I have hair extensions in lockdown – help!

It’s been drilled into you – come back to the salon to have your extensions taken care of. But what do you do in lockdown when you can’t?

Before Christmas, many of us will have visited our local salon for a new ‘do, or a freshen up of our extensions. Unfortunately you may be wondering what to do now, as the UK is stuck in another lockdown. The golden rule of protecting your longer locks is to trust your stylist with any fittings and maintenance. But with salons closed, a lot of extension wearers are getting anxious.

Ramping up your daily efforts to care for your strands will help to keep them in the best possible shape, if you’re one of many with hair extensions in lockdown. “I know from chatting to my clients that women at home are worried about their hair. The main thing is for everyone to embrace this time at home, and give our hair the break it deserves!” says Louise Jenkins, education manager for Great Lengths UK & Ireland.

For Louise, care and attention is key. “Separate your bonds daily with your fingers to prevent matting. You may need to do this more regularly if your extensions are due out during this isolation period. Brush frequently and carefully, and use professional shampoos, conditioners and styling products. We recommend using products specifically for extensions or products that are sulphate-free.” Louise also suggests ditching heated tools to give your lengths a break.

Always wear a loose plait or low ponytail for bedtime and exercise to reduce matting and pulling on the hair. This will also help to hold extensions in place as they grow down the hair. Plus, this gives you loose, heat-free waves. Win-win.

Still concerned? Extension stylists have the same worries as many colourists anticipating clients panic-buying box dye; removing extensions without the correct know-how can seriously damage your hair. Get in touch with your stylist directly for personalised advice and to ask any queries you might have.

“The closure of the salon left my clients carrying the risk of causing damage if their extensions are not removed within their recommended timescale. As a professional I have a duty of care and responsibility to them to do my best to reduce this risk,” explains Abigail Nicholls, international educator for extension brand Remi Cachet.

Clear, concise communication has been Abigail’s priority. “My first task was to create a video for social media explaining why it is so important not to leave them in until salons reopen. I’ve created educational videos to send to each client personally, and only at a time when their appointment is due,” she adds. “The videos contain clear visual, audio and written instructions on how to perform a safe removal at home.” Abigail has approached these videos as if teaching on a professional level to ensure clients are preventing as much damage as possible during removal. “In doing this I feel I have maintained my duty of care for clients in a responsible way.”

Before you do anything at all with your extensions, check in with your stylist – they know your situation better than anyone and will be able to give you advice on an individual basis.

In need of more help to care for your hair during lockdown? We have more top tips here.