donts of wearing hair extensions
Hair Extensions

The 7 Don’ts of Wearing Hair Extensions

We spend a pretty penny on our hair extensions and hours getting it slayed. So if you are going to get hair extensions you definitely want to do it right!

Here are the top seven habits to avoid when you’re styling your extensions. Your hair and your wallet will thank you!

#1 Excessive Heat Styling

Heat styling is undoubtedly the leading hair Don’t #1 when it comes to extensions.

Blow drying, flat ironing, and curling excessively are causing damage to your hair and your pockets. Constant straightening and blow drying suck moisture from your extensions. They also permanently altering the curl pattern of your extensions.

Now, you may be thinking “I use heat protectant every time, so I’m good.” Wrong! Heat protectant does shield your hair from most of the harm of heat styling, but the inevitable will still happen. A few months down the road your hair will be a little harder to manage, the curl pattern will be looser, and you’ll have split ends. The severity of heat damage also depends on the quality of the tools. If your a DIY girl and your using tools like Marcel irons, be very very careful.

Or better yet leave those to a professional, because Marcel irons do not have temperature control which could cause you to burn your extensions.

Try allowing your extensions to air dry to prevent heat damage. If your extensions have been made into a wig check out one of the wig drying mannequins that will enable you to dry your wig from the inside out. When the wig cap and wefts are dry, you can let the hair itself air dry. When it comes to styling invest in flexi rods and perm rods.

They’re a definite life saver for preserving curly styles and come in tons of different widths, so the possibilities are endless.

no flat iron

#2 Washing Too Much or Too Little

If you didn’t know that managing your hair extensions is a little different from how you handle your own natural hair then I’m glad you’re reading Don’t #2. The maintenance for virgin hair is different from the hair that grows from the scalp. There is no way to repair extensions from the “root” like you would your hair because there isn’t one.

Which leads us to extension damaging Don’t #2, excessive washing or not washing your extensions at all. Excessive washing, no matter what you wash your extensions in robs them of the natural ‘good stuff’ that gets left in the shaft of the hair. You should only shampoo every 15- 20 wears or when there is a noticeable amount of product build up.

Heavy oils, heat protectant, and hair sprays need to be washed away regularly, but even every week is too much and will lead to dry, tangling hair regardless of the quality.

Washing too often is damaging to your hair, but not washing often enough is just as bad. Imagine how gross your natural hair would feel after a month of regular styling and not washing it once. Your extensions would be the same way, greasy, heavy, tangled, and unruly.

It’s not just product build up you should be worried about either. Exposure to everyday dust and pollution can also add to suffocating your tresses. Washing them regularly will remove all of the harmful chemicals and residue that your hair is bound to collect on a daily.

washing wig

#3 Using Harsh Chemicals

My favorite thing to do with my extensions is color them. Coloring extensions usually involves bleaching them several times. Don’t #3 is my personal favorite; chemically processing your extensions in any way is always damaging to some extent.

Always consult a professional for all your coloring needs. But, if you are an expert DIY gal like myself here are some rules to follow when bleaching your extensions:

One, take the bleaching process slow, don’t get a 50 volume developer just because you’re impatient.

Two, while bleaching keeps your extensions moist. If while you are lifting your hair, the mixture begins to get dry and nearly crumbly apply more of the mix to keep the hair from drying out.

Three, deep conditioning is KEY.

Yes, bleaching causes damage, but proper aftercare of your extensions can keep them looking healthy and fabulous.

mixing hair dye

#4 Cutting the Wefts

Now, I know any professional hairstylist is going to cringe at this idea but for all you do-it-yourself girls Sin #4 is something to keep in mind.

Whether you’re using your extensions for sew-in, quick weave, or you’re creating a wig, cutting you’re wefts is a no-no. I know it may seem like it’s the better way to go for a flat install but it’s only doing damage to your extensions. Your wefts are sewn by a machine that holds all the individual strands of hair together.

Cutting one section of the weft can destroy the entire weft. Sure, sealing it may solve your shedding for the moment, but eventually, you will not be able to use the hair because all the strands are falling out. Instead, practice folding the ends of your wefts so that you won’t have to cut it but you can also achieve a flat install. Not only will save you from having to buy new extensions within three months but you’ll also be able to keep the original thickness of the extensions.

Cutting weft quick weave

#5 Rough Handling Extensions

Alright so Don’t #5 goes hand-in-hand with the last one, but this time we’re talking about the link for the hair.

When handling your extensions, you should treat them the same way you would your hair. Always comb from the bottom up. Some of us may know that rule but do we really follow it? Just think of all the times you’re in a hurry and you just run a brush through your hair and walk out the door.

Did you brush your hair from the bottom to the top? Probably not. Think about how hard you had to brush your hair and how much hair you left behind in your brush. If you’re anything like me, seeing strands of hair all over the place makes me want to cry (dramatic, sure but I pay good money for my inches!)

Comb your extensions from the bottom to the top until you hit the bottom of the knots instead of above them. This makes the detangling way easier. Doing it this way will also help stop shedding and ripping out large chunks of your extensions. Invest in a brush with narrow, widely spaced teeth.

Also, stop combing your extensions while they’re wet. This is a point when they’re most fragile and prone to breakage and split ends, not to mention they will tangle even worse. Try just using your fingers instead, separating any knots from the tips and work your way up.

shedding hair on comb

#6 Cutting

Don’t #6 is a styling faux-pas to a professional and a real struggle for us DIY gals. I am by no means a pro with sheers, so cutting my hair can be an absolute nightmare. As if cutting your tresses into the perfect style isn’t tricky enough, doing a few of these things wrong could make it even worse.

First off, get a pair of real styling scissors! I know it may be tempting to grab the first pair of scissors you can find, but don’t do it. Styling sheers are more narrow and sharp than craft scissors. They will stop you from getting blunt and bulky cuts. Using dull scissors to cut your styles could cause split ends.

hair cut trim

#7 Lack of a Nighttime Routine

No matter how you have installed and styled your extensions, your nightly routine can make or break the lifespan of your hair. Your nighttime extension routine leads us to our seventh and final Don’t, going to bed without prepping your hair.

If your extensions are Deep wave, Water wave, or Spanish wave take time to detangle four to six sections, and two strand twist each of them. For all other loose curl patterns try three strand twists, plaits and flexi rods for versatile heatless styling. Finish your nightly prep by tucking your detangled sections into a satin or silk bonnet (yes they are different). This is the perfect way to ensure your extensions stay tangle free, perfectly coiled, and moisturized.

No bonnet? No problem!

Use your least favorite neck scarf or bae’s durag, what’s most important is that you wrap it up!

bonnet

We all spend a lot of time and money on our hair, and that will never change, but how we care for our extensions should. Show your bundles some tender love and care and avoid these seven extension damaging habits.

What are some tips you follow to help your extensions last?

24 thoughts on “The 7 Don’ts of Wearing Hair Extensions

  1. Candace Davis says:

    Ladies, Always wrap your hair at night. It helps with the longevity of your extensions. The friction between your pillow and your hair creates frizz, causing you to put more heat on your hair, which will then cause heat damage. I keep an extra bonnet and scarf by my bed, so I won’t forget on my lazy days when I don’t feel like going to the bathroom to wrap my hair. It only takes a few seconds. Hair Extensions are an investment. You’re throwing money down the drain each night you don’t maintain your hair.

    1. Ty says:

      Right! For those of us who are really lazy (me!) a satin pillowcase works wonders too! Thanks for your comment!

  2. Shonte Perry says:

    Okay so I have been just doing things all wrong with my extensions I am surprised that I haven’t ruined them. First, you got me when you stated “get a real pair of scissors” and not just the first pair you find. I’m guilty because I will ask my boys for their school pair if I’m in a rush and can’t locate mine. Second, I have not been brushing my hair right either. I never brush bottom to top. Always wondered why so much of my hair would be tangled in the brush. Lastly, washing the extensions every 15-20 wears is a good tip to include on my future website when promoting. Thanks again, great info.

    1. Ty says:

      I’m glad you found my article helpful! Please share it with a friend. Let me know what else you want to read about!

  3. Monica Johnson says:

    Thank you, I found the article to be very helpful. I am always looking for tips and tricks to help maintain my hair. Our bundles and wigs are an investment that can last fir s while with proper care and love.

  4. Shuntae says:

    Ladies don’t brush wet hair to detangle. Use a wide tooth comb. Start from the bottom up to prevent shedding

  5. Alia says:

    Also, PLEASE BE SURE NOT TO FINGER COMB DRY CURLY EXTENSIONS! It is so damaging and causes excessive shedding and it’s a common mistake I see often. Never comb curly hair when it’s dry, use a moisturizer or water before combing

    1. Ty says:

      That’s a great tip! No one likes frizzy curls

  6. Tyesha says:

    To keep moisture in your extensions after a wash you can take coconut oil (the amount you get when you use the back of your nail to get it out will suffice) and while the hair is still damp, apply it thoroughly throughout the hair. Wait until the hair dries and gently comb through the hair so the coconut oil is evenly distributed through the hair. Doing this will keep your hair soft, silky, shiny and you can continue slaying.

  7. Amy M says:

    It’s also a good thing to pay someone that knows what they are doing install the extensions for you. I know we love to watch YouTube and it has us feeling like we can slay some hair but for real a beautician can catch stuff we wouldn’t think of, well a good professional one, not just someone looking to make quick money.

  8. Amy M says:

    It’s also a good thing to pay someone that knows what they are doing install the extensions for you. I know we love to watch YouTube and it has us feeling like we can slay some hair but forreal a beautician can catch stuff we wouldn’t think of, well a good professional one, not just someone looking to make quick money. I love these articles

  9. Amy M says:

    Plus be careful of who you let install your hair. I want to take care of what’s underneath my luxurious hair too.

    1. Ty says:

      Most definitely! Extensions are fun and versatile, but healthy hair is the ultimate goal.

  10. Court LaNae says:

    I’m guilty of the poor nighttime routine. By the time I make it to my bed at night, literally that’s all I do, is making it to the bed. I’m always exhausted. I do wrap my hair put on a bonnet, nothing! I wouldn’t do that if I were you and I was reminded of that reading this article. I thought I was safe until I got to #7! Lol, I’m going to make sure I begin to take better care of my hair extensions. I am launching my company soon and I have to lead by example. I can’t be walking around with frizzy unproperly cared for hair and have that as a representation of my company. No no no!

    And ladies don’t let just anyone care for or install for hair extensions. If you can not do it yourself please do your research and visit a licensed professional for services.
    Whether your hair extensions are in the version of wefted, clip-ins, wig, etc make sure if you want to save them for another time that you properly cleanse them and store them away in silk bag or pouch. Silk or satin is gentle and safe for your natural hair and extensions. I would stray away from mesh or plastics. Mesh itself is harder and the fraction may cause extensions to get tangled while stored away and plastics don’t allow the hair to “, breathe” at all which may make your extensions dry and brittle and break off easily when trying to reinstall. No no no!

  11. Jasmine peoples says:

    Hey!! Hairstylist here!!!😊😊😊 I definitely agree with everything that was said in this blog… It was written so very well and with the thought in mind of each person that is buying extensions… so let me touch on every subject that they have touched on number 1… it is true excessive heat can damage not only your extensions but it can damage your real hair as well…. especially if you have a leave out. I always tell my natural clients to avoid heat damage on your leave out I suggest a closure or frontal… or maybe even a unit but if you just so happen to do have a leave out and you don’t you want to make sure those things are blending well with your extensions you have to make sure that you pin curl it at night!!! This also touches on #7 nightly routine….I’m always teaching my clients how to pin curl their hair that way in the morning when you get up you don’t have to do much blending!!! They don’t have to worry about putting more heat on their hair to make that’s sew in look good!! Pin curling is a good way to keep your curls and to help your hair blend with your sew in!!! #2.. When I shampoo extensions (depending on with the client has done) if I can feel build up… I always go in with a clarifying shampoo…. Paul Mitchell shampoo number two is actually really good because it will get that build up off the hair without completely stripping everything off of it. I always follow up with a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner I use Wella Color Care shampoo because it’s actually has Diamond crystals in it😨..and it makes the hair feel really soft and it smells really good!!! But if there isn’t any build-up I always say just Co-wash their hair… #3…..when it comes to number 3 I always try to make sure that when I’m lifting bundles I have olaplex to mix with the lighter… it is a chemical you put in your bleach to help your hair lift at a good rate and keeps the bonds attached to the hair… it’s like a life insurance policy for your hair… you know how sometimes bleach can dry your hair out and become really brittle well with olaplex you don’t have to worry about that… The article is right lifting your hair low and slow is definitely recommended and always follow up with a toner( the actual color you desired). #4 is so important because a lot of stylist actually do cut the wefts…😒😒 I cringe at the thought but sometimes you have no choice but to cut the wefts especially if you’re getting to the top of the sew-in and you need to finish it. And in order to get maximum flatness in the top you just you have no choice but to cut it ….but here’s a little trick that I like to do when I don’t want to cut the wefts..i actually flat iron the weft it makes it pliable and easy to fold. I know a lot of times with Brazilian hair the weft can be really bulky! Trust me you’re going to thank me later!!! #5 is so accurate that there’s nothing really I can touch on…but make sure you have the proper tools such a paddle brush is actually really good when it comes to brushing your hair and I think the most important thing that people need to understand and realize is that these are extensions this is not actually your real hair growing out your head people get so accustomed to the weave that they actually forget that it’s sew in and not growing out of their scalp so it needs love and care for longevity!! #6 when it comes to cutting your weave or extensions…. I say if you’re not sure about whether or not you’re capable of doing them yourselves just come and see me 🙂 and finally #7 a night time routine is so very important it is very vital to keeping your hair lasting again I’ll touch on the pin curls.

    Its old school but effective. But if you have curly hair a good thing to do is a spray it down a little with water and just flat Twist the hair…. not only will Define your curls but it’ll make sure when you wake up in the morning you have less work to do …you can unravel them fluff them up and bam you’re finish…whether you would need a scarf or Bonnet is entirely up to you but sleeping cute is no longer an option😁…I really hope that my little added tidbits help somebody…I don’t know who they’re going to help but I know that they work wonders for my clients!!! People have to understand that extensions can be very expensive….so you have to love on them and take care of them and take care of your hair underneath at the same time!!!! Great blog I enjoyed reading it!!☺☺❤❤❤

  12. Misty moye says:

    Now this article has explained a lot out my hair I thought I was just buying bad hair but I wasn’t taking care of it right. I am good for flat ironing every morning and putting all kinds product on it. And my hair would be all rough it would lose its bounce and everything. It got so bad I decided to cut it and made it worst and stiffer now I know why. Trust me I will be taking better care of my hair I just wrong all these DONTS down lol I refuse to waste any more money thank you PLE love Y’all 😘

  13. Christal says:

    Love everything about this post. As a hairstylist I hear a lot of people say so & so has bad hair. The first thing I like to stress is that may be true in some cases but most cases the client doesn’t know how to properly take care of their own hair so definitely wouldn’t know how to care for Extensions. It’s important to not make an investment in good quality hair if you aren’t gonna take care of it. Regular shampooing & conditioning, watching how much heat you use, using correct products all
    Play a huge factor in how long your Extensions will last. You have to be good to your hair & it will be good to you!

  14. Consuelo Rhone says:

    I just mad a post this week in the PLE group regarding cutting the weft. The novice stylist may think it can’t hurt to cut the weft. The big mistake you cut the lifespan of your tracks. Cutting the weft will have hair to shed which makes the hair thinner and will cause a new set of bundles quicker than usual. UHMMM 🤔 Maybe that isn’t such a bad thing when you are a salesperson. J/K honesty is the key to continued success.

  15. Sulan Alexander says:

    This is a great article, I cannot stress how much I tell my clients to protect and care for their extensions because it is an investment. I provide a hair care brochure with tips for straight hair or curly hair based on clients purchase and also recommended products and tools to care for and style the hair; even a stylist in their area that I recommend, because not all persons are verse with Virgin hair. I try to offer as much information so the client isn’t left lost after their purchase which happens a lot. Heat is a killer, so I always recommend the flexi rods or perm rods for styling, using foam to set the curls, it holds much longer too compared to using heat. For my wefts I try to reseal if I absolutely have to cut when doing an install or making a wig, so as to minimize shedding of the hair, I use a resealing glue or some hair glue just over the ridge of the cut. For my curly hair, I place conditioner, water, and argan oil in a spray bottle so if I want to rehydrate the oil helps to balance out the texture and keep it soft yet manageable, the oil also helps it to look more uninformed after drying and not rumpled. When it comes to caring I let clients know to use a sulfate free shampoo as it is much better on the hair and a moisturizing conditioner to retain softness. I know when we’re tired we wanna jump into bed with our hair all out so I tell clients to hold straight hair in a loose bun and tie with a silk/satin scarf and plait curly hair in two braids and wear a scarf or bonnet.

    Such persons don’t talk about care when you have removed your extensions and they aren’t in use, I will add that after taking out your hair “DO NOT” just threw in a bag somewhere because your hair will be smelly and may grow mold as well as tangle. Wash with a sulphate free shampoo like Cantu or Pantene Pro v, ensure to get out dirt and any product build-up, deep condition hair, apply some argan oil or pure coconut oil to hair so it won’t dry out and get brittle and allow to air dry, when dried brush hair with a boar bristle brush or a Denman brush to ensure no tangles and that it is all running in one direction. Place a colored woogie around the wefts to keep it all in place or I offer the Hair storage hangers with clips to store hair. This way your hair is clean and can be packed away safely until it’s next intended use. If no hair hanger is available, use a satin bonnet, silk scarf or pillowcase to store hair and store in a dry area. Protect your hair, care it and it will definitely last, especially if the quality is already great!

    1. Ty says:

      Thanks for those gems! I love to hear from professionals!

  16. Raquellwashington says:

    I’m happy to know that I follow all of the dos on this list. Let’s face it hair is not cheap. I hate when people say you don’t have to use a heat protectant on your extensions or when you’re getting your hair installed and your stylist wants to cut your wefts. I treat my hair extensions just as I treat my hair. I deep condition them and try my best to use natural products on them. I want to avoid as many flyaways and split ends as possible.

    1. Ty says:

      Yes! I love using all natural products on my extensions too, well besides the occasional bleaching.

  17. Pamela Parker says:

    Love and appreciate the knowledge for the aftercare. We do such a great job communicating hair quality and styling options but sometimes drop the ball on how to care for and maintain this beautiful investment.

  18. Nakisha says:

    Very good information on the upkeep of the Hair. Also, the info on the sectioning of your hair on Spanish wave, kinky curly etc. for at night was very helpful

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