TESTING HAIR QUALITY
It’s important to establish the authenticity of your hair extension. Run your finger through the hair and look carefully for signs of shedding. With authentic human hair, there should be no shedding – the weft should be tight and sealed. Then, inspect the length of the hair – it should have equal thickness from the top to the end. The bundle of hair should not be thick at the top and thin at the end, for example.
THE STRAND TEST
When you inspect your hair extension, you should not be able to see different colours or fibres in the hair. The presence of different colours and fibres indicates that the hair extension may have been mixed with synthetic hair. In such cases, there is a possibility that the hair will melt when hot iron tongs are applied.
Virgin hair has a lifespan of approximately 1-2 years when treated with the proper care. Your hair extension should be considered an investment. With appropriate treatment and maintenance, your extension will last a long time and save you a great deal of money.
CARING FOR EXTENSIONS
Proper hair maintenance is essential in order to avoid split ends and dryness. It’s important to treat and condition your hair properly for the extensions to show their true beauty. With proper care, the quality of your hair will actually increase over time. It is recommended that you use products that are specific to the texture of the hair that you have purchased, especially for wavy or curly hair. It is best that you use sulphate-free products, but other professionally graded products will also work well.
COLOURING YOUR HAIR
When you are colouring your hair for the first time, it is best to have it done by a professional hairdresser. Since virgin hair is completely natural and has never been processed, it takes to colour very well. Going from a 1B to a platinum blonde colour requires bleaching, and is not an easy process. Furthermore, increased exposure to chemicals will increase the possibility of damaging or drying out the hair. It is therefore recommended that, when the hair is dyed, products that include conditioner and oil are used.
It is recommended that professional hairdressers should be the ones to attempt chemical alterations including highlighting, bleaching, and colouring. Virgin hair is very resilient and durable, but it is still susceptible to becoming damaged beyond repair. Applying colour to hair that is ready-coloured is not recommended. As coloured hair goes through a unique colouring process, re-colouring it may lead to undesirable results including a change of texture or hair breakage.
STYLING YOUR HAIR
It is recommended that you avoid heavy styling products such as hair spray, gel, and mousse. These products may cause a build-up in the extension that makes the hair heavy and stiff. Tongs, crimpers, irons, and heated rollers may all be used on hair extensions. Do note, however, that it is advisable to use heat protection spray to shield your hair extensions and natural hair from the heat of these appliances. It is best not to overuse such tools, as they may cause your extensions to dry out.
Universal Hair 2 Excel has compiled a list of 12 steps you should take to increase the longevity of your hair. They are as follows:
1. Brush Out All Knots Using a Soft-Bristled Brush or Looper Brush
2. Brush Gently from the Bottom Up to Avoid Damaging Hair
3. Wet the Hair with Warm Water
4. Shampoo the Hair
5. Rinse off the Shampoo with Warm Water (This Helps to Open the Cuticles and Prepare Hair for the Conditioning Process)
6. Remove Excess Water from the Hair with a Towel
7. Apply a Generous Amount of Conditioner by Running Your Fingers through the Hair from the Top Down
8. Scrunch the Ends with Conditioner to Remedy Split Ends
9. Comb the Conditioner through with a Wide-Toothed Comb
10. Rinse the Conditioner out with Warm Water
11. Pat the Hair Dry with a Towel – Do Not Rub the Hair to Dry it
12. Leave Your Hair Extension to Dry Naturally
CARE BEFORE SLEEPING
Always make sure to thoroughly dry your hair before going to bed, as wet hair may lead to dandruff and scalp problems. Before you go to sleep, we recommend that you make large braids and gently wrap your hair with a satin or silk scarf. The scarf will help to keep in moisture and prevent natural oils from drying out. When possible, sleep on a satin or silk pillowcase as cotton is known to dry hair out.
BRUSHING AND COMBING
Hair extensions are attached to your natural hair. As a result, pulling hard or otherwise mistreating your extensions could lead to pulling out your own natural hair. When brushing your extension, you should only use an extension brush with a cushioned base and soft bristles. Always make sure to brush in a gentle manner, and never brush in excess of three times a day. When you brush your extension, you should hold your weft to ensure that there is no added stress on your hair.