It goes without saying that hair extensions should always be removed by a professional, therefore this practical guide is to help those who are already qualified in hair extension application and removal, and should not be used as a tutorial to remove your own extensions, or to remove anyone else’s without proper certification and insurance.
The removal process of stick tip hair extensions is a relatively easy one, however can be made slightly more complicated depending on the level of care the client has exerted in looking after their extensions over the months they have had them fitted.
In the best case scenario, your client would have looked after her extensions well, and would have had regular hair extension maintenance appointments to keep on top of any regrowth. She would have separated her hair extension bonds daily to ensure they are not tangled, and her hair will be in a manageable clean condition. Having said this however, unfortunately this is not always the case, and you may encounter a client or two who have not looked after their extensions quite as well, and therefore we will address both instances below in terms of how this impacts the removing process.
What Tools Will I Require To Remove Stick Tip Hair Extensions?
You will require the following items in order to remove a set of stick tip hair extensions correctly:
- Hair extension pliers, preferably with teeth
- Hair extension conditioner
- A hair oil
- Hair extension clips
- Metal Tail Comb
- A hair extension hair brush
How To Remove Stick Tip Hair Extensions
Step 1: Expose your clients hair extensions by sectioning and securing off your clients natural hair on the top of their head. You should now be able to see the top row of hair extensions clearly.
Step 2: We would then recommend sectioning the hair extensions into 3 parts, taking the side section from the back of the ear forward on both sides, and leaving the back free to work on first.
Step 3: As the back is the larger section, it is best to start here. Taking each extension one by one, slowly squeeze the micro ring/copper tubes in the opposite way to how they were closed so that the ring opens and releases the hair extension. If the hair extension has been in for 3-4 months, it may need a small tug to release itself, so be sure to support the clients hair with one hand, giving the hair extension a gentle tug, and it will slide free.
Step 4: Next you will need to slowly deconstruct the strand. When looking at the strand with the ring removed, you will notice a “ball” sitting where the extension once was. This has been formed throughout the months your client has been wearing her hair extensions from hairs that have been naturally shed, shampoo residue that may have sat against the ring, and some keratin residue from the stick tip that may have started to break down. This is all perfectly normal and to be expected from hair extensions that have been in for more than a month or so.
Step 5: Holding the strand in one hand below the “ball”, you will need to slowly deconstruct the strand hair by hair using the tail end of your comb. Using the tail end of your comb slowly slide hairs out of the “ball”, pulling from above. Taking only a few hairs at a time the hair should slide smoothly out, causing no damage or discomfort to your client. This is a far more effective way to remove the residue than to simply brush away at the hair, as this will pull and snag resulting in damaged hair and discomfort for the client.
Top tip: If you have a section that is slightly more stubborn, use either an oil based product such as the hairapeutix preshampoo treatment which is 100% natural oils, or a conditioning treatment such as your hair extension conditioner to apply to the stubborn piece of hair, and then try again. With the extra lubrication the hair should slide out easily.
Once you have completed the back section you can move around to the sides, until you have completely removed all of the extensions. Removal times will vary from client to client, however for an individual who has cared for the hair extensions correctly this process will usually take around 1 hour.
Removing Stick Tip Hair Extension That Have Not Been Looked After Correctly
If your client has failed to look after their hair extensions, not attended a maintenance appointment, or left their hair extensions in longer than recommended, the removal process may be slightly more complicated. The most likely consequence of this behaviour is tangled or matted hair extensions at the root. This can be removed without damaging the client’s hair, but will take you longer.
Step 1: To remove, you would do exactly as above, but may have to be a little more strategic with the extensions you remove first. Try to divide the tangled hair extensions into their own sections, so that you can work on one piece at a time. If your clients hair is so matted that you are unable to section it, try to divide your hair into “cluster”, as you will likely find clusters of hair extensions that are tangled together.
Step 2: Removing the hair extensions one by one will not work as effectively for these clients, as due to the hair being matted from client neglect you may have to remove a few at a time so that you can detangle the hair. Matted extensions are a bit like a game of jenga in that 1 strand may be holding the whole matted section together, and by removing 1 you in turn release a few around it.
Step 3: Working on each “cluster” at a time, remove all rings from the “cluster” before trying to detangle the hair.
Step 4: Once you have removed all of the rings, apply an oil such as the hairapeutix preshampoo treatment that is 100% natural oils to allow for some extra lubrication to prevent the hair from snagging and snapping.
Step5: Using the same technique as above, you will need to slowly, a few hairs at a time pull the hair out of the “cluster by taking the fresh regrowth hair from above the “cluster” and slowly pulling it free.
Step 6: If once you remove the rings you find that the hair will not pull out of the “cluster” gently pull and stretch the “cluster” to try and help losen some of the hair.
Top tip: Sometimes if you cant get one side to pull free through the “cluster” you may find that working from the other side gives you more success. The more hair you pull free, the more it will loosen the hairs around it to pull free later, so patience really is the key here.
Removing matted hair extensions is not a fun job, however with a little patience the removal process will not damage your client’s hair, and even when you doubt you will be able to remove them all, with a little perseverance you will be able to detangle your way through.