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Maintaining your weave mane

Many women enjoy the convenience of wearing hair extensions/weaves these days. However it isn't often you'll find that the care of this addition to your own hair has been translated from stylist to client. Hair extensions and weaves should receive the same gentle treatment your own hair receives. It isn't always easy or affordable to visit your stylist bi-weekly for maintenance so I'll share some tips that will help you keep your weave intact in between salon visits.

For the most part, women have their hair extensions/weaves installed by a salon professional, however rarely return consistently for the maintenance and upkeep required to keep the extensions looking fresh and alive. It has been my experience as a licensed cosmetologist that many clients will have their weave installed and then 8 weeks later return with a matted mess under their weaves. This is a very difficult task for any stylist to take on. It involves the painstaking process of removing the weave without cutting the matted hair that has now entangled itself around the thread and the extension.

So, to save yourself from losing your natural hair and your stylist from losing her mind here are some simple ways to keep your extensions looking beautiful and care for your natural hair underneath.

1. Always use a vented or paddle brush to detangle your extensions. Brush the hair from the ends up to avoid shedding. Aveda has a wonderful paddle brush worth the $20 investment.

2. Co-wash your extensions. This simply involves using a moisturizing conditioner prior to and along with a moisture infused shampoo to thoroughly cleanse your hair and the extensions. Try the Design Essentials hair care line. Bi-weekly washing is sufficient.

3. While washing your extensions, NEVER, EVER twist, or agitate the hair. Gently wash the extensions in a downward motion to avoid tangling.

4. Do not wring the water from your hair. Use a towel to soak up excess water.

5. Comb the hair with a wide tooth comb and allow hair to air dry. If you must apply heat, use the lowest setting and always use a heat protectant. Mizani Thermasmooth Shine Extend is a great choice.

6. Avoid using oily products. This will weigh the hair down.

7. Always protect your hair by using a satin/silk covering. This will prevent snagging, tangling and shedding.

Following these simple rules will help you to maintain your hair extensions for months. It will always ensure that your hair underneath stays clean and healthy.

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