Ideally, the first thing most of us do when we’re in need of a trim, a color touch-up, or any other beauty maintenance service is head to the salon, but sometimes when the ease of making a hair appointment isn’t really an option, we have to make do with what we have and put our own DIY skills to the test at home. We’ve almost mastered trimming our own hair at this point thanks to some helpful tips from our favorite stylists, but other services like removing hair extensions prove to be a little bit trickier.
If you’re someone whose current at-home struggle is figuring out how to safely remove your hair extensions, the good news is that Kat Lewis, head of education at Bellami and hairstylist at The Mane Loft in California, is here to help with a quick guide to removing your extensions without damaging your natural hair. All you’ll need are a few simple products that you likely already have at home: olive oil, a sheet of paper, rubbing alcohol, and a comb. Read ahead for a quick step-by-step guide.
Step 1: Don’t Pull Your Hair
Lewis’s tutorial specifically focuses on tape extensions, which are thin clip-in extensions that are sandwiched in between small sections of the hair using an adhesive. They last anywhere from six to eight weeks, and according to Lewis’s tutorial, the key to removing them is to saturate the top and bottom of the “sandwich” with alcohol before pulling back the middle of the tape to create a gap. In order to prevent pulling out or damaging your own hair, it’s important to remember not to try pulling the tape from side to side and also not to use too much force.
Step 2: Keep Your Pieces Organized
Once you’re able to remove the tape, keep them organized by sticking them to a piece of paper. This is mostly helpful for people who like to reuse their extensions; by keeping them stuck to a piece of paper, you can help your stylist remember where to place them once you’re able to get them reapplied.
Step 3: Remove the Adhesive
After your extensions have been removed, use your olive oil to strip away any of the excess adhesive sitting on your hair. You can also use a fine-tooth comb to remove any of the buildup before washing your hair with a clarifying shampoo.
Step 4: Save Your Extensions For Later
Once you’re all done, Lewis recommended keeping the paper with all of your removed hair extensions safe in a gallon Ziploc bag until the next time you can see a stylist.