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General Hair Extension Tips For Consumers


I was recently having lunch with Karen Marie Shelton, CEO and Founder of At the lunch were several members of the team celebrating a recent hard won victory for the site. Karen believes in constant bonding with her team and I was lucky to be invited.

During the yummy Tex/Mex lunch at a famous Dallas restaurant, the team started talking about hair extensions. One of the team members had been wearing the hot new Ken Paves clip-in extensions and loved them. But she wanted a more permanent solution. The team asked Karen to explain some general hair extensions tips.

I grabbed my pen and between eating a beef Chimi managed to write down the following tips for consumers considering hair extensions:

Do Your Homework

Karen explained that for the uninformed consumer hair extensions can be very confusing. Although complicated, Karen explained that the some of the key principles about hair extensions include:

1. Type of hair extensions: Very Temporary (Clip or snap on with lasts a matter of hours), Semi-permanent (4-8 weeks) or long term (months with required maintenance). 2. Type and quality of hair used - human or synthetic 3. Origin of hair (Indian, Asian, South American, European other than Indian) 4. Type of attachment method (hand tied, braided/woven, hot or cold fusion, ring, bead or similar attachments. 5. Expected lifespan of the hair and attachment method. 6. Whether hair can be reused after the initial application. 7. Maintenance requirements. 8. Removal procedures.

Depending on the type of extension, hair used and the method of application will determine the cost. Many clip-in or snap-on like those from Ken Paves can be applied at home with minimal help, if any. Any other type of extensions require application from a trained professional.

Some quality of human hair is top shelf and is thus the most expensive. Application methods also determine cost. Hand tied extensions take many hours compared to fusion and thus cost more for the manual labor involved.

General Tips

Before you rush into any type of hair extension system other than the clip-on or snap-ons which are relatively inexpensive, especially the synthetic version, consider the following tips:

  • Understand cost factors before you proceed. Synthetic hair applied with hot fusion (a form of bonding or glue) will be the least expensive. They will also generally last the least amount of time. Human hair extensions are the most expensive and depending on the application method can last the longest amount of time and look the most natural.

  • Ask your hair expert for their resume. Inquire about their training and how long they have been working with hair extensions. As famous hair extension expert Barbara Lhotan explained, the difference between a great hair extension experience and a bad one is generally related to the training and experience of your hair extension professional. Barbara has been doing extensions for a long time and has provided and Karen with lots of great information on the process from the professional viewpoint.

  • Ask to see the hair extension professional's book with clear before and after images of several past clients. Every great hair extension expert proudly keeps and shows off a book with their work. They also use the book as a learning tool to help them continue to improve their technique.

  • Request a list of references. Keep in mind that not bad references will not be included. It is up to you to do independent research by checking on the Internet and asking around.

  • Never agree to do hair extensions "on a whim" or with pressure from your stylist or extensions professional. This could be a big mistake. A true professional will offer a complimentary or small charge initial consultation to listen to your goals. They will also offer options (hair quality, type of applications) and most top notch extension experts will custom order hair for you.

  • Make sure you hair can handle hair extensions. Hair must be at least six inches long and be in reality good condition to work with extensions. When hair is extremely damaged, too short or suffering from any hair diseases such as alopecia, hair extensions may not be appropriate. Or it's possible that a different hair system might work better for you.

  • Ask Questions About The Hair. It's important to know how long the extensions will last. Most experts will only give you an estimate based on your hair type and how fast it grows. Ask if the hair can be reused after the initial application. Discuss maintainence requirements. Do you need special products or will you need to return to the salon for maintenance treatments. Ask how often and what the costs will be. Find out the removal costs and procedures.

  • Discuss Length and Color Issues

These tips are no guarantee that you will be 100% satisfied with your extensions but it will help with some issues that may occur.

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Thank you for visiting us at The HairBoutique Blog and for leaving your comments. They are very much appreciated. We apologize in advance but must remove any direct advertisements or solicitations.

- Revised Publication Date: 03/09/10

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Social Media Network Information

Please follow us on Twitter at: I look forward to meeting new people from all walks of Twitter and learning from their Tweets.

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