An Asian woman with extra-long pink hair

Fun fact: Did you know hair extensions can last forever? Hair expert   shared in an interview that good-quality hair extensions can serve you for a lifetime if you handle them with care and regularly nourish them as you would real hair. Aside from being a staple at fashion shoots and shows, hair extensions, also known as hair extenders, are widely used to boost confidence in both men and women who are facing hair loss or going through emotional troubles. 

Lourd shares that most clients who are going through a major change in their lives go after their hair first: “I have a lot of clients who come to me after a breakup, asking me to cut their hair super short. Unang napagdidiskitahan ang buhok. Then after a while, they come back and say, ‘I want my hair long again, can you give me hair extensions?’” In this article, Lourd sheds light on the allure of wearing other people’s hair — or sometimes synthetic hair — to enhance one’s look, as well as tips on how to keep them fabulous. 

Hair Extensions: Why Wear Them?

There are different reasons people wear them. “I’ve found that hair extensions can be extremely important to people. Some people need them for medical conditions, such as cancer or severe cases of skin asthma,” says the veteran hairdresser, adding that hair extensions or wigs make his clients feel good about themselves when they’re undergoing treatment and healing.

Once considered a luxury, hair extensions have become cheaper and more accessible lately, with some going for as low as P5,000 online. It’s a much more affordable alternative for people who want to look like their idols.

“When I win international competitions, usually the whole look is 80% hair extensions, says Lourd, who revealed that you could style so much more with hair extenders. They are also used in fashion editorials. For parties and red-carpet events, celebrities wear hair extensions to get long, shiny locks that are easier to style. They wear up to six kilos of hair extensions on their heads.”

Finally, they can be confidence-boosting. “Hair extensions are very personal. They’re like a shield of comfort that people use to feel beautiful and glamorous again.”

Different Types of Extensions and How They Work

If you’re thinking of getting hair extensions, there are several different types to choose from depending on your needs, lifestyle, and preference. The most popular are clip-on extensions, which can instantly turn short hair into long hair. “You just have to clip on the extensions, so they blend seamlessly with the layers of your hair,” Lourd says.

“A full lace wig is also a type of extension, and it can change the entire look of a person by just putting it on top of your hair," he adds. Although it can be expensive, this type of wig is also highly versatile and may be worn in different hairstyles. Extensions also come in ready-made hairstyles, such as a bun, chignon, , and curls. 

Aside from clip-ons, there are also sew-ins and glue-ins. Sew-ins are secured to the scalp by braiding the natural hair down and sewing the extensions into the braids. Glue-ins are attached 0.2 centimeters from the scalp with a knot or a tiny plastic bead that’s melted into the hair. Extensions can be made of synthetic hair, semi-synthetic, and real hair. 

How to Care for Hair Extensions

Lourd says that glue-ins are the most difficult to maintain and take care of since they are attached to your hair and so close to the scalp. Not only can they be uncomfortable, but they can also get very tangled. “There’s a reason people with this type of hair extension avoid washing their hair — it’s very difficult to detangle! You need a tangle tamer brush for detangling extensions. This type of brush gently removes knots with soft bristles that don’t cause breakage. Start brushing it where the knot ends,” says Lourd.

Assuming your extensions are made of real human hair or a mix of synthetic and real hair, Lourd says, “You need to take care of your extensions the same way you care for your real hair," This is because natural hair extensions go through the same pressure and heat that our natural hair goes through. They are blow-dried, curled, pulled back, ironed, and — and need to be cared for accordingly.

If you style your extensions, use TRESemmé Detox and Nourish Shampoo and TRESemmé Detox and Nourish Conditioner to wash them and remove all traces of hair product. Formulated with ginger and green tea, it detoxifies hair and replenishes lost nutrients with every wash. Remember though, hair extensions are prone to becoming dry and brittle because they don’t get natural oils from the scalp. Don’t over-wash them. Do a mild lather instead of deep conditioning.

For extensions that have become unruly, use a daily treatment like VitaKeratin Brazilian Straight Hair Treatment, infused with salon-quality keratin and vitamin B3 to nourish hair and make it soft, shiny, smooth. Once a week, use Cream Silk Triple Keratin Rescue Ultimate Straight Ultra Treatment Wrap to nourish, soften, and smoothen your extensions.

If your scalp becomes irritated or flaky, use CLEAR Botanique Scalp Care Shampoo, which has triple anti-dandruff technology and 100% natural botanical extract that boost scalp strength and end recurring dandruff.

Hair extensions can last forever if they are of good quality and well taken care of. Invest in the right type of extensions for your needs, and don’t forget to give them some TLC.