If you’ve had cold fusion human hair extensions applied you know that they are beautiful, but also a lot of maintenance. I have had my Great Lengths hair extension in for two and a half months and I am ready to have them taken out. I thought for sure that I would have gotten a bit more wear out of them, since many salons and websites say with the proper care they can last you up to six months, but honestly I think three months is my breaking point. I have had mine in and truly enjoyed them, but there comes a point when they are just too grown out and all you want is to be able to run your fingers through your hair. I also miss the ability to just wash my hair and let it air dry or have it blow dry in under 15 minutes. Now that I am ready to get rid of my hair extensions I figured I would share with you the process and tips to remove your hair extensions yourself, at home.
First I will start by saying that my hair extensions were applied by a professional and she did a fantastic job with placing them and making them look very natural. My hair extensions were 18″ in length when they were first put in and then I had my hair cut and blended to about 16″. I wanted my hair long but not so long that it didn’t look blended and I also preferred them being cut and razored a bit to give them movement and layers. I had about 135 bonds placed in my hair that went from the nape of my neck to about 2 inches above my ears all around. Throughout the entire length of time that I have had my extensions in I have only lost 1-2 bonds. Sometimes they can just slip out if you use too much conditioner, don’t blow dry the bonds after washing or just every day wear and brushing can loosen some of the bonds. The bonds are very tight and secure, which is great for them to last, but when it came time to try to remove them I noticed it was going to be a lot more work than I thought.
Because your bonds are made of keratin and melted onto your hair they harden up quickly and grip your own hair in the bond. The only time the bond will ever get soft again is if you apply heat or acetone (like the kind uses to remove nail polish.) I read many articles on line that in order to loosen and break down the bond you will need:
What the extensions look like today:
I didn’t think my bonds would break down like they did. They started to have these tiny pieces of bond all around the roots of my hair. I assume this has to do with just brushing your hair and the natural break down of the bonds little by little, but I really think it looks bad when you can see the tiny flecks of bond, it almost can look like dandruff. I also don’t like how my hair looks at all when it’s wet, it looks pretty gross so I’m only showing these photos so you can see underneath how they looked after two and a half months. I was surprised to see just how much they broke down and wasn’t really that happy with how tangled they got between the bond and my scalp due to the hair growth.
My hair has about 1 and 1/2 inch of growth from the root of my hair to the bond attachment. I didn’t think that my hair would grow that fast but it grows about 1/2 inch a month so it sounds about right. It’s a bit uncomfortable now that there is a space of where my scalp is and the bond because as your hair grows out you can get tangles between the bond and your scalp. You also find that you snag you hair more with the growth because brushing your hair or running your fingers through it can get caught. I bought a special hair extension brush which has rounded teeth and doesn’t tug on the hair. With hair extensions applied you have to brush your hair a lot to prevent matting and tangles. I also used a special liquid on my bonds after I washed my hair, when it was still wet, to prevent the bond from breaking down or loosing. This product was by Great Lengths and called Anti Tap – I use this after I wash my hair and before blow drying it.
When you are ready to take your hair extensions out prepare for it to take a few hours. When I decided to take mine out I did like 10-15 each day because I had no patience to do it all in one shot. Each night I would take out more and more started with the bonds in the front first, then the sides and at the nape of my neck. This worked out and looked natural since I still had a lot of length and removing some didn’t make it look really thinned out and uneven. I wish it didn’t take so long to remove these or I would have liked to have just removed them all at once.
To Remove Cold Fusion Hair Extensions Step by Step:
- Wash your hair with shampoo and then apply a very heavy conditioner all over the bonds and a few drops of coconut oil as well. Let this sit on your hair over night and soak into your bonds. Do not dry your hair – you want the bonds to get very soft and easy to slip off
- Start with small sections and put the rest of your hair up and away in a bun or ponytail. I would do 5-10 in a section and work on those.
- Take a soft makeup brush and dip it into the acetone liquid and then paint the acetone right onto the bond, all over, coating all sides. Be careful not to get too much on your hairs or they get very dry and turn almost white (it goes away when you wash them though)
- Make sure the bond is coated well for about 10-15 seconds and then take a flat head pair of pliers and crush the bond for about 6-8 times to break down the bond
- Apply more acetone to get into the middle of the bond and repeat the crunching with the pliers
- Do this again and again until you start to see the bond fall apart, it make take a few cycles of this depending on how strong the acetone is and how hard the bond is
- Hold your hair at the root and with your other hand use your finds to slide the bond off of your hair. If it does not slide off easily do not rip it or pull it out, add more acetone and keep crunching
- Slide the bond off once it is loose enough and then use a fine tooth comb to brush out any left over bond residue
What I learned:
- they do NOT come out as easily as I thought they would, it took many cycles of the acetone and plier crunching to loosen those things up
- you do lose some of your own hair during the process. no matter how much you think you are loosening the bonds and doing it safely, anytime I looked at the bond after it was out of my hair I saw my own hair and cuticles (this made me sad)
- you really need strong acetone to loosen the bonds – regular drug store nail polish remover did nothing for my bonds
- you will feel like your hair is thinner – I don’t know if it’s because it did remove some of my own hair or if it is because I was so used to having such thick hair with the extensions in. I think it is a little bit of both
- it takes way too much time to take these things out. Even though I loved having long hair with my extensions it was a pain in the butt when the time came to remove them
- if I ever want longer hair again I will happily invest in a pair of very good human hair clip in extensions – put them in and take them out in seconds, much easier
- maintaining hair extensions takes work, patience and upkeep. You must blow dry them and the bonds every time you wash your hair and most of the time you have to curl your hair to make them look healthy and blended.
- they are a lot of work – and if you don’t have the patience to do your hair everyday, don’t even bother
- even though people say they “don’t cause damage” it’s not true. They do cause some amount of breakage and damage. you do lose some of your own hair with the removal no matter what.
- if you have thinning hair, I personally can’t imagine wanting to apply bonded extensions, especially if your hair breaks easily. my hair is normal thickness and even I felt like my hair got thinner
If you decide to invest in bonded hair extensions I would suggest you take the time to think about the commitment they require. I do love how they looked, but knowing the time it takes to remove them and then apply them if you want to do them again was just a bit too much for me. The hair itself never got damaged or ratty looking – the quality of Great Lengths hair is really the best so I do have to say that having them in for over two months didn’t effect how nice they looked. Once they were out my hair and scalp felt “free” and so much more natural. Even though my hair is not as long as it was before I don’t mind that one bit. Overall it was a great experience, I enjoyed having them in and appreciate the opportunity to have them done for me free of charge for a previous blog project, but I don’t see myself getting them put in again – at least not anytime soon.