What Is Hair Extension Matting?
Matted hair extensions are a serious problem in the world of hair extensions. Whether you are wearing a premium brand or an ebay bargain, no hair extensions are immune to the potential of matting in one way or another.
What Is Hair Extension Matting?
Matted hair extensions are when your hair extensions tangle easily no matter how much you brush them. Your hair extensions could be silky smooth, and then 5 minutes after leaving the house you pull your hair extensions onto your shoulders and find that your fingers get stuck trying to work through the knots that have formed. You may also find that your hair extensions start bunching up the longer you go between brushing, and this can be a real nightmare to keep under control.
What Are The Types Of Hair Extension Matting?
There are two different types of hair extension matting. Matting of the hair extension lengths, and matting of the hair extension roots.
Matting Of The Hair Extension Lengths
Matting of the hair extension lengths is when the hair extensions bunch up and become very difficult to brush and keep smooth, even when they have only just been detangled. The hair extensions can look puffy, ratty, and as dry as straw, and this is because the cuticle of the hair is damaged, causing each strand to tangled with each other. This is especially common if the hair extensions you are wearing are not remy, as non remy hair extensions will tangle very easily.
Why Do Non Remy Hair Extensions Tangle?
Non remy hair extensions tangle because the cuticles of each strand have either been stripped away, or are facing in the wrong direction. If you purchase hair extensions that have had their cuticles removed during their manufacturing process, or the hair extensions have come from multiple sources like salon brushes, this means the hair is “non-remy”, and these hair extensions are often cheaper to purchase.
Remy hair is the best quality available, as it means the cuticles are intact, and all flow in the same direction. The hair extensions have been cut from a single doner so that all of the hairs cuticles flow in their natural direction.
Think of the hairs cuticle like tiles on a roof. If the hair is remy, then all of the roof tiles are flowing in the same direction, however if the hair is not remy, then some of the tiles have been put on upside down. When your brush the hair, if some of the strands are upside down and therefore the cuticles are facing the wrong way, you are lifting and damaging the cuticles every time you brush, and the more you brush the more you damage, so the vicious cycle of matting and tangling gets worse and worse. In addition to this, as the cuticles are facing in different directions, they begin to lock together, and this is what causes the hair extensions to bunch up and become very difficult to brush.
Hair extensions that are remy are less likely to tangle, but that doesn’t mean the cuticle can’t become damaged through styling.
Matting Of The Hair Extension Roots
As well as hair extensions matted through the lengths, if you are wearing permanent hair extensions such as prebonded, tape, micro rings, weaves etc, the bonds can also matt around the roots. This is where the bonds clump together to form bundles of bonds that are matted together. This occurs when the bonds have not been cared for correctly during wear, and it is very important that you are following the correct maintenance of your hair extensions to prevent this from happening, as they can be difficult (but not impossible) to remove.
Why Do Hair Extensions Matt?
There are a number of reasons why your hair extensions might be matting. If your hair extensions are matting through the lengths this could be because:
- The hair extensions are non remy and therefore the cuticle is damaged
- The hair extensions have become dry and frizzy causing it is tangle more easily
- The hair extensions have lost their natural oils and are therefore more difficult to manage
- The hair extensions have become damaged due to incorrect product and aftercare use.
If your hair extensions are matted at the root, the top causes of this are:
- Failing to separate the bonds on a regular basis as part of your daily routine
- Not securing the hair extensions at night when sleeping
- Leaving the hair extensions damp and not drying fully
- Incorrect hair extensions fitting
How Do I Fix Matted Hair Extensions?
If your hair extensions are matted through the lengths, firstly, you will need to ensure you have a detangler that can gently untangle the frizzy hair, smoothing it through and reducing any static. The HairExtensionsBff hair extensions brush has been designed specifically for this, as its dual bristle technology smoothes and detangles gently. You must ensure your hair is DRY when brushing through tangles, as wet hair stretches and will make the tangling worse. Using a wide tooth shower comb when the hair is wet is the best way to prevent breakage, as it allows you to work through the knots slowly. Once the hair is tangle free, the best way to reduce frizz, and improve the condition of ratty tatty hair extensions is with an oil treatment. Oil treatments are great for dry hair extensions as they nourish the hair to condition and smooth the cuticle. The oil treatment you use must be ABSORBENT not ADSORBENT, and should contain zero silicones, as these coat the hair and prevent the treatment penetrating the cuticle. HairExtensionsBff oil treatment has been designed specifically for dry hair extensions as its absorbent formula works into the cuticle to nourish and revive.
Click here for a step by step guide on fixing matted hair extensions.
How Do I Fix Hair Extensions Matted At The Root?
If your hair extensions have matted at the roots, the only way to fix this is to have the hair extensions carefully removed by a professional hair extension technician. It is not possible to untangle matted roots whilst the bonds are still in place, and therefore removal is your only option. Your hair extension technician should be able to gently work through the matted patches, however some breakage may be inevitable depending on the severity of the matting.
If this has happened to your hair extensions and they have become matted at the roots, after removal, your natural hair will need some tlc to help it recover from the damage, therefore continue to use your dual bristle brush to prevent any further breakage whilst your hair recovers. If you still have residue from your bonds left on your natural hair, our oil treatment is also great for removing this type of product gently. Apply the oil to the affected areas, allow to soak for 30 minutes before gently and slowly brushing through your hair to remove the product build up before washing through your hair thoroughly.
What Are The Steps To Prevent Hair Extensions From Matting?
If you have experienced matting before, or if you are worried about your hair extensions matting, we have some top tips on preventing this from occurring.
- Always use a suitable hair extension brush. Normal hair brushes can be too rough on the hair extensions, so using a brush designed to be gentle will stop the hair from breaking.
- Use a regular oil treatment on the hair to prevent the lengths from becoming dry and frizzy.
- Always ensure you use hair extension suitable shampoos and conditioners, too strong formulas may dry out your hair extensions, making them more prone to matting and more difficult to untangle.
- Use a wide tooth comb whenever brushing your hair extensions wet. Wet hair is weaker, so you want to work through any big knots before going through with your detangler.
- Never sleep with your hair extensions wet. Your hair extensions must be dry before you sleep as this is a top cause of matted bonds, especially around the nape of the neck.
- Always braid your hair extensions before bed to stop them tangling in the night, making them more difficult to brush in the morning.
- Avoid backcombing. This is damaging to your hair as it deliberately roughs up the cuticle.
- Remove matted hair extensions as soon as they occur, the longer you leave the hair extensions, in particular a matted weave, the harder they can be to fix and the more damaging they will be to the natural hair.