Hair Extensions Everything You Need To Know

Excerpt from Hair Matters Podcast Episode 1

To listen to our podcast Click Here:  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/hair-matters-featuring-hair-extensions-everything-you/id1464075880?i=1000438292440

I want to discuss different  types of hair extensions, types of hair quality, hair extension myths, caring for hair extensions and all you need to know whether you want extensions, wear extensions or are looking to get into the business of extensions. 

History

25 years ago you were either wearing a weave or we used to make hair extensions individually with a sticky glue “monkey glue” and melt the glue into hair.  The business has evolved so much so that it has become a multi-billion dollar industry.  But it is not without its problems, we will be talking about hair quality and where extensions are derived from - possibly Cadavers!  

 

Types of Extensions

 

  • Clips injure hair follicle
  • Too heavy
  • Bellami tons of hair and clients come in with 3 strands left
  • Amazon sells cheap synthetic hair that will go up in flames  

 

Tape Hair Extensions

 

Keratin Bond Extensions

Keratin bonding is a polymer made similarly to the molecular structure of hair and when heated melts into the hair as well as expands and contracts like our own hair.  Simply removed with an alcohol based solution. Really not meant to be reused.

I love them because they hang independently and freely like our own hair - 25 strands (1g) per 40 strands of our own hair.  Must be applied perfectly to avoid breakage, don’t watch youtube and have a friend apply them!

(talk about the disaster)  one client used a hot glue gun and attempted to have her boyfriend add hair extensions to her hair - not only did her hair break off and his hand received 2nd degree burns!  

We  shed: 100 strands a day trapped in any type of extension must be removed 

Not reusable, but most do not want to reuse after 5 month

Micro Links/Hair Locs

Micro link Hair Extensions

Applied individually with a little tube made of either copper or aluminum (some are plastic composite) thread the link through clients hair, add the pre-bonded i-tip and clamp the link closed

Lots more maintenance, must be applied properly, a bit painful, the link is not pliable, they can slip.  I like them on thicker hair - but they are generally moved up every 6 to 8 weeks. Most of our clients reuse about 50% of their extensions depending on how well they are maintained, but they like to add fresh hair because the bonds sheds.  It really depends on your budget.

 

Hand tied or Linked in Weaves.

 

Hand tied hair is type of process of tying hair onto a weft - hand tied is literally hand tied and I find the hair to be better quality, the weft is much smaller like a medium sized piece of thread.  You can add many more tracks since the weft is not bulky. Unlike machine sewn tracks they offer more hair and better quality. I like to look at the hair extensions from roots to ends and there should be a minor taper at the ends.  Some Alibaba, amazon hair have such stringy ends that you need a lot of extensions to achieve a natural look.

Hand tied tracks/wefts can be applied like a typical weave sewn into a braid, or we prefer to attach them with micro links since there is far less tension on the hair follicles.  For added security you can sew through the links before clamping them shut!

 

Hand hair extensions

Tape hair

1.5 inch in width by whatever length you choose pressed into hair.  They are moved up every 6 to 8 weeks depending on how quickly hair grows.  They are reusable, but the average client will replace 50% of them over the 5 months time frame.  A quick way to add tons of hair, but your hair needs to be strong enough to support them. 

I find they pull on my own hair, too close too to the scalp.  I love to wear my hair up in a bun and if your hair is not thick enough they are impossible to hide.  I think the edgy ends came from improperly cut ends - it became a trend! I like to blend the ends with a razor or point cutting to avoid harsh lines.

ZipLoxx (New)

Ziploxx hair extensions

I did spend a fortune to try these out - they are the same size of tape but instead of being adhered with tape, the open up like a book, hair is sandwiched in between and then they are pressed closed like a ziplock.  I do think they are bulky and I tried them in my hair - they really hurt just too big and then they started to pull on my own hair. Great concept, but they are not for everyone - thick hair and a temporary wear.  TheyNEED to be redesigned so they are not so heavy. - 

 

Hair Quality!

 

This could be its own blog!  The quality is by far the most important when wearing or purchasing hair extensions for yourself or your business.  Most hair is from China - plain & simple! The hair on Amazon is generally poor quality Asian hair. The best hair on the market is from India and that is from the temple.  Other than that Indian women are far more westernized and will not part with their hair! Brazilian Hair - I don’t know any Brazilian women willing to sell their hair, maybe 1 or 2.  Most of them are adding extensions and they do a lot of chemical processes to their hair so no way are they chopping it off. Russian hair is a SCAM, i have eye witnesses who have been in Chinese hair factories that have seen boxes being shipped to Russia.  So the hair comes from Russia (delivered) but is made in China. You can find contractors they may have some Eastern European hair in lighter colors, but there are few and far between!  

 

There is no governing agency such as FDA for agriculture to let us really know the origin of the hair on the market today.  So distributers can say it comes from any where they want. Indian hair is even becoming rare - once I purchased hair from India and it was filled with white flakes, blood and was truly disgusting.  The best hair factories that assemble Indian hair are in Italy - the standards are high and the quality is superior.

You can get decent hair from China - there are factories that source from Indonesia (may be mixed with Asian hair), but they do not decolorize in Acid baths.  The acid bath flattens out the hair cuticle and this allows for the many colors offered, but it destroys the integrity of the hair. Then the hair is coated with silicone and once that washes off the hair is a tangled, mangled mess.

We have fallen prey to purchasing bad hair - and it was not because it was cheaper it was shipped incorrectly and disastrous .  I have purchased hair that literally oxidized back to it’s original color (black) while in its packaging!

The proper process to remove hair color is done over 3 weeks or so, hair is soaked in a solution that is acidic, similar to coca cola, but the hair cuticle is in tact, not flattened to death.  The hair is then colored and looks beautiful.

The only real virgin hair on the market is generally very dark almost black in color.  You may hair the statement Virgin Origin which means the cuticle is one direction as it was cut from the donor.  It is also referred to as Remy. The best way to check hair quality is to feel it, make sure it is not too silky or shiny which would mean it is over coated with silicone and possibly a higher price. 

Always ask for consultations, 2 to 3 week check ins and the proper products to ensure you maintain your hair well.  The best product to keep extensions supple is doing an acid rinse - say a PH at 3.5 - this can be done with diluted apple cider vinegar sprayed on the extensions or their are products one by Great Lengths called anti-tap water which closes the cuticle and keeps the hair shiny and prevents breakage.  Do not over use.

In the beginning my clients were local celebs and exotic dancers - now everyone is wearing extensions.

My guilty pleasure is watching any real housewives franchise - my favorite housewives hair is Dorit Kemsley - I just love her style, extensions, wigs!  Age appropriate.

The worst hair extensions are all of the NJ housewives, when the wind blows all I see is poorly blended tape hair extensions.

Hopefully you will find this insightful before deciding to try hair extensions.  For more details email Noelle@NoelleSalon.com




Topics: Hair Extensions

Noelle Spinosa

Written by Noelle Spinosa

Noelle Spinosa has been hair stylist for over 25 years. She has been featured on television in Chronicle Magazine, Channel 7 News and the WB morning Show. Noelle has also been highlighted in both the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald for her in depth knowledge of hair extensions.