The summer instalment of Love Island is in full swing, and this year’s girl contestants are more glamorous than ever, with many of their long, luscious locks the result of hair extensions.
But while their extensions look good this early on, how will the girls keep their good condition the whole summer?
While clip-in extensions can last for up to 12 months, are extremely cost-effective and are great for adding a bit of extra volume and length to your hair without the commitment or damage – they can be trickier to blend without the help of a stylist, so many of the girls have likely opted for a permanent solution like tape-in extensions.
Tape-in extensions typically last up to nine weeks before they need readjusting and refitting by a professional. The full lifespan of your tape-in extensions is determined by which extensions you choose and how well you commit to the aftercare process. If you look after them correctly, your extension hair can easily be reused – but only if it’s removed professionally and re-taped with fresh tape.
So, below, hair expert Alice Dawkins at Milk + Blush discusses how the Love Island girls – and others like them – can keep their tapes looking good for longer this summer:
It’s really important to brush your extensions twice a day to keep them looking and feeling smooth. But, it’s vital to remember to never brush from the top of the tapes.
Not only can this damage the connection of the hair and tapes, but all it will do is push the tangles down the length of your extensions, where they will tighten into knots along the way.
Instead, start by softly brushing a section at a time, starting from the tips in a downward motion, gradually working your way to the top of your hair.
It’s also worth considering the type of brush you use. Look for one designed to be kinder on the hair when brushing, like the Loop Brush.
For the first 48 hours, you should avoid bathing, showering or strenuous exercise to prevent the bonds from slipping whilst the tape cures.
After that, try only washing your hair twice weekly. Everyday washing could damage the bonds, and excess use of conditioner or serum/oil-based products could see the hair tape slip from the root.
When shampooing, work up the lather gently by massaging down the hair. You don’t want to scrunch and scrub at the roots, as this could cause tangles or breakage. Rinse lather out thoroughly, then condition from mid-lengths to ends.
Always rinse the extensions in cold water at the end to lock in that moisture.
In between washes, we recommend you use RemySoft Daily Refresher. This spritz coats the hair in silicone, which replenishes them in a similar way to how your natural hair oils soften your hair.
Air drying is the best solution to dry your extensions. Be sure to invest in a micro-fibre towel as it will remove excess water faster.
At Milk + Blush, our tape-in hair extensions are made with 100 percent cuticle-intact human hair. If this is the case for you, you’re short on time and need to blow-dry them, refrain from drying your hair upside down, make sure to use a heat protectant spray prior and blow dry on a cool setting to help extend the life span of your hair extensions.
To help prevent frizz once the hair dries, apply a small amount of hair oil to each weft – so the hair remains manageable and silky smooth.
However, we wouldn’t recommend blow-drying your extensions if they are made of synthetic hair, as this will cause them to melt.
Just like your natural hair, human hair extensions will shed – it’s pretty common to expect some shedding throughout their lifespan, so don’t be surprised or worried when this happens.
To help minimise the amount your extensions shed, one of the most important steps is to brush your extensions out before washing them and again once the hair is nearly dry. The hair is at its weakest point when wet, so be gentle when brushing your extensions to help minimise the possibility of breakage and shedding.
Using products containing sulphates and alcohol or frequently using high-temperature styling tools will strip the hair of its natural oils, which will likely cause them to shed.
It’s also worth trying to minimise the amount of product you use. The more you use, the more you’ll need to wash your hair which can lead to breakage.