From Kim Kardashian’s glamorous raven locks to the sexy tousled waves on the Victoria’s Secret runway, these girls sure know how to inspire serious hair envy. The secret behind this supermodel hair? Hair guru Orlando Pita rolled up to this year’s VS fashion show with an entire suitcase packed with extensions and wigs. Proof that with the right extensions, those longer, fuller, oh-so sexy locks are yours! We asked hair stylist and extensions expert Sherri Belanger from the Román Salon in West Hollywood to create an essential guide:
Want Something For The Weekend? Consider Clip-Ins
If you are considering adding length to your hair, but aren’t ready for the commitment of hair extensions, clip- in’s may be the perfect solution. Pieces can be purchased at most wig stores, and some beauty supply stores and are perfect for someone who only wants to add volume and length occasionally, like on the weekends, or for an event.
Clip-In With Caution!
You can’t sleep or swim with them, so save yourself the embarrassment and don’t wear them when trying to do either. I’ve seen clip-in pieces on the floor at a club, in the bathroom at a restaurant, in the pool in Las Vegas.. yup. And be sure that your pieces match your hair, ladies. I see it all the time – girls with light brown hair and golden highlights – and bleach blonde extensions! If you have different tones of color in your hair, then your clip-ins must have different tones too otherwise it screams fake. They make so many options these days and offer many sets with low lights and highlights throughout which makes them look much more natural.
Are You Ready For A More Long-Term Relationship?
If you find yourself becoming addicted to your clip-ins and wearing them almost every day, it’s probably time to start shopping around for a more permanent method. I encourage you to do some homework and shop around to find a method and a stylist that seems best for you. There are many different types of extensions with varying price ranges and qualities.
So How Much Do Hair Extensions Cost?
I get emails daily with this same question over and over. Though I understand this is important, it’s not as simple as that. Price varies depending on many things and you need to learn all about them to better understand where your money is going. If the hair is really cheap, then it probably won’t last very long, and you will have to replace it frequently. The better the quality, the longer it will last. If a stylist is charging you $2500 for extensions, and says you have to replace the hair every few months, then she is ripping you off. Hair that is that price should last you up to a year.
Extensions Are An Investment – and Need To Be Maintained
Once you have hair extensions installed in your hair, you will need a “blending” haircut to finish (and make sure to ask if it’s included in your service charge) You will need them to have your extensions “maintenanced” every few months. This means as your own hair grows, so do the extensions, and after about 2 months it’s time to move the extensions back up to your scalp. This is an additional service so it’s important to consider this when investing in hair extensions.
Important Questions To Ask Your Stylist
Firstly, you need to be sure that your hair can even handle hair extensions. Bad candidates include someone losing their hair, someone whose hair is too short for installation, or someone with severely damaged hair. If your hair is damaged, it’s so important to cut back on the things creating the damage like flatironing. Be sure to check the temperature dial on your hot tool – someone with fine hair shouldn’t have their iron turned up to the max. These tools get hot and can literally burn your hair off, so keep that in mind. Once you burn your hair you can’t “unburn” it. Try to always use a heat protectant product before styling to coat your hair and act as a protective shield. My favorite is Ciment Thermique by Kerastase, but all product lines have their own version of heat protectant products, so shop around if you’d like. The good news is the hair growing back from your roots is virgin hair and has a chance at a new beginning of healthy hair, but if you keep over processing it you’re never going to recover from the damage, and over time it will get worse.
If your hair is damaged from lots of bleaching or changing your hair color often, you may want to chat with your hair stylist about other ways to achieve the color you like without having to create extra damage. If they still are damaging your hair excessively it might be time to find someone new. Natural looking color is so in style right now, and this is huge for us! It means less visits to the salon, which saves damage, time, and money. By taking a more natural approach to your color you are saving yourself all around.
Can Extensions Be Dyed To Match Your Hair?
Coloring hair extensions can be tricky since it’s hair that has been through some processes that we don’t know about. I would never attempt coloring your own extensions at home… ever. Consult your stylist and see if they are able to help you out. It is true that when you have roots throughout your hair, especially when it comes to hair extensions, it blends them and makes them look so natural. Bumble and Bumble makes hair powder in a few different colors which would work great and be a temporary option too.
The Bottom Line
My belief is if you trust your hairstylist, have seen their portfolio of hair extension work, and feel confident in them, then go for it! Everyone has their own personal preference, and whatever works best for you works best for you. I encourage clients to ALWAYS schedule a consultation before getting hair extensions. While extensions are not permanent, they aren’t cheap, and you need to feel good about your new hair awaiting you!
*The hair Sherri uses has been sought after by many stylists but she won’t divulge her secret to anyone. “I’ve spent many years searching for the best quality hair, and now that I have found it, I’m not letting it go! Stylists contact me all the time curious about where I purchase my hair from, but unfortunately I have to keep it to myself!”