Hair extensions are an amazing to change up your look. How else can you go from a chic bob to mermaid lengths in just a few hours? However, although hair extensions are the best way to get thicker, longer hair instantly, they’re not completely effortless. In fact, there’s a few key things you must to do before getting hair extensions to ensure your installation is seamless, long-lasting, and doesn’t damage your existing hair.
Keep reading for our guide on how to prep for hair extensions.
1. Grow Out Your Hair
If you have very short hair, like a pixie or a buzz cut, you’ll need to wait before having extensions installed. Hairstylists need a minimum of four inches to install hair extensions.
To help your hair to grow, eat a healthy diet with plenty of protein, take a multivitamin or hair growth supplement, and avoid using heat tools.
- Find an Experienced Stylist
Installing hair extensions requires special expertise – not every hairstylist has the skills or experience!
If your usual hairdresser doesn’t do hair extensions, ask them to recommend someone who does. Or try looking online for extension technicians with positive reviews, or ask an extension-wearing friend where they get their hair done.
If you’ve never had extensions before, schedule a consultation with your technician to discuss your goals for your hair.
- Purchase Your Hair
Choosing the right extensions for your hair type is critical when it comes to creating a beautiful look that doesn’t damage your natural hair. Some stylists prefer to work with a specific type or brand of hair, so make sure to ask for recommendations.
Need help deciding? Read our full guide on how to choose extensions for your hair type.
- Prepare for Aftercare
Proper aftercare is essential for making sure your hair extensions look amazing for as long as possible.
Before your appointment, purchase a brush, shampoo, and conditioner designed for use on hair extensions. You might also want to pick up some dry shampoo, since washing hair can damage your hair extensions or cause them to slip.
If you’re not sure what products to buy, ask your hairstylist for recommendations.
- Use a Clarifying Shampoo
On the day of your installation, wash your hair twice with a clarifying shampoo. Any product or sebum buildup on your hair can cause hair extensions slip or fall out, so don’t skip this step! After washing hair, don’t use conditioner or any other hair products, as these can also negatively affect your installation.
- Dry & Straighten Hair
After washing your hair, either allow ample time for your hair to air dry, or blow dry hair before going to your appointment. Your hairstylist can only install hair extensions on dry hair, so arriving at the salon with dry, clean hair will save both of you time.
If your hair isn’t naturally straight, ask your hairstylist whether they would prefer for you to also straighten your hair before your appointment. Some stylists find it easier to install extensions on straightened hair.
- Set Aside Enough Time
Hair extensions can take up to four hours to install, so make sure you’ve blocked off enough time on your calendar. Bring your phone charger, a couple of magazines or a book, and some snacks to keep you occupied while your stylist works their magic on your hair.
- Plan a Follow-Up Appointment
Leaving in hair extensions too long can damage your natural hair, so make sure to ask your hairstylist when you should have your extensions removed and schedule a follow-up appointment.
Whatever you do, don’t try to remove the extensions yourself! Most hair extensions should only be removed by a professional (clip-ins are the only exception).
Do you have any tips for preparing to get hair extensions? Let us know in the comments!