Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hair Extensions 101

Apparently, many people were upset with Cheryl Cole and L'Oreal over her commercial for their shampoo as told by NY Daily News. Whatever!  People really think those adverts on telly are 100% authentic?  If so, they should have no access to any advertising at all.  We are influenced, no matter how we hate it, by the things stimulated by one of our senses.  I don't get the hype about who's hair is real, fake, natural, etc.  Whatever makes people feel good radiates through there personality.  Salty people are usually unhappy somewhere, and take it out on others as self reflection is painful. 
So, lately everyone is doing the clip in extensions.  I don't know why but I'll outline three of many types of extensions/weaves for you. 

  1. Clip Ins: Most popular in certain circles.

  2. Sew Ins: Popular in ethnic hair predominantly.

  3. Fusions....
So first we start with the clip ins.  I defy you to turn on YouTube and not find a video about clip in hair extensions.  They are like the answer to world peace right now.  I don't think there's enough Remy or synthetic produced in the world to meet the demand for these wefts.  These are easiest to apply, requires a intermediate level of skill and can be done within minutes.  All that is required is your hair must match the wefts, unless you're going for a different style, clips (Sally's has them) and thread.  You attach the clips to the ends of the wefts, and center across the nape, occipital (mid brain) temples, etc. You can do a full head, half, or just clip in for added color (Nicki Minaj). 
Clip ins are fun!  There's more flexibility and, if done properly, minimal damage to the hair. 
I would not recommend clips for anything other than DAILY wear.  Unless you have very thick hair, over time the weight of the clips will wear your hair down.  In addition, if you aren't patient enough with them, in an attempt to remove them you may take some of your own strands with you.  I understand the point is to make thin hair appear thicker, but it's not a good method as thin hair, being less dense, doesn't leave much for the clips to adhere to. 
(clip ins)

Sew ins are really popular in the Afro textured community.  You can attach partial or a full head of hair with this technique.  You begin by braiding your hair, in cornrows, around your head at the places you will attach the weft.  Then you take a needle (Sally's or any beauty supply store who sells hair) and thread and attach the weft to the hair.  This is a tricky technique if you are new to extensions.  Most hair dressers are familiar, but there are people who are weave specialists who can make you do a double take. 
I like sew ins, because they don't slide down, become unhinged, feel uncomfortable, and, (if done properly) don't harm or manipulate your own hair.  You can design the cornrows in ways to blend your own hair so that you have a natural part, thus making it less obvious you have extensions.  Or, you can do a full head and attach a closure, it all depends on what you are trying to achieve.  I have heard horror stories of people getting their hair and the thread confused which wound up in the person's hair getting cut instead of the thread.  Choose your beautician wisely.  You can wear this style a lot longer than clip ins, depending on the rate of your own hair's growth.  As your hair grows, the extensions will need to be redone.

(sew ins)

FUSIONS!!!!! oh my goodness...I feel myself getting ill writing about this technique.  I've used the red to emphasize the threat level for this particular method.  It requires a HIGHLY SKILLED stylist.  Do a lot of research and ask a lot of questions.  How do I care for this?  How do you remove them? Will this cause damage to my own hair?  How long have you been doing this? Would this be sufficient for my length, texture, etc.? Hell, ask them if they would do this process to their mother, sister, daughter.  Whatever you need to feel comfort because I have yet to see a person's own hair benefit from this process.  There are several ways to infuse the hair to your own.  Some do it strand by strand (Hollywood or high rolling) or there are the "pinching" which is shown below.  You take tiny sections of your own hair, which are clamped together with the extensions throughout the head.  This style looks the best, it's the Rolls Royce, but the maintenance is a bitch.  You really have to follow instructions on the care and maintenance.  It is also important to have a patient, highly skilled stylist remove these from your hair.  As your hair grows, these will need to be re done, but it's very aesthetically pleasing.  It's similar to comparing lash extensions and false eyelashes, one looks natural and requires gentle treatment AT ALL TIMES, while the other is more forgiving and less natural.


Again, I've been there and done it all, and had it done for me.  I love to experiment and try new and innovative things with my appearance.  I don't really take myself too serious, there is no paparazzi following me, I'm not being ambushed for a makeover by anyone, and nothing I've done has been permanent.  If I totally fuck mess up, I can shave it off and start over.  I don't advise doing so, but heck, Britney made it look fun!
(smiling at least)

Good luck! If you have questions, by all means ask me, if I don't know I'll find out.

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