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What Are Hair Extensions?

This is adding hair to your own hair by means of fusion (strand by strand), weaving, braiding, bonding, seamless, clips and more. There are many variations to all of these techniques and stylists call these by different names. I will be educating you on the most popular terms. Extensions are usually applied by a stylist but many customers are doing this at home. Human hair extensions can be cut, curled and styled.

How Are Hair Extensions Applied?

Fusion, or Pre bonded Hair - This is a process done strand by strand in small sections. Using heated adhesive sticks and glue gun made for hair extensions, extension hair is added directly to your own hair. Hair can be bought already cut, weft removed and pre tipped with adhesive, a purging tool is used to warm the adhesive and apply it to your hair. Your hair lies over the top for a natural look. We sell a starter kit with glue gun video and all items you need to use a gun and adhesive sticks method and we sell pre bonded hair with the tool.

Weaving - This is a process which you create a corn row or track around the head and close to the scalp.  Extension hair is sewn on the tracks. Your own hair lays over the tracks for a natural look.

Bonding - This is the easiest method. A bonding glue is applied onto the weft of the extension hair and then applied at the root of your hair. This is a temporary method. We sell bonding glue and remover.

Clip ins - Clips have been sewn onto human extensions hair. You may clip these in and out yourself. Clips can be purchased from us and sewn on a ¼ pound of hair yourself or you may order Beautiful clip in extensions made by Raquel Welch already done.

Micro-Links - This method uses no glue, no heat, no remover and also no damage to the hair. Small circular links are used. Your own hair is pulled through in small pieces with a tool that looks like a crochet hook then the pre tipped hair is put inside the link and it is squeezed tight. To remove use pinchers to open the link. Hair can be reused. Weaves can be done with links. Make a row of links and sew extension hair to the links. You can also use a link in certain spots that may be lifting to hold it down or make it to your next appointment. Links are also used to make a circle and sew down a hairpiece or to hold down wigs. The plus is no glue and no heat and they are very small so they lay really flat and are hard to see.

Tape on seamless hair extensions - This is a hot new product. The wefted part of the hair is made from a polyurethane really thin flat strip that is already pre taped with a stick double sided tape. You just pull the backing off and apply the hair. Easy to do yourself. It lasts a few days or you can add the adhesive we sell and it lasts several months. Undetectable as the hair lies flat to the head no one knows you are wearing them if they touch your head. They are very comfortable to wear and easy to apply.

How Much Hair Do I Need?

Each person is different depending on how thick the hair is wanted, where it is being placed, head size, how it is being applied, styled or cut etc. Since we cannot do a face to face consultation this is a guide only. If possible see a professional for guidance.

Seamless: We recommend 1–2 packages for thin to medium of hair.

Weft hair and pre tipped hair: We recommend: ¼ to ½ pound for thin to medium hair. Thicker hair and fuller longer styles may need more. Pre tipped hair: 130 pieces = approx. ¼ pound. Weft hair is sold by the ¼ pound weight and not the width.  

You may need more hair if:
Choosing straight hair since it lays flatter.
Choosing 22” or longer since you get more hair in length versus width and fullness.
Your hair is thick, you have heavy layers or a bob cut.

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. 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.

The basic choices come down to quality and price. If you want your hair to look real go for at least European handmade wefts, and if you can afford it (and find it - it is very rare) definitely go for the raw/virgin hair. We exclusively deal with handmade wefts from raw/virgin hair.

How is it Applied?

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 Them?

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.

What Happens Next?

Every 6-8 weeks (average) your own hair will have grown about 1 to 1 1/2 inches. The braids will still be intact and the wefts will still be attached to the braids. At this time you will need to return to your Extensions Artist and have the wefts removed from the braids and checked for any product build up, damage etc. The braids are then undone and redone back against your scalp and the same wefts sewn back on to the new braids. Voila! You look beautiful again.

How long can my extensions be?

You can have any length you want up to about 26"-30". Any natural hair over this length is about 8 - 10 years old at the ends (i.e. it took the person that long to grow it for you) and as such loses quality. Also, anything longer than this puts extra weight on your scalp which may lead to uneven pressure and damage to your own hair. The best looking hair extensions for average height women are usually around 22" or less. Our most popular length is 18" which is to your bra line.

How much are they?

How long is a piece of string? Someone will do it for you for a few hundred dollars while others will charge thousands. Ask questions.

Work out what kind of hair you need. Look at your budget. Remember - there is upkeep costs involved and these may range anywhere from $20 to $60 per track every 6-8 weeks. Don't pay thousands of dollars for cheap hair. Don't expect good hair for peanuts. Make sure you see the exact hair to be used first. You will pay more for better quality hair (European or Virgin) and you will pay more for handmade wefts. I believe it is best to get the best possible product and for that you will pay a premium price. But your hair will look great, it will last and you will feel terrific!

Can I wear my hair up?

Sure, the Extensions should not be applied any lower than the base of your scalp (about even with the middle of your ears) and so your hair under this point covers the extensions while you wear it in pigtails, ponytails, French twists, French braids etc.

How do I know my Extensions Artist is a professional?

Now this is a hard one. Anyone can lie to you, so be aware. Ask to see photos (before/after). Ask if you can contact one of his/her long term clients. Most hair extensions clients like to remain anonymous but there is always at least one who would love to let the world know what a great job they had done on their hair. Ask how often the average client needs to replace the hair (6 months, 2 years etc). After reading this article, if you know more than the Extensions artist then goes find another one.

Does it hurt? Will it pull my hair out?

If it hurts get out of there! The Extensions artist should braid the tracks firmly but comfortably. The tension should be even all over your head with no points pulling or hurting. Do not put up with someone telling you it has to be really tight in order to be secure. Pulling your hair out is not the idea. You will know you have something on your head for the first day or two but after that you won't even feel that they are there.

What about my re-growth. I'm a natural brunette but want blonde extensions.

The colorist just has to work around the extensions. This makes your color cheaper because effectively you only color the crown and hairline. It also means that the hair in the braid remains virgin and when you eventually have the extensions off your own hair is in brilliant condition.