Do Hair Extensions Damage Your Natural Hair?

The question of whether hair extensions cause damage to human hair is a tricky one. It all depends on how well you care for your natural hair before, during, and after installing a hair extension. Simply put, hair extensions installed properly following all the care and maintenance practices won’t damage your natural hair. However, if you install the hair extension without due care, you risk damaging your natural hair. We have discussed how hair extensions damage human hair and the steps you can take to combat this.

Understanding the Different Types of Hair Extension Damage

Hair extensions, when applied inappropriately, can damage your natural hair, causing several health issues. One of the most common forms of damage sustained from poorly applied hair extensions is traction alopecia. With this type of damage, the weight of the extension causes tension on your natural hair, gradually pulling the hair follicles and causing hair loss. It is worth noting that some types of hair extensions are more likely to cause hair damage than others. That said, here are the other forms of damage that hair extensions can cause to your natural hair:

  • Hair breakage and split ends. This is often caused by improper removal techniques and rough handling during installation.
  • Scalp irritation and allergic reactions. If harsh chemicals are used in adhesives when applying hair extensions, there’s a risk of allergic reactions, which could lead to redness, itching, or scalp soreness. This could also occur during removal if products with harsh solvents are used.
  • Weak hair roots. Repeated application of hair extensions without giving the hair some time to recover may result in weak hair roots, which could result in excessive shedding.

Signs of Hair Damage from Extensions

If you have worn your hair extensions for long, you will notice changes in your hair appearance and texture. More often, the natural hair will overgrow, and as a result, your extensions will start to loosen, hindering the overall aesthetics. You may also spot some hair extension side effects at this point, which may include but are not limited to:

  • Hair extensions shedding. If you notice excessive shedding when washing or styling your hair extensions, it is a sign that your natural hair could be damaged.
  • Thinning hair and bald spots. Noticeable reduction in hair density and volume is often a sign of hair damage caused by hair extensions. You may also notice hair loss around the hairline or extension attachment areas.
  • Dry and brittle hair. Once you notice that your natural hair feels coarse and unusually dry, especially after removing the hair extensions, it is a sign of damage. You should also use corrective hair gel and moisturising conditioners to allow your scalp and hair follicles to heal and rejuvenate.
hair damanged

Hair damage

How to Recognize and Treat Scalp Irritation from Hair Extensions

When worn for extended periods, hair extensions may cause scalp irritation due to trapped sweat, buildup of tension, and product residue. Common signs of scalp irritation include itching, soreness, and redness. To treat an irritating scalp, remove the extension and wash the scalp with a mild shampoo. You should also apply a soothing scalp treatment, preferably with natural oils such as coconut and tea tree oil. Similarly, you should choose the right hair extensions to minimise damage to your scalp. Opt for lightweight extensions and have an expert hairdresser fit them correctly. Regular maintenance and care will also help reduce hair extension damage and scalp-related issues.

How Often Should You Replace Hair Extensions to Prevent Damage?

Most hair stylists recommend replacing hair extensions every 6 to 8 weeks to minimise the risk of breakage and maintain healthy, natural hair. The type of hair extension also determines how often you should replace the extension. One of the popular questions people usually ask when choosing a hair extension is whether certain types, such as clip-ins and tape-in extensions, cause damage to natural hair. The fact is that these two types are more likely to result in hair damage if they are not installed correctly. Some hair extensions, such as pre-bonded and micro links, may last up to four months and are less likely to result in hair damage.

Read more: How Long Should Hair Extensions Last?

How to Minimize Hair Loss with Hair Extensions

To minimise hair loss while using hair extensions, always choose the right hair extension type for your natural hair, and be sure to work with an expert hairstylist. You should also prioritise regular maintenance to avoid hair extension breakage. When using hair care products, pay attention to the ingredients. Avoid products with high alcohols and sulphates, and always maintain a night care routine to prevent tangling and stress on the hair. Another vital tip to minimise hair thinning and hair loss is to give your hair breaks between extension applications to allow natural hair to recover and strengthen.

Scalp Care Tips to Prevent Hair Extension Damage

Adopting a scalp care routine is one of the ways of preventing hair extension damage. A rule of thumb is to regularly wash your scalp and hair extension at least twice a week with the appropriate shampoo to remove sweat and oil buildup. You should also moisturise and periodically massage the scalp with your fingertips to stimulate blood circulation and promote hair growth. Incorporating scalp exfoliation into your care routine will enhance your scalp health by unclogging hair follicles and removing dead skin cells.

Read more: K-Tip Hair Extensions

Repairing Damaged Hair from Extensions

Having understood the different types of hair extension damage, it’s time to explore how you can repair and restore the damaged hair. Typically, you must remove the hair extension before applying any treatment. These treatments include:

  • Trim damaged hair. If your natural hair has split ends, trim the affected sections to prevent further damage and promote a healthier regrowth.
  • Deep conditioning. Proper conditioning products rich in ingredients such as Shea Butter, Keratin, and Argan oil will help nourish the hair.
  • Protein treatments. Hair care products rich in proteins are known to strengthen hair shafts and reduce breakage. They also repair protein bonds in the hair, restoring strength and elasticity.

Other forms of treatment include a scalp care routine, regular professional consultations, and touch-ups. To support your overall hair health, you should also eat a balanced diet rich in minerals, vitamins, and proteins.

Maintaining Healthy Hair While Wearing Extensions

Once you have installed your favourite hair extension, you should maintain a hair care routine that will ensure the longevity and health of your natural hair and extensions. As part of regular maintenance, you should handle your extensions with care, avoiding tugging or pulling. Additionally, wash and condition your hair extensions regularly and ensure proper hydration and nutrition to maintain solid and vibrant natural hair.

Maintaining healthy hair

Maintaining healthy hair

Best Products for Damaged Hair Extensions

If your hair has suffered damage after installing hair extensions, there are several products you can use to restore your hair’s shine and health. The right choice of hair care products depends on the condition of your hair, the product’s formulation, and your personal preferences. Some of the best hair shampoos, for instance, are those free from alcohol, sulphates, heavy oils, and silicones.

If you are unsure of the ideal product for your hair type, consult a professional hair stylist for advice. You can always reach out to our team at Lady And The Hair for expert help, and we will guide you in sourcing the right hair care products to meet your unique needs.

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