Tips for styling hair extensions

Versatile hair extensions give you many options. Learn how to care for and style hair extensions correctly for your best look!

Brunette with hair extensions

Hair extensions are the current hot hair trend! They instantly add length and fullness without having to grow out your own natural hair. Extensions of real human hair or synthetic blends can be clipped right into your hair, bonded in with glue or sewn in. Because they come with a price, treat them gently when you style so that you get the best look without damaging them.

Detangle

Nightly and before washing your hair, carefully remove tangles by brushing through the hair. You’ve invested in extensions, so also invest in a looper brush — specially designed with looped bristles that will glide easily and smoothly through hair extensions, wigs and other hairpieces. It’s best to let extensions air-dry following a shampoo, but if you do use a blow dryer have it set on the lowest heat setting. When styling, choose alcohol-free products and use them sparingly to avoid dulling build-up on the extensions. Some synthetic extensions can take a small dose of very low heat, but generally heated styling appliances should only be used on human hair extensions. Most synthetic blends will not fare well with the direct heat of flat irons and curling irons or heated rollers.

Use extra care styling extensions that have been bonded or glued in. The heat from styling tools can melt the glue and loosen the strands. Tugging and pulling on any strand will shorten the life of the extension, so be gentle to make them last longer. Most stylists recommend that you bundle your extensions up into a sleep cap or silk scarf before sleep. This prevents the extensions from loosening up from the moving around that happens as you sleep, and the cap will eliminate the worst tangles.

Curls and beautiful volume

Adding extensions can give beautiful volume and make anyone’s hair look luxuriously full. It’s best to layer the extensions throughout your hair. Having extensions applied professionally helps give a more natural look and the stylist can place them more easily in those difficult to see areas on the back of your head. When you’re ready to style, treat the extension like your own hair. The style will look more natural when you incorporate real hair and the extensions together in an easy flow.

Apply a curl-holding cream to your hair — real and extensions — and use a big-barrel curling iron to make soft curls. You can sweep the hair into a loose ponytail with wispy curled tendrils framing your face, scoop it back into a low chignon or bun, or let it flow beautifully in loose waves. Styles like the classic French twist look fuller on hair with extensions, and many stylists add extensions to traditional updos for more volume and depth.

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