#1 Relax Your Hair & Wear Weaves
First, let’s discuss if you should relax your hair then receive extensions. I don’t advise wearing a relaxer and getting extensions. Why is that, you ask? Installing a sew-in automatically adds some tension to your hair because the hair is being pulled as it is being braided. Once the relaxer is added to the equation it makes it really easy for breakage between the braids and when sewing in the tracks. If you have three or more inches of new growth it’s ok to get the extensions. However, if you plan on wearing the extensions repeatedly don’t relax the hair until you completely stop wearing extensions.
#2 Relax Your Edges
Another caution to take while wearing extensions and is relaxing your edges! Just be aware that when your stylist is rinsing the relaxer out, it is seeping down into your braided hair under the tracks. Granted, they are washing your edges but they are not able to get into the hair and scalp under the braids like they may need to. Think about it, the relaxer is just sitting on your hair and this can lead to another form of breakage. If you are doing this I challenge you and your stylist to go nine months without relaxing your hair or relaxing the edges and you will see a tremendous difference in your hair strength. The next thing we need to discuss is the length of time you should leave your extensions in; 8-10 weeks, 3 months at the longest!!! The reasoning is after 3 months your natural hair starts to matte and tangle together. Once this occurs and you take your extensions out it is hard to detangle the hair and that often causes breakage.
#3 Don’t Leave Extensions in for Prolonged Periods
or those who are spending a lot of money getting your extensions, I would suggest finding a stylist that you can afford to see every 2 -3 months. If you are wearing ALL of your hair braided up (no leave-out), it can also be unhealthy for your edges. The reason is because the weight of the hair and tension of the braids can result in thinning around your hairline and can sometimes cause “traction alopecia.” Alopecia is when the hair follicles die from damage and will never grow back. If you are wearing your hair all in (no leave-out) be careful that your braids (foundation) is not too tight and be sure to give your hair a break in between these styles. For my ladies who continuously wear extensions, take it down, put it back up, etc. you need to continue to get your ends trimmed and also deep condition your before putting your extensions back in.
#4 Do Not Allow Inexperienced/Unqualified Stylists to Do Your Hair
Let’s discuss who you allow to do your extensions install. If the stylist that you’re looking to go to doesn’t do a consultation before doing your hair that is a red flag! Just making an appointment then showing up and getting your hair done can be risky. If you don’t get a consultation, when will you and the stylist discuss any issues you’re having, breakage from an old issue, the last time you relaxed or colored your hair and the goals for your hair? Plus, you need to discuss if you’re even a candidate for the extensions and style you’re wanting. There’s so much a stylist should know before doing your hair. The consult for extensions is normally 15-30 minutes. Also, look at the price you’re paying. If extensions are costing about $250 in your area and you’re paying anything under $175 that should make you do a little more research. Look for reviews online or check out the social media accounts for that stylist to see what his/her clients are saying. This could be another reason you’re sitting in the salon all day why he or she is doing other clients.
I hope this can help. Let us know if you have more questions by leaving a comment below.
This article was originally posted on September 7, 2015 and was updated on March 3, 2021.For a more up-to-date version of this article, please go HERE.