Transitioning & Matting
I've been transitioning for over about 3 months and recently i installed hair extensions, when i took them out I noticed the obvious tangles and shredding that normally happens. It wasn't until i finished pre-pooing my hair with Pantene co-wash conditioner, olive oil, and camille rose moisturizer that I came across serious matting. well more so knots and excessive breakage. this continued throughout shampooing and deep conditioning. My hair is also dry. I've been washing and taking care of my hair while they were in the extension plats, so the hair shouldn't be too unhealthy. I'm at my wits end, does anyone know if this normal or what can I do to solve this problem?
How long did you keep the extensions in? Some times when you keep them in for too long your hair can seriously mat up. I'm talking like 3-4 months or something. Your generally supposed to keep extensions in from 4-6 weeks, 8 if you're being lazy. Also fully wetting your hair while they're in extensions can cause your hair to tangle and in the end cause matting. Not to say that you shouldn't wash your hair at all but not as often and when you do concentrate more on your scalp. In between washes you can use a dry shampoo and a wet wash cloth to clean your scalp and the rest of the hair. Since you're transitioning your hair is more prone to tangles anyways so you need to be extremely gentle when detanlging especially around the line of demarcation.I experienced serious matting years ago when I took extension out after keeping them in too long and not properly detangling before introducing any of water to my hair. The water actually made my hair curl up and tangle around each other causing the matting.Now I thoroughly and gently finger detangle my hair in 6 sections with an oil mix. The oil helps loosen any shed hair that's built up under the extensions. I let the oil sit in my hair over night. The next day I add a conditioner to each section and lightly finger detangle to get rid of more shed hair. Then I go about my "after long term protective style wash day routine" which would include a clarifying shampoo or mud mask, wash out conditioner, protein treatment and moisturizing deep conditioner. My longest wash day is always after I take out extensions.*Takes deep breath* I hope this helps. Good luck!
I had the exact same issue with my box braids. I took them out and they didn't look any more tangled than they should. But the thing is with protective styles, its always guaranteed that there's extra shed hair, even though you may not be able to see it. When I shampooed, I noticed that my ends were in serious knots and when I googled I found out you're supposed to thoroughly detangle after any long term protective style before you do any wetting to your hair to get the hidden shed hairs out, because when you wet it, your hair will shrink with all the shed hairs in it causing matting. I hope yours isn't as severe as mine was, but just be patient with it. Make a really slippy mixture of conditioner and oil and carefully go through the knots and gently try to free as many strands as you can from the knot. NEVER TUG. My deknotting took an entire day, so just be really patient.