Preventing Dry, Damaged Hair
The processed human hair in your hair replacement system needs more care and attention than you may be used to giving your growing hair. Because the hair in your system is not exposed to the natural oils in your scalp, it’s not continuously moisturized the way growing hair is. When you add in exposure to things like shampoo, hot water and chlorine, the integrity of your hair system can deteriorate rapidly.
The following are general rules to follow when caring for a hair replacement system. Instructional pages covering each of these tips at length are available, so please use this as a quick reference guide.
Keep hair flowing in the same direction
Whether you are washing, conditioning, blow drying or combing your hair, always keep it flowing in the same direction — usually back or down — to avoid tangling. This is especially important for long hair and wet hair of any length.
Avoid hot water
Hot water opens the hair shaft. Although this is helpful in allowing the hair to absorb shampoo or conditioner, it also causes dryness over time. Washing with hot water may also contribute to tangling. On the other hand, cool or cold water closes the hair shaft, resulting in smoother, glossier hair. It’s for this reason we recommend using the coolest water tolerable in the shower, and cold water when washing your system in the sink.
When in the shower, wash your hair with warm water, and rinse with cool water. When shampooing your system in the sink, wash and rinse with cold water. Unless a treatment calls for it, avoid using hot water.
The chlorine in water damages your system by drying and oxidizing the hair. When chlorine is not filtered out of water, the hair in your system gradually changes color and becomes prone to breakage, frizzing and tangling.
The water in an average home is more chlorinated than a swimming pool. Shower filters are an affordable way to filter out chlorine; they work well, and are easy to install. Follow the manufacturer's guidelines for your chosen product to properly maintain the filter throughout the year.
To lessen the effects of chlorine in swimming pools, wet your hair with filtered water prior to swimming and liberally apply leave-in conditioner. The hair absorbs the conditioner and can better withstand the chlorinated water.
Because your hair system is not exposed to your natural scalp oils the way your growing hair is, the hair in your system won’t need to be cleaned as often. The downside is that it won’t be naturally moisturized the way growing hair is.
Because of these variables, you don’t need to shampoo your system very often. You will find a washing schedule that works for you, but usually shampooing once or twice a week is perfectly acceptable. To avoid tangling, remember to comb the shampoo and conditioner through the system with a wide-tooth comb with the hair flowing in the same direction.
If you have long hair
Always comb through your dry hair with a wide-tooth comb before entering the shower. Once you’ve rinsed your hair, apply shampoo to your growing hair first, to make sure your hair and scalp are thoroughly cleaned. Lastly, apply the shampoo to your hair system.
Condition as often as possible
You can never condition your hair enough. You may condition your system daily when in the shower and occasionally between washings. If your hair is curly, wavy or blond, we recommend you condition every day.
Use a leave-in conditioner one to two times a day to help keep your hair soft and tangle-free.
Always use your hair system brush
Start at the ends and work your way up the length of the hair to the roots, teasing the tangles out gently without pulling the hair out of its base.
Use safe hats and headwear
If you wear a helmet for work or recreation, it is most likely safe for your hair. However, to provide an extra level of protection, consider wearing a bandana or scarf over your hair and under the helmet.
Athletic caps, like baseball hats, are safe to wear. For the most part, any hat with a smooth interior should be safe for your hair.
Avoid knitted or crocheted hats because natural fibers, like wool or cotton, rub and catch on your hair, causing friction, tangling and frizzing.
Never wear a hat of any kind over wet hair.
Use safe hair accessories
You have many options for hair accessories. Items like scrunchies and plastic jaw clips are easy on hair. Be aware that repeated use of tight hair bands or barrettes will break the hair. Use hair bands that do not have any metal, as metal can cause damage. Metal duckbill and double-prong clips are safe when used with care.
Because each system is made of different donor hair, the quality can vary from one order to the next. Therefore, not all systems are able to handle heat styling the same way. For consistent results, limit heat styling — including blow drying — and try to develop a routine that doesn't require it on a daily basis. When you need to blow dry, set the hair dryer to the coolest setting. Other heat-styling tools should always be on the lowest setting. Remember to protect your hair with a thermal protection product before heat styling.
If you choose to blow dry or heat style often, your hair systems will need to be replaced more frequently.
For proper blow drying, put your hair dryer on the coolest setting, and use a diffuser to keep the hair from blowing around and tangling. Blow dry down the hair shaft, in the direction the hair falls. If using a brush while drying, don’t pull on the hair to minimize breakage and shedding.
Protect your hair while you sleep
We suggest you use silk, satin or high-thread-count Egyptian cotton pillowcases that will not absorb moisture from your hair or cause it to tangle or mat while you sleep. These fibers don’t pull on hair cuticles like traditional cotton can. Don’t sleep on a flannel pillowcase, as this will ruin your hair system over time, causing it to excessively tangle, mat and dry out.
Protect your hair from sun and oxidation
Sun and light exposure will gradually oxidize your hair to a lighter, warmer color. Protect your hair by using products with UV filters. Wear safe hats during prolonged sun exposure, such as when gardening or at the beach.