Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Real Deal: Secrets to Undetectable Extensions

By Lauren Margrave

Model 111If there is one salon service that’s trending right now, it’s hair extensions. More clients than ever before are realizing that the longer, thicker hair of their inner hottie is actually achievable with the help of a good brand of hair extensions and a talented stylist. “That’s me!” we hear you cry. Yes, it is, but as more salons begin to appreciate the profitability of this lucrative service, the pressure is on to stand out from the crowd by providing the most natural-looking creations possible. Here are the secrets to keeping it real and ensuring your clients’ extra hair looks as natural as their own.

First things first. To get the most natural-looking extensions, “it’s important to use a system that helps create the most natural look and feel,” says Dorian Thomas,Hairdreams National New Accounts Director. “Use 100 percent real human hair with the cuticle intact and the flattest bonds, which will lay flat and as close to the scalp as possible,” he recommends.

Dreamcatchers Educator, Katherine Lewis, agrees that to get a truly natural look, it’s imperative to work with a quality product. Then it is up to the stylist to get the color match, placement and execution exactly right. She says: “Make sure the color match is perfect, whether it’s a solid color or using multiple colors to blend and give dimension to the final look. Placement is everything, and be sure to use the appropriate amount of extensions for your client’s look, as well as their lifestyle.”

Techniques for Cutting and Styling
“Point- and slide-cutting are some of my favorite techniques to blend extensions into the natural hair,” advises Aurezu Kuhzarani, Director of Education at Hotheads Hair Extensions. “Point-cutting is ideal for shaping a soft and natural perimeter for your client’s extensions. When layering the extensions into the natural hair, use the client’s shortest layer as your guide. Take thin, vertical sections (about 1/3 of the width of the adhesive band) and slide-cut to the ends of the extensions. This creates movement within the hair and helps blend in the shortest pieces of the client’s natural hair.”

Darren Brokaw, Great Lengths USA Creative Director and Owner of J Brokaw Solutions for Hair in St. Louis, MO, agrees, noting that blending and cutting extensions should always be done using soft techniques with blending shears, razor or point-cutting. If using a razor blade, it should be a fresh one. Katherine Lewis adds, “I like to use a standard Feather blade to produce a little more texture, and make the hair look more natural. Also, framing around the front is a must! There is nothing worse than looking like “Cousin It” from the Addams Family. Layers help, as well, to give the final look more movement and make it easier for the client to style at home.”

When it comes to styling, as long as you have a quality extension product, the possibilities are endless. “Since Invisi-Tab Hair Extensions are made with virgin European hair, they can be styled the same way a client would style her own hair,” explains Ron King, Creative Director of Invisi-Tab Hair Extensions from House of European Hair. “Always thoroughly dry the bonds after shampooing or wetting the hair, and never apply a thermal tool directly to the bond. Use hot rollers or Velcro rollers to create a style with volume and body, and use a flat iron to create a sleek look or a more defined curl.”

Regardless of how you or your clients style extensions, don’t forget to use protection! Heat protectant products will prolong the life of extensions and maintain hair integrity.

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