Aren’t hair extensions amazing? After just a few hours in your stylist’s chair, brand new hair extensions can transform everyday (but still fabulous!) you into ultra-fabulous you. You can live out your wildest fantasies, sporting an exquisite, teal afro, rich, wavy locks or whatever floats your boat.
Every morning you jump up, ready to take on the day with your fabulous persona. You feel like you can go on like this forever, but you can't. Eventually, those extensions won’t be so fresh and so clean. That gorgeous blue fro that turned heads and gave you the confidence to give that biochemistry Ted talk? It now looks like blue dryer lint stuck onto your head. Those wavy locks? They’re not waving anymore.
Is it Time to Get New Hair Extensions?
Great quality hair extensions can last a long time, but at some point, all extensions give up the ghost. You may think you can wear them into the ground, especially if you’re trying to save money, but you’ll be doing yourself a disservice by continuing to wear the hair. Not only will your hair look terrible, but you could also potentially put your own hair at risk. Older extensions don’t have the moisture and oils present on newer hair. If these dry extension rub against your own hair, they could strip it of oils, causing breakage. You may still be able to save them, though.
How to Revive Your Hair Old Hair Extensions
Before you completely throw in the towel, there are a few things that you may be able to do to revive old hair extensions. They include the following:
Use the “LOC” method: This conditioning method is an acronym of sorts for liquid, oil and cream. “L” is for liquid (water), “O” is for oil, and “C” is for cream. By layering moisture onto the extensions in this order, you may be able to soften and extend the life of the strands (especially to protect your hair during the winter).
- Boil them: Bring a pot of water to boil, and remove it from the stove. Add up to 20 drops of olive oil or coconut oils to the water, followed by a couple of tablespoons of your favorite conditioner. Lay your washed extensions in the pot, and leave them in for about 15 minutes or until the water is cool. Remove the extensions, and rinse them in cold water. If you have the time, leave them in longer for severely damaged extensions. Finger comb through, gently separating any remaining tangles.
- Use a wide-toothed comb: When not finger combing, only use a wide-toothed comb, and gently work it through the knots.
Ok, It’s Time to Get New Hair Extensions
If you’ve tried all the above tricks and they still don’t work, you may need some extra convincing that it’s time to let those extensions go. We’ve compiled a list of reasons - clues, if you will - that let you know that it’s time to put hair extensions to rest.
Clue #1: You’re Making Excuses for Them
You’ve rationalized too many times why you don’t need to replace them. The fact is that if your extensions still looked good, you wouldn’t have to make excuses. Be honest with yourself. If you have to write an internal treatise detailing why your old extensions are still ok...they’re not ok.
Clue #2: When You Move They Move
Good quality hair extensions made out of virgin hair last a long time, with some brands lasting a year or longer with proper care. At the end of the day, though, extensions are not attached to your skin, so they’re not getting the nutrients and natural oils that your own hair does. A tell-tale that they’re dead is when there’s no more life and movement to them. If you move your head, the extensions move with you like one solid unit. Cute in a classic Ludacris beat, not on your head.
Clue #3: “Nice Extensions.”
“Why , thank you, I...hey, wait a minute!”
Is there any worse shade than when someone says, “Nice extensions”? That “compliment” is usually accompanied by a wide-eyed, side-eyed grin. When you’ve got a flawless install with luscious locks, people simply compliment you on your fabulous hair. They only say “Nice extensions” when your hair doesn’t look like your own anymore. This is usually a sign that your hair has seen its best days, and it’s time to rotate in a new set.
Clue #4 You Simply Can’t Revive Them Anymore
When you wash your extensions and they only look good for about an hour before they start to look stale again, it’s time to get rid of them. Many women boil their hair, give it silicone baths and try many other hair revival tricks to breathe new life into their extensions. When nothing else works, it’s time to let them go.
Clue #5 They Look Like Tumbleweeds
When extension hair gets tangled or matted, people try everything from soaking the hair in deep tubs of conditioner to attempting to brush out the offending knots with tools like Tangle Teezer combs and the like. The problem is that once the texture has changed, no amount of boiling, shea butter, coconut oil, bentonite clay, silicone mix, rice water, deep conditioning, egg mask, mayonnaise, will make a difference.
Clue #6 There’s Buildup on the Tracks
After a while, there’s going to be a buildup of goo on the extension tracks, and it will be next to impossible to remove. That goo is a buildup of products, dirt, oil and grime that have become stuck inside the wefts. By the time you see unremovable product buildup on the tracks, the hair’s usually way past its expiration date. In addition to being unsightly, the buildup can be damaging to your own hair.
Clue #7 They Look Like Your Own Hair On Its Worst Days
You know hair extensions have got to go when they look as bad as your own hair looks on its worst days. Split ends, dryness - sound familiar? If you wanted your hair to look bad, you could neglect your own hair. Get your new hair extensions.
Getting great quality, affordable human extensions is no longer an impossible feat. They say if your hair looks good, you feel good. Do yourself a favor, and replace hair extensions when they’re no longer helping you go.