Fine Hair vs. Thin Hair

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When you first hear them, the terms “fine” and “thin” hair may sound interchangeable. Stylists and clients alike have a number of “go-to” terms to describe the spectrum of hair types and lengths they encounter. Still, knowing what these terms actually mean can help you best suggest an upkeep regimen for your clients (or tighten the screws on your own) and help dispel hair myths and misinformation. Here’s a quick guide for identifying the characteristic differences between fine and thin hair (because they are not inherently the same!) and helping your clients determine for themselves.

We’re really talking about Density…
For our purposes, hair is characterized in two ways: the thickness of the individual strands and how dense (closely packed together) each of the individual follicles are. When a client has thin hair, it technically means that they have fewer hair follicles packed close together. Terms like “sparse” or “low density” may be more technically accurate and better help describe what they actually mean in these cases. While styling a thin-haired client, you may notice that you see a lot more of their scalp (while working) than someone with thick hair. It is possible for clients with thin hair to also have fine hair, but the two aren’t necessarily related.

Individual Thickness
When a client has fine hair, they’re technically referring to the individual thickness or diameter of each strand. A visual spot test for fine hair is the strand comparison: if a client’s hair strand appears to be the same thickness as a sewing thread then they have coarse hair. If it appears to be thinner than this, or has “wispy” characteristics, then it is fine. Some suggest gathering the hair into a ponytail and measuring its circumference, fine hair being that which is less than 2 inches in circumference. Clients with fine hair may complain that the fineness of their hair makes it difficult to manage and style.

Can Clients have both Thin and Fine Hair?
It’s absolutely possible for clients to have a combination of hair that’s both thin and fine, and in these cases, gentle styling techniques and regular maintenance come highly encouraged. Particular attention should be paid towards braiding or styles which pull the hair away from the scalp as they may be harder on thin or fine-haired clients than those with medium or coarse hair. Babe offers a special Tape-In application alternative for thin and/or fine-haired clients seeking hair extensions, which involves using Single Sided Tape to lighten the overall load of the Tape-In hair extensions (more on that next week!).

To summarize: “Fine” hair refers to the thickness or diameter of the individual strand of hair. The opposite of fine hair is coarse hair. “Thin” hair refers to the overall density of the hair follicles across the scalp. The opposite of thin hair is thick hair. It is possible for clients to have fine and thick hair, or coarse and thin hair. On occasion, your client may have both fine and thick hair. These clients will benefit from the use of our Single Sided Tape method, or from alternative installation techniques designed to target thinning. For more information on the hair extension options available to thin and/or fine-haired clients, visit the Everything But Length Portal.

Helping clients determine how to categorize their hair is the first step towards solid hair health and maintenance on an individual and global level. Not only are you assisting their beauty transformation at the salon but empowering them with the knowledge and information they need to keep it up once they’re on their own.



Defending Hair from Winter Weather


Winter weather can be unpredictable, but there’s one thing that you and your clients can always expect: cold and dry weather always spells trouble for hair (both hair extensions and natural hair). Each and every year, we’re reminded of this fact when our hair frizzes out, gets brittle and straw-like, or refuses to hold any shape whatsoever. So what can be done to alleviate the damage and restore hair balance for all those holiday parties and pictures on the horizon? Read on to find out…

Shield your hair from the cold.
First things first, don’t step out of the house with wet hair when the temperature outside is bordering on freezing. Your hair will stiffen in an uncomfortable and unflattering way, and possibly even break in the process! Instead, ensure that your hair is at least 80% dry, then proceed to wrap it in a protective style (tucked braids, buns, etc.) and/or cover it with a scarf or hat. For bonus points, select a silk or satin scarf, or a hat with a silk or satin lining, for maximum hair protection and smoothness (you can also place a piece of cotton or wool between your hair and a knit cap).

Avoid excessive heat.
Just because you’re avoiding the cold doesn’t mean you should crank up the heat. As always, don’t abuse your hair with super hot heating tools or a lack of heat protectant. In fact, consider using a lower temperature setting and fan speed than usual to retain as much moisture as possible. You can always achieve your desired level of dryness/dimension with multiple low-heat applications (spread out with 15-20 minute breaks in-between).

Control your indoor atmosphere.
There’s not a lot you can do about the weather outside, but there are things you can do to make your indoor space more hospitable for your hair. In keeping with our last tip, don’t overuse your heater, as it can stealthily steal moisture out of your locks. If you absolutely must have a 75 degree house, use a vaporizer or humidifier to reintroduce moisture into the air. Your skin will greatly appreciate this, too!

Indulge in good conditioners, masks, and oils.
You’ll need to improve your hair care regimen to address the drier-than-usual state of your hair. Do this with sulfate-free, color-safe, professional-grade moisturizing products, and be sure to increase the frequency of your moisturizing procedures. We recommend daily frizz-fighting serums, bi-weekly conditioning treatments, weekly hair masks, and the occasional hot oil treatment. When it comes to masks and oils, make sure to keep them away from the bond area of your hair, and to concentrate the product at the ends, where dryness is typically worse. And always make sure that you’re applying these products to clean hair, as dirt and grime will only get in the way.

Fill your body with nutrients.
Physical health is at the root of all beauty, so make sure that your body is equipped to handle the winter with the necessary amounts of vitamins and minerals. You can get this through your diet alone or from a combination of diet and supplements. You should also be ingesting plenty of healthy fats—like avocados, olive oil, and salmon—which help your hair to look shiny. And, most important of all, drink lots and lots of water. And we mean lots.

Get a trim.
Sometimes all of these defences will still leave you with breakage and split ends, and that’s okay. Your hair is not invincible, and it will inevitably accumulate damage over time. Address the problem early on with a trim to soften the ends—leaving it alone could mean letting the split travel up the hair shaft, which can seriously compromise length and hair strength in the long run!

What are your cold-weather tips for hair and hair extensions? Let us know in the comments below!



The Wonders of Dry Spray Shampoo


According to Babe hair extension best practices, clients should be washing their extensions no more than 2-3 times per week (or once a week for curly and wavy extension types). So what’s a client to do if they find their hair getting oily or tacky in-between washes? We have a solution for that: Babe Dry Spray Shampoo.

Our proprietary Dry Spray Shampoo is unique in that it is 100% extension-safe. It’s formulated with absolutely no sulfates for maximum hair health, and it includes minimal alcohol to prevent loss of moisture. Furthermore, unlike many other dry shampoos on the market, Babe Dry Spray Shampoo is not particularly powdery, and does not leave any noticeable residue on the hair. Instead, it leaves behind a light and pleasant vanilla scent that will keep your hair smelling as good as it looks.

We recommend providing your client with an After Care Kit—which includes Babe Dry Spray Shampoo, a Hair Extension Brush, and an aftercare card—following their installation to ensure that they have the tools to properly maintain their hair extensions. Instruct your client to hold the can of Dry Spray Shampoo 12 inches or so away from their hair, and to spray the formula evenly over the scalp area of their head for no more than a couple of seconds. They should then massage the product into their scalp with their fingers, allowing a few moments for it to take effect, then finally brush through their hair with the Hair Extension Brush.

This November-December, Babe is offering a special, limited edition version of our After Care Kit that includes a cute little carrying bag to hold all of the contents! Visit your local distributor by December 31st to check it out.

Got comments or questions? Leave them in the space below, and we’ll get back to you ASAP.



Unexpected Brushing Rules


Brushing isn’t always a simple affair—especially when hair extensions are involved. The risk of tangling, knotting, or even breaking hair increases when bonds are holding whole sections of strands together, and extension ends—removed from access to the scalp’s natural oils—can get dry and brittle without proper brushing care. Using the right Hair Extension Brush is a good remedy to these problems, as the 100% boar hair bristles glide easily over extension attachments and distribute the scalp’s oils throughout the hair. Still, it’s really just a starting point; technique is what really matters, and it can be taught to any client using a couple of steps, some key rules, and (of course) in-person demonstration. Here’s what your clients need to know:

1. Start at the ends of the hair.
2. Place your free hand a couple of inches above where you’re brushing, and hold the hair firmly in that spot (to avoid tugging on the bonds or the roots).
3. Brush in a downward motion, coaxing (not tearing) out knots.
4. Gradually work upwards towards the roots of the hair, always brushing in a downward motion.

Key Rules:
– Use an extension-friendly, 100% boar hair bristle brush to brush your extensions, as it will unravel knots and spread hydrating oils while gliding smoothly over your attachment points.
– Do not brush dripping-wet hair. Wet hair is more likely to break than dry hair. Instead, pull apart knots in wet hair with your fingers, or use a wide-tooth comb as a preliminary detangler.
– Do not yank the brush through the hair. Doing so will cause breakage. Address knots by pulling them apart with your fingers.
– Brush hair extensions 1-3 times daily to ensure that the oils from your scalp are reaching the extension ends.

Some Suggestions:
– If your hair texture causes your hair to frizz when it’s brushed dry, consider applying an anti-frizz spray, leave-in conditioner, or other styling product first so that the hair is slightly moist. Alternatively, brush the hair dry and follow-up by applying a styling product and twisting the hair into a braid or bun to set.
– If you use a blow dryer to dry your hair after a shower, brush the hair while you’re blowdrying it to produce a smooth finish (and always use a heat protectant beforehand).
– If you find that your root area loses volume after you’ve brushed your hair, consider brushing your hair upside down.
– Carry your Hair Extension Brush with you for quick touch-ups throughout the day, and always remember to pack it (alongside the rest of your After Care Kit) when you travel. This November-December, Babe is offering a special, limited edition version of our After Care Kit that’s available for purchase at your local distributor. This kit includes our classic Hair Extension Brush, Dry Spray Shampoo, a hair care card, and a cute little beauty bag to carry it all in!

Have comments or questions? Leave them in the space below and we’ll get back to you ASAP!



What Is a Hair Care Consultation?


We’re all familiar with hair extension consultations—those all-too-important appointments where you and your client work out the expectations, procedures, and specifications of the hair extension installation. But the consultation format is useful for many other hair situations, too. From color jobs, hair relaxing services, and even haircuts and general hair care, meeting with a client to talk out the details of any given process is extremely useful for everyone involved. There’s no better way to build rapport, ensure satisfaction, and preserve top-notch hair quality all at once. So this week, we’re going to talk you through a potential hair care consultation, and invite you to try it out in your salon soon!

A hair care consultation is an appointment where you and your client will discuss the ideal hair care regimen for your client’s hair type. You’ll help them to classify their hair based on various type scales (oily to dry, porous to nonporous, curly to straight, etc.) and to formulate their hair care goals and metrics (so they know how to track their improvement).

Hair care is important in and of itself as part of basic human hygiene, and it’s additionally important for encouraging a client’s self-esteem and confidence. Hair is a loaded topic in our image-based society, and as stylists, it’s our job to help our clients achieve their ideal hair conditions. Furthermore, good ongoing hair care ensures that our work is viewed in the best possible light, and that the products of our efforts (and our clients’ investments) remain intact long after the salon service is complete. After all, your client’s hair is your business card, portfolio, and/or resume; your business will grow when your client’s friends ask about their hair, and your client speaks affirmingly of your work.

When you perform a hair care consultation will depend largely on what other services your client is seeking/receiving from you. If your client is also a hair extension user, we suggest that you conduct the hair care consultation after the hair extensions have been installed so you can more effectively direct their hair care regimen with product recommendations. Of course, hair care requirements should be touched upon during a hair extension consultation so that the client is aware of the commitment they’re making, but hair care specifics can reasonably be saved for later so as not to overwhelm the client with information that they cannot immediately use. Consider separating the hair care consultation from the installation appointment by a couple of days to encourage your clients to adhere to the 48-hour rule.

Ask your client in advance to think about their hair history, hair experience, and hair goals before arriving to the consultation, and advise them to bring images of their hair inspiration and a list of their currently used or favorite products to the appointment. You can do this by providing them with a short question card for this purpose. Have an iPad or other electronic device handy in the event that you or your client need to look up images or information during the consultation.

Invite your client to describe their hair in their own words. Have them describe their hair care process, and ask whether they’re satisfied with the results they’re seeing. Get a sense for how much time, energy, and/or money your client is willing to spend on their hair care process, and develop a range of steps (say, 2-4), a loose shampoo and conditioning schedule, and a budget based on the information they provide.

Conduct a few measurements of the client’s hair, identifying its: length, individual hair thickness, overall hair volume, porosity, oiliness/dryness, level of damage or health, curl pattern, and color (shade and tone—you may use the Color Swatch for this). Modify your product and regimen recommendations based on these details, as well as your client’s hair care history and goals. If your client is a professional extension user, help them to understand the differences between their natural hair and extension hair, and alert them to products that cater to a range of hair types.

If possible, provide the hair care consultation for free, generating revenue from aftercare product sales, instead. You can set the client up with product samples if they’re on the fence, or even with an After Care Kit, which is useful for both extension clients and non-extension clients alike. This season we’re offering a special, limited edition version of our After Care Kit, complete with our Dry Spray Shampoo, Hair Extension Brush, hair care card, and a chic little beauty bag to hold it all. Visit your local distributor to take advantage of the promotion.

Have you conducted a hair care consultation in your salon? Tell us all about it in the comments below!



How to Sell After Care to Your Clients


Hair extension after care is a big deal. In a 2-month window (after the initial installation and before the next move-up appointment), roughly 99.9% of the hair extension process happens outside of the salon—because what’s a 2-hour installation to 1,462 hours of wear? That’s not to undermine the importance of that first hair extension experience; the sustainability of the hair extensions will depend in large part on the quality of the installation itself. But 2 months is a long time—enough to do a lot of good or a lot of harm. So how do you convey the importance of aftercare to your clients, and help them to follow through on it?

We’ve written some tidbits about this before. Check out “How to Make Sure Your Clients Are Taking Care of Their Extensions,” or “Demonstrating Proper Techniques to Your Clients.” This time, though, we’re going to make a more specific recommendation: the After Care Kit. Babe offers a simple, introductory after care product set—complete with a Hair Extension Brush, Dry Spray Shampoo, and a hair care instruction card—to initiate each and every client to the task of maintaining their hair extensions. We encourage stylists to carry this kit in their salons, and even to include it as part of the installation package for first-time extension wearers. With only a couple of items involved, the After Care Kit is the easiest access point to a world of varied and sometimes ornate hair care products, which can be overwhelming to new clients. This November-December, we’re even offering a limited edition version of the kit with a special (and chic!) carrying bag that’ll make the hair care process that much more appealing (visit your local distributor to check it out)!

When you’re showing this kit to a new hair extension client, be sure to mention the following:

Hair care is important even for your natural hair.
Let’s forget about the extensions for a minute and examine your ordinary hair care routine. At the very least, you shampoo, condition, and brush your hair with some regularity. You do this so you can keep your hair looking its best. It’s the same thing for hair extensions, but with a few extra rules.

Hair extensions require their own specific hair care.
Even if your natural hair does well with a common shampoo, a weekly condition, and minimal brushing, your hair extensions are a different story. They’re different from your natural hair, so they’ll need custom treatment. This usually involves scarce washing, frequent conditioning (always below the bonds), mindful product selection (NO sulfates!), and gentle, daily brushing with a hair extension-friendly brush.

You have the power to perfect or destroy your extensions.
The hair extension process doesn’t end when you step out of the salon—it proceeds throughout the duration of your hair extension wear. That’s anywhere from a couple of weeks to 3+ months, depending on your intentions. Needless to say, the after care portion of your hair extension experience easily overshadows the consultation and installation parts, so the damage you do (or prevent) during this period can make or break that initial work.

More than anything, let your client know that they are a key player in their hair extension process! You can do this from the very beginning by encouraging their input and participation during the consultation and installation phases. There’s nothing more beautiful than feeling empowered, and your client will glow a little bit brighter when she realizes that her head of hair is partially her own accomplishment. With resolve like that, there’s no doubt that the hair will stay looking great, too.

Got questions? Leave them in the comments below and we’ll get back to you ASAP!



Should Clients take a Break from Hair Extensions?


Hair extensions are a lifestyle. Many of our recurring clients wear their hair on repeat, going from one move-up appointment to the next without even a day-long break from hair extensions. While going without their extensions can seem unbearable for those clients who consider long, voluminous hair to be a part of their very identity, it can even feel odd for less-invested clients who have simply gotten used to the hair extension maintenance schedule. Regardless, wearing hair extensions nonstop can eventually strain the natural hair, and as a stylist, it’s up to you to intervene. Here are some tips:

– We recommend that some clients take a brief break from hair extensions between un-install and re-install to let the natural hair breathe, so to speak. This is a good time to perform restorative procedures to both the natural hair and extensions, revitalizing the locks for the second round. This will only involve a day or two of no hair extensions, so you can convince your more addicted clients to wear their hair up in the meantime.

– If hair feels dry, brittle, frayed, or looks particularly dull, tired, or distressed (particularly around the roots), it’s time to take a longer break from extensions. We recommend that, if damage is present, the client wait approximately 2-3 months (the normal length of one hair extension cycle) for the hair to grow out a little, so extensions will be installed on a healthier section of hair. Know that this can be very hard for longtime hair extension wearers to stomach, but it must be done for hair health, and there are ways to soften the blow. Offer restorative treatments during those 2-3 months to speed up the recovery process (and to bolster up your income), and introduce your client to Babe Instant Hair. We recommend the Babe Crown, since it rests against the head itself, rather than the hair—it will allow your client to experience their signature long locks, without the strain to their roots!

If your client likes their non-stop hair extension routine and doesn’t present any signs of hair damage, it’s totally okay to skip the break and go straight for re-install. But it doesn’t hurt to offer your perspective, or to prepare yourself for those occasions where an intervention is necessary. Your client will thank you in the end!

Got comments or questions? Leave them in the space below and we’ll get back to you ASAP!



Tape-In Hair Care Tips Your Client Needs to Know


While there are many hair care tips that apply to all of Babe’s professional hair extensions—such as: avoid sulfates, use a 100% boar hair bristle brush, apply product from the mid-shaft down, don’t over-shower, etc.—there are also some that apply specifically to one method or another. Each method is distinct, and best practices for I-Tip may differ slightly from those of Fusion or Tape-In. So let’s take a look at the special considerations your client should keep in mind for Tape-In.

The two main things your client should know when caring for their Tape-Ins:

Be extra careful with oils.
Hair oils—such as argan oil, coconut oil, and essential oils—can be wonderful for hair and hair extensions alike. They coat strands in a nourishing, protective layer that hydrates the hair over an extended period of time. However, we recommend that women with hair extensions only apply hair oils from the mid-shaft to ends of their extensions in order to nourish the hair. All hair extension clients should exercise caution when using hair oils to ensure that the oil does not touch the bonds themselves (which can compromise hold and cause slippage), and Tape-In clients should take particular care because Tape-In bonds are designed to disintegrate when coated with oil (hence our oil-based Tape-In Bond Remover). To avoid premature slippage, advise your client to always read product labels, limit their exposure to additional oil, apply oil sparingly, and avoid wearing their hair up after oil has been applied. They should also avoid sleeping in oil-coated hair to prevent the unintentional spread of oil to the root area. When in doubt, Tape-In clients should opt for non-oily hydrating products.

Be extra careful with heat.
Each of our extension methods responds poorly to excess heat, but each one does so in different ways. The bond of Tape-In hair extensions can dissolve under intense heat, risking slippage or even damage to the client’s natural locks. Damage may look like fried hair, matting, or even breakage in or around the bond area, and can compromise the client’s eligibility for hair extensions in the future. Help your client to understand that they should avoid using heating tools—which provide close-range, concentrated heat—near the roots of their extensions, whenever possible. When they do use heating tools, they should always apply a heat protectant product beforehand, and pass the tool over the hair in a continuous motion to avoid lingering in one area. When blow-drying, clients should use a modest heat setting and keep the hair dryer at a distance from their hair. Again, heat protectant is mandatory, and a diffuser may prove useful, as well. Finally, when spending extended time outdoors, your client should make an effort to protect their hair from the sun by using heat protectant, a hat, scarf, or by arranging it in a protective style.

Caring for hair extensions is an extensive process, but it’s necessary for long-lasting, beautiful results. Equip your client with the knowledge they need to get the job done right!

If you have any questions or suggestions, leave them in the comments below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible!



Demonstrating Proper Techniques to Your Clients


Hair extensions are a specialty service. They involve tactics that go beyond the realm of a standard salon practice, and therefore require some additional education—for both stylist and client. While it may be simple to take control of your own hair extension education through Babe’s Online Education program and various events, it’s not as straightforward for your client, who may not even realize that there’s more to hair extension care than just brushing, washing, and drying. So how can you make sure that they get the info they need? Give it to them, and demonstrate. Demonstrating proper hair care empowers clients to make the right decisions with regard to their investment, and leaves less work for you to do later. Here are the bases to cover:

Show your client what kind of brush is compatible with their hair extensions, then use it to start brushing through the client’s hair. Talk through the steps as you demonstrate them, pointing out how you begin from the bottom, working the brush through the ends of the hair in a downward motion to coax out knots, then gradually work your way up. Indicate that they should use one hand to hold the roots of the hair in order to reduce tugging at the bonds. Then invite them to try out the technique for themselves. Be sure to remind them that their hair will need to be brushed 1-3 times a day to distribute the oils from their scalp to their hair extensions.

Discuss product selection with your client, and be sure to emphasize that they should be avoiding sulfate ingredients at all costs. Make sure they understand that shampoo should be concentrated at the roots of the hair, since that’s where the dirt builds up. Demonstrate the best lathering technique for their hair extensions by passing your fingers through their dry hair. Advise them to wash their hair no more than twice a week, since over-shampooing can dry out their extensions.

While you can’t really demonstrate the conditioning process to your client without actually washing their hair, you can still address the topic and recreate the proper updo for deep-conditioning treatments. Make it very clear that conditioner should not be applied anywhere near extension bonds, but rather focused at the ends and mid-lengths of the hair. Advise your client to leave the conditioner in their hair for 5-10 minutes before rinsing, to wear their hair in a low bun while doing so (to avoid conditioner seeping into the bond area), and to follow-up with other moisturizing treatments throughout the week, always below the bonds. Again, all products used should be sulfate-free.

Show your client what a good microfiber towel looks and feels like, and explain why it’s a better choice for drying both hair and hair extensions. Show them how to safely wring the water out of their hair after a shower. Introduce them to a good heat protectant and explain where it should be applied, plus how it should be distributed throughout the hair prior to blow drying. Tell your client that, when possible, they should only blow dry the roots of their hair and leave the rest to air dry.

Share some heat-free styling techniques that your client can use in lieu of their curling wand or straightener. Reiterate the importance of heat protectant prior to any heat styling, and remind them that heat protectant should be left to set for a minute or so before styling.

There are several aspects of the maintenance process that should be highlighted. Firstly, the use of Dry Shampoo should be encouraged between washes to minimize both oiliness and shower frequency. Introduce your client to this product, demonstrate its use, and devise the best shower/Dry Shampoo schedule for them based on their hair type. Secondly, address sleeping arrangements, including the use of silk or satin pillowcases and headscarves to minimize friction during the night. Tie the client’s hair into an easy braid that they can recreate before sleeping, or tailor a sleeping style that will help them achieve their desired day look without the use of heating tools.

With these tips and an Aftercare Kit to go, your client will be well prepared for their new hair extension life. Don’t forget to snap a picture of them before they leave and share it with us on our Instagram page!



Preparing Your Clients for Summer Hair Upkeep


It’s hard not to get excited about the increasingly warm weather, bright foliage, and beauteous sunshine that rolls in with summer. Though the season is still a few weeks away, we’re already itching for a beach and a hammock and a good book right now. But as with any season, there are some hair care precautions unique to summer that we need to keep in mind. So before your clients can get carried away with their summer festivities, make sure they know how to prep their hair and hair extensions for maximum health. Here’s what you should cover:

UV/Heat protection. The number one thing summer has that other seasons don’t is excess heat. And when there’s blazing heat pouring down from the sun, that also means there are UV rays coming along with it. UV rays are killer for your skin, and your clients probably already know that sunscreen is a must during these warm-weather months (and during the rest of the year, too, for that matter). But UV rays are also super-damaging to hair and hair extensions, drying them out and destroying the melanin to produce sun-lightened tresses. Let your clients know that, in addition to their heat-styling sessions, they should be applying a UV/heat protectant to their hair all year ‘round before they go outside–but especially during the summer.

Hats. A good UV/heat protectant is just part one of hair extension protection during the summer, because while the stuff will do a good job of protecting the hair itself, it won’t do much in the way of protecting the hair extension bonds. Bonds and heat are a bad combination because the heat can damage the integrity of the bonds, break down the material, or even re-activate keratin bonds, and the sweat produced from the heat can contribute to the compromised bond slipping from the hair. The best way to defend extension bonds from these threats is to cover them up with a hat. So make sure you let your client know that they should always pack their sunhat, and take it with them when they plan to be outside for more than just a couple of minutes.

Salt/Chlorine protection. More often than not, summer equals pools, beaches, and lots of swimming. It’s one of the best parts! But with pools and beaches come chlorine and salt, which can quickly dry out hair, sap it of nutrients, and distort color. To minimize these negative effects, tell your clients to apply a leave-in conditioner to the midshaft and ends of their hair before going swimming. This will ensure that the hair is already saturated and coated with a protective cream, preventing the absorption of unnecessary chemicals. It’ll also leave the hair feeling less brittle afterwards! For the extra-cautious, though, we recommend tying the hair up and wearing a swim cap to protect the bonds as well as the hair extensions themselves.

Knowing when to wash. Summer produces a lot of opportunities for us to wash and re-wash our hair and bodies. Pre- and post-swimming showers, cold cool-down showers, and even just additional showers to dispel the sticky sweat that clings to us season-round. But if there’s one thing we know about hair extensions, it’s that it doesn’t do well with lots of showers. Remind your clients that the same rule of minimal hair-washing applies during the summer as much as the rest of the year. They should only make an exception to wash their hair (basically immediately) post-swimming. The rest of the time, if they absolutely must take an extra shower, they should be wearing a shower cap. End of story.

Dry Shampoo. Here’s the silver-lining, though: if your clients feel like their scalp is grimy from all the sweat their summer exertions are producing, they can take advantage of dry spray shampoo. Just as with the rest of the year, dry spray shampoo can take the place of a shower–cleaning the hair without risking bond slippage or excess drying. We personally recommend the Babe Dry Spray Shampoo, formulated specifically for hair extension-wearers.

Moisture. With all the sun, surf, and dry shampoo in addition to regular washing, hair can be especially dry during the summer months. That means that it’s more important than ever to add moisture back into the hair during the blazing summer months. Leave-in conditioner before swimming is one good way of going about it, but leave-in conditioner at other moments is likely even better, since it won’t be interacting with salt and chlorine. Advise your client to implement some extra, precautionary moisturizing treatments–like hot oil treatments, hair masks, and other goodies–to counteract the drying effects of the summer. Make sure they know only to apply these treatments below their bonds–from the midshaft down to the ends–to prevent slippage.

The right kind of anti-frizz. In some places, moisture might actually pose some problems rather than solutions. For wavy/curly-haired clients and clients living in humid environments, the existing moisture in the air might be making their hair poof up, fall limp, or frizz out, as the case may be. These clients shouldn’t forego the moisturizing treatments listed above, but rather add an additional sealing element to prevent environmental moisture from seeping in. Leaving out the moisturizing treatments will just give the frizz a more ideal, dehydrated base to work with, so as long as the hair strand is hydrated and the cuticle is laying flat, frizz should be at a minimum. Anti-frizz products are designed to seal the cuticle and prevent environmental moisture from getting into the hair, and they often utilize silicones to do so. Silicones are very effective at creating a barrier around the hair, but they can cause build-up. So, if your client is already using several products with silicones on the ingredients label (Babe Dry Spray Shampoo included), they might want to opt for a natural sealant, like shea butter, or be open to using a clarifying shampoo when they wash their hair.

What hair care advice do you give your clients for summer extension upkeep? Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below!