Hair extensions are techniques used in lengthening hair through addition of extra lengths and breadth to the volume of your current hair. It is now possible to add onto the length of the hair, volume and the thickness, color, highlights as well as low lights in order to develop a multi dimensional look, mostly for those for those avoiding chemical treatments.
As salon professionals, we endeavor to learn as much as possible on various hair extensions that will address our customers’ needs and hair concerns. We never limit ourselves to one brand or type because not all extensions work for everyone. We consider clients budget and finances so having different types of techniques gives us an opportunity to work within our customer’s budget.
As designers, we experiment and educate ourselves on various styles of hair extensions to find out the best for our clients, since each customer has their own unique requirements. Below are some of the techniques that are applied.
Sew In: This is a cost effective technique where the hair is first braided to create the base where the wefts will then be sewn for attachment. This technique may not be appealing to everyone but does best on ethnique hair. The style is easy to maintain and easily removed and work well on hair types that can withstand the stresses of braiding and weight of the additional extensions. It requires regular retightening 3 or 4 months depending on the re growth. It is available in different types, colors and textures, and the customer has a wide choice based on quality and budget.
Clip-Ins, Head Bands as well as Other Extension Types : Clip-ins’ are hair wefts held by a clip while headbands hold hair through micro string or wire. These products come in various sizes as well as different colors and customer can choose from this variety. These extensions are best suited for people seeking a special look for an event and want to avoid regular hair maintenance. With a good stylist, they take short time to complete and easily add to the length and hair volume. They are well matched to various colors, textures, and come in varying price range. The extensions are also available with synthetic hair but these are not highly recommended. Real hair is the best due to the final look it produces: even though it is slightly expensive, the long-term benefits are obvious. Also the real hair is easier to handle using heat and never tangles up. The halos can temporarily serve as substitutes for clip ins and are suited to customers looking for volume and length of hair. They are also good for hair that cannot withstand stress. These halos have a hidden micro string /wire attached to the hair. The weight of your own hair is used to keep it secured on your head. It is also easy to attach and only takes a short time to install.
Top Pieces: These are specially designed for people experiencing loss of hair or thinning hair around the top of the head. They serve to create a camouflage through addition of thickness and volume at the affected areas. The top pieces that we have used have clip, tape in, micro bead or keratin band attached to your hair to keep it in place. They require regular retightening for proper maintenance. “Hot heads” hair wear is among my favorite volume addition solution. It is available in various types depending on the customer needs and the hair condition.
Micro link: They are also referred to as locks or micro beads. They are also easy to install as well as take off and they are useful in volume and length addition. It is often referred as a cold method as there is never glue nor heat used in application. For usage, silicon beads are used to attach the hair strands to the extension. It is important not to use the micro link together with conditioners and oil based products especially near the beads to avoid slipping of the hair extensions. I usually recommend customers to have them until they are ready for removal. Clients may however come for tidying up, especially for hair caught in between beads or that which has shed off.
Tape In: They can also be used for length but are mostly intended for volume as well as thickness. They are also easy to install and for good maintenance, the user needs to have it removed and reinstalled every six to ten weeks. A tape is used in their application and your hair is fitted in the middle of two wefts to make a strong seal. Also due to hair slipping, it is important not to use strong conditioners and oil based products. Proper drying is crucial for the quality and lifespan of the hair extensions. The favorite tapes in the market are hot heads and brijon extensions as they have stronger tapes and never slip.
Fusion: This is also a method of adding thickness, volume as well as length. It can either be cold or hot fusion and is applied on keratin single keratin bonds. It can lead to significant stressing on the hair hence not suited for damaged hair. It takes a relatively longer time to install up to 5 hours and has a lifespan ranging from 4 to six months. This also depends on the individual’s hair texture. It is more costly than other techniques unless its knock off hair.
Micro-Link Weft Hair Extensions: In this technique, the weft is attached between the beads or cylinders, which are clamped to the base of the hair. The style can last from three to four months and is best for someone who is looking for utmost thickness, volume as well as length and suits best for people with thick and course hair.
Normally, most hair extensions are not damaged if they are installed and removed well. There is no damage to hair and scalp as long as proper care is exercised. It is important to have proper knowledge of your type of hair, texture, density, and length before determining the technique to use.
Where Do You Get The Hair?
The best and original human hair comes from India and Europe.
Can My Hair Color And Texture Be Matched?
Yes. Hair arrives in a wide variety of colors and textures. These various colors are well blended to create very good effect.
Are Hair Extensions Good For Me?
The best thing about Hair extensions is that the can be used by everybody. There are some factors that could make them unsuitable such as hair loss and damaged hair. You must also be committed to maintain your extensions, as they require much more care than your natural hair.
Do I Need To Consult A Hair Designer?
Yes. It is very important to have a professional advise you on your type of hair, texture, color, hair density, types and quantity of extensions suited for you, technique that will best suit your lifestyle, budget as well as any other important details that will help you achieve the desired look.
How Long Does the Extension Last?
It all depends on how well you maintain your hair. Extensions can last up to six months if proper maintenance has been done. It is imperative to follow the after care program provided by your designer and this will affect the total lifespan of your extensions.
Will Hair Extensions Damage My Hair?
No! The most important thing is to ensure that they have been regularly maintained and they can last for years. This includes proper washing, and proper adjustment in every 2-3 months. They never cause hair breakage and any lost hair is a result of daily shedding. It is known that people lose 92-110 pieces of hair daily and they get stuck in the extensions. When these extensions are done properly, no damage will happen. It is however, recommended to consult a designer to advise you on techniques best suited for your type of hair, needs and cost of each extension.
Does Hair Extension Hurt?
NO. Properly installed hair extensions will never hurt. Some people experience mild headaches and discomfort for some days but these go away when they get accustomed to the weight of the newly installed hair.
How Are They Applied?
They are applied in various different ways such as tape- in or headband, hot fusion, laser beam hair extensions/cold fusion, Micro beads, hair piercing extensions, and microlink wefts hair extensions. There are various advantages and disadvantages for each method. Several factors affect the choice of method such as hair type, lifestyle, budget, and personal needs.
Many salonists promote one style as the best, but this is never the case. Different styles will fit different individuals depending on the above factors. These stylists have not put in adequate time, research and training on the various styles available. Before proceeding with hair extension, always consult with a qualified stylist who has experience in all the three major application methods: that is the micro bead, fusion and tape-in.
How Do I Prepare For Appointment?
The hair should always be clean and dry with no products applied such as oils, stylers or even conditioners. This is very important to make the extension as long lasting as possible.
How long does it take?
This process can take anything between two to eight hours and depends on your desired look and extension chosen.
What Is The Cost Of The Extension?
The final cost is affected by many factors such as brand, color, type of extension, length volume and hair condition. The typical cost range is $350 - $950 or more. These are discussed well during the consultation session because after settling on your style, the hair is ordered specifically for you.
Can I Use Same Treatment Like Before?
You will be advised on the correct maintenance items and products such as conditioners, brushes, and products. Always follow the recommendations of your stylist. Additional care may be required for the best extensions and this is explained during consultation. Poor maintenance leads to loss of the hair extensions and hence more frequent visits to the salon. This further adds to total cost as more time will be required to bring your hair back to shape.
Should I Swim Or Go To The Beach?
Extensions can be affected by chlorine or salty water and extra caution must be exercised to avoid tangling, drying out and damages. It is recommended to spray a product like “moisture mist by bio mega” or “conditioning spray” from Enjoy before going to swim. These form a protective layer that helps prevent salt damage, chlorine and effect of other chemicals. They also protect from ultraviolet rays. It is always crucial to use the correct hair care products and follow the recommendations from your stylist.
Can I Take Part In Physical Activities Like Tennis, Running Or Workouts?
Extra precautions are required. The recommended Ultra violet products must be used. It is always important to brush, wash and condition the hair as soon as possible after intense physical activity.
Can My Hair Be Colored Along With Extensions?
This should never be a problem. In most cases, you might need to replace the extensions when changing to another color since they may not perfectly match the new color of your normal hair.
Some of the Extensions Come Off, Is This Normal?
Over time, the extensions may get loose and come off. However, with regular good maintenance, the extensions will last longer. Most stylists will add other extensions to cover for those lost. If you had micro beads and tape-ins’, the falling extensions can be kept and re attached on the next salon visit. Fusion extensions are not re used and therefore should be discarded.
What Follow Up Appointments Are Required?
The type of extension and the level of care given determine the follow up program required. Regular maintenance as per the recommendations will reduce the total appointments while poor care may require regular maintenance of hair.