Although hair extensions are generally known for adding immediate length and volume to hair, stylists often employ extensions to conceal damaged hair. If your client has thinning hair, lack of hair framing the face, or trouble growing their locks, extensions are a simple solution to giving them what they need.
Regardless of what hair extensions can do for your clients and the gorgeous volume they provide, do they actually aid in rejuvenating natural hair, or do they instead cause damage themselves? While they may seem to contribute to hair loss and/or breakage, when installed, cared for, and removed correctly, hair extensions can be an uncomplicated option for your clients. That said, as a stylist, it’s essential to understand how you can help your clients properly care for their hair and scalp while wearing extensions.
It’s essential to understand how you can help your clients properly care for their hair and scalp while wearing extensions.
What is Traction Alopecia?
Traction alopecia is a common form of hair loss typically caused by excessive tension placed on the hair follicles. Tight hairstyling, chemical processes, and even just pulling on the hair too often can easily add to scalp pressure. Stress that is consistently put on the scalp may lead to hair falling out in clumps, which is the furthest thing from achieving a healthy scalp and thriving hair.
If extensions are the cause of traction alopecia, it is most often due to the method a stylist uses to install them rather than simple wear. Clients might opt for extension after extension without giving their scalp any breaks from installation, which can cause damage depending on the method used. Traction alopecia can cause permanent follicle damage, but the good news is that it can be avoided with the proper styling techniques and hair care.
How Can You Avoid Traction Alopecia?
When applying extensions, it’s crucial to assess your client’s hair and accurately recommend extensions that are least likely to cause damage to their follicles. For example, thin hair benefits from light-weight extensions that won’t consistently weigh it down. Matching natural hair density is one of the most essential factors in consulting all clients for hair extensions.
Hand tied extensions—which can even be used on thin hair if done so correctly—are of the least damaging hair extension options. Many extensions use thin strands of hair for installation, which can cause an imbalance of tension and lead to hair breakage. But hand-tied extensions avoid using any heat or adhesives and are instead sewn into the natural hair.
Haircare is an imperative piece of the no-damage puzzle. As a stylist, you should be regularly applying hair treatments to your client’s hair that will aid in maintaining its health. During appointments, it is always useful to apply treatments (specifically for damaged hair) to your clients’ damp hair and leave them in for at least five minutes before rinsing. Also, recommend that your client upkeeps the proper hair care routine on their own time using hydrating hair moisturizers and regular deep conditioning.
While it’s not always necessary while proper hair care is exercised, it can also be helpful to suggest breaks from extensions whenever possible to let clients’ natural hair recover before another installation.
Will Wearing Extensions Help Hair?
In short, no. Hair extensions do not help hair any more than it would help itself without them. Concerning hair growth, since it happens from follicles within the scalp, extensions themselves do nothing to promote hair growth as they exist only on the hair itself. Not to mention, extensions themselves have little benefit for natural hair.
Why Extensions Don’t Actually Help Your Hair
Although plenty of clients may feel that their extensions have had all the power in revamping their natural hair, it may only seem that way.
While hair is tucked away inside extensions, receiving less damage from styling and/or coloring, it’s absolutely possible to retain more length and avoid breakage while wearing extensions. Not to mention, removing extensions after prolonged use can make natural growth more recognizable than merely watching your natural hair grow by the day.
Although hair extensions might not be the catalyst for hair growth or health if installed correctly and with little damage to the natural hair, extensions can easily contribute to a healthy head of hair. Nonetheless, hair and scalp health is truly in the hands of the client.
How Can Wearing Hair Extensions Help Hair?
Despite any irrational beliefs that hair extensions only harm natural hair, wearing them can have its benefits. Although it isn’t the extension itself supporting any improvement, wearing them can lead to better hair care habits, which, in turn, promotes healthier hair.
Wearing extensions can encourage clients to use less heat and/or harmful products when styling their hair, which can ultimately benefit them in the long run. Besides, extensions can give clients the particular color they’re hoping for without actually dyeing their natural hair—this can protect both the hair and scalp from chemical damage.
Supplements for Hair and Scalp Health
Hair health can be achieved through effort and dedication; however, internal wellness can also have a significant impact. Adding supplements to a haircare routine has major effects for supporting hair and scalp well-being. There are various options, including the following:
Viviscal Pro is a daily hair supplement that promotes existing and new hair growth when taken consistently. It contains essential nutrients, like the AminoMar marine complex, which supports active hair growth. Viviscal Pro is only retailed by expert stylists, for clients who would clearly benefit from the added supplement.
Nutrafol’s hair-growth supplements also contain all-natural, clinically tested plant extracts proven to stimulate hair thickness and growth while also promoting existing hair health. Nutrafol also incorporates marine complexes—alongside plenty of other naturally-derived ingredients—to preserve collagen in the scalp and support hair health from within.
Other hair supplements, including HUM’s Red Carpet, contain black-currant seed oil and vitamin E. Both ingredients do wonders in stimulating capillaries and blood flow for increased hair growth and health.
All in all, wearing extensions doesn’t have to be harmful to your clients’ hair. So long as you provide clients with the knowledge—and supplements—to protect and enhance their natural hair, extensions can provide plenty of support. Extensions are a consistent, valuable solution to nearly any hair problem while they also encourage self-esteem. Regardless of extensions, the quality and condition of your client’s natural hair are most importantly determined by its daily treatment.