Hair Extensions - The Keys to Some Great Locks

by Paul Jones
Updated January 20, 2017

You see these woman like, Jessica Simpson, Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears in music videos and they have more hair on their head than clothes on their body. Aside from Jennifer Aniston no one in Hollywood has that kind of real hair. Jessica Simpson has a bob one day and the next day she looks like Lady Godiva.

Hair extensions are all a repeat of the 60's, but then wearing a wig or a hair piece was something that was not cool and you didn't tell anyone. Today everyone is wearing extensions and telling everyone about it.

The market has seen an explosion of products, using real or faux hair, which can be applied by any number of methods, including bonding, braiding, sewing, clamping or gluing.

A professional stylist will use a protein bonding system applied to the hair about an inch from the scalp and fuse it with ultrasonic pulses. The hair generally comes from Russia, India and Europe, where woman traditionally wear long hair. Train loads of hair are brought into factories, mostly in Italy, where it is washed, separated dyed and then shipped. Human hair can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $2,500 depending on how many bundles (seven bundles for the average head) you need and the length. Synthetic hair costs between $300 and $500.

Tip!
Verify with your State Board of Cosmetology that no complaints have been filed against the salon or stylist. FYI--There are some US states that do not require a Cosmetology license to do hair extensions.

The Jessica Simpson extension products are at a lower price point and everyone can afford it. The short hair which is just above the shoulders is around $85 and the long hair is around $95. The HairDo clip-ons are temporary extensions that you can fix at home after some instructions from a stylist.

Salon extensions, can last up to six months, however there are some specific care needs such as using "loop brushes" that don't pull the hair and special shampoos that will not break down the bonds. Be advised those Salon extensions can damage the hair and tear the follicle, especially if not applied correctly. And over time the hair can become matted.

A lot of women today prefer the temporary extensions for special occasions like weddings and portraits, but also a ponytail for the summer that they don't need to blow-out each time. Also some women just want a temporary extension for a vacation where they are swimming and hanging out for a few days.

Hair extensions have been common among black women since the early 80's. The cross over was spurred by the advent of suppliers like Great Lengths and Hair Dreams, a global hair distributor. Both European companies benefited from the opening of Eastern Europe in the early 90's, providing them with a wealth of Caucasian hair of various textures, colors and lengths.

First the black girls got hair extensions, then the movie stars and now teens wanting it for their proms. In three to eight hours you can look like a movie star too.

Hair ExtensionAdvice for Professional Attached Hair Extensions

Shampooing
Do not shampoo for two days. Always wash hair with your head back, not tilted forward, Never dry with a scrubbing action. Instead wrap hair in a towel. Dry the bonds carefully to prevent breakdown.

Brush the hair three times a day
Buy a brush with a looped bristles. Put your hair in a soft scrunchy while sleeping to avoid tangling.

Curling irons, flat irons and hot rollers must be kept away from the actual bond or attachment. Don't use products with sulfur.

Remember that sweating exercise, steam baths and saunas may lessen the longevity of the extension.
Most extension manufactures offer a solution to protect attachments.

Seawater and Chlorinated pools can break down the bonds and glues. To minimize the effects, wet hair in the shower first and apply a bond protecting solution. after swimming, shampoo, apply bond protecting solution and then carefully blow dry the bonds.

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