Hair extensions are a fun way to finally achieve the long, luscious locks of our dreams. There are several different options and methods depending on your hair type, style, and budget.
However, while hair extensions provide tons of volume and length to our hair, making sure they are cared for properly helps to maintain the longevity of the extensions and the health of our hair.
As with natural hair, tangling and knots can be persistent in hair extensions as well. If not taken care of, those knots and tangles can turn into full-blown mats that are uncomfortable and damaging.
Hair mats are intense tangles that can clump together and be difficult to separate, and with hair extensions it is crucial to keep hair tangle-free in order to get the most benefits from the extensions plus protection for your natural hair.
What are the best fixes for matted hair extensions? Prevention is the best method to make sure hair stays tangle-free, which includes brushing frequently, applying lightweight and nourishing haircare products, and securing well before going to sleep.
Below, we discuss the different types of hair extensions, as well as the best way to care for them to prevent your newly installed extensions from become matted together.
By caring for your extensions properly you will be able to protect your natural hair and receive the ultimate benefit of volume and length from your extensions.
Different Types Of Hair Extensions
There are several different types of hair extensions available that work best for different hair types and textures, to achieve the desired hair goals.
Most commonly used are Keratin bonds, tape-ins, clip-ins, and hand-tied extensions. Each of these types of extensions requires a different application method, are better suited to different hair types, and comes with their own advantages and side effects.
Keratin bonds use a heated bond that is made out keratin, which naturally makes up your natural hair already, to fuse together small bundles of hair to your natural hair nearest the root.
This method can also be referred to as fusion extensions, based on how the bonds fuse together with your natural hair. Keratin extensions can last between three and four months with very little maintenance in between, and are ideal to add volume and length to any hair type.
Tape-in extensions are another popular method that is perfect to add volume and length to most hair types, especially fine hair and for styles that lay flat.
The extension is placed right at the root of the hair, where your natural hair will be placed in between two extensions that are long pieces of hair with tape at the end. The extensions last about 6-8 weeks and are reusable for several times, based on how they are cared for.
Clip-ins are the most temporary method, and also most accessible because they do not require a professional to install them. Bundles of hair, called wefts, will have a clip attached to the end, where you can clip into your natural hair at the root.
The extensions are not meant to be slept in or kept in for prolonged amounts of time, making them an ideal option for switching up your hair style for an event or special occasion.
Hand-tied extension are a newer method for adding length and volume to your hair, that are able to achieve perfectly customized length and volume to your hair, especially if you are looking to add highlights, lowlights, or any other type of color treatment.
Hand-tied extensions do not use any type of heat or adhesive to attach to your hair. Instead, the bundles are attached by a small bead and weaving device, to last up to one year, with maintenance about every 6 weeks.
Why Do Hair Extension Matte?
However, with your newfound locks, comes the need to adjust your maintenance routine to ensure they are properly taken care of so you can keep your natural hair healthy, while also getting the most longevity out of your new extensions.
Much like our natural hair, if extensions are not properly taken care of, they will begin to knot, tangle, and mat together, which can damage both the extensions and your natural hair.
Hair extensions can become matted for several reasons, but all stem from not being taken care of properly. Much like natural hair, if extensions are not brushed out frequently, knots are more likely to be formed which can eventually turn into matted extensions that are damaged and uncomfortable.
Not brushing through hair extensions throughout the day, and especially before bed, can cause future tangles to occur.
Once you have hair extensions installed, they products you were previously using on your natural hair might now be to heavy for your extensions. Using products that weigh down the extensions, as well as using too much heat styling, can also cause hair to become tangled and matted easily.
Lastly, being too rough with your extensions will also cause persistent tangles. Rubbing your hair dry with a towel post-shower will cause damage to your extensions as opposed to gently squeezing out the water with a softer fabric, like an old t-shirt.
Also, sleeping with your hair down and loose, or on pillowcases made of fabric that can tug unnecessarily at your hair, can cause mats and tangles to occur more frequently.
How To Prevent Hair Extensions From Matting
As mentioned about, you might need to switch up your haircare products once you have your hair extensions installed, and that can start with the shampoo and conditioner you are using.
Opting for sulfate or silicone-free shampoos and conditioners, that also provide hydration, will make sure you extended locks feel soft and silky, and are easy to brush through.
When switching up your styling products, and especially with your conditioner, it is also important to avoid putting too much product at the root of your hair where the extension is, as it can cause the bond or adhesive to slip or loosen.
As opposed to our natural hair that benefits from the natural oils it produces, hair extensions will need additional moisture to be added to ensure their shine and luster. Incorporating nourishing haircare products will work to hydrate the hair and prevent the extensions from tangling and knotting too easily.
Look for haircare items that are lightweight and nourishing for your extensions and be sure to use heat protectants when using heat styling tools.
A crucial piece of hair extension maintenance is to frequently brush your hair, at least 2-3 times a day. It is ideal to gently brush through the hair with a boar bristle brush or a brush specifically for extensions, while holding the hair about mid-shaft and starting at the ends to prevent any harsh tugging.
Similarly with blow drying your hair, you want to be gentle with that process as well, and not keep hair soaking wet from the shower, as that can weigh the extensions down and cause tangles.
Knots and tangles are most likely to occur as you’re sleeping during the night, so it’s important to make sure you properly secure your hair before turning in for the night.
Sleeping on a silk or satin pillowcase has proven results for the appearance and health of both skin and hair, as the texture makes it easy to glide across without any unnecessary tugging.
Wrapping hair in a bun, a braid, or a silk cap will help prevent the hair extensions from tangling together throughout the night, so mats are less likely to occur.
Hair Extensions Matting At Nape Of Neck
Matting extensions at the nape of the neck can be damaging to both the extensions and your natural hair, as well as being uncomfortable overall. Hair extensions can knot at the nape of the neck through some of the ways mentioned above, but also by rubbing frequently against the fabrics of our daily clothes and coats.
s most hair extensions are installed closest to the root, making sure any knots at the nape of the neck are taken care of will help in the longevity and appearance of your hair extensions while they are installed.
It is important to brush through the hair regularly, especially if it feels like the extensions are beginning to be tangled. Keeping the hair moisturized through nourishing haircare products will ensure both the natural hair as well as the extensions are cared for and feeling healthy.
Sleeping on a silk pillowcase or with your extensions secured in a bun or a braid is important, as well as making sure you do not sleep on wet hair, as it will be more likely to become tangled starting at the nape of the neck.
Much like the maintenance for your natural hair, keeping hair extensions mat-free can be a simple add-in to your beauty routine.
Depending on your hair type, a lot of these fixes might already be in your nightly routine, however with extensions it might need to be done on a more consistent basis.
Keeping your extensions tangle-free will mean you can enjoy the extra volume and length of your hair, while having it look shiny, healthy, and smooth.