The short answer? No.
While common sense would suggest that long hair is more expensive to care for than shorter hair (and particularly hair extensions, due to the need for more products and protective procedures), there are ways to work around that impulse and achieve an effective-yet-frugal care regimen for long/extended hair. Learn how to make a little product go a long way in this week’s blog post, and test out these tips on our new extra long extensions: 26” and 30” (available in colors #60 and #1B).
Wash less frequently.
This is something you should be doing anyway with extensions installed! Over-washing your hair can dry out your extensions (which already have limited access to your scalp’s natural oils) and even cause slippage, so avoid these side effects by limiting showers to 1-2 times per week or less—if you can manage it. For in-between days, consider investing in a dry shampoo to keep your scalp feeling fresh, and use your Hair Extension Brush to disperse your natural oils throughout the lengths of your hair.
Switch out artificial products for gentler/more natural ones.
This might sound counterintuitive, given that natural products are often more expensive than artificial alternatives. However, using natural products allows your extensions to last much longer, saving you money on hair extension move-up or replacement appointments. You can even try mixing your own hair care products at home using already-owned ingredients like avocado, apple cider vinegar, aloe vera, shea butter, and various oils (jojoba, coconut, etc.). These concoctions often produce large batches of product, which (as mentioned above) will last you a long time on your reduced shower regimen. On the other hand, you could choose to purchase pre-made products with a combination of natural and synthetic ingredients (excluding agents like silicone or sulfates), arriving at the perfect balance between price, convenience, and efficacy. Donna Bella’s Remy Care™ collection is just such an option, and it boasts the additional benefit of being tailor-made for Donna Bella hair extensions!
Know how much product you actually need to get the job done.
Most of us apportion our products intuitively, pumping or squirting until we feel that we’ve collected enough. Oftentimes, though, we end up collecting more product than we actually need to obtain the desired outcome. Most hair care products will list the correct portion size alongside their use instructions on their label, so make sure that you read those details before dispensing. If that information isn’t available, a good rule of thumb is: a quarter-size amount of shampoo for hair of any length (as you’ll only be shampooing around the root area), and between a half-dollar-size and palm-size amount of conditioner depending on hair length (less for shorter hair, more for longer hair). Again, this will depend on the kind of product that you’re using (ex. KeraExtend™ vs. Cream Cleanse™), so use a conditioner with natural (even homemade) ingredients to save on overall costs while maximizing the effect of the product.
Make your shower more efficient.
It’s not just the nature and quantity of product that determines the success of a hair treatment. The order in which you apply your products is just as important, and it can make the difference between needing vs. skipping additional styling products. For example, cut down on the amount of conditioner and/or styling products you need to smooth out your hair by simply brushing your hair before your shower. This will give you a head start on detangling, while also readying your hair to distribute shampoo and conditioner more effectively. Start your shower with warm water to open the cuticle of your hair, then rinse with cold water after applying your products in order to seal it. Apply shampoo to hair that is saturated with water, but squeeze excess water out before applying conditioner (and keep hair out of the stream of water while the conditioner is in place). Leave conditioner on for the duration of time specified on the product label. Use your fingers to comb through your hair with conditioner still in it to avoid having to brush the hair again once you’re out of the shower (this will prevent breakage!). Once you master the sequence and rhythm of a truly efficient shower, you’ll find that your hair looks fabulous without any additional fussing.
Replace styling products with overnight solutions.
This is also ideal for hair with hair extensions, as heat and product buildup can compromise extension bonds and dry out extension strands. Make your extensions (and your money) last as long as possible by avoiding heat and styling products whenever possible! You may even find that, as a result, you can space out your maintenance appointments over a greater stretch of time, saving extra money in the long run. Achieve the same effects as texturizing sprays and heating tools using homemade salt water solutions and curlers, and enjoy the nostalgic element of this mode of styling!
Prevent damage so you don’t need to spend to correct it.
The most basic hair care regimens involve only shampoo, conditioner, UV/heat protectant, and a hairbrush. Anything extra is either a preference, a precaution, or a treatment designed to correct some kind of damage. We’ve already mentioned how you can achieve your hairstyle preferences without relying on additional products—now let’s focus on completely eliminating corrective treatments. Precaution is the only extra that we think is worth spending money on. But the good news is, you don’t even need to spend to protect your hair (again, with the exception of UV/heat protectant)! Keeping your hair tied up during sunny, sweaty, or action-packed days is a free way to prevent drying, slippage, and breakage, so you won’t have to buy fortifying products or hair growth supplements to counteract the damage. This is especially important for long hair, which already tends to be dryer towards the ends, and more exposed to potential friction and snagging.
Want more tips? Browse some of our essential hair care products below, and check out more posts on hair extension care!