Hair Extension Specialist
── holiday aftercare ──
everything you need to know about
looking after your hair extensions if you are going abroad or live in a hard water area
(if you are an existing client currently wearing our hair extensions please click this link to our exclusive access page with further in depth, educational information on the topics discussed on this page.
At home or abroad
Hair Extensions are a commitment and require additional time dedicated to aftercare. This will ensure your natural hair also remains in healthy condition during wear.
Following our recommended guidelines will ensure problem free wear and help maintain the lifespan of your hair extensions and protect & preserve your natural hair.
Firstly you need to understand the elements in water, not solely if you are travelling abroad but also here in the UK and how chemicals and products which react to those elements can cause your extensions to change colour, become dry & brittle, create matting or cause your attachments to break down.
In a hotter climate or holiday your hair is likely to be exposed to sun & heat, chlorinated pool, sea salt and minerals in the water as well as ingredients in some products you may be using, particularly sunscreens.
Here are the guidelines & products we recommend for trouble free extension wear whilst on holiday or live in a hard water area.
Use the following procedure in addition to your regular aftercare routine:
Your attachments are also at higher risk of breakdown due to hard water & chemical exposure, hotter climate and prolonged wet / damp hair and daily washing.
COPPER LOCKS & RINGS:
Tape Extensions are not suitable for clients who regularly swim or exposed to high humidity, hotter climates.
Hard Water has a higher pH level which can attribute to attachment breakdown.
Hair Extensions which have an adhesive bond are at the most risk.
This can be combatted by ensuring the recommended pH balancing shampoo and conditioner are used to neutralise the effects.
One of the main causes of matting is hair being tied up when wet or sleeping with wet / damp hair.
The presence of heavy mineral deposits will weigh the hair down, cause it to bunch together when wet, making it tangled and difficult to brush.
It is so important that the hair is thoroughly brushed before putting up and when taken down and washed & dried ASAP after contact with pool / sea water or heavy head sweating.
If you are in the UK you can check the hardness of your water by looking at our Water Hardness Map.
IYou can also purchase water testing kits to use at home or f you are travelling abroad to determine whats hidden in the water your hair will be exposed to.
Hard water contains hidden natural minerals which can be absorbed into the hair through a chemical reaction known as 'Oxidation'
Oxidation put simply is 'the addition of oxygen'
Almost all elements (water, sun or air) react with oxygen to form compounds called Oxides.
A typical example of oxidation is the rusting and corrosion of iron.
In moderate amounts oxidisers can cause discolouration or loss of hair colour. Great amounts will cause it damage and breakage
Oxygen in air & water coupled with heat & light from sun exposure (UVA & UVB light) can accelerate oxidation.
Minerals enter the water by ground or surface water.
Ground water comes from under the ground. Both domestic & community wells derive their water from rain passing through aquifers which are layers of minerals.
Surface water comes from rivers or lakes & usually contains fewer minerals because the water has not filtered down through mineral layers. Unfortunately increasing populations are polluting the water which causes additional bacterial growth. This growth is controlled at treatment facilities by adding Chlorine to kill bacteria & then adding Lime (a claim compound to help control chlorine levels.
The following lists the natural minerals found in Hard Water and what effect they have on the hair when oxidised.
Further information on our EXCLUSIVE ACCESS page
hard water areas of the uk
Bath - Hard
Birmingham - Medium/Hard
Blackburn - Soft
Blackpool - Soft
Bolton - Soft
Bournemouth - Hard
Bradford - Soft
Brighton - Hard
Bristol - Hard
Bromley - Hard
Cambridge - Hard
Canterbury - Hard
Carlisle - Hard/Soft
Chelmsford - Hard
Chester - Soft/Hard
Cleveland [Teesside] - Soft
Colchester - Hard
Coventry - Hard
Crewe - Soft
Croydon - Hard
Darlington - Soft
Dartford - Hard
Derby - Hard/Soft
Doncaster - Hard
Dorchester - Hard
Dudley - Medium
Durham - Soft
Enfield - Hard
Exeter - Soft
Gloucester - Medium
Guildford - Hard
Halifax - Soft
Harrogate - Soft
Harrow - Hard
Hemel Hempstead - Hard
Hereford - Medium
Huddersfield - Soft
Hull - Hard
Ilford - Hard
Ipswich - Hard
Kingston upon Thames - Hard
Lancaster - Soft
Leeds - Hard/Soft
Leicester - Hard
Lincoln - Hard
Liverpool - Soft
London E - Hard
London EC - Hard
London N - Hard
London NW - Hard
London SE - Hard
London SW - Hard
London W - Hard
London WC - Hard
Luton - Hard
Manchester - Soft
Medway / Rochester - Hard
Milton Keynes - Hard
Newcastle upon Tyne - Hard
Northampton - Hard
Norwich - Hard
Nottingham - Hard
Oldham - Soft
Oxford - Hard
Peterborough - Hard
Plymouth - Soft
Portsmouth - Hard
Preston - Soft
Reading - Hard
Redhill - Medium
Romford - Hard
Salisbury - Hard
Sheffield - Hard
Slough - Hard
Southall Uxbridge - Hard
Southampton - Hard
Southend-on-Sea - Hard
St Albans - Hard
Stevenage - Hard
Stockport - Soft
Stoke-on-Trent - Hard
Sunderland - Hard
Sutton - Hard
Swindon - Hard
Taunton - Medium
Telford - Hard
Tonbridge - Hard
Torquay - Soft
Truro - Soft
Twickenham - Hard
Wakefield - Hard
Walsall - Medium
Warrington - Soft
Watford - Hard
Wigan - Soft
Wolverhampton - Hard
Worcester - Medium
York – Hard
Cardiff - Soft
Llandrindod Wells - Medium
Llandudno - Soft/Medium
Newport - Medium
Swansea - Soft
Shrewsbury - Medium
Aberdeen - Soft
Dundee - Soft
Dumfries & Galloway - Soft
Edinburgh – Soft/Medium
Falkirk & Stirling - Soft
Glasgow - Soft
Galashiels - Soft
Inverness - Soft
Kilmarnock - Soft
Kirkwall - Soft
Kirkcaldy - Soft
Motherwell - Soft
Paisley - Soft
Perth - Soft
Further information on Hard Water measurements can be found on our EXCLUSIVE ACCESS page
It is also found in many other products offering UVA protection such as moisturisers, shampoos, conditioners, foundation, concealers, lip balm, sun protection spray for hair and its even found in perfume.
Avobenzone in suncream causes discolouration of clothing. White clothes in particular you will notice that horrible pink / orange staining.
When hair comes into contact with Avobenzone and hard water a chemical reaction occurs which causes iron to bind to the hair.
This will turn blonde hair an orange / pink tone or dark hair duller and darker.
Due to the way hair extensions are processed they are naturally more porous, so the colour change will be visible quicker than in the natural hair.
The reaction will depend on the level of iron present and the amount of exposure, so discolouration may happen gradually over time or instantly.
It will only occur in the areas that have come into contact with Avobenzone so explains why only the tips of a ponytail experience change as the ends are what brush the shoulders.
Or around the hair line or face where moisturisers, foundations or suncream are applied. Or sunscreens are sprayed on the face.
This image credit to Victoria Lynch, MD of Remi Cachet. The results of physical testing of hair extensions coated in different brand & factor sunscreens and exposed to water from various locations globally. The colour change is distinct between the original colour and the exposed bundle.
Always check the products you use on your hair do not contain Avobenzone
Avobenzone is also known as:
This is also used in sunscreens and usually paired with Avobenzone.
It is also a major factor in discolouration of hair extensions due to a chemical process that occurs when it absorbs UV rays. It is only safe for use if there is less than 10% in the sunscreen formula.
The higher the amount in sunscreen the higher a chance of discolouration through iron absorption.
Octocryline is also known as:
Discolouration of blonde hair extensions was widely reported by hair extension professionals around the world. It was occurring with several different brands.
Determined to establish the exact cause and to find a remedy, hair testing and a long academic study began.
It was here the connection to sunscreen and the presence of Avobenzone was made.
Abigail began the theory and study of the scientific causes through chemical processes.
She also began testing hair in which discolouration had occurred for ways to treat & effectively remove the pink / orange tone.
In early 2016 their early findings were released and the recommendation of the MalibuC products was launched as an effective product in the prevention and rectification of discoloured hair extensions.
This is now common knowledge throughout the industry.
In continuation of this study, Victoria took bundles of blonde extensions and began exposing them to elements associated with holidays.
These physical tests continued in several locations worldwide.
She documented each exposure, the brands of sunscreen used & their SPF ratings.
These were exposed to different water sources and the water was tested for the elements it contained.
The degree of discolouration, the timescale it took to occur etc were all documented and the results relayed to Abigail to establish all the links.
In 2019 Abigail wrote a Harvard referenced scientific study which established the exact cause & chemical processes attributed to the discolouration of blonde extensions.
It was revealed to all Remi Cachet SuperStylists. Each signed a Non Disclosure Agreement and the report has never been released to the public.
Iron will slowly cause hair to tint darker, add weight to the hair & prevent proper chemical processing (hair colouring, perming & relaxing)
Heavy amounts of iron will tint light coloured hair orange and cause darker hair to become darker with red highlights.
In this image (sideways view) you can see the discolouration through the mid lengths and ends of the hair. This is a common area for hair discolouration. When the hair is tied up it brushes the shoulders coming into contact with sunscreen on the shoulders and back of the neck. When exposed to hard water the chemical reaction occurs resulting in the iron deposits reflecting their colour (orange)
Our Ultra Locks, Mini Locks, Nano rings & Micro Rings are all made from copper and coated in paint.
When these are regularly left in a damp environment a green reside begins to form on the lock / ring. This is a perfect physical example of oxidation. The constant moisture over a prolonged period of time, once in contact with the oxygen in the air causes oxidation to occur.
Oxidation of copper produces 'Verdigris'
a natural patina that forms. This can be seen on the copper water pipes throughout your home. Perfect example is all over The Statue of Liberty.
Mineralised calcium is also naturally found in the ground, especially where limestone is present.
Calcium will build up on the hair leaving it feeling dry and weighted down.
Calcium salts build up on the scalp & cause flaking, often recognised as dandruff.. These deposits are much like the ring that forms around the bath associated with hard water & soap.
Hard water makes shampoo less effective (remember the bottle image) Leaving build up and residue on the scalp.
A build up of calcium on the scalp can clog the hair follicle causing hair to break off, Heavy clogging can inhibit hair growth.
Desalinated water is used in many places of the world but is most common in the Middle East & the Arabian Gulf. (Saudis Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar & Bahrain)
Desalination is the procedure of of eliminating salt from seawater to produce drinking water.
Sea pollution causes contamination and additional bacterial growth.
The processing plants purify the water by adding higher levels of chlorine to kill the bacteria & then add lime (which is a calcium compound) to assist with controlling the chlorine levels.
So if you are travelling to any location that uses desalinated water bare in mind the water you are washing your hair with will have higher levels of chlorine and if you are also swimming in pool water this will have additional chlorine.
Further information on the effects of Calcium and water sources & processing can our EXCLUSIVE ACCESS page
Calcium and Magnesium are the two most common minerals that make water "hard" Water hardness becomes greater when the level of Calcium and Magnesium content increases. The effect on the hair is due to to the concentration of positively charged ions allowing it to attach to the hair.leaving it dry and weighted down.
Further information on the effects of Magnesium can be found our EXCLUSIVE ACCESS page
Chlorine is the main chemical additive which is added to water. Primarily these which are designed to purify the water & kill bacteria.
Bromine is sometimes used as a substitute for Chlorine. This will react with the cuticle, the natural layer protecting the internal proteins within the hair, leaving it exposed to mineral absorption
The water content of your hair its what makes it stretchy and moisturised.
Salt (Sodium) is osmotic , which means it will draw the moisture from your hair leaving it dry & brittle.
Sweat is mainly made of water & electrolytes (sodium & choride)
In hotter climates your body will sweat more naturally.
Salt leads to the breakdown of keratin hair extension bonds if excessively exposed.
Salt is Hygroscopic. It attracts water to your hair creating salt crystals, this in turn draws moisture from inside the hair strand. causing dehydration. making it more fragile and prone to breakage.
Further Information on the effects of salt can be found on our EXCLUSIVE ACCESS page
Waterborne Silica can build up on the hair causing the same effects as calcium. - dryness, stiffness, dandruff weigh the hair down.
Further information on Silica can be found on our EXCLUSIVE ACCESS page
If the products used or water is too alkaline this will cause the cuticle (the outer layer) to open. This will enable mineral deposits to easily penetrate and be absorbed.
If products used following mineral exposure are too acidic the cuticle will close, sealing the mineral deposits making them difficult to remove.
Hard water is high in pH alkaline.
Hard Water discolouration due to mineral deposits is different to colour fade.
The high pH imbalance causes the cuticle to raise, thus resulting in faster colour fade allowing the colour to stripped from the hair faster.
Also the use of '"No Tears" formula childrens / baby shampoo will accelerate colour fade as these have a higher pH level . This will accelerate colour fade as these have a high pH
A raised cuticle due to high pH will be roughened and also prone to matting.
Further information on the effects of pH levels can be found on our EXCLUSIVE ACCESS page
There are many shower head filters on the market which are a great investment for very little cost. We recommend one that filters Chlorine & Heavy Metals.
Check out www.pureshowers.co.uk
Further information on all types of water softeners and filtration systems and the effect on hair can be found on our EXCLUSIVE ACCESS page
malibu C hard water shampoo
*Recommended to regular swimmers if living in a hard water area.
malibu C hard water conditioner
* Do not apply to the root or attachment area
*Recommended to regular swimmers if living in a hard water area.
Click here to check the water in your area.
malibu c hard water remedy
*Use immediately if discolouration occurs
*May need more than one application for severe discolouration or an in salon Malibu C Crystal Gel treatment
*We recommend one sachet per 50g of hair extensions fitted.
*Recommended to regular swimmers living in a hard water area
Click here to check the water in your area.
malibu C undo goo shampoo
malibu C miracle repair
malibu c crystal gel
Malibu C Crystal Gel Treatment is an in salon treatment that removes mineral deposits from the hair.
This treatment is recommended for our blonde clients who have experienced orange / pink discolouration whilst on holiday caused by iron deposits and a sunscreen chemical reaction.
(See Holiday Aftercare)
The treatment involves a heat cap to activate the ingredients and is finished using Malibu C Miracle Repair Intensive Conditioning Treatment.
malibu C hard water test kit
Simply add water and compare results with the comprehensive Water Analysis Guide.
water test kit