Summer is finally here - and you know what that means: Backyard BBQs, pool parties, and beach trips (we can already smell the sunscreen).
Summer-Ready Hair Extensions
While summer adventures are great for the 'gram, they're less so for your hair extensions. Sun, salt, sunscreen and chlorine are notorious for wreaking havoc on hair - and summer is triple-whammy that combines all four. But you don't have to choose between going on vacation or getting hair extensions. With a few key tweaks to your hair extensions maintenance routine, your locks will look gorgeous and soft all summer long - wherever your vacation plans may take you.
Prep Your Hair for UV Damage
While your hair gets sun direct exposure in your day-to-day routine, you're likely spending far more hours outside when on vacation. Pair your sun-ravaged hair with chlorine or saltwater and you've got some seriously dehydrated hair.
To protect your extensions from sun damage, start with our sulfate and protein-free Leave-In Conditioner spray. It's a UV protectant and moisturizer that won't weigh your hair down (no matter how much you use). More is better when it comes to this protective spray - use liberally both before and after getting in the water, and throughout the day if you're spending time outdoors.
Wet Your Hair Before Swimming
Hair extensions aren't exactly pool or beach-friendly. Ideally, it's best to avoid getting your extensions wet in the first place. But if it can't be avoided, one of the most beneficial things you can do for your extensions is to wet them with cold, natural water prior to swimming.
Think of your dry hair like a sponge that's going to soak up the first liquid it comes into contact with. To prevent it from soaking up excessive salt or chlorine, a pre-rinse fills your hair shaft and prevents large amounts of those harmful compounds from being absorbed.
Braids & Buns are a Must
When getting in the water, minimize tangling by putting your hair in a low bun or loose braid. Although this is highly recommended if you are planning on getting your hair wet - it's also a great idea even if you only plan on sitting poolside to protect your strands from the sun's rays. Top your low bun or loose braid with a big floppy hat to completely protect your locks and scalp from harmful rays. One protective style to avoid? Ponytails. They create tension and are particularly detrimental to Keratin extensions.
Brush Often (But Gently)
When it comes to brushing, use an extra gentle touch and ideally, a hair extensions-friendly brush. Those like our Boar Bristle Brush are specially designed to glide through extensions, rather than detangle by pulling. Start brushing from the ends and hold the hair the bond to avoid tugging at it.
Minerals Only, Please
Sunscreen can do more harm than good when it comes to extensions, especially blonde extensions. A nasty ingredient called Avobenzone can permanently turn your perfect blonde locks into a peachy pink hue. This ingredient is quite common in chemical sunscreens (which studies have shown are not so great for the body), but mineral sunscreens (ones that use zinc oxide) are perfectly extension safe. There are cream or spray options available to keep your skin protected, and your hair extensions the same beautiful color all summer long.
Our recommendation: Use our Leave-In Conditioner spray as extra UV protection for your hair throughout the day. Spray a mineral, avobenzone-free sunscreen over your scalp, or wear a hat to protect your scalp during long beach or pool outings.
Pump up the Moisture
Lips, skin, body, and hair all need that extra boost of moisture when temperatures go up. Protect your hair extensions from any heat or sun damage by adding a weekly dose of hydration using our AQUA Hair Mask. Pair it with our Leave-in Conditioner Spray (focus on your ends) for all day continuous moisture.
Dry Your Hair Between Dips
Wet hair is as inevitable as tan lines during the summer, but something to be avoided for those with hair extensions. Water - especially salt or the chlorinated kind - weakens the Keratin or Tape In extension bonds. They are at their most fragile when wet so it's recommended to dry the roots of your hair every time you get out of the water (the rest of your hair can be air-dried).
Our recommendation: Keep a small microfiber towel on hand that is dedicated to drying your hair. Using your index and middle finger, gently pat the towel along the roots of your hair and along the bonds of your extensions. Avoid regular beach towels as the material is rough, drying, and can cause your already delicate extensions to rub against one another and tangle.
Wash Your Hair More Frequently
For regular hair extension maintenance, we typically recommend shampooing and conditioning no more than 3 times a week. However, chlorine and saltwater are incredibly drying and it's imperative that they're removed from your hair as soon as possible. Our AQUA hair care line is gentle and specially formulated without protein or sulfates so that it can be used often without risk of stripping the hair.
Washing hair more frequently can lead to increased dryness. To combat this, make sure to pack your trusty jar of Deep Conditioning Hair Mask and use it at least once a week.
Add Silk to Your Sleeping Arrangements
Just because the sun is away doesn't mean there's nothing else you can do for your extensions. An easy way to prevent your hair from losing even more moisture is by using a silk pillowcase. Cotton-y materials are drying and sap our moisture while our sleep. This results in weaker, drier, and frizzier hair in the morning (no thanks - we'll pass).
Summer, Here We Come!
Caring for your extensions during the summer doesn't have to be difficult. Keeping your hair moisturized is your best defense and will keep your extensions looking healthy and shiny long after your vacation is over. What does your current hair extensions maintenance routine look like? Let us know in the comments!