There are so many names for and types of hair extensions today that it is no wonder people are confused and disappointed when they don’t receive the luxurious hair they want – or worse, end up with damaged hair and/or less hair than they started with.
While there are many “marketing” names and brands for types of extensions, they all fall somewhere in the following categories. Individual bonding, Individual Links, Braiding, Wefted hair with some type of “weave” or clips, skin wefts that are applied with adhesive and hair attached to some type of base that can be clipped in.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR IN A STYLIST WHEN CONSIDERING HAIR EXTENSIONS
ARE HAIR EXTENSIONS THEIR SPECIALTY? HOW LONG HAVE THEY BEEN PROVIDING HAIR EXTENSIONS? HOW MANY HAVE THEY DONE? Generally, stylists that specialize in extensions, have several years experience, and that have applied at least 300 services – have a higher probability of giving you a quality result. You also want to make sure the photos in their portfolio is their own work and not photos purchased from a hair company.
HOW MANY METHODS OF APPLYING HAIR EXTENSIONS ARE THEY FAMILIAR WITH? While many stylists may prefer one method, you want someone who is very knowledgeable with many of the methods available. Are they customizing the extension to your specific situation? Ask them WHY they prefer the method they are using? Is it because it is the best method for you? Or is it the only method they know that is being sold to them by one company? While I have WORKED with almost every method available (I am familiar with all methods) I prefer a finer weave technique with wefted hair as I find in most cases this causes no or very minimal damage, gives greater fullness, and is the most cost-effective in the long run. If I think the clients’ hair is too weak and damaged to begin with, I recommend a removable system so the clients’ own hair is not further damaged. I don’t make as much money as one would with weaving, bonding, or links, but it is the best method for that specific customer.
ARE THEY CONCERNED IF YOUR HAIR IS FINE? ARE THEY CONCERNED ABOUT YOUR HAIR INTEGRITY AT ALL? If the stylist doesn’t seem to notice that your hair is very fine or seem concerned when you mention that your hair breaks easily – it is not a good sign. Unfortunately, everyone “says” their method doesn’t damage the hair. The skill of the person applying the extensions and the condition of your hair is also a big factor.
DO THEY HAVE DETAILED KNOWLEDGE OF THE DIFFERENT HAIR QUALITY TYPES? Hair quality and color match is probably the most important factor as to how “real” your hair extension will appear. Your stylist should have a thorough knowledge about hair quality. Human hair is a generic term as a lot of human hair is not good quality. There are many terms used to describe hair quality and it can vary with each wholesaler. Here is a general list from the highest quality down: Russian virgin unprocessed hair, Italian Cuticle blend, European Cuticle, European Remy, Indian Remy, Chinese human, and Yaki human. Ninety-nine percent of the bonding systems out there use Indian Remy hair which is not the “best” hair available – especially in lighter colors. Custom blending to match hair color and texture is extremely important so where your hair ends and the extension hair begins, is completely undetectable. I custom blend to match tone, highlights, lowlights, two-colored hair, (etc.) EXACTLY.
ARE THEY TRYING TO HELP YOU OR YES-ING EVERYTHING TO MAKE A SALE?? You have to go with your gut on this one. But, if you have legitimate issues and concerns and they’re telling you everything is wonderful and not discussing the pros and cons – Beware.
DO THEY GIVE YOU A DETAILED MAINTENANCE PROGRAM? If they don’t give you specific, written, maintenance care instructions – either they don’t care or they don’t know. I can’t believe how many people have come to me to remove matted hair extensions because they were never told by their stylist to braid the hair when swimming. You cannot dive in a pool with your hair “flowing” with ANY type of hair extension. It is also important to have timely maintenance, and proper hair care techniques. There are certain shampoos and conditioners that work well with extensions and others that do not. Price is not always the determining factor in this one.
DO THEY GUARANTEE THEIR WORK? While hair is very expensive and custom-made or ordered, it is too costly to refund because you “changed your mind” or your boyfriend or mother don’t approve. You should be 100% sure before proceeding with hair extensions. But, if the hair mats, is falling out, or the color doesn’t match, the stylist should stand behind the work and make it right for you.
DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Familiarize yourself with the types of extensions available and the terminology used in the business. The internet has extensive information and will give you insight. When you are informed, you’ll be able to ask better questions to determine if what the stylist has to offer is right for you. Quality hair extensions are an investment. It’s a shame when clients receive sub-quality work and/or damage to their own hair. Unfortunately, I have clients where I was the third person they came to before finally receiving beautiful, quality hair that looks like their own.