Home Beautygab My Hair Is So Thin After Extensions – How To Get Your Volume Back

My Hair Is So Thin After Extensions – How To Get Your Volume Back

by Gabbi

Everyone knows that hair extensions can make your tresses look long, voluminous, and full, but almost no one ever talks about the way extensions can make them look thin after removal.

It is normal to feel like your hair is a little thin right after you get your hair extensions taken out – you’ve gotten used to it appearing unnaturally full, after all.

But if you’re noticing that your hair is looking a little sadder than it did before you even added extensions in, you could be experiencing some actual extension-induced hair loss.

If you had extensions, at home or at a salon, and are now noticing hair loss, thinning, or overall damage to your natural hair, you are not alone. Unfortunately, this is a pretty common problem that can be attributed to hair extensions.

So, your hair is thin after extensions – how do you get your volume back? You can thicken your hair by using weekly hair and scalp treatments, avoiding hot tools, taking supplements, eating a balanced diet, and more.

Luckily, thin hair doesn’t have to be the norm forever after you remove your extensions. Read on to discover the best ways to restore your locks to their former glory!

Can Hair Extensions Cause Hair Loss?

Yes, in some cases, hair extensions can cause hair loss and damage to the hair shaft. The extent of hair loss often depends on a few factors, like what type of hair extensions you used and what your natural hair is like.

Here are the different types of hair extensions and how they can alter your hair:

  • Clip-ins: These hair extensions clip into your hair and have the easiest removal process. They are the most temporary type of extensions, and most people remove them after a few hours of wear. Because they are not constantly in your hair, they create the least amount of damage. But be mindful when you are removing them to ensure you are not pulling any of your own hair out in the process.
  • Tape-ins: These hair extensions have a little more longevity than clip-ins. They will stay in your hair for 6-8 weeks. The extensions are attached to your hair with strong tape (think medical-grade tape) which creates a strong bond to your hair, so there’s a higher risk of damage than with clip-ins. Pulling and tugging on it, as well as the added weight can cause some of your hair to fall out. Removal must be done by a professional at a salon, as it can cause additional hair loss when the adhesive is pulled out.
  • Fusion: These extensions are also known as keratin hair extensions. These extensions are fused to your hair using a heated tool that creates a keratin bond between the extensions and the natural keratin in your hair. The bond is very strong, so these extensions can last a long time – you could wear them for up to five months. However, the downside is that they can cause some serious damage. The heat can burn your hair, while the added weight of the extensions can then further damage the hair shaft, resulting in breakage.
  • Sew-in: These extensions are woven into your hair by first braiding your natural hair into a tight horizontal cornrow and then carefully braiding the extensions into your hair. Sew-in hair extensions can be worn for eight or more weeks. The whole time they’re in, parts of your hair are kept in a tight braid which can cause a lot of damage over time. Additionally, the pulling of the hair on your scalp can lead to some permanent hair loss in the area where your hair was braided.

As you can see, all types of hair extensions come with some amount of risk. The extent of damage you get from each type will also depend on your hair – extensions could make the damage worse for people with thin, fine, colored, or already damaged hair.

On the other hand, if you have thick, healthy hair with minimal breakage and split ends, you might not notice a lot of loss after hair extensions.

Why Your Hair Gets Thin From Extensions

The majority of the damage caused by hair extensions comes from the pulling and tugging that your hair experiences from the extensions. Whether they are taped on, sewed in, or fused on, they are hanging off of your natural hair and adding a lot of weight to it.

This creates a subtle but constant pulling that, over time, can cause your hair to fall out. In some extreme cases, when this type of damage is done repeatedly over a long period, it can cause scarring on your scalp, and hair will stop growing there permanently. This rare condition is known as traction alopecia.

But don’t worry, it is very unlikely that you’ve developed permanent hair loss from your hair extensions, especially if your stylist knows what they’re doing. Even a bald spot or bald patch is in most cases entirely reversible.

More common than that is the breakage that hair extensions can cause. Instead of pulling the whole shaft out of your scalp, extensions can also break your hair in places where it is vulnerable – where it has been previously damaged or colored. This can create a lot of frizziness and uneven ends by the time your extensions come out.

Hair extensions that have not been removed or adjusted in time can grow out with your hair, causing brushes and combs to get stuck in them and strands of hair to tangle around them. All this leads to even more breakage that you’ll discover once the extensions have been removed.

How To Thicken Hair After Extensions

The good news is that most damage caused by hair extensions is temporary, and you can take steps to speed up the healing and regrowth process for your locks.

Here are some tips and tricks we recommend to help encourage hair health after extensions:

Weekly Hair Treatment

First and foremost, we recommend making sure the hair that’s still on your head is as healthy as can be so it can grow out quicker. Using a good daily moisturizing conditioner in your hair care routine is a given, but we also urge you to do an intensive weekly repair treatment.

Some great options for extra dry hair are oil treatments, which can penetrate the shaft and infuse it with much-needed hydration. Hair masks, especially strengthening masks with keratin, can be great to add to your routine as well.

However, make sure not to overload on products that contain keratin, or you can wind up with the opposite effect.

Weekly Scalp Treatment

Since hair extensions can cause scalp damage, we recommend doing some sort of scalp treatment as well. Without a healthy scalp, it’s hard to grow healthy hair! Scalp treatments are similar to hair masks, except the product goes directly onto your scalp and encourages healing and new growth.

All scalp treatments are great, but for hair growth specifically, we recommend looking at formulas containing peppermint oil, which can stimulate the hair follicles much like a scalp massage.

This scalp treatment consistently delivers results. You can use it alone or opt to try the whole system it belongs to, including shampoo and conditioner.

Avoid Hot Tools 

Your hair can be extra fragile after you remove your extensions, so try to keep any additional damage to a minimum while your hair grows out. This includes the use of all heated tools like blow dryers, straighteners, and curling irons.

If possible, avoid using them altogether, at least until your hair becomes stronger. If you do end up using them, consider investing in a good heat-protecting spray.

Supplements and Diet

Vitamins and minerals are integral to growing new hair, so if you’re looking for thickness, definitely consider supplements. Some of the best supplements for hair growth are vitamin A, biotinvitamin E, vitamin D, and protein.

We also can’t forget collagen! Marine collagen has shown to be fabulous for hair growth and you might be surprised to learn how equally powerful vegan collagen is. 

You can purchase collagen in pill or powdered form. Plus, many products are formulated specifically for hair growth and contain multiple ingredients that work together.

In addition to supplements, try to eat a vitamin-rich whole food diet to get as many of these vitamins from natural sources as you can. Pay extra attention to foods with healthy omega-3 fats like olive oil and avocados.

Satin Pillowcase

Consider using a satin or silk pillowcase while your hair is recovering from extensions. Cotton pillowcases are thought to reduce moisture in your hair by absorbing its natural oils, which is never ideal, but especially so during times when your hair is the most vulnerable.

Smooth pillowcases can also protect hair from additional damage caused by tangling and breaking during the night. As a bonus, your hair will stay nice and shiny all day long.

Avoid Overwashing

Washing your hair too much can lead to more dryness, brittleness, and an unhealthy scalp. All of these things can slow down your hair growth.

Try to wash your hair no more than three times per week, and avoid using any drying products on your scalp like dry shampoo or thickening powders. Your hair needs a healthy amount of oil to grow well, so try not to strip it of that oily goodness.

Regular Brushing

This may sound counter-intuitive, but regular brushing can help your hair become thicker and healthier, as long as you brush it properly. Good brushing helps distribute oils throughout the length of the hair, which makes the hair stronger and more protected.

Brushing also stimulates blood flow to the scalp, like a gentle massage. The extra blood flow results in faster growth and brings more nutrients to the hair.

Brushing your hair out in the morning and at night can become a lovely self-care ritual that you’ll fall in love with.

To avoid pulling hair out during your brush session, make sure you are brushing gently and holding it at the root anytime you’re brushing out a tangle. Make sure to use a high-quality brush that won’t tug at your hair, like the boar bristle brush in this 3-Piece Anti-Hairloss Brush Set (check the current price on Amazon). 

Also, keep in mind that some daily hair shedding will still occur and it’s completely normal. 

If you find yourself with thinner hair after extensions, don’t panic. We hope these tips will help you get your healthy hair back in no time!

Up Next: Do Hand Tied Extensions Cause Damage?

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