Knowing how to maintain your hair system is liberating; both in terms of time and money. You'll no longer have to depend on a salon for your on-going maintenance and we will reveal all! There are four elements to a self-maintenance routine:
We'll guide you through fitting technique for both lace and skin bases; using liquid adhesive, tape or a combination of the two.
We'll show you the best way to remove your hair system, to prevent damage and minimise clean-up.
A few tips in this area can save significant time and money, we will share all!
Would you like to keep your hair in tip-top condition? We will show you how.
Before attaching your hair replacement system to your scalp, it is important you take the following steps to ensure the perfect bond. Without careful scalp preparation, the duration and strength of the bond will be reduced.
1) If you're re-bonding a hair system, make sure both the hair system base and scalp and completely clean, i.e free of oil and traces of adhesive residue. Firmly remove any adhesive with cotton-wool pads, or kitchen roll (do not use toilet paper, as it will not be strong enough). This step is vitally important. Any trace of old adhesive or oil will affect bond efficacy. (Tip: A fine-tooth nit comb is ideal for removing excessive adhesive residue.)
2) Closely shave any existing hair on your scalp, where the hair system will be fitted.
3) Cleanse your scalp with a face mask.
4) Wash your scalp and any existing hair in a mild, SLS free shampoo.
5) Thoroughly dry your scalp.
Once your head is buffed to perfection, you’re ready to apply your adhesive.
Attaching your hair system
The bonding method you choose will depend upon the following:
- The material of your hair system base.
- The frequency you opt to remove your hair system for maintenance and clean-ups.
- The activities you partake in, e.g. high-intensity work-outs
- Your skin sensitivity.
Bond with tape
Generally, tape is suitable for customers who wish to remove their hair systems frequently. We say generally, as our extended-wear tape can hold for up to 3-4 weeks, which is comparable with our strongest liquid adhesive.
If you wish to remove your hair system daily, you may opt for a daily wear tape, such as 3M Clear. If you’re looking for a longer hold, we recommend Supertape or Air Flex, which are very popular products.
The basics for fitting with tape are outlined below:
1) Remove one side of the double-sided tape.
2) Apply around the perimeter of the hair system (or over the base if you prefer a full head bond).
3) Remove the other side of the double-sided tape.
4) Position the front of the hair system in place and carefully roll it back over your scalp, being very careful to avoid the hair being caught in the tape.
5) Secure the hair system in place by pressing firmly over the taped areas.
6) Hair system fitted. Now style and go!
Avoid leaving a lace hair system on for too long (no longer than a couple of weeks), as the adhesive residue can break down which can seep through the lace. We advise that lace systems are removed and cleaned every 5-10 days.
The above instructions should take approximately ten minutes to implement, so don’t be intimidated. There are also positioning sprays now available, which can make fitting with tape a cinch.
Bonding with adhesive
There are a number of liquid adhesives to choose from. Many customers use Ultra-Hold as it promises a very strong bond of up to 6 weeks. However, the ever popular Ghost Bond has the same strength but is much gentler on the skin and very easy to apply and not stringy like mozzarella!
The advantage of using liquid adhesive is that you can brush it on like egg white onto a brioche, and simply apply your hair system afterwards. Many report it is less fiddly than tape, although this will always be personal preference. In time, you will find the options that work for you.
1) Using a suitable brush, apply a very thin layer of liquid adhesive to your scalp
2) Apply a thin layer to the underside of your hair system. If you have a lace base with a polyurethane perimeter, apply the adhesive to the perimeter only. Do not apply adhesive directly to lace.
3) Make sure both surfaces are completely dry (wait approx. 5 minutes).
4) Join both surfaces together by positioning the front of the system in place first.
5) Carefully roll back the remainder of the system over your scalp and press down firmly.
IMPORTANT – If you are bonding a hair system with a lace front hairline, please follow these steps:
1) Follow the steps above, but DO NOT apply adhesive to the front hairline.
2) Once your hair system has been bonded, trace the contour of the front lace with a light-coloured eye-brow pencil approximately 1-2mm in front of the edge of the lace.
3) Using a hair-clip, pin back the front section, to allow you to apply adhesive to the front.
4) Apply a specific lace tape, such as Blue Liner Lace or a fine layer of liquid adhesive. Work the adhesive layer down to the pencilled dots, being careful not to cover the dots.
5) Remove the pencil with rubbing alcohol.
6) Allow the adhesive to dry for at least five minutes. Catch-up with that book!
7) You can now apply another coat of liquid adhesive if you wish but make sure it is completely dry.
8) Once the adhesive is dry (approx. 5 mins later), gently bring the lace front over the adhesive.
9) Press down with your fingertips and voila ready for your debut at the Octagon!
Learning how to bond your hair system will take time and patience, especially if you have selected a lace base. The whole process should only really take you ten-fifteen minutes. Once learned, you will not need to visit a salon for maintenance visits which will save you money, so it’s worth taking the time to learn for yourself.
Removing your hair system is a very straightforward.
Skin (poly/pu) base and perimeter systems
1) Lift an edge of the system and spray a citrus oil adhesive remover underneath the base edge and leave to soak for 1-3 minutes.
2) After the time has elapsed, gently remove the system from your scalp. If required, spray on more adhesive remover as you peel off the system.
Lace bases (including lace front systems)
1) Dab or spray Lace Release through the hair in the area you wish to remove.
2. Wait for a couple of minutes, then gently lift the lace away from the scalp.
After removing your your hair system, you will need to clean both scalp and base.
Cleaning your scalp
1) Spray citrus oil adhesive remover (or baby oil for sensitive skin) onto your scalp and allow to soften the residue for 1-3 minutes.
2) Firmly wipe off the adhesive residue with kitchen roll (useful because of its abrasive surface) until any trace of adhesive has been completely removed.
3) If there is a lot of residue on the scalp and in your hair, use a fine tooth nit comb. This is a fantastic tool for removing residue from the scalp and hair.
4) Gently comb it over the scalp and hair and it will collect the residue on the comb.
5) Shampoo your scalp and hair to remove any trace of adhesive remover, then rinse thoroughly. It may be necessary to repeat this step a few times because any trace of adhesive or the remover will weaken the strength of subsequent bonding.
Cleaning skin bases
It is also essential to completely remove any adhesive residue from your system to guarantee the efficacy of your bonding.
1) Spray citrus oil adhesive remover onto the skin base and allow to soften the residue for 1-5 minutes.
2) Firmly wipe off adhesive residue with kitchen roll until all traces of adhesive have been completely removed.
3) Shampoo the underside of your system to remove any trace of adhesive remover, then rinse thoroughly. It may be necessary to repeat this step a few times because any trace of adhesive or the remover will weaken the strength of subsequent bonding.
4) Wipe with Isopropyl alcohol as a final prep before re-bonding.
Cleaning your lace front
To clean the lace effectively, we use a technique called the ‘mirror slide’. It may sound rudimentary, but it's really effective at removing surface residue from the lace and is used widely within the professional hair replacement industry – a great insider tip.
1) Using any household mirror (we use a 1ft square mirror tile purchased from a DIY store), gently press the bottom of the lace (area to be cleaned) onto the upper section of the mirror.
2) Now gently slide the system towards you, over the entire length of the mirror. You should now notice the adhesive residue has deposited onto mirror.
3) Clean the adhesive residue off the mirror using an adhesive remover and then wipe isopropyl alcohol.
5) Repeat this process until the entire lace is clean.
NOTE: to avoid heavy residue deposits on the lace, we would recommend removing weekly, or bi-monthly - this will make clean-up so much easier and extended the life of the lace.
Taking care of your new hair is a very important part of the self maintenance process. Unlike natural growing hair, the hair used in hair replacement systems is no longer being nourished by your natural scalp oils. Therefore, it is important to regularly condition and moisturise the hair to ensure it remains soft.
Whilst you don’t necessarily have to purchase costly and/or specialist hair care products, you must, at the very least, take some time in selecting the right shampoo and conditioner for your hair system.
Whether in the chemist, supermarket or online, search for products with as many natural ingredients as possible, ideally paraben and SLS free (these, as such ingredients will dry your hair and strip colour prematurely.
It’s beneficial to source products specifically for coloured hair, as these can prolong and revive the hair system colour.
Do not wash your hair system too frequently: twice a week should suffice. And always follow your shampoo and condition with a UV protection spray, or leave-in conditioner.
When brushing your hair, don't pull or yank at any tangles as this may cause breakage, resulting in hair loss. Also, do not brush the hair vigorously when wet. Gently brush with a wide vent brush.
Hair system washing guidelines:
1) Apply a suitable shampoo to dry hair first. This will help remove any previous product build-up.
2) Wet hair with warm water.
3) Re-apply a small blob of shampoo, rinse, then apply a conditioner.
4) Once a week, leave your conditioner in for an extra few minutes, to allow for deeper conditioning and moisturising.
5) Once a month, use a deep-conditioning treatment, readily available in stores or online.
6) When complete, gently pat your hair dry.
7. You can blow-dry your hair system, as long as you have used a heat protection spray beforehand.
The hair used in your hair replacement system will have been coloured to precisely match your own natural colour, shade and tone.
Therefore, over time, the colour will fade. This is a natural process called oxidation, which essentially causes the breakdown of colour pigment by oxygen exposure. This is not something only experienced by hair system wearers. All coloured hair fades, which is why we suggest taking the following steps to prolong the colour’s vibrancy:
1) Wash and condition your hair with a colour protection product.
2) Twice a month, apply a deep-conditioning treatment.
3) Always spritz your hair with a UV protection spray.
4) Ideally, wear a hat in the sun. It's perfectly fine to go out in the sun, but if you want to maximise colour longevity, it is advisable to cover your hair.
5) Choose products with natural ingredients, free from sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and parabens, which strip colour prematurely.
6) Avoid clarifying products, as they speed up colour loss.
7) Use a heat-protection spray if blow-drying your hair.
8) If your hair has faded, you can safely re-colour it using leave-in colour conditioning treatments. If you would like further information on this, please contact a member of our team.
The general rule for hair system maintenance, is to look after the hair, as you would care for a baby. Always handle it gently and carefully to minimise any trouble!
If all this sounds a bit like hard work, and you’d rather pop on your hair system and not worry about looking after it correctly, you can sign-up to our pay monthly plan and receive bouncy new hair systems regularly throughout the year. The perfect solution to anyone wanting fuss-free hair.
If you would like advice further advice on how to look after your hair system, or guidence on which products may be best for you, please feel free to give us a call and we will happily guide you through the options.