Congratulations on your new head of hair! And now that it’s there, you’ll need to know how to care for your hair replacement to make sure it stays looking as great as the day you first put it on. iAremyhair gives you the 7 S’s of Hair Replacement Aftercare that not only help you keep your hair clean and coiffed but also to last longer.
Natural hair needs regular shampooing and the hair in your hair replacement system is no different. You just need to take a little extra care and using shampoos and conditioners that are specially designed for hair replacements.
You don’t need to shampoo every day; in fact, any more frequently than once or twice a week would run an unnecessary risk of tangles and dry hair. Brushing your hair before you shampoo can help ensure a tangle-free wash.
You don’t need to shampoo every day;
in fact, any more frequently than once or twice a week would run an unnecessary risk of tangles and dry hair.
- Shampooing Tips
When shampooing, use tepid or cold water, and a half-water, half-shampoo solution in a spray bottle to make it easier to apply. Avoid shampooing near the edges of where the hair replacement system is attached to your scalp to keep the adhesive from coming off.
Work the shampoo solution through your hair section by section with your fingers from roots to tips by using your fingers as a “comb”. Do not scrub or massage your scalp the way you might shampoo normally growing hair because this might cause tangles. You can also prevent tangles by keeping your hair hanging down and not flipping it in the shower (a la shampoo ad).
Rinse your hair thoroughly section by section, to prevent tangles, and twice to make sure all the shampoo is out because build-up can cause your scalp to itch.
- Conditioning Tips
Now some people have the idea that using lots and lots of conditioners will tangle-proof their hair. The problem though is that conditioner has the tendency to build up around the roots of a hair replacement system, and this build-up damages the hair and causes it to fall out.
So when conditioning your hair, put it on your fingertips and work it through your hair while avoiding the roots. Leave the conditioner in for two minutes and then make sure you rinse it out thoroughly.
Deep conditioning is also advisable once a week, where you leave the conditioner on for 10 to 20 minutes for additional moisturising care.
- Drying and Soaking
Dry your hair by blotting it with a towel gently—don’t rub your scalp, squeeze your hair or put it up in a ‘towel turban’—and then air dry your hair.
Now if your hair replacement is the kind you take off every day such as a lace cap, and you soak your system in solvent to wash it, make sure you don’t leave it to soak too long. This is because the lace is extremely delicate, and the hair might swell up and become prone to matting.
Make sure you don’t go to sleep with wet hair, because sleeping with wet hair increases the chances of matting. Also make sure that your hair replacement system is firmly attached before sleeping, because loosely attached hair is far more likely to get tangled during the night.
To secure your hair for sleep, you can use (additional) clips, or, if your hair replacement system has long enough hair, braid your hair very loosely into two sections. For extra security, you can wear a hair net over the braid or if your hair isn’t long enough for braiding.
Using silk or satin pillowcases helps lessen the pressure of your hair rubbing on a pillow while you sleep. Alternatively, you can also try wearing a silk or satin headscarf while sleeping.
Using silk or satin pillowcaseshelps lessen the pressure of your hair rubbing on a pillow while you sleep.
Tossing and turning in your sleep is also not good for your hair replacement system, giving you another reason for sleeping soundly. Find tips for getting a good night’s sleep (and not messing up your hair) here.
Okay, here’s the thing: you can go swimming with a hair replacement system, no problem, but the chlorine in pool water (as well as the salt in seawater) can damage your hair (same as it does naturally growing hair).
If you really want to go for a dip and swimming caps aren’t your thing, just make sure you wash your hair as soon as possible after swimming (making sure you follow the shampooing tips above).
It’s usually not a good idea to go swimming or to a sauna, or take a shower or shampoo for at least 12 hours after you get your new hair replacement system to make sure the system is firmly attached. In case you do, don’t worry—this doesn’t mean your hair replacement is going to fall right off. It could, however, just mean that the attachment won’t last as long as it normally would.
- Brushing or Combing
Brush or comb your hair replacement system every day just like you would your natural hair. When brushing or combing, use a soft natural (not plastic or rubber) bristle brush or wide-vent brush or a wide-toothed comb, and only while it’s wet or thoroughly dry. Spray on a leave-in detangler (five or six sprays spread out with your fingers should do) before brushing or combing.
Brush or comb carefully so as not to pull at the roots—start from the roots going outward towards the tips. You can also use olive oil twice or three times a week (leave it on overnight) to keep your hair (especially the tips) from drying out.
- Shedding and Tangles
It’s normal for naturally growing hair to shed and your hair replacement system is no different. It is helpful to note, though, that some hair replacement systems shed more than others, namely the ones with longer or curly hair versus ones that are cut shorter. So take extra care when brushing or combing long or curly hair.
However, make sure you don’t brush or comb your hair too often, because this wears out your hair replacement faster by making the hairs shed more than usual. Also never leave tangles or matted hair alone for long, or force a comb through tangles or matted hair to smooth them out.
While using a rotating tooth comb can help with tangles, regular care should be able to prevent tangles or make them easier to deal with. Also, don’t wear hats for extended periods too often as this can aggravate shedding.
- Curly or Wavy Hair
If you want to curl your hair replacement system or try to get that wavy look, don’t use mousse, gel, hairspray, wax or anything that’s alcohol-based. Products with alcohol can dry your hair and make it prone to tangles, so try using organically formulated alcohol-free products.
If your hair is already nice and curly, keep your curls or waves looking great by wetting your hair with water and using a leave-in detangling product with protein every morning.
- Hair Colour
Things like hair colour or any sort of chemical treatment for your hair replacement are a bad idea, because it might damage your hair beyond repair. If you really want to colour your hair, use semi-permanent hair colour because they contain less of the harmful peroxide found in permanent hair colouring products.
Hair colour or any sort of chemical treatment…
might damage your hair beyond repair.
It would be better, though to ask your stylist to professionally colour or treat your hair in any way to lessen the chances of ruining your hair.
5. Slip Prevention
For hair replacement systems that are worn for extended periods (i.e. weeks at a time), make sure you press down firmly on your scalp frequently to help keep the system attached. Make it a habit to press down especially after taking a bath or going swimming.
6. Sun Protection
UV rays from the sun can damage the colour of hair whether it’s naturally growing or a hair replacement system, turning it red or orange. If the sun-kissed look doesn’t appeal to you, wear a hat before heading to the beach or getting any sun. There are also styling products (such as heat protectants) you can use that contain UV blocking agents.
7. Studio Sessions
Just as brushing your teeth every day doesn’t mean you never need to see a dentist, caring for your hair replacement doesn’t mean you never need to visit your hair replacement studio regularly. The stylists at the studio are professionally trained and have the requisite experience for keeping your hair replacement looking great, and best of all, completely natural.
Just as brushing your teeth every day doesn’t mean
you never need to see a dentist,
caring for your hair replacement doesn’t mean
you never need to visit your hair replacement studio regularly.
Since hair replacements are customised, your stylist is in the best position to advise you on how to take care of your hair in between visits, as well as what products to use and other styling tips.
Even if your hair replacement should seem A-OK as your regularly scheduled maintenance visit approaches, putting off or skipping out on your regular studio visit for care and cleaning isn’t advisable.
This is because leaving your hair replacement system attached for too long without regular care could lead to nasty (and possibly embarrassing) “adhesive leaks” at the system’s edges or even through the cap (for lace types). Not only would this be a tell-tale sign, but it might also cause the hair to stick together and become extremely hard to clean.
Need more advice for keeping your hair replacement system in tip-top shape? Just get in touch with us at iAremyhair and we’ll be ready and willing to help you out, or book your appointment now and we’ll see you at the studio.