Thursday, March 28, 2013

LBS Beauty: 5 Hair Tips for Rocking Extensions

One of the main hair-related topics I get asked about, both on the blog as well as in social media, is about how I maintain my hair extensions. As you guys know, my hair is natural and one of my protective styles of choice are curly extensions from Indique. I get them every few months to give my curls a break.

Considering I'm not exactly an expert, I took some time out to ask a professional hairstylist some of the frequently asked questions I get about the installation process, maintaining extensions the healthy way and styling. I chatted it up with salon owner Darlene Dorsett of the Idalias Salon in Brooklyn (see my review of the salon here) to uncover some truths and myths about hair extensions. After the Q&A, I provided some info about my personal haircare regimen and favorite products when I'm rocking my faux curls. Check it out:

1. As a stylist, what should my readers beware of when choosing a salon or stylist to get extensions?
You should start by doing your research. Services such as hair extensions are something that’s offered by many salons, but you should really seek the leaders in the field. After doing your research and finding a few salons that you’re interested in, schedule consultations to see if their marketing matches up with their level of expertise in-person. This is where you can look at the tools they use, ambience of the salon, and if their location is accessible to you.

A consultation is like a first date. The stylist should be doing their all to impress you. This includes a scalp test before they advise you on how and what weave works for you. If the salon has a one-extension-fits-all approach you should reconsider having them do your hair. Stylist at Idalias Salon, for example, would never use the same system of adding extensions on someone with thick, natural hair as we would on someone with very fine, relaxed hair. Finally, you should consider the cost. Weaves are not cheap. Researching a salon's website, Facebook page, Yelp, ensures you your money is well spent.

2. Are there weave styles that compliment relaxed girls more than natural girls or vice versa?
The beauty of weaves is that with the right hair and the right stylist, any style can compliment any female with either natural or relaxed hair. Many women think they need to match their own hair texture exactly, that's not true. Getting a weave that compliments your style means not being able to tell you're wearing a weave at all - that's our focus. Have your stylist help you find a texture that suits your daily lifestyle and your ability to commit to maintaining your weave.

3. How do you make sure to protect your hair from damage when getting extensions?
The first step is to be advised by your hairstylist if your hair and scalp is in good condition for extensions. It's also crucial to start off with a clean scalp that has been washed and deep conditioned before attaching a weave. While adding your new mane, do not have your stylist braid your hair too tightly because you want your extensions to last longer. This will only result in permanent hair loss and bald patches on your scalp.

4. What products and techniques do you recommend for maintaining scalp health when you have extensions?
The best way to maintain your scalp is to keep it hydrated through frequent washing and conditioning. We prefer to care for extensions as we do with natural and relaxed hair, simply by utilizing a sulfate free regimen on a weekly basis. Sulfate strips your hair of its natural oils forcing you to clog your pores with an overdose of unnecessary products. We also suggest a protein deep conditioner on a monthly basis, one of our favorite products is Nexxus Aloxxi Emergency Reconstructor, it helps strengthen hair.

5. How long is too long to keep extensions in?
The answer to this question depends on how fast your natural hair grows and how well you take care of your extensions. Braided weaves can last from 8 to 12 weeks. Any longer will result in your hair matting up but it also varies based on the quality of the extensions you use.

So there you have it - weave myths debunked! Here's a roundup of some of my personal favorite haircare products when I rock my extensions:

Dana's Loft Silk Me Mousse: $14Dana's Loft Smooth Me Leave-In: $12, Ojon Rare Blend Oil: $35.00, Jane Carter Solution Curl Defining Cream: $14.99, Eden Bodyworks Peppermint Tea Tree Hair Milk: $9.50

On the extensions:
I use the Dana's Loft Silk Me Mousse and the Smooth Me Leave-In to nourish and tame frizz on my Indique Bounce Deep Wave & Bounce Coil Curl (I have a combination of both) extensions. These products keep the curls tame and moisturized so there's less tangling. I'm also a huge fan of Dana's products (see here for my review of the Dana's Loft Salon).

On my leave-out:
For my own hair, I spritz a little water on it and condition it with Eden Bodyworks Peppermint Tea Tree Hair Milk. I then seal in the moisture with Ojon Rare Blend Oil and I do mini twists combining my dampened hair with the extensions using Jane Carter Curl Defining Cream. I let the twists dry, unravel and voila!

Hopefully this answered some of your questions about maintaining extensions on natural hair (and relaxed!). Any others, feel free to let me know in the comments section.
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  1. Your hair is gorgeous! I also use Indique hair, but never the curly hair. What lengths did you use for this look? Thanks!

    1. Thank you! I believe for this I used 18 inches and 20 inches. When you want a fuller look with curly extensions, you have to get longer hair. Also, I used 3 bundles to achieve this look.

  2. How did you get that hairstyle? How did you put in the extensions? Can you give me directions on how to get this look.

  3. Well, it is better to look for reviews when choosing the best saloon for your hairs. People who attend a saloon can tell properly about the services provided by the company, you can also read reviews online.
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  4. Here are some best hair extensions for all kind of hairs in different color, style and sizes with most reasonable price.
    Hair Extensions Tips