How To Take Care Of Hair Extensions And Wigs


Want longer hair, thicker hair, fuller hair or a brand-new color or style, instantly? Thanks to the wide range of new hair extension and wig products available these days, you can sport a brunette bob today and long, blonde balayage highlights tomorrow. You can choose from permanently attached extensions, clip-in extensions, hair pieces and full wigs to achieve any look you crave…and the results are so natural-looking, no one will be the wiser! And here’s a secret from Matrix salon pros—the better you take care of your new hair, the longer it will last and the better it will look. “Protect your investment,” advises Matrix Artistic Ambassador and Bellami Master Educator Eric Vaughn, “to ensure the longevity of your beautiful new hair!” Here are more important extension and wig care tips from the experts.

How to Wash Hair Extensions

Whether they’re attached semi-permanently or clipped or taped in temporarily, cleansing is essential for keeping your extensions free from build-up, dirt and debris. Use a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo and look for a creamy formula that won’t disturb the adhesive. If your extensions are removable, make a bubble bath with the sulfate-free shampoo, using cool water. Simply dip the extensions into the bath—this will cleanse the hair without creating friction. Rinse with clean water.

How to Condition Your Extensions

Just like the hair that grows on your head, your extensions will benefit from the softening, nourishing and detangling properties of a restorative conditioner. Conditioner will also restore moisture to porous ends. After shampooing and rinsing with clean water, apply the conditioner and rinse thoroughly. All conditioner must be removed thoroughly to avoid product build-up. If build-up does occur over time, use a clarifying shampoo to remove the product coating. Gently towel dry to remove as much moisture as possible. If your extensions are removable, lay them on a clean towel to dry. In either case—attached or detachable--spray them with a heat-protective detangling spray and comb through to smooth hair and remove tangles.

How to Style and Store Your Hair Extensions

If at all possible, air dry your extensions rather than blow-drying, to reduce pulling, tugging and heat damage. Then use your favorite thermal tool—curling iron, curling cone, flat iron, etc.—to style as desired. Regardless of which thermal tools you use, try to avoid directing heat at the point of attachment at the scalp as much as possible so you don’t disturb the bond. Keep the heat setting on all tools as low as possible, and prep hair with a leave-in spray that also provides thermal protection. If your extensions are detachable, store them on an extension hanger, or gently roll them up and store them in a silk bag, a plastic storage bag or tissue paper.

How to Cleanse and Condition Human Hair and Synthetic Wigs

Start by detangling your wig gently with a detangling bush, starting at the ends and working upward. Washing any wig without first detangling can lead to matting and snarls that can cause irreparable damage. After detangling, wet the wig and apply a non-sulfate shampoo formulated for either natural or synthetic hair, depending on your wig. Lather gently, rinse and follow with a lightweight conditioner formulated for natural or synthetic wigs. The products used should provide enough moisture to prevent your wigs from becoming dry or frizzy, yet lightweight enough to avoid oversaturating the hair, which can cause it to appear stringy and greasy. Rinse with lukewarm or cool water. Then pat the wig dry with a towel—don’t rub or handle it roughly.

How to Style and Store Your Wigs

Once you cleanse and condition your wig, mist it with a detangling spray and comb the spray through to distribute the product. If the wig is human hair, allow it to air dry or use a blow dryer. If the wig is synthetic, let it air dry. Then mist the dry wig with a heat protectant spray before using a hot iron or hot rollers to style. Using a heat protection spray is the best way to prevent damage and breakage. When you’re not wearing your wig, store it on a wig stand or in a silk wig bag.

Hair extensions raise the bar when it comes to good hair days, and if you care for your extensions and wigs properly, those good hair days will last even longer!