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By Haley Armand Tarasiewicz
Do you dream of waking up with shampoo-commercial hair every morning? While there are plenty of styling products and tools that can get you closer to that goal, none will get you there faster than professional hair extensions. High-quality hair extensions are the best way to get thick, long hair quickly and easily, no matter your natural hair type. Extensions are ideal for any age, any hair texture, and any length. They come in an impressive variety of hair colors and types – curly, wavy, kinky, straight. There are human hair extensions and those made with synthetics.
Lensi White, a master stylist in Lake Charles and an expert in extensions, says human hair extensions are the way to go. It lasts longer, it’s easier to style and it looks more natural. Another benefit of extensions is that they hold a styled look longer than natural hair. “Styled extensions will hold their wave for days,” she says.
Let’s take a look at two of her favorite methods—Keratin Tip, also known as K-Tips or Fusion hair extensions, and Hand-Tied, also known as Beaded Wefts or Volume Wefts extensions.
K-Tip hair extensions are individual strands of hair that have a keratin-based bond at the tip. This bond is fused to your natural hair using a gentle heat application tool, which melts the keratin and attaches the extension to your hair. The result is a seamless blend of extensions and natural hair, providing a discreet and flowy look.
Hand-Tied hair extensions refer to a type of hair weft used for this method of installation. A row of beads is installed as the foundation, and after pinning the hand-tied hair, the wefts of hair are sewn through the beads using an actual needle and thread. Because they are sewn in with string and the beads are clamped onto your hair, there is no glue, tape chemicals or heat used. This process is repeated with each row. Once a row is installed, the beads are completely hidden and the extensions blend perfectly with the natural hair.
White says each of these methods initial appointments require between four to six hours—this includes color matching, custom color on the extensions, installation of extensions, custom cut and color on the client’s natural hair, and styling. After the initial appointment, maintenance appoints vary for each method and take about two hours.
K-Tip hair extensions maintenance requires an appointment every 12-14 weeks.
Hand-Tied hair extensions maintenance requires an appointment every six weeks to move up the wefts.
Of course, hair extensions lifespans depend on how often and how well they are cared for. With little to no care, the longevity and benefits of your hair extensions will be significant shortened and diminished.
Since these hair extension methods are made from 100% real human hair, it is important to treat them like your natural hair. White recommends regularly detangling and conditioning your extensions with salon quality products, such Iles Formula Hair Mask, to prevent them from becoming tangled, knotted, dry or lack luster. Additionally, regularly washing your hair will keep your scalp healthy and clean, and using a heat protectant to prevent damage caused from styling will keep your extensions in good shape and increase the lifespan. Furthermore, while sleeping it is important to loosely braid or pull hair back into a low ponytail using a silk hair-tie to prevent breakage and knotting, and always use a silk pillowcase.
There are many reasons why women seek hair extensions – maybe they have alopecia (balding patches randomly throughout the scalp). They might be looking for a particular style such as mermaid hair, or a fuller, short bob. Maybe they received a cut that is shorter than they expected, and they want that length back immediately. Others simply want to enhance the beauty of their natural hair. The bottom line: good hair makes you feel good!
White says if you’re considering an investment in hair extensions, remember to do your research and don’t be afraid to ask the stylist about their experience and to see before and after pictures.
White’s studio is located at 807 West McNeese Street in Lake Charles. Call (337) 842-2626 to schedule an appointment.