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Hair Extensions 101 The Ultimate Guide

How to Start Using Hair Extensions Wisely

Maybe you want to experiment with a new look. Maybe you want to give your hair a rest. Maybe your hair is thinning and you want to give it a little extra oomph. Maybe you like flinging hair over your shoulders every once in a while. Why not? Go for it!

You’ll be in good company. Celebrities of almost every stripe all have experimented with hair extensions, weaves and wigs of all sorts. Long, thick, luscious hair is in. . . Women of all races and all hair types are demanding hair that’s long, longer, longest and thick, thicker, thickest. It doesn’t mean that they’re trying to be something they’re not. They just like having options. Like a hairbrush or a blow-dryer, weaves, wigs and extensions can be useful styling tools. A little artificial hair can let you try on a new look. If your hair is fragile, wearing a weave can protect it for awhile. It can give your locks some much-needed volume.

clip in hair extensions

There are so many options available now regarding cost and lifestyle, such as clip-in or tape-in extensions, heated seal applications, and/or bead attachments. . . all providing different effects, longevity and costs.

If you’re going to fake it, you’ve got to do it right. And doing it right means, above all, making sure that your natural hair is kept clean, conditioned and stress-free. So before you reach for that plug of hair, make sure that you do your homework. Read on, and I’ll tell you everything you need to know about hair extensions.

Clip-In Hair Extensions

Clip-in hair extensions just keep becoming more and more popular because of their ease and versatility. With clip-in hair extensions you can add hair just for one night, or add in a strand or two of a contrasting color just for fun. Clip-in hair extensions offer length and thickness those other types of hair extensions offer, but without the commitment of both money and time.

Ken Paves installs clip in hair extensions on Jessica Simpson

You can expect to pay around $100 for full clip-in hair extensions like Jessica Simpson and Ken Paves line called, HairDo. If you simply want to add in a strand or two of color, expect to pay about $10-$30 per color strand. Also, keep in mind that these prices are for synthetic hair extensions, which cannot be styled with heated styling tools or colored. For clip-in human hair extensions, expect to pay twice as much, if not more.

I recommend clip-in hair extensions to my clients who want longer, thicker hair for just one night or for occasional use. We get lots of requests for clip-in hair extensions at the shop just before prom. Clip-in hair extensions are ideal for creating new do’s for prom or anytime. They are affordable, easy to work with and can be used over and over again . . . that’s why they are my favorite!

 

weave before and after

Weave-In Hair Extensions

Weave-in hair extensions are most popular in the African-American community. Weave-in hair extensions have been around for such a long time. The way hair extensions are weaved in is that a portion or all of your natural hair is braided up and then a hair net is placed over the braided hair. The human hair is then weaved into or sewn into the braids or the hair net. This gives someone who doesn’t have ideal hair naturally the opportunity to have the illusion of long, thick, silky hair.

Weave-in hair extensions vary so greatly in prices depending on the cost of the hair, how much hair you are using and the cost that the hairdresser charges you for the service. They can run from the high hundreds to even a few thousand dollars!

fusion hair extension

Fusion Hair Extensions

This video helps to explain the fusion hair extension technique. This is a natural looking style using human hair extensions. Bonded to your natural hair, these human hair extensions are bonded with a wax based bond. The benefits of these extensions are that they are virtually undetectable. You can’t see where they are attached and they blend well with your own hair. Fusion hair extensions are quite costly and can cost upwards of $650. However, these extensions last about 3-4 months, so the cost might be well worth it for some.

 

Hair Weaves

Handle With Care

It’s important to know how to care for your investment, here are some helpful tips to help you accomplish that goal.

  • Don’t Shampoo as often ~~ No massaging at the scalp. Instead, glide your fingers over the scalp gently. You can use conditioner, but only through the ends and not where they extension has been attached. Skip a day of wet shampooing and use a dry shampoo in between.
  • Use Conditioner Carefully ~~ Conditioners should never be sprayed near the attachment such as the scalp area because it can loosen it. Try Simply Smooth Keratin Replenishing Magic Potion to maintain the quality of the hair extensions. At night, put your hair into a loose braid so it doesn’t tangle.
  • Comb and Brush With Care ~~ I recommend picking up the hair in your hands into a ponytail and comb from the bottom up. . . never combing at the scalp area.
  • Blow Dry With Ease ~~ Use only boar-bristle brushes as they are more gentle.
  • Watch The Heat When Flat Ironing ~~ Be sure not to have the temperature too high. I suggest 375 degrees . . . depending upon the hair texture.

  



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The Art of Hair Extensions; Find Out How

We Are Not The First Generation to Embrace Hair Extensions

Let’s face it. We’ve been helping out Mother Nature since time began. Think about it. In ancient Egypt with Cleopatra and her pals, elaborate wigs were all the rage. In other parts of Africa, from BCE to A.D., women used whatever it took, wool, leaves, cotton to add length to their beautiful braids. On these shores our Revolutionary War grandmothers wore animal hair powdered white and piled high atop their heads.

We’re still doing it . . . Except that now we’ve got an attitude about it. Piling on some store-bought hair is seen as a cop-out, the last province of the pretentious. But as I see it, there’s nothing wrong with gilding the lily. Maybe you want to experiment with a new look. Maybe you want to give your hair a rest. Maybe your hair is thinning and you want to give it a little extra oomph. Maybe you like flinging hair over your shoulders every once in a while. Why not? Go for it.

Hair Extension Tips

Hair extensions give women the ability to have gorgeous, long hair in an hour or less. Sounds like a dream come true! In many ways extensions are, but they need to be selected and managed carefully. That’s where a good professional comes in. While it’s possible to do extensions yourself, it is not recommended. You can end up wasting money and becoming the butt of jokes. Going to a salon ensures that your extension will look natural and makes a positive enhancement to your beauty arsenal.

Your Choices

  • Methods of Attachment ~~ There are several ways the salon can attach the extensions – with clips, caps, keratin and with sewing to your existing hair itself. Extensions with clips can be taken down or modified anytime. If you have chosen the caps method or the sewing method, these extensions require maintenance every month. If you have chosen the keratin option you need to know that they are inserted for 5-6 months and then maintenance is needed as well. The most harmless method is using clips. These are tic tac barrettes with silicon parts which are sewn to the strand and then the strands are connected to the hair.
  • Human Hair or Synthetic Hair ~~ Also, it’s important to consider whether you prefer real or synthetic hair. Real hair is much more expensive than the synthetic hair, but it’s much more durable and easier to maintain. Extensions made of real hair can be treated in any way you would your natural hair – with a flat iron, curling, hair dryer, or diffuser. And can be even dyed unlike synthetic hair.
  • Hair Types ~~ Hair extensions can be obtained in a variety of different hair types. Be sure to ask your stylist about what options they would recommend to most effectively match your existing natural hair type.
  • Size and Strand Count ~~Consider your different size options as well. The most preferred in our salon are 50-55sm and 65sm. If you have elected to use extensions with strands, you will need 120-150grams of hair depending on how thick your hair is. But if you go with keratin strands, we recommend using 150-200 extension pieces.

 

Lauren Conrad hair extension tips

Keeping Your Hair Extensions Beautiful

Now you have beautiful, long hair! Here are some tips on how to keep it looking gorgeous.

  • Combing Your Hair ~~ Combing should be done regularly, and you need to use the appropriate tool. The brush should be soft to allow gentle combing of the hair in order to prevent tearing and thinning from the frequent usage. Start from the hair ends, as you would do with your natural hair, detangle first this zone and then move to the next hair levels. Be careful with the extensions as excessive pulling could lead to tearing which can transform your marvelous and soft hair into something less desirable.
  • Shampooing ~~ Washing your extensions is important for maintaining them as long as possible, and there are several rules to follow to be sure your hair extensions will look good. First, detangle before the shampoo, second, use a good shampoo and third (and perhaps the most important) – do it slowly and carefully.
  • Drying Your Hair Extensions ~~ Leave your extensions to dry naturally. After washing your hair, put the layers on a towel or hang them and let them dry naturally. Keep in mind that the direct sunlight or the hair dryer is not recommended. If you have time, avoid drying with a flat iron or a hairdryer in order to keep your extensions in perfect condition for as long as possible.

Ponytail Extension

There’s something very seductive about instantly acquiring a massive mane; it can make you feel like Miss Glamorous. If you’re going to fake it, you’ve got to do it right. And doing it right means, above all, making sure that your natural hair is kept clean, conditioned and stress-free. Hopefully this article will help you accomplish that end.

Claudia
Contributing author Claudia Egnal has been in the beauty industry for nearly 30 years. With a wide array of cutting and coloring skills, she specializes in hair extensions, color, highlights and cutting. Her newest salon, JULDAN, opened in JULY 2012 and continues to grow due to the talent of her diverse staff and team. Connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.

 



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Hair Weaves: How to do them safely

Hair Weaves

Done Right, Hair Weaves Need Not End in Hair Damage

By guest contributor Yanie Sesay

Hollywood has started toward calling hair weaves free flow hair extensions. The reasoning behind this is simply the fact that extensions have evolved in recent years to a less bulky method.

Unfortunately, many people are unaware that recent improvements in the techniques of hair weaving that have made them very wearable. In the past hair weaves got a bad rap, simply because they weren’t installed properly or because there is a common misconception that they are only for African-Americans. African-Americans actually have the finest hair of all (just simply a lot of it) and had turned to braiding their hair to facilitate growth without excessive maintenance.

A large percentage of extension wearers suffer from male/female patterned hair loss, alopecia, trichotillomania, hormonal hair loss or have recently finished chemotherapy treatments.

To attach the curtain of human hair onto your own hair one must first have a buffer in between so nothing is being attached directly onto your hair. This buffer is synthetic hair; it is used to create the braid only pulling tiny pieces of your own hair into the braid. Now this is where it gets a little more scientific. Everyone’s parting is completely different, due to your head shape, patterns of hair loss and lifestyle. The position of braid installation can even come down to whether or not you wear sunglasses!

Side by side before and after pictures of installation of hair weaves

One thing that must always common denominator is that all the parting must be square! This means that all of the tension points are 100% equal, because the braids are in a rectangle formation. Unfortunately you cannot have 100% tension points with fusion or singles, unless you are measuring a square in between each bundle of hair installed, if so, this process would take days!

Also, with fusions and singles you are using bonds, rubber bands, glues or adhesives! Upon removal, that’s when the most damage is done, as heat, razors, acetone removal solution or extreme pulling must be used to take these out. At this point you’re losing handfuls of hair each time you remove them, not to mention the fact that you are unable to reuse that hair, which isn’t exactly cost-effective.

With free flow extensions, only thread and synthetic hair are used, so upon removal you aren’t losing any extra hair as all a hair stylist has to do is cut out the thread and take out the braid, whilst keeping the curtain of human hair intact. Because of this, many celebrities and avid extension wearers are able to maintain their extensions for decades at a time and still have their hair in excellent condition.

Guest contributor Yanie Sesay is a hair stylist who specializes in installing free flow extensions with Mohair Extensions in Vancouver, BC you can follow her on Twitter and FaceBook.

 



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