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Hair Extensions

Where do you start hair extensions?

So you want to get Hair Extensions but you've had hair problems. Besides, you’ve heard the horror stories but you're petrified that you'll end up bald and ugly and a lot poorer when it's all over? Well, if you don't do your homework then this may well happen. But there is a way to have beautiful hair using Hair Extensions without damaging your own hair, and in fact allowing your natural hair to grow longer and healthier in the process.

There are many different types of Hair Extensions in the market.

The two main types of application methods for hair extension are : Individual Strands and Wefts

Individual strand extensions

The Individual method involves taking small amounts (maybe 20-50 strands) of extension hair (natural or synthetic, but we'll get to that later) and applying to small sections of your own hair by either weaving in, heat fusing, gluing, clamping with metal rods or using waxes and polymers. All of these methods (except for the clamping which is self explanatory) involve coating your own hair with a chemical or foreign substance.

These extensions usually only last a few months before they have to be taken out and completely re-done. The main problem with this method is taking the Hair Extensions out without damaging your own hair. Many people who sell this method to clients will swear that there is no damage to your own hair, but one hair extension expert told me that "in 17 years of doing hair extensions we have yet to see a client who has previously had the individual method applied without damage to their own hair. Without spelling it out I will leave it to your imagination what might happen to your own hair if you melt some plastic onto it or glue or clamp something to it".

Wefts – hand made or machine made?

What is a weft? A weft looks like a little curtain of hair attached together at the top and free flowing at the bottom. Wefts can be made by machine, but the best wefts are handmade. Your Extensions artist should be able to make them for you. The benefit of having them handmade is that you can match your own hair color perfectly as the color can be blended in the making process. Machine made wefts come in continuous widths and are then cut to size. Handmade wefts are custom made to suit your head perfectly. Also, handmade wefts tend to last much longer and are generally thicker than machine made ones. Machine made wefts are usually made from the lesser qualities of hair and very rarely can you find European Hair machine made wefts. You cannot buy virgin hair machine made wefts.

How is weft applied?

O.K. You've got your hair - what now? Wefts are attached to your head by sewing them to a tiny braid (we will call it a track from now on) made out of your own hair. The track (known to hairdressers as a corn-row) runs horizontally around the back of your head. The tracks are done in the middle of your scalp underneath your hairline so you can't see them.

The crown area of your own hair covers the top track making the extensions seem invisible. The number and size of tracks matches the number and size of wefts. The wefts and tracks ideally should be made in different sizes in order to match exactly the way your hair would look if you had grown it that way yourself.

Depending upon how much hair you need depends on how many tracks you have. For example: If I had hair to my chin and I wanted hair to my bra line (about 18" long) I might need 5 or 6 tracks/wefts depending upon my current haircut. If I had hair to my shoulders that was thin and stringy and I wanted it thicker and more luscious but the same length I might need 2 or 3 (or more) tracks/wefts.

Once the tracks are done, the wefts are sewn to them and then your own crown area hair is blended with and combed over the extensions. From now on you have to think of the extensions as Your Hair.

How do i look after hair extensions?

You look after Hair Extensions the same as you would do long hair that you grew yourself. If you have never been able to grow your hair long before it is probably because you are killing it just as quickly as it grows. Here's a few tips:

Wash, condition and Moisturize (very important) your hair every 2 - 3 days. The extensions do not receive your natural scalp oils and so need to have moisture added every wash. If you don't moisturize your hair extensions they will become brittle and break easily leading to split and ratty ends. We recommend a good moisturizer for Hair Extensions.

Treat them with respect. They will not grow back if you yank at them with a brush, burn them with the blow dryer, kill them with chemicals. Be nice to them - they cost a lot of money so make sure you get your money's worth.

Always brush out all knots before you wash your hair, swim, or sleep. Start at the bottom and work your way up slowly using a paddle brush.

Make sure you wash in between the braids to keep your scalp clean and free of bacteria.