Let’s talk about water. Hard water, saltwater, and chlorine. Even with top of line extensions like ours, or heck – even with natural, gorgeous hair of your own, the type of water you expose it to can drastically change the integrity of your hair.
How does chlorine affect your hair extensions?
Among many other uses, chlorine is an excellent disinfectant: it’s six times more effective than iodine, which is used to sterilize certain skin surfaces before a patient undergoes surgery (just for you to get an idea).
Your hair extensions will become dry and brittle, as chlorine sucks the sebum out of the hair shaft. Sebum is a type of natural oil that protects your hair from damage and harsh weather conditions, as well as keeping it lubricated. Hair extensions are already void of these natural oils (which is why we recommend using Moroccan Oil (Argan oil)). You may also experience skin rashes and itches, depending on how sensitive your hair, scalp and skin are, and also on the amount of chlorine disinfectant being used.
Bottom line: Chlorine is bad for your hair extensions. Fortunately, by putting on a swim cap before you head for the swimming pool or washing your hair with a product like New Wash shortly afterwards, you should be able to keep your extensions well intact.
How does hard water affect your hair extensions?
Hard water has a high mineral content – especially calcium and magnesium – in comparison to soft water. It can cause serious problems with your hair and therefore your hair extensions.
After washing, minerals dissolved in the hard water create a scaly film on the hair. This prevents moisture from entering the hair. The result is dry, dull, and tangled locks.
Bottom Line: Hard Water is bad for your hair extensions. The simple answer is to purchase a water softener. This however, may not be in the budget. A vinegar rinse works to remove scaly build up from your hair, much like a clarifying shampoo would. It also balances the pH of your hair, smooths down the cuticles, and leaves your hair feeling soft and silky. Clarifying shampoos and vinegar rinses can be harsh too, if used often. So only reach for these every once in a while.
How does saltwater affect your hair extensions?
For those of you who are beach worshipers, seawater may have a negative result on your extensions. Sea salt will roughen up the surface of your hair, leaving the cuticle open, dull, and porous, which could lead to dry, coarse hair, and colour fade.
Further bad news for those of us who colour our hair and extensions – the combination of sea salt and sun will make colour fade very, very, quickly.
Bottom line: Try putting a light coating of oil on your hair before going into the water. This should help reduce the impact of the salt on your hair. Or, after you’re out of the water, rinse the sea water out of your hair and extensions, and apply a low pH leave-in conditioner to close the cuticle.