Do Hair Extensions Damage Your Real Hair?

The short answer is no, they do not damage your real hair with proper install, at home maintenance and professional routine on time removal and move ups. With millions wearing them every year you are bound to hear stories where mishaps have happened due to not following proper maintenance procedures. We even have some of our own. However, over the years there has been dramatic improvements in methods and education.

What Can Cause Hair Damage?

Can Hair Extensions Damage Your Real Hair?

When it comes to attaching hair extensions to your real hair you may have some concerns in weather they will damage your real hair. I personally have thin hair that I struggle to grow past my collar bone. I originally had this same fear. I began my career as a hairstylist in the year 2000. Throughout the first ten years I had clients come into my chair that had a popular method of the time called glue ins. I personally was a witness to damage that turned me off. I am a very big advocate of healthy hair and I just could not recommend what I was seeing. However, the demand for hair extensions was not going away and was growing like crazy. All the big celebrities were wearing them and my clients were demanding them. I decided I needed to find the very best methods that would not damage your real hair. At the time Tape In hair extensions were just hitting the market and those advocating them said they would not cause damage. I was sceptical but I needed to see for myself. However, I quickly grew into a believer. Fast forward ten years later and Tape Ins have climbed to the most popular method. After using them myself and on our clients for ten years I can tell you that these are safe from damaging the real hair on any client that has healthy hair.

How to avoid damage?

Now the key when attaching anything to your real hair to avoid damage is going to be using high quality hair, preferably healthy Russian Virgin or Russian Remy hair. This hair is going to brush easier and blend better with your natural hair. The healthier the hair is, the easier it will be to maintenance. Most hair sold is processed black color hair which never acts the same and can cause you a lot of additional maintenance at home. This is because 84% of the world has black hair making it the most readily available. However, the way they collect most black hair is improper which even complicates the matter further. Meaning most factories remove the cuticle which completely damages the hair. This is what causes tangling and matting. On top of that they bleach the hair causing it to dry out. This is why many stylists will tell you to douse it in argon oil. The only way to truly avoid these types of problems is by using slightly higher cost Russian hair which is far more rare and every natural color is available, thus avoiding any kind of processing.

Who Should Avoid Getting Hair Extensions?

Having said that, there are a very tiny percentage of clients who should avoid wearing hair extensions for damage reasons but there is a solution for you. If you are experiencing alopecia or any kind of medical related hair loss, we strongly suggest to consult your healthcare professional for advice on whether wearing hair extensions is right for you. The best solution if they are not right for you will be to look into wig options.

Why maintenance is important? How to take care of hair extensions?

Avoid Damage by Maintaining Your Hair Extensions

The best way to avoid damage to your real hair is by following proper maintenance procedures. Every extension type has some maintenance requirements that you should follow in order to care for your natural hair healthy and beautiful.

Let’s talk about some basic care rules to follow for any type to prevent tangling and breakage. We will go over brushing, washing and sleeping.

The first rule to keep your hair healthy is using an extension safe brush a few times a day.

What is the best type of brush to use?

The very best type of brush to use is one that has a gentle soft bristle. The most popular and recommended is a detangling brush. We make one that is safe on wet or dry hair.

How often should you brush your hair extensions?

It is recommended to brush three times a day. Always brush after showering or swimming. The best way to start is from the bottom and work your way towards the top. Hold your roots in one hand to prevent tension damage, while brushing with the other.

The second rule to keeping your hair healthy is proper washing.

Should I wash my hair more, less, or the same amount as I did without extensions?

It is recommended to wash professionally installed extensions two or three times per week. This will help your hair last longer. Your head produces natural oils that help to keep your hair soft and healthy. Washing less keeps these oils in your hair, naturally lubricating them. Washing less also means less heat on your hair from a blow dryer. It is best to limit the use of any tool that heats your hair and dries it. Heat is the biggest enemy to healthy hair. Always use a heat protecting spray when possible. For temporary extensions it is recommended to wash every 15-20 uses and air dry them.

What types of shampoos and conditioners can I use for my hair in the shower? What ingredients should I avoid?

Use sulfate free shampoos. They may not lather as much but they help to keep your natural oils in your hair which ultimately keeps your hair moisturized and healthy. Other products and ingredients to avoid near your bonds are the ones that contain alcohol or oils as they can break down the bonds and cause them to slip out. If you’re not sure use conditioner below the bonds to your ends. Be gentle when washing and avoid tension to your bonds.

What about when I am finished washing?

When finished washing gently squeeze the water out of your hair. Avoid towel drying if possible, however you can wrap your head in a towel.

Is it ok to air dry?

Yes, air drying is preferred when possible. However, you should use a wet brush to remove any tangles.

The third rule to follow is for your sleeping routine.

How should I sleep with hair extensions?

The first thing to do before sleeping is to brush your extensions. This will remove any tangles. Next is to put your hair in a loose braid. This will keep your hair from tangling while you sleep. You can also use a satin or silk pillowcase to reduce any friction on your hair while sleeping.

Final rule for professional installations is salon maintenance.

How often should I visit the salon for maintenance move ups?

Life moves quickly and schedules fill up for you and your stylist. It is recommended to schedule your maintenance move ups before you leave your installation appointment. Typically this will be every four to twelve weeks depending on the method you get. Your stylist will know exactly when you should come back in. Just do not go longer than the recommended time so as to avoid matting from the regrowth hair.

What are the safest hair extensions?

Which Hair Extensions Are The Safest?

The safest for professional extensions are Tape In and beaded weft. Both of these types have wider and less anchor points. They are not subject to spinning tension like individual methods. For ready-to-wear temporaries the safest is the halo style. These do not anchor to your natural hair at all. Clip In is next, you will just need to take more care as it does anchor to your hair.

Do hair extensions cause headaches?

It can take some getting used to having permanent hair extensions attached to your head. If something is not quite feeling right you may need to adjust them to be comfortable. We have found that if they are installed correctly they will not cause headaches. With temporaries they are fairly quick to take in and out we do not recommend to sleep with them in. When possible install less hair. This will make maintaining the added hair easier and it will be less likely to cause stress to your hair or tangling and will improve the overall comfort of wearing them. For most clients around 100 to 125 grams of hair is enough for a full head. You may see bundled sets thicker, however we have found that 9 out of 10 times you do not need it. The most is usually 150 grams. Less is more for saving yourself from potential headaches and additional unnecessary maintenance issues.

Common Hair Extensions Mistakes To Avoid

Common Mistakes To Avoid When Wearing Hair Extensions
  • #1. Low Quality Hair – Many salons still have trouble getting high quality hair and mainly source over-processed originally black colored hair. This is why we source the best unprocessed Russian Hair in the world that will last a long time and not give you problems.
  • #2.  Not good colour matching. A good colour & hair extensions specialist will make sure everything matches well. Usually if the hair is within a shade or two it will blend with your hair color. Using more than one color is also a common practice to help them blend with your hair.
  • #3. Tell tell sign you wear extension, strands too big for a small section of your hair. The density of hair should match your hair density. Tape In panels are thin and flat and are a great way to match density for any hair type. Individuals are better for clients with thicker hair.
  • #4. Hair extensions not cut and blended in properly to create a new hairstyle. Less experienced salons and stylists will just leave the extensions as is, however when adding hair they need to match your hair and cut to look natural. Don’t worry your only paired with a very experienced specialist with us.
  • #5. No advice given for aftercare. Most salons that do not specialize will not guide you through how to take care of your new hair extensions. Basic routines routines like braiding the hair in a low ponytail at night, can save damage to your hair & help the extensions last longer, avoid matting and prevent breakage.


Hopefully, you now have a much better understanding that hair extensions are safe to use and will not damage your hair with proper care, installation and quality. If you are looking for hair extensions in Las Vegas you can always stop in for a free consultation or schedule one by phone or text. We will go over all the different options with you and find what works best for your lifestyle and budget.

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