There's no doubt that hair extensions look super-sexy and glamorous, especially when teamed with a stylish one piece swimsuit or bikini on the beach. But just how practical are hair extensions when it comes to swimming in the sea and how can you keep them from being damaged by the salt that sea water contains? Read on for some practical tips and tricks.
Why is sea water so bad for your hair extensions?
Sea water contains high amounts of salt and other minerals that attach themselves to your hair, especially around the bonds of your extensions. As your hair dries and the water evaporates, the minerals it contains form sticky deposits that can cause your hair to tangle and also weakens the extension bonds by damaging their flexibility. Salt can also be very drying to your hair, stripping away oils and moisture, leaving your extensions prone to breaking and losing their glossy shine.
Before you swim
You can protect your extensions from salt water damage by applying special hair extension oils before you swim. These products are designed to prevent the drying effects of salt from damaging your extensions and can be obtained from good hair salons. Simply take a pea-sized amount of oil, rub your palms together, and gently smooth the oil through your extensions, taking care to avoid the bonds.
It's recommended that you plait your hair extensions and secure them with an extension-friendly hair bobble before you take the plunge. These handy bobbles are spring-shaped and made of soft plastic that won't pull or snag on the extensions, even if they get wet. All you have to do when you've finished swimming is to carefully remove the bobble and un-plait your hair.
Don't wear your hair in a bun, as this can easily become tangled or even matted when it gets full of salty water, which can make it difficult to remove without damaging your extensions. Pony tails are also not a good idea, as these can become heavy when wet, dragging on the extension bonds and potentially loosening them.
It's really important that you wash the salt water out of your hair extensions as soon as possible after swimming and before your hair dries. Always use a specially formulated, extension-specific shampoo as recommended by your hairdresser. Shampoo your extensions twice and rinse your hair thoroughly to make sure that all the salt is gone.
After you've showered and while your hair is still damp, apply an extra moisturising conditioner to the extensions only. This will help to replace the oils that have been washed out by the salt water and will keep your extensions supple. Wrap your hair in a warm towel for 10 minutes or so to encourage the extensions to absorb as much conditioner as possible, and then rinse out the excess conditioner with tepid water.
Avoid putting conditioner too close to the extension bonds, as this can cause them to slip out or become loose. If you do lose any extensions, try to rescue them and keep them in a plastic bag or airtight container; your hairdresser should be able to put them back in for you after your holiday.
You can still enjoy swimming in the sea while on your summer holiday, even with hair extensions. Just follow the tips given above to keep your hair looking fabulous. Whether you get yours done at a salon or purchase wholesale hair extensions to use yourself, keep these tips in mind.