So far I’ve documented my experience with hair extensions, told you five things you need to think about before taking the plunge and now it’s time to discuss essential products that will make your life so much easier if you do decide to go ahead. Hair extensions are anything but easy to manage – no matter what someone tells you, they’re not an extension of your existing hair. They’re more like a foreign body that’s attached to you that you have to learn to tame, control and style like a pet. After much trial and error I’ve decided there are five things that you simply can’t be without if you want to ensure your (hair) life is as easy, pain and tangle-free as possible. Although I love my extensions, here are the tools that I rely on every day to keep them in check.
1. Detangling Brush
I don’t know how it does it, but my hair seems to go into the shower all smooth and knot-free but comes out a tangled mess. I’m talking so many knots, twisted tangles and crinkled-up messes that I often have to actually cut little sections out of my hair – there’s only so long you can attempt detangling before giving up! A detangling brush will be the helping hand you need to ensure your locks are as knot-free as possible, even when wet. I love The Wet Brush (£11.99) which helps to comb through hair without pulling or hurting my scalp, as well as a handy Tangle Teezer (£10.60) which fits into the palm of my hand perfectly and is great for going over ends. Put simply, you won’t be able to use a standard brush for your hair – especially on the roots!
2. Round Ball Brush
Although it may look odd and a bit of a gimmick, I’ve found this Mark Hill Wonderball (£9.99) is actually quite wonderful. It’s designed to help create curls and waves, but it’s the only brush I can actually control while using a hairdryer in the other hand. It captures the length of my hair and allows me to brush through while the nozzle of the dryer is focused on drying and straightening simultaneously, reducing the need for GHDs and other styling faffness. It makes the whole blowdry process a lot quicker, simpler, calmer and less frizzy.
3. Lightweight Finishing Serum
I learned the hard way that hair extensions don’t absorb serum and oil the way my own hair does, the product sitting on the surface rather than penetrating deep down. You have to use such a small amount that it becomes a scientific measure, so I prefer to use a straightening balm and top up with a lightweight serum or oil on the ends to control frizz and soften the texture. I love The Body Shop’s Wild Argan Oil (£8.00) solid tin as you can warm a little between your fingers and apply it exactly where you need it; you can also pop it in your bag and top-up throughout the day while saving space. It’s a beauty bargain and a bit of a hair saviour.
4. Hair Partitioning Clips
Having sixty individual pieces of hair attached to your head is indescribable. It’s like someone giving you an additional finger and then taking a few weeks to get to grips with your new found digit. Additional hair needs partitioning and separating to ensure each section is dried and styled effectively. However, with so much hair (and therefore weight) you need some heavy duty clips on stand-by. I’ve found Trevor Sorbie‘s crocadile clips (£4.79) to be the best around, with only two required to pin up 75% of my hair without a problem. They’re strong, they don’t snag hair and they don’t have any issue holding an incredible volume of hair either.
Oh how I’m completely obsessed with Invisibobble. I’ve got about a billion floating around my bedroom, office and every handbag I own. Their telephone-cord style ensures that hair is kept securely in place without tangling or pulling, ensuring a comfortable and secure experience. I use these not only to shove my hair up in a bun, pony and plait, but to wrap around sections of hair to create loose curls throughout the day. They’re so cheap (£3.75 for a pack of three) that it’s perfectly acceptable to invest in every single colour. These are the only hairbands I use on my extensions and they’re always easy to remove at the end of the day. Do you have hair extensions? Do you have any specific tools that make them easier to manage?