Taking care of your new Hand-Tied Hair Extensions at home can be a little bit of an adjustment, but don’t let that scare you! Most women admit it’s like being high-maintenance just one or two days a week to be LOW maintenance every other day! With a little extra care and attention, particularly on wash day, you’ll be used to your new routine in no time. Below, I’ve done my best to outline what extra steps you’ll need to take to make sure you’re keeping your extensions in great condition between maintenance appointments. All products we recommend are available for purchase at Heyday Collective and a full size Iles Formula Haute Performance Shampoo, Conditioner, and Serum are included in the Heyday Hand-Tied Home Care Kit which is gifted to you at your initial installation appointment.
Keeping your hair detangled needs to be a priority to protect both your natural hair and extension hair from matting or damage. Follow these steps to properly brush your hair!
- For a thorough detangling, morning and night, and always before and after washing: sectioning is key! Using a crocodile clip (I provide these for you in your Heyday Hand-Tied Home Care Kit!), gather your bottom row and all of your natural hair above it and clip it on top of your head. This will allow you to freely brush and detangle your natural hair below your bottom row all the way to the scalp. Then, let your bottom row down and gather all the hair above your bottom row into the clip on top of your head. Holding the top of the row with your hand or fingers, carefully brush your extensions from the ends working your way up to the top of the row, being very careful not to snag your brush over the top of the row where it is attached to your head. If you have a second row, you’ll want to first make sure to brush + detangle your natural hair between your rows before letting your top row down to brush it. It may seem excessive, but by taking extra gentle care to section and brush your hair this way, you’ll be pretty much guaranteed to avoid matting or damage.
- For brushing throughout the day: Always keep your detangling brush (provided in your Home Care Kit!) with you! It will come in handy for brushing on the fly, after you get in and out of your car in the wintertime when static and coats and scarves can cause tangling. Just remember to place your hand at the top of the row to relieve excess tension on the scalp, and start from the bottom and work your way up, avoiding brushing over the top of the row.
Cleansing + Conditioning
Before washing, always thoroughly detangle your hair section by section using the instructions above.
- In the same way that you sectioned your hair to brush it, you will section it to shampoo, so take your clips into the shower with you! Gently shampoo your scalp below, between, and above your rows with sulfate- and paraben-free shampoo and lukewarm water. It isn’t necessary to rub the ends of your hair together while washing – focus on cleansing your scalp well to avoid product buildup and let the suds of your shampoo wash over the rest of your hair. I recommend starting with a clarifying shampoo like Unite Weekender to remove build-up, then shampooing a second time with your treatment shampoo (we provide Iles Formula in my Heyday Hand-Tied Home Care Kit). If your shampoo doesn’t suds up, add more water before adding more shampoo.
- Conditioning: Once you have shampooed and rinsed, gently squeeze the excess water from your hair and apply a small amount of Iles Formula Conditioner or Masque and work it through the ends of your extension hair and natural hair, avoiding getting conditioner near the top of the row, as it may encourage slipping at the attachment points, and it will be difficult to rinse thoroughly. Use a wide tooth comb or your detangling brush to gently distribute the conditioner through your hair, and leave on for up to 5 minutes or more. Be sure to completely rinse all conditioner from your hair.
- Between washes: use the luxury shower cap provided in your Home Care Kit to extend the life of your blowout between washes!
- *Quick wash tip* If you feel like your hair gets greasy quickly but you don’t want to do a full wash sooner than you need to, use this pro tip! Clip all of the hair above your top row on top of your head with a crocodile clip. Then pull the rest of your hair – your top row and everything below it – into a low pony. Then, unclip the hair on top of your head, and carefully stick your head under your bathtub or sink faucet to do a quick shampoo of that hair only! Dry and style and get another few days before having to do a full wash and style.
Drying + Styling
- Gently squeeze out the excess water and blot your hair with a cotton towel. Use a detangling brush to detangle and straighten hair while extensions are still damp, starting from the bottom up. Again, it may be best to section your hair if you have more than one row.
- Gently dry your hair on medium heat until it is almost completely dry before using any brushes. This applies to Blow-Dry Bars as well – be sure to communicate to whoever is styling your hair NOT to round-brush your hair from start to finish or they will damage your extensions and possibly your natural hair as well!
- You may use a round brush or boar bristle brush and very gentle tension to smooth your hair and the extension hair the last few minutes of your blow-dry.
- If curling your extensions, again, it will help to section your hair using the crocodile clips provided. Run the extension hair through the curling iron to smooth the hair once or twice before curling – this will give your extensions a more smoothed and polished look. Be sure to use a heat protectant such as Unite 7Seconds Glossing.
Extensions on Vacation
One of the most common questions I get starts with, “I’m going on vacation…!” Well, I’m here to tell you that YES, you absolutely can enjoy your vacation with your extensions in, just know that you’re going to have to take a little extra care if you DO plan on swimming!
- Detangle your hair, wet it down, and apply a leave-in treatment to your extension hair. Place your hair into a pony or braid before entering the water. Be sure to use a color-safe clarifying shampoo like Unite Weekender immediately after exposure to ocean, lake, or pool water. Minerals found within natural and man made bodies of water can react poorly with extension hair and may lead to discoloration.
- NEVER let sunscreen, suntan oil, or self-tanning products touch the extension hair as this may lead to discoloration. To be safe, always avoid sunscreens that contain the chemical ingredient avobenzone.
- I will not be held responsible for any discoloration or change in hair integrity resulting from contact with ocean, lake, or pool water, or sunscreen products. Any color correction that I must do to restore your extensions after being exposed to any of these elements may result in an additional charge at your maintenance appointment or require replacement of your wefts!
A few more tips…
- Use only sulfate- and paraben-free products – for best results, stick with what I provide you in your Home Care Kit, and use only products I recommend!
- Use a leave-in conditioner or serum on your extensions to keep from tangling or drying out
- Loosely braid extensions before sleeping
- Sleep on a silk pillow or using a silk turban
- Brush regularly with a detangling brush – just keep it in your purse!
- Avoid using professional-only toning shampoos – I will not replace any extension hair that has been discolored as a result of using toning shampoos
- If you notice any excess tangling or hair shedding, please contact me immediately – these are typically quick fixes when addressed right away!
Caring for your new hair is easier than you think! If you have any additional questions, be sure to ask your artist at your next maintenance appointment!