To get you up to speed on my history with extensions, check out THIS blog post!
Currently I have 22 inch extensions and I am wearing Covet and Mane hair. Diana uses a hand tied extension method called Naturally Beaded Rows. I still have two rows with six wefts in each row, for a total of twelve wefts (this is the same amount I always have– even when I have 18 inches).
Let’s chat pricing: the 22 inch extensions are more expensive to install than the 18 inch extensions because there is a lot more hair– here is how the 22s are priced at Mane Alley:
*DEPENDING ON AMOUNT OF ROWS AND COLOR
I have finally gotten to a shade of blonde that feels bright/not brassy, but it still easy to maintain without damaging my hair– we call this: “babylights with a smudge and a glaze”… but the best way to try and match this color is to show your stylist this photo! It’s also important to keep in mind that your hair might look different than mine even if someone applied the exact same color to us both… your natural color and starting point can change everything. I get my hair colored + extensions moved up every nine weeks!
I showed up to Diana’s chair over a year ago with purple tinted blonde hair that was still about 3 shades too dark for what I wanted and damage from poorly installed tape-in extensions. I have naturally really brassy hair that I am constantly trying to battle. In the past, the blonder I went… the more brass that came through in between colors. Now we have a great at home care system of products in place that keeps my blonde bright… without the purple tint.
As far as at home products– I am currently using 90% Color Wow products! I love THIS shampoo and THIS conditioner for every single wash. Before I get in the shower, I spray THIS mineral remover all over my entire head to help combat the brassiness. After I get out of the shower, I spray THIS all over my entire head to help smooth everything out– this truly helps my extension hair match the natural texture of my real hair. You can actually buy all 4 of these products in a pack HERE— I definitely think if you’re going to commit to this routine, it’s important to have all 4. I typically let my hair air dry for about 20 minutes and then I apply THIS mousse. I love that it gives my hair a little ‘grit’ without weighing it down or adding too much texture. If you’ve followed for awhile, you know I typically don’t use a mousse because they freak me out… but this one has some purple property in it to help fight the brass even more, so it caught my eye. After trying it and using a small amount, I truly do love it and think its a great addition to my wash/dry routine. If you’re interested in how I dry my hair, there is a highlight saved to my Instagram feed called ‘blow dry’ that shows that entire process/products.
The most asked question was about extension damage… and while I personally have not had any, I know others that have! So I want to really encourage all of you to research stylists and make sure you trust them and their work! I trust DIANA 110%– if she changed color brands, hair brands, and/or extension methods tomorrow I would change everything with HER. Just because someone uses on you the same brands/methods as Diana uses on me does NOT mean you won’t have damage… do your homework before sitting in someone’s chair blindly. But also at the end of the day, it’s hair and it will grow back… lesson learned!
Next most asked question was about washing my hair with the extension hair. Since I already addressed products above, we’ll chat technique. I literally don’t do anything different with washing now that I have extensions, it’s all the same. I wash my entire head/hair with shampoo but I only apply conditioner to the length hair. I think this helps prevent too much product on your head which aids in longer time between washes and your curls holding longer. I also got asked about extensions tangling… and mine have actually done this before! I don’t mean normal tangles, they legit formed a little matted ball they were so tangly! This is from using the wrong products and having build up– which is why I suggest using the products I linked above! I can promise with these products/wash technique you won’t have this issue. BUT if you are already struggling with this tangling, you’ll need to go to your stylist and have everything thoroughly cleaned and stripped of all the products for a fresh start with the correct products.
About every other wash I will apply THIS mask first, but I also do this in a strategic way… I only apply the mask to my fragile hairs around my face and to my ends– again, trying to keep too much product from building up on the crown (aka greasy faster) and on my length (aka curls won’t hold). I let this sit for about 30 minutes, then I wash it out and continue on with my normal wash routine.
As far as extending your washes, I have done the same things for years so I am going to quote myself from a previous blog post here:
I wash my hair twice a week right now! Training your hair to last between washes goes right along with the previous question– don’t apply too many products to your hair (wet or dry) until you absolutely have to! Once you’ve trained your hair, you can use things like a texturizing spray very lightly when you need a little grip, I love THIS one. Just start extending the time in between washes a few days at a time… if you usually go two days, try making it four and keep doing that until you get up to once or twice a week. The winter time is a great time to train your hair because you can just throw a beanie on when you’re getting a little greasy. This all goes for dry shampoo, too! I try not to use it for at least the first three or so days so that I’m not getting a buildup of that, I prefer THIS dry shampoo when I need it though! Any product buildup on your hair WILL make it feel gross and WILL make you want to wash it sooner than you need to. I promise your hair WILL catch on!
- I had a couple questions about styling dirty hair– I actually prefer to style my hair when it’s a little dirty, the curls hold better! If its like real dirty and you’re trying to extend your wash, I would either wear it up in a cute, messy topknot or throw on a hat/beanie.
- Another question was extending your wash when you workout a couple days a week– same here, girl. I don’t sweat a lot around my hair line but I also wear a SUPER tight topknot so that none of my hair is down near my face/neck in case I sweat. If you sweat and it’s in your hair, then just wash the part of your hair around your face to freshen OR run straight home and blow dry that sweat into your hair and throw in some dry shampoo– talk about volume! YES MA’AM!!!
Same goes for getting so much volume at my roots, so I’m quoting a previous blog post here:
This has everything to do with how you wash, blow dry and prep your hair and nearly nothing to do with styling. A lot of people apply too much product (including shampoo and conditioner) and end up weighing their hair down. I use a quarter size amount of shampoo all over my head and maybe a half dollar size of conditioner on the length only and that’s it! I also am not a huge fan of applying products to wet hair. This makes your hair heavy and textured, making you want to wash it more regularly. My hair does it’s best on day three and four, which is hard to get to when you’ve over applied products day after day and your hair has product build up weighing it down, making you want to wash it. I also blow dry the top of my head upside down to give it a fluff. So my top two tips are: 1. Don’t get so focused on products giving you volume, you’re just weighing your hair down and 2. blow dry it upside down while brushing it.
Now lots chat maintaining healthy hair (natural + extension) and a healthy scalp! As far as healthy hair, I have always taken THIS prenatal vitamin to aid in hair growth (as well as nail and skin health). I also apply THIS hair oil to the length of my hair every single night, sometimes even in the morning if I curl my hair too tight and they need to relax. I swear this oil is my best little haircare secret– it smoothes your hair, keeps it shiny/healthy, extends your curls and prevents frizzy ends. I apply THIS heat protectant (for obvious reasons) and it also glosses your hair for a healthy glow before curling (or to 2nd day curls to add a freshened look). As far as a healthy scalp, this comes from not over drying it or allowing it too get too greasy. This is where a healthy wash routine comes into play– which for me is twice a week. In between washes, it’s important to resist applying too much dry shampoo to your scalp– this WILL clog your pores and lead to poor scalp health. This is why I suggest holding off on dry shampoo until about day three, which you actually need it for grease. It’s important to not heat up your dry shampoo onto your hair, this can lead to breakage over an extended period of time. So if I use dry shampoo one day, I won’t curl that part the next day. Usually by day three when I need dry shampoo, my curls are pretty set in my hair and don’t need heat anyway.
I plan on sharing an updated blog post on curling my hair, but for the time being I do have a story highlight on my Instagram feed called “everyday curls” which is very informative. Basically the main tip with my curls is curl everything on the right side of your head the same way (away from your face) and everyone on the left side of your head the same way (away from your face). PRO TIP: always hold your curling iron straight up and down, never tilted… that gives an entirely different look to your curl. I use THIS iron or THIS wand, depending on the day.