Are you worried that your treasured hair extensions will eventually fall victim to split ends? I know I am. That’s why I did some digging to prepare myself just in case—and here’s what I found.
Hair extensions can get split ends if they are not cared for properly. This is because just like your natural hair, your extensions are constantly being exposed to heat styling, environmental damage, and chemicals which can all wear your hair down over time.
Now that you know that your extensions can indeed fall victim to split ends, you’re probably wanting to know exactly why this happens and how you can prevent this—so keep reading, your hair will thank you for it!
What’s Causing my Hair Extensions to Split?
Before you can find a solution to a problem, it’s important that you get to the root of it first. So here’s a complete list of what could cause your extensions to split in the first place:
- Heat. Using harsh heat styling tools such as straighteners and blow dryers on your extensions regularly can cause the hair follicles to lose their moisture, thus resulting in super dry hair and breakage. Damage can be especially bad when you don’t use a heat protectant or use heat styling tools when hair is really dirty or damp. If you must use heat styling tools regularly, be sure to turn the heat as low as possible.
- Using harsh hair products. Using hair products on your hair is perfectly normal, but watch out for products that may be doing more damage to your hair than good. Avoid using harsh products such as gels, waxes, and dyes, as this can cause unwanted build-up that can leave your hair looking more drab than fab. Be sure to rather use products that are designed specifically for hair extensions as they will be more gentle.
- Rubbing of the hair with a towel. This may sound odd, but rubbing your hair aggressively with a towel can be extremely damaging to hair when done on a regular basis. Rather use an old cotton garment to rub hair dry and prevent breakage.
- Strong shampoo. The shampoo that you use is really important, as most shampoos are made specifically for certain hair types and this can quite literally make or break! If you use a shampoo that is not made for human hair extensions, for example, the result is not going to be pretty. Rather choose a shampoo that is made specifically for the extensions you have in your hair. If you must use a shampoo that is not specially made for hair extensions, then be sure to choose shampoos that are sulfate and paraben-free and keep your washes to a limit of two washes per week.
So now that we know what causes your hair to break, it’s time to move on to the most important part, and that’s how to care for your extensions so they don’t become damaged.
How to Prevent Split Ends in your Natural Hair Extensions
Natural hair extensions are usually more common than synthetic, as they are easier to style and maintain and simply have a softer, more natural appearance. If you’ve got natural hair extensions, here are some great tips on how you can keep them looking their absolute best:
- Use a deep moisturizing conditioner. Just the same as your natural hair, natural hair extensions will also require a good conditioner that will keep it from drying out and splitting. Again, when applying conditioner to your extensions, treat it the same as you would with your natural hair. Only apply it to the ends—applying the conditioner to the roots where the extensions connect to your real hair may cause the bond to loosen and break off.
- Use a good quality detangler. I’m sure you already know how frustrating it is when extensions get tangled (and it happens often.) If you aren’t sure, ask any salon specialist and they will be able to give you some good recommendations. Consider bringing a boar bristle brush along with you daily in case this happens.
- Keep your styling products on low heat. Heat is a huge cause of damage to any type of hair, as it causes dryness, frizziness and ultimately breakage.
- Tie your hair up before bed. Before bed, tie up your hair in a braid to prevent tangling and keep it soft. You can also consider getting a silk pillowcase cover as this will also help protect your hair from damage.
- Avoid washing hair with very hot water. This can severely dry the hair out. If you choose to swim with extensions be sure to cover it with a layer of coconut or olive oil to protect it.
- Trimming. If you notice the ends are looking a little dry and brittle, give them a trim to maintain that healthy, fresh appearance.
“It’s important to take special care when washing your hair extensions. First, look for shampoos and conditioners that are sulfate free and, preferably, specially-formulated for hair extensions.”Easihair Pro
How to Prevent Split Ends in your Synthetic Hair Extensions
Synthetic hair extensions are a little less common than natural hair extensions for a number of reasons. The main reason is that synthetic hair is much trickier to style, despite claims that it can be styled as you wish. Synthetic hair tangles and can also burn easily, which is not ideal for everyday use. They also have a shine to them that gives away they are not real—hence why they are usually cheaper. Nonetheless, here are some tips to keep them looking at their best:
- Don’t over-style. If you have synthetic hair extensions, you’ll know that it’s best not to wash or style them too frequently as this can cause damage.
- Use a deep moisturizing conditioner. Apply a heavy-duty moisturizing or leave-in conditioning product to your synthetic extensions. Since synthetic hair cannot actually absorb the moisture, you want something that will seal and separate the ends while adding shine. Look for a lotion or cream with moisturizing ingredients such as jojoba oil, shea butter or peanut extract. An oil sheen sprayed on the ends can also add much-needed moisture and shine.
- Trimming. As with natural hair, you can also trim your synthetic hair to keep it looking fresh and healthy. In fact, it is recommended to trim them at around once a month to keep them looking healthy.
- Detangle regularly. Be sure to detangle the ends of your synthetic hair regularly, to prevent any serious clumps. Be sure NOT to use a fine-toothed comb, as this can make your tips appear more frayed and damaged.
Hair Extensions Already Damaged? Here’s How to Fix Them Quickly
We’re all human and make mistakes—the important part is that you take action as soon as possible before the damage worsens. If your extensions are already damaged with split ends, keep reading for the solution:
Step 01. Brush the hair gently and thoroughly, making sure there are no knots.
Step 02. Cut off about 2 inches of the hair at the bottom to reduce the appearance of breakage and split ends.
Step 03. Apply a good heat protection spray thoroughly, from root to tip. This will protect it from further damage and help reconnect broken hair bonds while styling.
Step 04. Straighten and style as preferred from roots to tips to iron out any further kinks. The cut, iron, and product will leave your extensions with a shiny, fresh, clean appearance.
How often should I wash my hair extensions?
Most stylists recommend washing your extensions no more than 2-3 times per week. However, if you have thick, wavy or curly extensions you would only need to wash them once per week.
Can weaves get split ends?
Just like natural hair, heat and environmental damage can also cause split ends in weaves. In fact, you may even notice your weave getting shorter over time due to dry and split ends. Split ends may even cause more problems to human hair weaves and wigs because, unlike natural hair, the extensions will not be receiving any natural nutrients that your scalp would normally produce for your real hair.