You may hear us harping on it all the time, but it never gets any less important: hair extensions need to be regularly maintained! This includes regular touch-ups (moving the extensions closer to the scalp to account for growth), brushing to eliminate tangling and matting and taking special care to avoid damaging activities to your extensions (like bleaching, or exposing them to chlorinated water). What happens though, when clients forgo these regular maintenance tips and just let their extensions grow willy-nilly? Here’s our next stylist nightmare for this week. Read on.

One client came in with fusion extensions. She’d had them in for over a year, and there was maybe a good 6 inches of growth. The hair had matted to the point of ‘dreading,’ in some cases as hard as little balls of concrete. I gently reminded her of the ‘12 weeks rule’ to prevent this kind of thing in the future. I dumped every chemical I had to try and soften the dreads, and I washed it multiple times--all to no avail.

After attempting, for a good three hours, to remove the bonds, even resorting to acetone (!) to break the bonds, I had to give up. The hair was completely trashed and broken. I had to leave most of the dread clumps in her hair, and the only way to get them out would be with a good pair of shears.

Don’t get me wrong, some people have greater tangling or matting issues than others. These depend on factors like the natural build-up of  the scalp, the kind of products the client uses in their hair, or if they've mistreated their hair with bleach.

Basically what I’m saying is that, even if you don’t see any major tangling at the roots, you may have a bigger issue brewing that you can’t see. Word from the wise who’ve removed many stubborn dread clumps from client’s hair? Regular touch ups could’ve prevented this. Don’t let them grow out too much, and if you can’t keep up with the maintenance, it’s best to have them removed. Don’t just let them grow unchecked!

Yikes. DREADful (yuk!) indeed right? Acetone? Yes folks, that’s paint thinner. Is that what you want going in your hair? Me neither. Don’t let it get to that point. Regular touch ups aren’t just an aesthetic adjustment, they’re absolutely essential for you, your scalp and your sanity!

Avoid the heartache and the acetone. Get your extensions touched up regularly!