Hey, stylists, as Summer turns up the heat we wanted to offer you some tips on how to get your clients to not screw up the gorgeous set of color and extensions you’ve spent hours achieving. I’m sure you are familiar with your clients turning up with dry, tangled and discolored hair extensions. Don’t get burned by clients wondering what went wrong and blaming it on you! Educate them on summer extension etiquette before they head off on an island getaway or before days spent in the pool.
The sun is a bad Mama Jama when it comes to hair extensions. It packs a one-two punch of both UVA and UVB damage to the cuticle. UVA rays are what change the color of hair, and UVB rays are what depletes hair protein. These rays can turn blonde to brassy and healthy strands into a cotton candy-like mess. Frizzy, tangles and breakage are all symptoms of hair that has had too much sun.
SLIPPERY WHEN WET: SWEAT, SALTWATER, AND CHLORINE
One of the biggest threats to hair extensions is water. Water can loosen bonds and tapes and cause stress to the hair. Not only that, but both salt water and chlorine can strip the scalp of natural oils that keep hair strong. A little bit of sweat isn’t going to make or break your clients’ weaves, but if they are profuse sweaters, they may need to keep out of the heat as much as possible.
If your client is OK with staying out of the pool or ocean, they’ve already won half the battle. On the other hand, if they love diving in on a regular basis, they may consider wearing a swim cap and gently towel-drying their hair immediately after getting out of the water. Seriously, these are the best options to keeping extensions healthy and here’s why:
A swim in the ocean is a great way to relax, but it’s not so great for the scalp or hair extensions. Sea water is made up of different minerals including sodium chloride, also known as salt. These minerals suck moisture from the hair causing it to become dry, brittle and more prone to breakage.
Just like the sun, salt water strips sebum from the scalp causing your client to have to rely heavily on deep conditioning products and oils which can raise the chances of slipping and loosening of bonds and tape.
Just like saltwater, chlorine can make hair extremely dry, brittle, and even discolored. Your client’s first line of defense is to purchase the highest-quality hair that isn’t treated with harsh dyes or chemicals. Poorly-made hair is more susceptible to chlorine damage.
If your client isn’t into swim caps, suggest rinsing hair in clean water before their swim. Hair strands are super absorbent, so if you “fill them up” with clean water first, there will be less room to absorb chlorinated water. You can even take it a step further and apply natural oils to the ends of hair before swimming, too. Hair tips are super vulnerable to breakage, so oil is a great way to add a boost of extension protection against chlorine.
Remind clients that the longer they allow chlorine to be on their hair and scalp, the more they are exposed to damage.
Have them wash hair as soon as they can after getting out of the pool.
Preaching the gospel of staying out of the sun and swim caps might only go so far. Some clients won’t be able to resist the call of a summer filled with sun, sand and time in the water. So, here are some damage control tips for clients with hair that has reached its summer breaking point.
Proper Washing Techniques
Clients with hair extensions should be limiting washings to two to three times a week to balance natural moisture and to limit heat styling. If clients are exposing their hair to long hours of sun, sweat, chlorine and salt water, their weekly washings and stylings can go up, increasing the possibilities of damage to the scalp, natural hair, and extensions.
Have clients brush hair with an extension-approved, wet/dry brush to limit tangles before they wash. When washing the hair, let clients know to avoid hard scrubbing at the scalp where tapes and bonds are located. Instruct them to slowly and softly rub exposed areas of the scalp and below tapes and bonds in a downward motion. Massaging hair in round motions can tangle hair, causing more damage.
Keep conditioner applications away from tapes and bonds by starting at the mid-shaft, moving downward to the tips. Remind them that conditioners can loosen tapes and bonds from the hair shaft and can increase the risk of sliding.
Every time your client gets their hair wet, have them gently towel-dry after to limit water-damage to tapes and bonds. For keratin bonds, the excess water can cause swelling, making them more susceptible to slipping. Again, clients should be treating their scalps gently. Advise them to avoid harsh towel-drying by taking a towel or cotton T-Shirt and softly pressing at the scalp to let the excess water absorb. They can then section out strands and lightly squeeze down to the tips.
After towel-drying, have your clients do a rough-dry at their roots with a blow dryer set at medium heat. High heat can cause burning, so have them keep it low and avoid direct heat on the scalp, bonds, and tapes.
If your client intends on blow-dry styling, have them use heat protection first. Ensure that blow-dry their hair to about 80% dry before using styling brushes. Let them know to keep them away from tapes and bonds with styling brushes and to focus mainly on the shaft.
Suggest they hold onto the tape or bond at the roots as they brush-style to avoid pulling and adding stress to their tresses.
Follow the rough-dry technique above at the roots before letting the rest of the hair air-dry. Suggest using light-weight hair oil on their tips.
BASIC CARE TIPS
Brushing hair two to three times a day is so important for your clients’ hair extensions, especially in the summertime. Always have them use an extension-friendly brush near bonds or tape. Regular brushes are fine to use at the ends. When brushing, it’s best to start from the tip towards the root to help avoid snagging and to hold hair at the tape or bond to limit pulling.
Part of your client’s basic extension care is booking regular appointments with you for any type of repair or hydration treatments, or to address any summer damage that can cause bigger problems later down the line.
It doesn’t matter if it’s summer or winter, all products used on hair with extensions should be as natural possible. Sulfates, silicones, and ethanol and isopropyl alcohols should be avoided at all costs. Sulfates and certain alcohols suck moisture from the scalp and hair, exacerbating the harsh effects of summer.
We are obssesed with Good Hair Days because this line was specifically designed to be gentle enough for hair extensions, plus it smells like summer. Good Hair Days is sold exclusively on Sunnys & Amazon.com. If you opt for another brand, make sure to recommend shampoos that don’t strip the scalp of natural sebum and limit their clarifying shampoos to once a week or only twice a month in the summer. If they must use a clarifying shampoo, have them follow with a deep conditioning treatment after each use or suggest they come in and have you offer those services for them.
If your clients avoid products with silicones, they are less likely to need clarifying shampoos. Silicones coat the hair which can limit an even distribution of natural oils and nourishment from beneficial conditioning treatments. At first, silicone adds shine and luster, but after a few days, it can make hair look dull and ruddy.
When it comes to summer haircare, leave-in conditioners, conditioning masks, and repair oils are at the top of the must-do list. They help keep hair extensions from drying out, getting tangled and breakage. As with any conditioning treatments, make sure the clients are avoiding their roots when applying.
Are you a licensed stylist looking to grow their hair extensions business? Be sure to apply today for Stylist Discounts and Perks and receive a complimentary listing on our Sunny's Stylist Directory!
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