Whether you are a regular swimmer, or are planning a trip away for the summer, water which contains chemicals can be a nightmare for hair extensions. Chlorine is of course the most obvious enemy, however salt water and shower water can also cause issues of dryness, discolouration and brassiness if they contain a high level of minerals and chemical nasties.
Fortunately, there is a technique which can be used to dramatically reduce the chances of this occurring, and this is known as the saturation technique.
How Does Hair Extensions Saturation Work?
The saturation technique is the process of exposing your hair to clean water, before entering an environment like a pool or the sea, so that your hair has less ability to soak in all “dirty” water. This is because hair is porous, and will absorb water very quickly, much like a sponge.
What Does Porous Hair Mean?
Porous hair refers to the hairs ability to absorb water, and the best way to explain this process is to think of hair like a sponge. A sponge will soak up liquid the moment it is exposed to it, sucking in as much as it is able to hold. Hair has the same ability to do this, and therefore when exposed to water it will quickly soak the liquid into each strand. This is not a problem for hair generally speaking, however if the liquid it is exposed to is dirty or damaged such as chlorinated water, this can cause problems, especially when wearing hair extensions.
How Do I Prevent Porous Hair Extensions Soaking In Dirty Water?
It is actually a lot simpler than it might sound, and again it is easily explained using our sponge example. The trick is to reduce the hairs ability to soak in dirty water such as chlorine, in order to reduce the impact it can have on the hair. If you were to place a sponge in a swimming pool, it would immediately absorb the pool water, however if you were to soak the sponge first in clean water and then place it in the pool, whilst it would still absorb some water it would be significantly less as it has already taken on as much water as it can hold.
By applying this sponge analogy to our hair, we can saturate our strands before they are exposed to any chemicals found in water in order to limit the effect they are able to have on our hair extensions.
How Do I Protect My Hair Extensions From Soaking up Chlorine Or Other Types Of Dirty Water
To do this, simply soak your hair fully in the shower before entering the pool or sea water. Your hair will take in this water, and when exposed to more water in the pool or the sea, just like the sponge it will not be able to take in as much water as it would have done when your hair was dry, it is as simple as that. The only time this becomes a little more complicated is when on holiday, as shower water can contain many minerals and heavy metals which can affect hair. Saturating your hair with shower water is still preferable over chlorinated or salt water, however if you are able to find some filtered bottle water this would be ideal. This way you can be confident that your hair has soaked in clean water over water with unknown contaminants, reducing the impact this can have on the quality of your hair.
Protecting Your Hair Extensions
When exposing your hair to chlorine, salt water, or hard water, whilst the saturation technique will go some way to preventing your hair feeling the effects of this type of environment, it is not a fix all solution. You will still need to care for your hair extensions following exposure to dirty water, and therefore washing your hair as soon as possible is still advisable.
Your hair extensions will also benefit from a little extra tlc after a holiday or swimming, and therefore a deep conditioning treatment will go a long way in repairing any negative results.