Archive for the ‘Hair Care’ Category

Sun Exposure and Hair Extensions

Friday, July 11th, 2014


Everyone loves summer and all of the outdoor activities it brings. But while we’re spending the day on a boat, at a bbq, out camping, etc., we tend to forget one thing—sun damage. If you’re exposed to the sun long enough, you’ll notice that your hair gets a lot lighter. Usually this wouldn’t be a big deal, but when your hair extensions don’t match your natural hair, that’s a problem. So what can you do?

If you know your hair is prone to lighten up during the summer, prepare for it by coloring your hair a shade lighter and order your hair extensions in a lighter shade to match your new (but natural) hue. Wonder why so many surfers seem to have light hair? The UV rays from the sun destroy the melanin in your hair causing it to lighten, and until new hair grows in its place, it will stay that color.

If you want to be active but still want to keep your darker color, you can protect your hair and extensions by wearing hats, scarves, or wraps when exposed to the sun for long periods of time. We can’t stress this enough during the summer season. Not only do they protect your natural hair, they protect the extensions and their respective bonds, tape, or beads.

There are also leave in sprays and conditioners that have sun protection in them. Bumble and Bumble’s UV Protective Styling Balm is a great option and it’s sulfate-free! Other companies like L’Oreal and Garnier also offer UV protective hairsprays, sprays, creams, etc.

Like us on Facebook for tips, products, and trends for the summer. What’s your favorite summer tip for protection? Please share with us!


Stylist Nightmares: Touch-Up Trauma

Friday, April 11th, 2014

Woman washing hair with shampooYou may hear us harping on it all the time, but it never gets any less important: hair extensions need to be regularly maintained! This includes regular touch-ups (moving the extensions closer to the scalp to account for growth), brushing to eliminate tangling and matting and taking special care to avoid damaging activities to your extensions (like bleaching, or exposing them to chlorinated water). What happens though, when clients forgo these regular maintenance tips and just let their extensions grow willy-nilly? Here’s our next stylist nightmare for this week. Read on.

One client came in with fusion extensions. She’d had them in for over a year, and there was maybe a good 6 inches of growth. The hair had matted to the point of ‘dreading,’ in some cases as hard as little balls of concrete. I gently reminded her of the ‘12 weeks rule’ to prevent this kind of thing in the future. I dumped every chemical I had to try and soften the dreads, and I washed it multiple times–all to no avail.

After attempting, for a good three hours, to remove the bonds, even resorting to acetone (!) to break the bonds, I had to give up. The hair was completely trashed and broken. I had to leave most of the dread clumps in her hair, and the only way to get them out would be with a good pair of shears.

Don’t get me wrong, some people have greater tangling or matting issues than others. These depend on factors like the natural build-up of  the scalp, the kind of products the client uses in their hair, or if they’ve mistreated their hair with bleach.

Basically what I’m saying is that, even if you don’t see any major tangling at the roots, you may have a bigger issue brewing that you can’t see. Word from the wise who’ve removed many stubborn dread clumps from client’s hair? Regular touch ups could’ve prevented this. Don’t let them grow out too much, and if you can’t keep up with the maintenance, it’s best to have them removed. Don’t just let them grow unchecked!

Yikes. DREADful (yuk!) indeed right? Acetone? Yes folks, that’s paint thinner. Is that what you want going in your hair? Me neither. Don’t let it get to that point. Regular touch ups aren’t just an aesthetic adjustment, they’re absolutely essential for you, your scalp and your sanity!

Avoid the heartache and the acetone. Get your extensions touched up regularly!


How to Properly Care for your Curly and Wavy Extensions

Friday, March 7th, 2014


We’re launching new curly and wavy hair extensions soon! Since caring for curly and wavy extensions is a bit different than straight extensions, we want to prepare everyone to make sure they’re ready to flawlessly rock their new style!

Before we get started, there’s one word to always keep in mind when it comes to hair with any kind of a curl: moisture! Extensions are already drier than natural hair because it doesn’t receive all of the oils that your scalp produces. On top of that, the curlier your hair is, the more prone it is to dryness, so keep those curls quenched!

Here are our five S’s of curly and wavy hair maintenance:

1. Showering. Try to shampoo only once or twice a week, and in between shampoos, use a heavy-duty, moisturizing conditioner. It’s best to comb through and work out any tangles in the shower, since brushing dry curls can create a frizzy mess! Combing with the conditioner in helps easily remove tangles and ensure the product is evenly distributed throughout your hair. After you shower, using a styling cream really helps lock in the moisture. You can also use a deep conditioner when you need to step up your moisture game just a bit.

2. Silicones. Using products with silicones can cause build up and weigh down your hair. If you need to use them, make sure the silicones in your product are water soluble, since those cause much less build up.

3. Sulfates. Sulfates can dry hair out, so using them can negate all the hard work you’re doing trying to keep your hair moisturized. Not to mention, sulfates can affect your bonds (especially keratin ones), causing them to slip prematurely. Basically, don’t even think about it! They’re just bad news all around.

4. Styling. You don’t always have time to let your hair air dry after a shower, but you’re worried that the hair dryer will dry out your curls too fast or blow them into a crazy mess. The easy solution? Just use a diffuser! If you use a medium heat setting, you won’t over dry your curls, and the diffuser reduces the air velocity of the dryer so it won’t affect their shape.

If you find a few strands are losing their curl or wave, feel free to use a curling iron for a quick fix. As always, make sure you use a heat protectant before using hair dryers or curling irons. Just don’t straighten the hair! The curls and waves in our extensions will relax over time, but using a straightener will really speed up this process, giving you a lot less wear time—and that’s no good!

To battle humidity, use a serum before you head out the door. No need to let the weather determine your style!

5. Sleep. The friction between your hair and your pillow can cause extra frizz that you certainly don’t need. Sleeping with a satin pillow or headscarf is a simply solution to this problem. Also, as with all types of extensions, sleeping in a braid keeps hair from matting and tangling, and it works double duty for wavy and curly extensions—it helps them keep their shape longer!

As long as you follow these tips, you’re destined to have a long-lasting, enviable curls!


Deep Conditioning Your Hair Extensions

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

A question we get from time to time is whether or not it’s OK to deep condition extensions.

While it’s not absolutely necessary, it’s certainly a recommended way to get the most out of your extensions and keep them in prime condition. Unlike your natural hair, Extensions aren’t directly attached to your scalp, so they don’t absorb the same oils from your head. Therefore, keeping your extensions hydrated and healthy may require a little bit of extra effort.

Use a moisturizing shampoo and a leave-in deep conditioning treatment. These are available at virtually any beauty supply store. Avoid purchasing conditioners which contain alcohol in them, as these can dry the extensions out. Consult your stylist for any recommendations if you’d like.

After shampooing, rinse hair thoroughly and gently squeeze out any excess water. Apply a quarter-shaped amount of conditioner to the hair extensions, working it through from the roots to the tips.

Leave the conditioner in for two to three minutes, and then rinse thoroughly with cool water. Again, gently remove any extra water from the hair extensions, using a towel. Apply a quarter-shaped amount of leave in conditioner to the extensions and work it through the hair with fingers or a wide tooth comb. Don’t rinse it.

Extra Tips:

For added conditioning, use a deep-conditioning hair mask on the extensions once or twice a week. Leave on the extensions for at least 30 minutes, then rinse it with cool water before your regular shampoo/conditioning regimen.

When removing tangles, use a wide tooth comb, spritzing any snags with a light mist of water and conditioner.

For daily brushing maintenance, we recommend using the Donna Bella Extensions Brush because it’s a soft paddle brush that won’t pull or tug on the hair with stiff bristles. Gently work your way up from the bottom of the hair to the top, tip to root.

Happy conditioning!


Caring for Your Extensions on Your Tropical Vacation

Friday, November 15th, 2013

As the weather gets increasingly more frightful, many seek the sun and sand of a tropical vacation to soften those debilitating winter blues. A question we got often here at Donna Bella is how well extensions, particularly Tape-In extensions, hold up to the beach-side rigors of a vacation (sand, sun, salt water…all that jazz) and how best to maintain them.

The truth is, tropical vacations do come with their own share of hair extensions challenges, but with just a little bit of simple care and maintenance, you can soak up some rays and avoid wrecking your hair, no matter what extensions method you use.

Soaking your hair with fresh water before swimming in the ocean helps offset salt water damage. Hair extensions are dryer than your natural hair, meaning they’ll soak up water much more quickly. If they’re already saturated with fresh water, they’re less likely to absorb more salt water, which can damage extensions in excessive amounts.

For those worried about matting or tangling, braids are a simple solution. While french braids are ideal, any braid that keeps hair in place and out of the way will do. Additionally, putting some leave-in conditioner directly into the hair upon leaving the water, and gently combing it out,  goes a long way in keeping hair from tangling and matting.

Finally, using a shampoo that has an SPF will protect your hair from any potential sun damage.

Follow these basic steps and guidelines to keep your extensions in tip top shape while you chase away those winter blahs. Bon Voyage!


Perming Hair Extensions

Friday, November 8th, 2013

One question we get fairly often here at Donna Bella is “Can I perm hair extensions?”

Donna Bella’s hair extensions are 100% human remy hair extensions, so they can be permed. However, they must be permed with extreme care and caution. All perms damage hair, which is why we don’t recommend perming. This is why Donna Bella offers wavy hair extensions in I-Tip hair extensions.

But if you want to try perming, here are some guidelines:

Perming always should be done by a trained, licensed stylist. Always strand test first to make sure the results will be like you want.

Doing a perm on extensions will be the fastest perm you will ever do — under five minutes. Use a color safe perm and be careful not to over process. Use a rod that is one size smaller than the client’s natural curl — this will help the extensions blend well. After the process is done, finish up by gently conditioning your client’s hair.

Once again, Donna Bella doesn’t recommend perming, but it is possible to perm them. Hair extensions need to be treated with special care.


Washing your Hair Extensions

Friday, October 4th, 2013

Keeping your scalp and hair clean is important for beautiful hair. Luckily, it’s easy to wash your hair, even with hair extensions.

  • Use sulfate-free shampoo on your scalp and a sulfate-free conditioner from the mid shaft to the ends.
  • Wash your hair in one direction.  Avoid washing your hair upside down. Don’t scrunch up your hair or rub it harshly. This helps prevent tangling.
  • After rinsing your hair, gently wring out the water so it’s not dripping wet.
  • For extra smooth hair, add a leave-in conditioner to the midshaft down. Comb through any tangles and air dry, if possible. If you use a blow drier, apply a heat protectant first.

Some other things to keep in mind:

Try to wash your hair as infrequently as possible. If your hair is particularly oily, it’s alright to wash it every day, but if you can, try get away with once every two to three days. Dry shampoo is a great way to help extend your hair’s life between washes.


Do you have a hair extension question or a concern? Email your questions to and we can answer it right here on our blog!


What causes Tape-In Hair Extensions to Slip?

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

When Tape-In hair extensions are unsuccessful, it’s usually because of slippage. Slippage is when the hair extension weft slips off of the hair.. Sometimes this happens while brushing or styling, sometimes it happens all on it’s own.

Some slippage is completely normal, but any more than 10% is cause for concern. There are a few things that can cause slippage in Tape-In Hair Extensions.

Root conditioning. Conditioning is great for hair extensions, as long as it’s done on the midshaft down. Conditioner can cause the hair extension bonds to break down.

Improper brushing. Tape-In extensions stay in securely as long as they’re installed properly. But even with the best installation, the Tape bonds will come loose if they are constantly pulled and yanked violently. Make sure to use the Hair Extension Brush and hold your hair roots with one hand to support the bonds. With the other hand, brush gently by starting at the ends and working up toward the scalp. Always go in a downward direction to preserve the hair’s natural direction.Hair extensions can take a lot, but constant meddling with the bonds can loosen the bonds over time. Just brush, style, and leave them alone!

Dirt and oil trapped within the bonds. When the Tape-In extensions are first installed, it’s important that the hair is clean and free from any dirt or oils. If these are trapped in the Tape-In weft, the adhesive’s strength will be compromised.

It’s both the hair stylist’s  and the client’s responsibility to stop slipping, but with a few simple steps, keeping your hair extensions in place and looking fabulous is easy!


Do you have a hair extension question or a concern? Email your questions to and we can answer it right here on our blog!


Hair Extension Tips You Need to Know

Monday, July 8th, 2013

Hair extensions add amazing length and volume to your hair. You want to make sure you’re treating them right so that they’ll last a long time and keep making you look great. It isn’t hard to keep your extensions looking great, just take a few extra steps. It will be worth it!


  • Do use the Donna Bella Hair Extension Brush. It prevents tangling and is specially designed so it won’t pull or catch on the application points.
  • Do brush 2 to 3 times a day and before showering or wetting hair. Hold the roots of your hair with one hand while brushing in a downward motion with the other. Brush gently, and be particularly careful with the bonds.
  • Do avoid salty or chlorinated water. Salt and chlorine harm your hair extensions just like they harm your natural hair.
  • Do apply any oils or sprays from the mid shaft down, avoiding the bonds. Leave-in conditioners and hydrating oils are great for hair extensions, especially if they are feeling dry.


  • Don’t wash your hair too much.We recommend washing the hair as infrequently as possible and using a dry shampoo to absorb oils and make your hair feel and smell fresh. Certain hard or mineral intense water may also deteriorate bonds or the condition of the hair.
  • Don’t sleep with wet hair. Once your hair extensions are completely dry, braid hair or tie it in a loose ponytail.
  • Don’t use heat tools too often. Just like with natural hair, too much mechanical heat will damage hair. When you do use heat tools, be sure to use a heat protectant. You can also use non-heat methods to curl your hair extensions.
  • Don’t chemically process the hair. Avoid any products that lighten natural color, create waves, or straighten natural curl.


Do you have a hair extension question or a concern? Email your questions to and we can answer it right here on our blog!


Summer Hair Care Tips for Hair Extensions

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Summer is the season we all look forward to — beach days, vacations, long days, and fireworks. But you can’t forget about caring for your hair while you’re having all that fun. If you’re wearing hair extensions as part of your summer look, make sure to keep them healthy and looking fabulous. Here are some summer hair care tips to follow whether you are wearing hair extensions or not:

Protect against the sun: UV rays don’t just damage your skin; they can also make your hair dry and brittle. When spending more than an hour in the sun, wear a sun hat or use hair sunscreen (yes, this is a real thing!)

Swimming: Chlorine and saltwater are not friendly to your hair. Before swimming, rinse your hair in cold water and apply a deep conditioner. This helps prevent your hair from soaking up the chlorinated water, which causes damage.

Staying hydrated: Hydration starts from the inside out. Drink lots of water to keep your skin and hair looking great. Plus, you’ll be able to take the heat better. You can also use a hair moisturizing serum will help keep your hair from drying out and creating split ends.

Take it easy: Summer is also a great time to give heat tools and styling a rest. The natural, low maintenance look is in anyway, and the heat of summer is taxing enough on your locks.

With these easy steps, you can keep your hair looking brilliant all summer long!


Do you have a hair extension question or a concern? Email your questions to and we can answer it right here on our blog!