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Getting hair extensions for the first time can be both exciting and confusing since you don’t know what to expect. Here are some things you can look forward to that will help you better prepare for your appointment.

1. If you’re planning on coloring your natural hair color, make sure it matches the color of your hair extensions. The only way to do this is to have the extensions on hand. You’ll want to set an appointment before your hair installation to make sure you get the right hair color to match your hair extensions (especially if you’re going lighter).

2. On the day of your appointment, shampoo your hair with a clarifying shampoo to strip away any oils or build up. Rinse and repeat. Do not use any conditioner or apply any styling products! This will help the bond stick to your natural hair better. If you’re going with the I-Link method, it prevents the beads from slipping. Also make sure your hair is completely dry and brushed out when you get to the salon. Your stylist can wash and dry your hair for you, but why spend even more time than you have to at the salon? (The installation is already going to take a few hours.) It’ll save you the cost of a wash too!

3. As mentioned, you will be spending quite some time in the salon. (Time depends largely on the method of hair extensions you choose.) For example, the I-Link method takes much longer than the Tape-In method, so make sure to plan accordingly. Bring some good reads and treats to snack on and pass the time. I’m sure your stylist will do her best to keep you entertained as well.

4. If you haven’t shopped for an extension brush or dry shampoo, get them both before your appointment so you have them ready to go once your extensions are installed. A good extension brush, (like Donna Bella’s, found here!) doesn’t catch on the bonds and pull the extensions. Also, once your hair extensions are in, washing your hair everyday isn’t a good idea since it can loosen the bonds, causing slippage. Try to wash your hair only two or three times a week and use a dry shampoo for in between washes.

Follow these simple steps and you’ll be fully prepared for your appointment!