Category Archives: Hair Care

Aftercare Done Right

Summer is mere days away, so we’re stepping up our aftercare game to make sure your hair looks fabulous all season long. For the next few days*, take 20% off the following aftercare products, and be sure to read up on how to use them for maximum protective effect!

Remy Care
Donna Bella’s proprietary hair care line is professional, color-safe, paraben-free, sulfate-free, and designed to extend the life of your DB extensions with the latest hair care technology available. These products boast concentrated botanical extracts and address a variety of different hair conditions, from smoothing tangled hair to strengthening damaged hair, prepping hair for installations, and more. Get acquainted with the line-up by purchasing one of our pre-arranged kits, or read more about the products right here.

Twisties
This one is among our newer hair extension tools. Twisties are essentially better, safer scrunchies that will hold your hair up while you sleep or sweat without crimping your hair or tugging on your scalp. Opt for these guys to prevent unnecessary bond slippage, and to protect your hair from the elements when you go to the beach. Best part is, they stay in place all day long!

Hair Extension Brush
The Hair Extension Brush is an oldie, but a goodie. Furnished with staggered 100% boar hair bristles for the perfect, gentle touch, the Hair Extension Brush will detangle strands while gliding easily over bonds and distributing natural scalp oil to the lengths of your hair (super important for keeping hair extensions nourished and hydrated during the scalding summer months!). Use it twice daily, morning and night, starting at the ends of the hair and brushing downward.

Sono by Donna Bella Hanger, Sleeve, and Brush
For you Ready-to-Wear ladies, you can’t go wrong with the full Sono hair care set. Store your hair neatly and safely after use with the no-slip Sono Extension Hanger, shield it from dust, dirt, friction, and moisture with the durable (and recyclable!) Sono Sleeve, and brush it to silky smoothness with the all-hair-friendly Sono Extension Brush. These tools also make for great travel accessories, so make sure you never depart without them!

*The 20% Aftercare Sale goes from now until 11:59pm EST on June 26th (2017). Shop now to take advantage of the deal!

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6 Safe Practices for Coloring Hair Extensions

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In and of themselves, hair extensions are transformative. They add volume, layers, and an all-around “oomph” to any hairstyle. Throw some color into the mix? The hair creation possibilities multiply to infinity! That’s right, you can (and should) color your hair extensions! It’s totally safe, and with features like Donna Bella Hair Insure, awesome coloring jobs are guaranteed if you follow our instructed methods. Here’s our quick and easy bullet list of best practices for coloring hair extensions. Be sure to follow these basic tips before you begin your color journey.

Always Conduct a Strand Test First!
No matter what color results you anticipate, ALWAYS do a strand test before coloring a full set of extensions. To strand test, mix some of the color you’ll be using into a bowl and apply it to a small section of the hair extensions. Once the color has fully developed, you can determine if it will be the right shade and can color the rest of the extensions, or make adjustments to the formula or processing time as deemed necessary.

Deposit Color, Never Lift
When coloring extensions, always aim to color the hair darker to suit your needs, rather than lifting color to make it lighter. Donna Bella 100% Remy human hair extensions have already gone through a gentle coloring process, and attempting to lift the color will actually damage the hair!

Stay Within 2 Shades
Our best recommendation for safe coloring practice is to work with extensions a shade or two lighter than what you need and then deposit color for your custom color. If you find (via your strand test) that you wish to color a particular extension more than 2 shades darker than its original shade, exchange that extension for one that’s a shade or two darker, so you’ll be starting off closer to the 2-shade threshold for coloring (unless you’re coloring #60 extensions, that is).

Color the Extensions Before Installing Them
Always color hair extensions before you install them into the hair. Not only will they be easier to work with when they’re not attached to the client’s head, it will save you (the stylist) time in the long run! Plus, it’s easier on the extension bonds and means your client can spend less time in the chair.

Use Semi- or Demi- Color only
Permanent color puts a lot of strain on the hair, and literally dehydrates it. This is especially true of extensions. Using direct, demi- or semi-permanent colors will achieve the same color-centric effect of a permanent without putting the hair through the chemical wear and tear of permanent color.

Treat the Extensions With Love
Donna Bella extensions are Remy human hair and must be maintained as such! Treat them just as you would your own natural color-treated hair. Don’t wash color-treated extensions for the first 24 hours after they’ve been installed. Keep them hydrated, wash them with sulfate-free, color-safe shampoos and styling products, and strictly avoid chlorinated water.

Follow these basic maintenance tips (and your creative spirit!) and you’re sure to have a safe and successful custom coloring experience. Be sure to stay tuned to the Donna Bella Color Takeover Portal for more hair tips and tricks!

 

When Is Coloring a Bad Idea?

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Just as with hair extensions, custom color jobs are not for everyone. Whether you’re looking at existing damage, the potential to cause damage, or a generally non-compliant client, there are cases where you should skip the color and focus just on treatment, or on hair extensions alone. As part of our Color Takeover series—a series of hair extension-specific coloring resources designed to turn you into a virtual color expert—we’re going to share a few examples of these cases, including warning signs for how to spot them! Be sure to read up on more hair extension coloring tips at the Color Takeover Portal today.

Coloring is a bad idea when…

When the client is unprepared to maintain the color job.
You would think that preparing clients to maintain their hair would be easy, given the level of salon support and instruction offered nowadays. In a perfect world, every client would be open to their stylist’s input, and would follow their maintenance regimen to a T. But the unfortunate truth is that some clients don’t listen to their stylists, thinking they know what’s best for their own hair. Others distrust new processes out of habit, and favor their traditional hair care methods even when they don’t work. Whatever the case may be, if you have a client who consistently fails to follow their designated maintenance schedules, is argumentative or petulant during in-salon services, or is simply notorious for letting their hair go without proper care, a color job is probably not for them. Even un-customized hair extensions involve some additional attention, and allowing a client to invest in these often expensive services without hope of long-lasting results is bad news for everyone involved. After all, you wouldn’t want a faded, grown-out head of hair extensions walking around as your business billboard, would you?

When the client plans to sport the new color for a short amount of time, then change to a different color.
Short-term hairstyles and extension arrangements are a lot of fun, and they bring in extra income—so what’s not to love? Well, it doesn’t take much flip-flopping to realize that constant change-ups can be very damaging to the hair, and that’s not exactly the outcome we want from many hours of work. If your client is hoping to change the color of a single set of hair extensions several times in rapid succession, then permanent coloring is not the best way to go. Instead, offer a temporary color alternative, or set your client up with a couple sets of Clip-Ins in whatever colors they like.

When the extensions have already been custom-colored to a different shade, or when the extensions are old.
Aged hair extensions are easy to spot: the bonds are tired, the ends are frayed, and the cuticle layer is worn out, causing extra frizz and tangling. Double-processed extensions may be harder, especially when they’re colored using no developer and plenty of Olaplex for protection, but experienced stylists will be able to tell the difference between the new color and Donna Bella’s available extension shades. We do not recommend coloring old hair extensions or re-coloring colored hair extensions for the same reason: you’re more likely to cause damage to the hair when you do so. When possible, provide a new set of colored hair extensions to replace the outdated ones, or—at the very least—restore the old or double-processed extensions first, then apply semi-permanent color a few days afterwards.

When the color job requires that the client’s natural hair be colored, but their natural hair is in poor shape.
Donna Bella extensions are always provided in tip-top shape, but the health of the client’s own hair cannot be guaranteed. If your client insists on a total mermaid transformation, but their hair is fried or brittle from past services, tell them that you simply can’t do it because the potential risks outweigh the benefits. Clients with existing hair damage should undergo restorative services and hair care education before considering hair extensions and hair coloring procedures. They probably won’t like having to wait, but it’s really the only way to ensure that the transformation turns out well.

When the extensions are still installed.
Hair extensions should only ever be colored when they are removed from the client’s head. Whether this is pre-install, post-un-install, or what have you, the precaution is necessary because hair color can be damaging to the extension bond, causing the extension to slip prematurely. Additionally, coloring hair while the extensions are still installed means that your client’s hair will also be colored—except for the sections that are enclosed within the bond, producing splotches that will be evident once the hair is moved up. To avoid all of this, color the extensions and the client’s hair separately, then install the extensions after a couple of days. Remember, the client’s hair should be completely free of product prior to the installation appointment—that means no same-day color jobs and installations, for the sake of the bonds!

For more coloring advice and free extension coloring resources, visit the Color Takeover Portal today!

 

Pastel Dos and Don’ts

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It’s a new age, and that means we’re not living in grandma’s world of acceptable hair coloring anymore! Bold and vibrant fashion colors and every constituent variation in-between have long since become mainstream-acceptable, with celebrities and fashion icons splashing bits of neons and pastels into their look the world over. We love it! Still, there’re a few things to remember when going pastel, so here’s our quick list of pastel dos and don’ts.

Do:

Experiment: Go crazy! Whether it’s a splash of bubblegum pink, zips of green, or an all-over Easter Egg look you’re going for, remember that it’s ok to experiment to find the color combinations you like best. Use extensions to develop a new look and feel free to go off the beaten path a bit…just remember to also:

Strand Test First: Remember that the color you see on the label isn’t necessarily the color you’ll get in your hair. Also remember that all hair will accept pastel coloring in different degrees. Always test out the color on an inconspicuous section of hair beforehand so you will know for sure what it will look like before continuing and won’t get stuck with a color you weren’t planning on.

Adopt a Moisturizing Regimen: Color-treated hair needs to be maintained and moisturized. Though pastel colors may be faint, the hair will still be in desperate need of upkeep afterwards, including regular moisture treatments and brushing. Keeping hair clean and thoroughly cared for will not only keep the color looking brighter, longer, but (if the client is using extensions) will also keep the extensions in tip-top shape for much longer. Encourage a moisturizing regimen for your client, and extol the virtues of this upkeep. Knowledge is power!

Don’t:

Start with All-Over Color: It may be tempting, and it’s likely your client has seen a celebrity pull it off. We recommend that pastel first-timers start with partial pieces like peek-a-boos or streaks and work from there. If, after experiencing the transformative joy of a pastel streak, they wish for all-over color? That’s fine and good. Just know that it’s truly a transformation, so moderation is key in the beginning.

Attempt to Pastel Color Dark Hair: A bleached base creates the best pastel effect, so dark-haired clients will likely need a bleaching or lightening treatment beforehand. Attempts to color pastel directly onto dark hair will likely result in murky color combinations (if they show up at all), and won’t create the effect your client wants at all. Hair must be porous to accept color, and this is why dark hair must be bleached first, to have that color removed so it can accept new color that’s deposited onto it.

For more tips and tricks, including Dos and Don’ts for using Toner, Hair Chalk, and Semi and Demi-Permanent color on extensions, stay tuned to the Donna Bella Color Takeover Portal!

 

The Only Color Products for Your Extensions

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When coloring your hair extensions, you may notice that instructions always call for demi or semi-permanent hair color (sometimes called “direct dyes”). Here’s why: permanent hair color literally dehydrates the hair cuticle, lifting its natural color so it can accept new pigment. These color jobs must always be used in conjunction with a strict hydration regimen and treatment schedule as anyone who’s ever bleached their hair can tell you: it can make your hair feel like straw! Using any color that lifts—be it a peroxide or bleach—on hair extensions will actually damage them and render them unusable. Because permanent color puts such a strain on the hair, demi or semi-permanent hair color is preferred for coloring extensions because they will pull off the same coloring effect without putting your hair, extensions, or scalp through the harsh treatment of permanent color.

What is Demi or Semi-Permanent Color?
Demi and semi-permanent hair color contain no ammonia and only deposits color onto the hair. Essentially, since these products do not lift the hair cuticle when adding color, the hair’s existing color stays underneath the new color. Semi and demi-permanent colors are mixed with low-volume developers, which help open up the cuticle so it can absorb the new color, and last for multiple shampoos: demi-permanent hair color washes out in up to 24 shampoos, with semi-permanent hair color lasting anywhere from 4 to 12 shampoos, depending on the amount used. These products are often used to blend gray, enhance natural color, refresh existing color, tone highlights, or for corrective work.

One distinct benefit of using demi and semi-permanent colors is that they can be applied to the extensions (after the strand test and other preliminary coloring tasks) straight from the bottle without having to be mixed with hydrogen peroxide and other chemicals. Since they perform without these strong chemicals and additives, they make the overall coloring experience much more pleasant for everyone involved as odors, the risk of chemical burns, and the sensory harshness of ammonia and peroxide are completely avoided!

It’s important to remember that Donna Bella Hair Extensions are real Human Remy hair and, as such, should be treated like your own natural hair. Proper maintenance, upkeep, and overall preparation are essential for keeping hair extensions looking their best. In that regard, using color products that will help maintain the hair without stripping it of natural oils and colors will go a long way in creating an ideal color effect that lasts. You can color your hair extensions! Just follow our advice, stay within 2 shades, and always deposit color instead of lifting. Whether adding fashionable colors or working to bring out existing highlights, demi and semi-permanent color applied to Donna Bella Hair Extensions will help you get the long, colorful hair you long for!

Visit the Color Takeover Portal for more coloring tips and tricks!

 

Coloring Hair with the Integrity-Focused Approach

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Stylists who go through our Donna Bella certification program know that we promote an integrity-focused approach when it comes to installing and maintaining hair extensions. This means that throughout the hair extension process, we’re acting in a way that ensures the continued integrity of the Remy extensions. This is every bit as true for coloring extensions as it is for installing them; coloring services should always be performed with an integrity-focused approach as this will produce the best, most vibrant outcomes. But what does that involve, exactly?

Firstly, you should always follow the 10 cardinal rules of coloring hair extensions.
These are:
1.  Use professional (semi or demi permanent) colors, only
2.  Do not lighten or bleach (only darken)
3.  Perform a strand test first
4.  Color extensions off of the client’s head (not when installed)
5.  Stay within 2 shades of the extension base color
6.  Pre-wash extensions with sulfate-free shampoo before coloring them
7.  Always flip extensions to color both sides
8.  Go with the direction of the hair’s cuticle when brushing color onto the extensions
9.  Remove all tape from Tape-In hair extensions before applying color
10. Use only sulfate-free, color-safe shampoo and conditioner on color-treated hair
Following these rules will help you achieve the color outcomes that you want without compromising the health of the extensions themselves.

Then, you should simply take your time.
No good will come from you rushing through a color job (or an installation appointment, for that matter). Though the process can be lengthy, shaving off a couple of minutes at the risk of botching the color and/or extensions is just not worth it. Time is the name of the game, and it’s the only way to get those top-notch, beautiful results. So roll your sleeves up and knock it out of the park.

Donna Bella is now offering custom coloring information for human hair extensions at our Color Takeover Portal—an online resource for any stylist looking to incorporate color work into their extension services. Get read up on the latest tips, the loveliest formulas, and the easiest how-tos today! You can even download a free guide filled with everything you need to know to perform the perfect color job.

Visit the Color Takeover Portal Now

 

All the Tools You Need For a Successful Color Job

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No matter how much experience, zeal, and creative whimsy they possess, a stylist can really only be as good as the tools they have at their disposal. Whether it’s a routine change-up, installing a full head of extensions, or a custom coloring for a full-on transformation, here’s our list of the top shelf tools you need for a successful color job.

Semi or Demi-Permanent Colors
For coloring extensions, we encourage the use of semi or demi-permanent colors. These products deposit color onto the hair rather than lifting it (which actually dehydrates the cuticle) for a gentler coloring experience. Plus, since they’re semi and demi-permanent, they put far less strain and chemical stress on the hair than permanent colors would. For fashion colors, specifically, we’ve found that Joico Color Intensity works incredibly well for coloring hair extensions!

Donna Bella #60 Extensions
Although all our Remy shades can be professionally colored, bright, bold fashion colors such as rainbow or pastel hair require a blank canvas for the full effect. In these cases, we recommend our palest, most neutral blonde shade: #60. It’s available in all four professional installation methods and will take on fashion colors vibrantly.

Olaplex Lightener
Olaplex, labeled as a “bond multiplier,” helps reconnect broken disulfide sulfur bonds in the hair. By applying it to a lightener or hair color, your client’s hair will be kept strong during and after the coloring process, essential for keeping colors looking their best. It’s free of the silicones and oils presents in many other products and helps maintain hair’s natural strength and resilience after being treated. Note that in all our color formulas contained on the Donna Bella Color Takeover Portal, we include Olaplex lightener. Clients can also use Olaplex as a weekly treatment for their hair.

A Quality Brush
Applying color to hair or extensions requires a quality brush that will distribute the color evenly. We strongly recommend the Famar brush because the bristles are extremely soft and reduce strain on the wrist and joints—especially handy when you’re coloring multiple extensions at once. Key points to look for when selecting a brush are how well it will distribute color, and the softness of the bristles. Softer bristles will probably distribute better and are less likely to damage the extensions in the process.

Re-hydrating/Moisturizing Shampoo
Encourage clients to keep their hair plenty hydrated after coloring. A hydrating shampoo and even a mask treatment will go far in extending their custom-colored look. All hair types feature different levels of oiliness, and so different clients will require different maintenance regimens. The important thing is that they’re regularly hydrating their hair long after they leave the chair.

Bowl, Gloves, Paper Towels/Coverings
Maybe these seem like a given, but a color job always requires a place to do it, somewhere to mix the ingredients and, of course, appropriate cover for your hands and the furniture around you. Always make sure you’ve got these basic elements at your disposal to ensure clean and streamlined coloring in the salon.

Having the appropriate tools available, as well as a clean and functional workspace, is essential in making your color creation process smooth and hassle-free. Check out our Donna Bella Color Takeover Portal for more tips and tricks!

 

6 Dos and Don’ts of Coloring Hair Extensions

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At Donna Bella Hair, we firmly believe that you can (and should!) color your hair and extensions when creating custom looks. Still, there are some precautions you should take when coloring hair, so here’s our essential guide to general hair coloring protocol when working with extensions:

Do: Use Semi or Demi-Permanent hair colors
Since semi and demi-permanent colors aren’t “Capital P Permanent,” they last for a number of weeks (demi surviving 10 to 25 washes and semi surviving 6-12), and your client won’t be stuck with a color they don’t like for long should the unthinkable happen. Plus, because semi and demi-permanent hair colors deposit color instead of lifting it, they won’t break down the hair cuticle or damage it with chemicals, making post-coloring upkeep that much easier.

Do: Take Note of Your Client’s Skin Tone
Always keep your client’s skin tone in mind when helping them choose their new color. For a good rule of thumb, those with paler skin should opt for warmer tones, while those with olive or darker skin tones may find ashy and cooler colors to be more complimentary. Many manufacturers will provide color suggestions, so pay attention to those, too. If you’re going for pastel, however, don’t worry—pastel shades tend to flatter everyone.

Do: Maintain a Moisturizing Care Schedule
While it’s always important to keep hair moisturized and in tip-top shape, color-treated hair needs that consideration tenfold. Be sure to recommend sulfate-free moisturizing shampoos and conditioners specifically formulated for distressed and damaged hair, and, if possible, throw in a once-a-week moisture mask. Advise your client to avoid applying heat tools to their hair, as well as over-washing as this can strip the hair of essential oils and actually cause the color to fade more quickly.

Don’t: Bleach or Highlight with Over-the-Counter Products
Bleach and peroxide strip the hair cuticle and should only be used under the care of a salon professional. Ensuring that the exact amount of peroxide is used, as well as accounting for varying shades and pigments, is a delicate balance that can very easily leave hair looking and feeling like straw. Make sure that your clients know the dangers of at-home color so they’ll resist the urge to bleach or highlight on their own.

Don’t: Over-Wash Color-Treated Hair
It’s important to keep hair clean and maintained for healthy growth, but you don’t want to overdo it! Washing hair too often will actually dry it out and strip it of the natural oils that it needs. Instead of washing every day, tell your client to try every other day or even every three days, depending on the general oiliness of their hair and overall lifestyle. Those with oily hair, or those who tend to work up more of a sweat, should invest in a good dry shampoo to replace some of their usual showers.

Don’t: Let Your Client Do It Alone
At the end of a coloring appointment, if your client is unhappy, set up a plan to address the problem before they leave the salon. Without a viable alternative, some clients may be tempted to keep adding more color to their hair to try to correct the hue, but they’ll risk making the problem worse and rendering their hair unmanageable. Adding more and more color on top of the problem will only confound things and make it more difficult to return to the hair’s original color. The last thing we want is for a client to attempt fixing their hair on their own!

Ultimately, coloring extensions is a straightforward process. With a little experience and adherence to protocol, you can ensure your color job goes smoothly. Just remember to stay tuned to Donna Bella’s Color Takeover Portal for more hair extension dos and don’ts.

 

KeraExtend™ vs. Cream Cleanse™ – Which Do I Choose?

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If you’ve been following our new Remy Care™ line, you may have noticed that we offer two distinct sets of extension-safe shampoos and conditioners. Dubbed the KeraExtend™ and Cream Cleanse™ sets, these products promise to cleanse and condition your hair and your hair extensions without causing damage or slippage in the process. But there are some notable differences between the two, including different recommended usages. So which shampoo and conditioner pair should you choose for your shower?

KeraExtend™
We recommend the KeraExtend™ Shampoo and Conditioner set for regular use. These products cleanse the hair without stripping it of nutrients, then condition and fortify strands with keratin and 11 botanical extracts. The result is shiny, healthy hair and hair extensions that are easy to maintain.

Cream Cleanse™
Cream Cleanse™ products should be used occasionally for clarifying purposes. This shampoo’s formula is more powerful because it’s designed to remove build-up before installation or move-ups, though still gentle enough to preserve scalp health. Cream Cleanse™ Conditioner reintroduces moisture to the hair via botanical extracts, and can be used to make clarified hair more manageable prior to installation (though it should only be used from mid-shaft to ends on this occasion).

In short, you should use KeraExtend™ for your regular showering regimen, and Cream Cleanse™ for monthly or bi-monthly clarifying, only. If your hair is particularly oily, you may benefit from more frequent Cream Cleanse™ use, though you should supplement the process with other moisturizing Remy Care™ products, like the KeraExtend™ Mask or Serum. But when in doubt, consult your stylist!

For more information about our Remy Care™ line, check out this video. And, as always, if you have questions or comments, leave them in the space below!

 

Winter Care for Thirsty Hair

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It’s finally December! That means our holiday decorations are coming out, as well as our winter hair care essentials. This year, we’ve revamped our regimen to include some of our lovely, hydrating, sulfate-free Remy Care™ products—and we have to say, our hair has never looked better, despite the weather! Here’s what we’re using, and how:

KeraExtend™ Mask
Masks are the holy grail of winter hair care, as they provide much needed moisture to dried-out locks. But our KeraExtend™ Mask goes a step further. In addition to its hydrating properties, the KeraExtend™ Mask restores elasticity to the hair with plenty of infused keratin proteins, so your hair will be both smooth and bouncy!

To use: After rinsing Donna Bella KeraExtend™ Shampoo from hair, squeeze all excess moisture using towel, then comb liberal amount of KeraExtend™ Mask through hair evenly, focusing on mid-shaft to ends. Gather hair in shower cap or hair claw and leave in for up to 5 minutes. Next, rinse hair thoroughly and style as usual, applying KeraExtend™ Serum if desired.

KeraExtend™ Serum
Like the KeraExtend™ Mask, our KeraExtend™ Serum is formulated with keratin proteins. In the serum, however, these proteins combine with the other ingredients to soften and add shine to the hair. The effect is almost instantaneous, as the serum coats the strand and seals the cuticle for a beautiful, glossy look in seconds!

To use: Apply KeraExtend™ Serum onto slightly damp hair with fingers. Do not apply product onto hair extension bonds or wefts. Spread the Serum onto the bottom half of your hair extensions and work your way downwards, concentrating on tips. Style as usual. Note: can be applied to dry hair in smaller amounts.

Argan Oil
Correct that straw-like, brittle texture that comes along with winter using a pump of Donna Bella’s Argan Oil. This antioxidant-rich oil is a quick-fix for parched hair, adding nutrients and a silky sheen that’ll keep extensions looking dewy throughout the holidays.

To use: Beginning with a small pump, apply evenly to bottom half of extensions, adding more to ends if desired. Do not apply oil to hair extension wefts or bonds. Apply only from mid-length to ends.

 

As with all of our Remy Care™ products, these moisture-packed favorites are sulfate-free, paraben-free, and color-safe, so you can use them on your own hair and hair extensions without issue. Want to get your hands on some of these products? Let us know what you think of the results by submitting a review to our review page. Or wrap them up as a present; Remy Care™ products make great gifts, too!