Tuesday, 2 August 2011
EXTENSIONS 101; HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR OWN HAIR IN EXTENSIONS!
Welcome to the month of August! This month I want to focus a little on extensions. I am very aware that they are many ladies' 'Hair life line' and it is understandable! They are convenient, they keep you looking fresh and put together, they last long, they are very versatile and for some ladies they are the hair they wish they had!!
I get it! But what I don't get is totally abandoning your own natural hair while you have extensions! It is tempting I must say, before I started my hair journey, when my hair was in braids or a weave, my own hair will not taste any kind of moisturizer or oil till the braids or weave came out! Then on the day I take them out, I would just look at the clumps of hair being combed out in dismay as though I was not the cause!
Anyways, I know there might be ladies like I used to be that are just clueless on this issue!! Hopefully this post can help.
The first thing to do prior to getting any kind of extension in your hair be it braids, weaving, weaves, pick and drop, any extension you can imagine is, A DEEP CONDITIONING PROTEIN TREATMENT! Check out my How to Relax Naija Hair Post for more details on this treatment. This treatment is extremely essential whenever your are doing anything strenuous to your hair that's why I recommended it before a relaxer treatment and that's why I recommend it now. The benefits include, infusing your hair with more strength to withstand the pulling and tugging of the extensions, it also gives your hair more moisture and will soften it for easy manipulation while the extensions are being put in. As a result, hair breakage during the extension installation process is greatly minimized.
Now you can go get your extensions! But while you are getting them please make sure your stylist does the following;
She/He moisturizes and seals your hair FIRST before she starts anything,
She/He does NOT use a tiny tail comb to comb through your hair while she makes the parting for your hair style but a wide tooth comb like this;
She /He MUST be conscious of your hair scalp's sensitive spots! I have two sensitive spots on my scalp and any time I got braids and allowed the stylist treat those spots like other parts of my scalp, those spots became even thinner. You have to know your sensitive spots first though (if you have any , most of such spots are around your hairline) and make sure if you need to tell her to hold the hair in such a spot looser then tell her or you want to 'brush' the hair in that area then do so, DO NOT COMPROMISE!! When the hair starts to thin out and go bald in that spot it will be only you facing the embarrassment.
You know that thing stylists do with braids where they go through strands of the braids and trim the hair sticking out with scissors? Tell He/She to STOP! most times the hair being trimmed so the braids look 'neat' is your natural hair!!If the braider cannot braid hair without it sticking out then he/she is not good enough, leave the hair the way it is or risk having randomly chopped hair ends!
Hair's Done! What next?
For weaves, please make sure the hair you leave out is not abandoned by you! moisturize and seal it daily especially if you want to keep using heat to blend in your hair with the weave, keep that to the minimum though.
You will also need a spray bottle like this;
Concentrate on the roots of the braids and massage the mixture into your scalp daily!
With a weave,
Lift the tracks up and spray the mixture on your natural hair and massage the exposed hair daily! You can avoid spraying the front of your hair left for blending the tracks because, the water in the mixture will frizz your hair out and make blending difficult.
With braids, weekly moisturize and seal the actual braids to keep your own hair in the braids in good shape especially when its time to take them out. Unfortunately you cannot moisturize and seal with weaves except if you just have a few tracks of weave in your hair and the rest is your own hair, then you can moisturize and seal the hair left out.
*Remember; ALWAYS use products in moderation!!
So when's a healthy time to take out your extensions?
Have you ever left your extensions still they start forming whitish stuff(dirt) at the root of your hair, some girls pass by you and the wind blows and oh my!!you have to hold your breath!!! Their hair stinks big time you are instantly embarrassed for them!!lol!! Don't be a victim of worn out hair extensions! Please when your braids or weaves become loose, smelly or sweaty then the time has come! Take 'em out!! You can wash them if you can't be bothered to take them out sha, but most times after you wash extensions they become weak and won't last any longer.
When you take them out, DON'T COMB until you do one round of moisturizing and sealing your hair and then spray enough of that mixture from the spray bottle before you comb and detangle your hair with a wide tooth comb. then follow with a another deep conditioning protein treatment and then wash out! Your hair should be back in shape, if you follow these simple steps!! Extensions done properly are a good way to transition to natural hair so all you wannabe natural sistahs out there this post is also for you!
Hope this post is helpful, stay tuned for more posts on extensions!!