It’s been roughly two months since I scared the crap out of my toddler when I came home with 18-inch hair extensions. Considering I had a pixie cut beforehand, the transformation was MAJOR.
Like with any new haircut (hair growth? — ah, hair style), there’s an adjustment period. After months of short hair, extensions of this length took some getting used to. But, I’ve mostly figured it out and discovered my eight must-have products for tape-in extensions (I’m sure they’re useful for any type of extensions, these are just the kind I’m familiar with).
How To Care For Hair Extensions: My 8 Must-Have Products For Tape-Ins
From my go-to detangling brush to hot tools for styling and even the silk pillowcase I swear by at night, these eight products have made the transition from pixie to long, luscious locks virtually seamless.
All brushes are not created equal when it comes to extensions, particularly tape-ins. You want a wide bristle brush that will detangle without pulling too much on the hair. My stylist gifted me a mini version of the Wet Brush Go Green Detangler. I liked it so much I got the full-size version. I always have one of them on me to combat any tangles.
I wash my extensions 1-2 times a week. For non-hair washing days, I depend on this Kitsch Luxury Shower Cap to keep my long locks dry. It’s designed for long tresses and fits all 18 inches of hair, is reusable, and is most importantly…cute!
The first time I showered after getting extensions, I looked in the mirror and thought, “Holy dried ends!” I quickly texted my extensions confidante, Erin, who replied, “Get yourself some hair oil, stat.” And not just any oil, Ouai Hair Oil. I use some on my ends after I put my hair in two braids for bed. Crisis averted.
I use TRESemme Leave-In Conditioner in lieu of conditioner on my hair after I step out of the shower. Keeps my extensions nice and soft!
I remember seeing the Beachwaver on TikTok and thinking, “There’s no way it can be THAT good.” Oh, oh it is. I’m not sure how it works, but it curls your hair in either direction with a press of a button. Absolute magic. Just make sure you have a good heat protectant!
This under-$30 straightener is all I need. My natural hair is so short that I need to flat iron the top in the morning to make sure it covers the tape. It’s also great for curtain bangs. When I take the extensions out for the summer, I’ll use this to curl my hair.
If I’m going to invest in my hair, I’m making sure that the 8-ish hours I spend in bed doesn’t ruin it. Silk pillowcases are delicious to sleep on. I’ve been using one for years and not only does it keep your hair smooth, it’s also good for your skin.
I had been using R+Co’s Badlands Dry Shampoo Paste for my pixie cut, but it doesn’t quite work when you have a whole bunch of tape in your hair. What makes R+Co’s Dry Shampoo different is that it’s made with micellar water, which cleanses and purifies hair without drying it out or creating build-up.