Prepping the hair is crucial for achieving an application/installation that has major longevity and is undetectable. Hair extension installations should also be approached in the same way as any other time-intensive, long-lasting procedure. We reached out to an extension specialists to get their best tips. From cleansing and conditioning to the blow-dry process, here’s how to properly prep hair for hair extensions.
Always start with a clarifying shampoo. If the extensions aren’t applied to clean hair, things like residue and oils can cause them to prematurely slip. It is always best to cleanse the scalp with a clarifying shampoo first. But if your hair is colored, make sure to use a mild clarifying shampoo; anything stronger could destroy the color.
Pro Tip: Skip the conditioner! It’s meant for moisturizing so using it will only add oils back into the hair, making it more difficult for the extensions to stay put.
A little bit of conditioner is OK. And if you are a blonde, skipping conditioner completely isn’t an option. Apply a very very light amount of conditioner on the ends only to keep the hair hydrated without disrupting the longevity of the extensions.
Have you ever tried applying extensions on staticky hair? It's not fun but the secret to avoid a static setback is to apply a small amount of conditioner to the ends and then be sure to rinse it out for a good two to three minutes.
Pro Tip: If your hair is dry/knotty, Spray detangler in your hands and then apply it to the ends. For taming purposes, apply a drop of smoothing cream to the ends for heat protection and shine during the blowout.
If the your hair isn’t super straight (or align with the hair pattern of the extensions), not only will your application be messy but you won’t know which color extensions will match the row you’re working on and unwanted flyaways/baby hairs will get stuck, causing tension. It is best to blowout the hair first so it’s super smooth and straight. Then, run a flat iron from the roots to the ends to ensure a clear, clean palette.