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How to Prep Your Natural Hair for Extensions

Getting extensions is an excellent way to change your entire look in the blink of an eye. Extensions can turn someone with waist-length hair into a pixie-cut haired beauty without chopping off a single lock. They can make someone with short hair look like they were the inspiration for Tangled

Reasons People Get Hair Extensions

Wigs and extensions have been part of people’s beauty armour for thousands of years. They’re used for many reasons:

  • When people simply want to change their look, extensions give them the opportunity to do just that. Women with natural hair may want to give a relaxed hair look a try, while women with long hair may want to see what they look like with short hair. 
  • When people want to give their hair a rest from constant styling and manipulation, they use extensions to protect their own hair underneath the extensions.
  • When people want to promote hair growth, they’ll use extensions since they’re better able to retain length when they’re not constantly fussing with their own hair.
  • People suffering from hair loss due to medical conditions or health issues like stress often use extensions to mask the hair loss while giving their own tresses a break.
  • People with damaged hair often use extensions to give their hair time to heal. 

How to Prep Your Hair for Extensions 

When getting hair extensions, some people believe that you simply just have to get them put in, and voila: you’re fab, and your work is over. They don’t do any prep, thinking that the extensions are a form of camouflage and nothing more. That is the absolute worst thinking that you can have when it comes to getting hair extensions. 

When you’re ready to get them done, you have to make sure that your hair is in the right condition to get the install done. While extensions can have amazing benefits, they can also harm your hair if you don’t take the right precautions. Following are just a few of the ways that you should prep your hair for getting hair extensions.

Check your Hair‘s Health

It is true that many people use hair extensions to help with damaged hair caused by issues like illness or health issues. That being said, you don’t want to just get extensions and pop them on top of damaged hair. You have to make sure that your hair is healthy enough to support extensions. 

One way to do this is to check with your dermatologist or your medical doctor and make sure that getting extensions will not ruin your hair or exacerbate any scalp issues. Another way to help ensure that you don’t further damage already damaged hair is to make sure that you choose a style that provides as little stress as possible on your roots. One way to do this is to choose a style where your own hair is braided down first and covered with a stocking cap or other type of covering. This will protect your hair from being touched or pulled on by the extensions.

Deep Condition Your Hair

One of the most important things that you can do when preparing your hair for extensions is to deep condition your hair. Deep conditioning helps ensure that your hair is in the best condition possible for the process. 

Spend a day using deep conditioners, moisturizing oils, and anything else you need to put your hair in its strongest, healthiest condition. Using products that have protein in them can help ensure that your hair remains strong while under the extensions, but don’t use too much protein as this could lead to breakage. There are many great deep conditioners on the market. People with 4c hair or hair that tends to be dry include the TGIN Honey Miracle Mask and Aunt Jackie’s Fix My Hair Intensive Repair Conditioning Masque. You can also find any number of DIY conditioning recipes online that utilize moisture-enhancing ingredients like shea butter, organic coconut oil, Jamaican black castor oil and apple cider vinegar. 

Use Clarifying Shampoo

When washing your hair in preparation for extensions, make sure that you use a clarifying shampoo. A clarifying shampoo will help ensure that all old product is removed from your hair, making it ready for conditioning treatments. If your own hair is dyed and it’s going to be visible when wearing the extensions, use a mild clarifying shampoo so that you don’t strip the dye away.

Dye Your Hair If You Have To

If you’re going to be using hair extensions that are a totally different color than your natural hair, and you’re going to be leaving a portion of your own hair out, you will most likely need to dye your leave-out to match the extensions. If you’d rather not do this, use a closure to cover your leave-out instead. You’ll then be able to avoid using chemicals on your natural hair while still getting the awesome color that you’re looking for. 

Detangle Your Hair

It’s absolutely imperative that you detangle your hair completely. Detangle it during the washing and conditioning process. This will help ensure that your hair will be in good condition when it’s time to start putting the extensions in. 

Failure to get every tangle out prior to installing the extensions will pretty much ensure that your hair will continue to tangle while it’s in the extensions. WHen you try to remove the tangles later on, you will most likely end up dealing with tangles and knots. 

Some great detanglers for everyone from 3Bs to 4Cs include the Taliah Waajid  The Great Detangler and Aunt Jackie’s Curls & Coils Knot on My Watch Instant Detangler, famous for its incredible slip.

Choose a Style That Works WIth Your Hair Type

The extension style that you choose should go with your hair type. Some extension styles like strand-by-strand methods work best for people who have relaxed hair or naturally straight hair. If someone with kinky hair, they risk their own hair tangling and breaking during installation and wear. 

Protect Your Edges

Your edges are your most fragile part of your hair, so make sure that you protect them. don't pull too tightly on the edges or you're going to be left with no hair in those areas. If you are already experiencing hair loss along the edges, find out from your hairstylist which extension style works best for you. 

Some people have been able to regrow their edges by utilizing extension styles that help ensure that no pressure is put on the scalp in those areas

Hair extensions are an excellent way to do everything from changing up your look to helping your tresses heal. There’s no point in getting extensions if you’re not going to take care of the hair underneath. The above tips can help ensure that your own hair continues to thrive underneath the extensions so that you have the best of both worlds.


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