In the last five years, the popularity of hair extensions or weaves has grown across the continent. These days, you can buy almost any colour, texture or style of weave you want. While hair extensions have been critised by many, the trend has become a way for African women or men to also exercise modern beauty spontaneity.

So, if you’re planning on rocking different weaves this summer, check out these tips to extend the lifespan of your extensions.

Know what care is required before choosing your extensions

Photo: ANP/ Erich Häfele
Photo: ANP/ Erich Häfele

It’s important to remember that different hair extensions require different levels of care. Most of the hair extensions on the market today can be washed like natural hair, but more stylists are recommending human hair to give your braids a natural look. Human hair requires a lot more care than synthetic hair.

Wrap your braids in a silk scarf or sleep on a silk pillow at night

One of the worst things is waking up with hair wisps and one or two less braids. This can easily be avoided by putting on a silk scarf around your braids. It ensures that your look stays sleek and ultimately avoiding frizz.

Don’t forget regular touch-ups

Photo: ANP/Reuters/ Siphiwe Sibeko
Photo: ANP/Reuters/ Siphiwe Sibeko

We’ve all been through that awkward ‘midway’ braids look. Most stylists suggest that you do regular touch-ups at least every three weeks. This not only keeps you looking fresh, but it gives an opportunity for your scalp and roots to handle the braids.

Don’t forget to wash your braids

Photo: Flickr/ Callie Poole
Photo: Flickr/ Callie Poole

 

While braids are easier to maintain, it’s important not to forget the essentials of hair maintenance. Depending on how oily your hair is or if you’ve just hit the beach with your friends, you should wash your braids. It is recommended that braids can be washed as little once every two weeks. The trick is having a great shampoo.

Make sure you dilute the shampoo in cold to moderate temperature water and let it run down the braids. Make sure to rinse thoroughly as residue can cause dandruff. There are also some amazing products in the form of sprays and scalp creams to assist in maintaining your braids.

Never leave your braids in longer than eight weeks

Photo: ANP/Zoonar/ A.Nieto
Photo: ANP/Zoonar/ A.Nieto

 

Even if you’ve been paying extra special attention to the maintenance of your locks, studies have shown that keeping them in for long periods of time, cause extreme damage to your hair and scalp. Currently, the recommended time frame is eight weeks.

Now you’re all set to keeping your luscious locks looking fresh all summer.