So, you want long, beautiful, glam hair that even the most famous Diva would be jealous of, but...... you don't want to spend $$$$$ at the salon and you don't want those clip in extensions that you have to take out at night.
If you've been considering extensions, you have probably already had a quick peek at whats avaliable on Ebay and compared prices with your local hair salons.By now you would be noticing a considerable difference in price......and you are probably thinking " Rip off !" Well, let me explain ........
In all fairness to the salons, they have many overheads that they have to accomadate for.... staff wages, rent, insurances, advertising etc and I can guarantee you that they pay more for thier hair than you will pay for yours on Ebay. Hair salons that provide extension services are like any other business, if they don't charge enough to cover all of there costs they lose money and go out of business.I don't know about you, but I don't know anyone that could survive without the infinate wisdom, attentive ear and colour expertise of thier hairdresser.So with that said, we are glad they charge enough to stay in business.
There are many positives to employing the services of a good extension technician / hair dresser to install your extensions for you....
- They will colour match/ blend your extensions seamlessly to your natural hair colour
- They are trained professionals
- They will stand for hours applying your extensions so that you don't have too.
- They may offer a variety of textures, lengths and qualities of hair
- They will give you advise on caring for your extensions so that you don't have to read the "How to care for Extensions" manual.
- If you have any questions your hairdresser is a physical point of contact and not just an email address
- If they look crap you have someone else to blame !
DIY Extensions (aka- Easy ring, Easyloop, Power ring extensions)
These types of extensions are terrific for the die hard DIYers and the $$$$ savvy Glamazon. They are very safe and easy to install.There is no gluing, sewing or braiding required.
What are they?
The hair of the extension is already attatched to a small metal ring. The ring is threaded onto the natural hair ,then using pliers the ringed extension is clamped shut. Securing the extension in place for months. YEP! it's that simple......
Hairdressers all over the world use a method called 'Micro Ring Extensions". DIY extensions are an innovative version of that method.
They were originally designed for professionals to improve the time it took to install extensions, hairdresser/ extension techs could complete a full head in an hour instead of the 3-6hrs it used to take using fusion and braiding methods.
Basically, they took the "Micro Ring" method and simplified it making it easier and quicker to use. The finished results are the same, when installed you can't tell the difference, they look fabulous! and they really are extremely easy to use.
Things to consider before you buy.........
Human hair or Synthetic hair?
DIY + Salon
- always go for human hair because this hair is going to look and behave like real hair, because it is real hair.You can blowdry, straighten, colour and curl human hair, unlike it's synthetic counter part which would probably melt ! yes, melt if you did any of those things to it.... Remember, the only people that can wear synthetic and get away with it usually ride a uni cycle, live in a tent and go by the name BoBo. Say, "NO,NO! to BOBO !"
- choose a colour closest to your hair colour but slightly lighter. Human hair extensions can be dyed darker to match your hair.DO NOT BLEACH or LIGHTEN your extensions, doing that will definatley dry them out and wreck them !
- Your stylist will match the colours for you. A good stylist will use a blend of colours if necessary and the result will be a near to perfect blend.
DIY + Salon
- The most common lengths avaliable are 18 inches and 20 inches. My advice is, if you have a choice between shorter or longer, go for the longer.Your transformation will be more dramatic and if you change your mind about the length you can always have them cut.
Thick or Thin ?
- Most extensions come in 0.5 gram strands, these are thin strands so it usually takes between 150-200 strands to complete a full head using 0.5g strands
- The next size is 0.65 gram strands, these are thicker so generally you will need less of them to complete a full head anywhere from 90-150 strands usually does it.
- You can also get 1gram strands. I don't recomend these as they are far too thick and bulky making them heavy, which is not ideal for extensions.
- Your salon will use thier prefered weight / thickness
How many will I need ?
- Rule of thumb is..... the thicker and shorter your natural hair the more extensions you will need
- In my experience the average full head usually requires between 100-140 extensions... every one is a little different. ( I use 0.65g strands on my clients)
- If your going to the salon to have them done ask for a FIRM QUOTE before paying the deposit. The number of extension strands that constitutes a "full Head" will vary from salon to salon.Generally you will be charged $10- $15 extra per extension strand for every extension you are over that amount.
How long will it take ?
- Get a friend to help you and take your time..... it's not a race ! For first timers you can expect installation to take 2-3 hours (125 ext strands)
- An experienced extension technician can have this method installed in approx 1-2 hours ( based on 125 ext strands)
What do they feel like?
DIY + Salon
- If you've never had extensions before you will definitly notice a difference in the way your head feels with extensions in. You will probably feel as though you are sleeping on macarone shells for the first 1-2 weeks. I promise you that this feeling will subside as you get used to having 100 or so things clamped or glued into into your hair. If your worried have your extensions checked at your local salon. You may need some of them moved or you could just have a couple of stray hairs caught in the rings.... OUCH !
How long will they last ?
- These types of extensions can last up to 3months in your hair depending on how well you care for them.It is normal to have a few slip out during the time you have your extensions. All extensions should be removed at the end of 3 months wear.
- Yes ! even the salon extensions need to be removed at the end of 3 months wear.A good extension tech will ask you to come back in 4-6 weeks to have your extensions checked.
Many proffessional extension techs and hair suppliers use ebay to sell thier left over or slow moving stock. Usually at heavily discounted prices.Most of the extensions for sale on Ebay cost less than $3 per strand which makes extensions really affordable for anyone game enough to have a go themselves.
Caring for your Extensions
Best Hair Care Products for Extensions:
- Kerastase by Loreal - in salons
- Evii Xtensions 123 system - evii.com.au
The secret to beautiful extensions is in the way you care for them............
- the important thing to know is that with all extensions the most common problem is dryness and knotting. This is because extension hair nolonger has it own supply of natural oils. It is soooooo important to understand that your extensions need daily moisture/ oil supplements.
- Use a good conditioner..... Evii Xtensions makes the best hair care for human hair extensions you can get it from salons or evii.com.au it costs about $30 a bottle....I also recommend Kerastase by Loreal...Kerastase retails for about $35- $40 a bottle and you can purchase it at salons.
- Use a leave in serum after every wash and before using heated tools ( again, Evii Xtensions or Kerastase are the only products that I use and reccommend.. purchase Evii Xtensions online @ evii.com.au or Kerastase in salons)
- Only wash hair every 3-4 days ( overwashing causes dryness)
- Use shampoos and conditioners designed for Human Hair extensions
- Stay away from dandruff shampoos, they will almost certainly dry out your extensions.
- Don't rub your hair when drying, it will tangle. Wring water out your hair and pat dry with a dry towl.
- Chlorine, salt water will dry out hair causing tangles so apply a liberal amount of UV/sea protection serum ( evii xtensions and loreal both make these serums)and plat extensions before swimming. After swimming rinse hair thouroughly,wash + condition and apply frizz free serum( oil replacement)
- Brush your hair in the morning and at night . Before showering. When it starts getting knotty....Sorry ! you'd be surprised if I told you how many girls don't do that......
There is one universal CAUTION with all extension methods reguardless of wether you DIY or SALON. "Traction Alopecia" is a condition caused by tension on the hair folicle and can cause hair loss. The good news is... it's rare! However, you need to be aware of it. If you experience, redness, rash or irritation have your extensions checked immediatly......
Alright, I think I've loaded you with enough info for now........until next time......take care , ask heaps of questions and shop around before deciding on anything..............