.
I used these hacks on my own extensions and was able to preserve them for a few more years. Yes, I am talking years! If you buy high-quality extensions and take care of them during your install, you may be able to a lot of bang for your buck.
These tips will help during the summer season but are applicable at any time of the year. Imagine having shiny summer hair in the middle of winter. Wow! Whether you have curly or straight, naturally colored or fantasy colored extensions, you can follow these tips to have shiny, luxurious hair all summer long.
Tell us about a time that your extensions lost some of their shine. What did you do to restore the brilliance back? Would you use any of these tips in the future? Let us know in the comment section below!
We would love to keep the conversation going and to help out another sister along the way!