You’ve booked your holiday, you’ve filled your online shopping basket and now it’s time for a bit of a hairstyle change. But just how high maintenance are hair extensions when it comes to looking after them in the summer months? We’ve got the professionals in to answer all of your burning questions about keeping your extensions safe come heat, humidity, sand and sea.
Thank us later. Now, go forth and conquer those Instagram shots.
Can you go in the pool with hair extensions in?
The answer, it seems, is more complicated than a simple yes or no - and it comes with a lot of advice and warnings.
Avoid chlorine where possible
It may sound impossible given that in order to get that Instagram photo, you’re going to need to be lounging on an inflatable flamingo. BUT, do so at your own risk.
As Zen Hair’s UK Educator, Simon Stainton, tells us: “Swimming in chlorine is probably the worse thing you can do with hair extensions.” Yikes. “Chlorine is a bleach and pools abroad are typically not maintained to the same standard as pools in the UK. Exposure to chlorine may make your hair extensions dry, tangled or discoloured due to the chemicals.”
Enter at your peril.
Wash it immediately
If the pool looks a little too inviting however, Shane O’Sullivan, Founder of Easilocks suggests that you can get into the pool but that you should shower immediately to reduce damage. “It’s no problem if your hair does get wet in the pool but it is important to rinse the chlorine out of your hair afterwards,” he confirms.
Watch the clock
Sonia Jittla, Extensions Specialist at Richard Ward Hair & MetroSpa suggests not staying in the water for too long. “If you spend too much time in the pool, it can start wearing down the bonds or tapes.” Meaning that the lifespan of your extensions is suddenly a lot shorter.
What effect with salt water have on my hair extensions?
The verdict is unanimous - if you want to keep your hair looking like something that Rosie Huntington-Whiteley would be jealous of, avoid sea water. Louise Bailey, Hair Extension Expert from Extension Professional reveals that hair extensions may “turn peach and tangle when exposed to salt water and sun cream”.
Probably not the look you were going for. Easilocks’ Shane agrees and advises applying a leave in conditioner to keep your hair in good nick.
How can I protect my extensions from the sun?
Zen Hair’s Simon Stainton agrees but recommends keeping it away from certain areas. “Avoid the bonds as it can cause slipping. Try using a protective water based serum on your extensions prior to exposure to the sun.”
Are there any hairstyles which are better for hair extensions in the sun?
Sarah McKenna, Founder and Director of Vixen & Blush , suggests avoiding the messy bun - a shame since Meghan Markle has made it our go -to hairstyle.
“A messy bun is not good in the sun as your hair could harden with exposure to salt water and sunshine and you could find it harder to release your hair from any compound bun,” she explains. In addition, you should avoid French braids as it could lead to issues when it comes to taking the braid out.
So, instead opt for “loose styles, and leaving your hair loose in the sun to dry off after swimming is a great idea,” Sarah advises.
What effect will the sun have on hair extensions?
“The sun will naturally lighten your hair extensions especially pastel tones, reds and coppers,” says Simon Stainton. “This lightening effect on the cuticles of your hair extensions can cause excessive dryness.” Thus, making a conditioning routine even more important.
Will humidity make the extensions go frizzy?
Simple answer? Yes.
Human hair extensions will act like your natural hair, so Louise Bailey suggests using a lightweight serum to keep frizz at a minimum. No one wants a Monica Geller moment.
How long do hair extensions last?
It depends on the type of hair extension - and the quality.
“Tape hair extensions will last for up to three applications and will need to be reapplied every eight to ten weeks, so the great thing is that you can take them out and have them put back in whenever you need or want to,” Louise Bailey explains.
On the flip side, “single bond keratin systems will last around three months but the hair can’t be reused in most cases - you can reuse the hair with micro ring systems and weaves, but in my opinion these are not as kind or natural looking as tape hair extensions.”
Any good hair stylist will care about you and your hair, so be sure to ask questions during the process about how to maintain whichever type of extensions you've gone for. New locks can be hard work - particularly when on holiday - so make sure that you’re getting the most out of your new investment with a solid aftercare plan.
Follow Katie on Twitter @katiemeadway_