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Is My Hair Stylist Overcharging Me For My Hair Extensions?

[caption id="attachment_447" align="alignleft" width="202" caption="Model Holding Clip In Bang Extension Hair"]Model Holding Clip In Bang Extension Hair


Hi.  I'm in Charlotte, North Carolina and have worn hair extensions several times.  I like the sew-in method with the braids.  My stylist has never told me if the hair he uses is 100% virgin hair or where the hair comes from.  I do know that it feels like human hair on my head.  He orders all the hair from one of his own suppliers but I have no information on the supplier.

He charges $250 just for the hair.  I have been told by another stylist that the hair he uses should not cost $250.  Is this true?  The other stylist told me that you can get good quality hair for $85 a bag.  I find this hard to believe.  Can you help me answer some of these questions?

I would appreciate any help you could give me.  Thanks for your time.




Dear Becky,

There are endless possibilities when it comes to the hair used in extensions which includes, but is not limited to:

[caption id="attachment_448" align="alignright" width="233" caption="Hair Extensions"]Hair Extensions

1.  Whether hair is 100% human hair, synthetic or mixed

2.  Hair's area of origin - European, Asian, South American, Other

3.  Length of hair to be attached

4.  Texture of the hair

5.  Quality and overall condition of the hair

6.  How hair is pre-treated before attachment

The ultimate price of the hair utilized in extensions depends on the variables listed above, the ability of the hairstylist to negotiate the best price, the supply and demand of hair in the marketplace and whether or not the raw hair has to be pre-treated before it's applied to your hair.

In some cases extension hair has to be trimmed and/or chemically treated to match your natural hair.   It might need to be color matched or texturized.

Stylists almost always apply a mark-up to any hair they purchase to be used in extensions.  They need to be compensated for arranging to buy the hair and preparing it for attachment.  How much of a mark-up they apply is variable and depends upon each individual stylist.

Every hair extension professional has their own set of pricing scales when it comes to charging for the hair they use.  Some stylists will allow the client to purchase their own hair used in the attachment process.  Others will only use the hair they purchase on your behalf due to quality concerns.

[caption id="attachment_449" align="alignleft" width="203" caption="Hair Extension Application"]Hair Extension Application

If you're unsure if your stylist if overcharging you, you might wish to do your own research and come to your own conclusions.   Call and get competitive quotes from other hair extension experts for the same type, quality and texture of hair your current stylists uses.

Ask the other stylist who suggested you can get hair for $85 a bag how you can arrange to check out that type of hair.  While hair comes in every imaginable price, remember that it also comes in every imaginable quality.  Is the $85 hair the same quality your stylist currently uses on your hair?

In the meantime, you have the option to ask your stylist to give you documentation on the hair he uses. Ask for details on the origin of the hair (European, Asian, Other), it's composition (100% human or other) and what type of prep work or pre-treatment he performs  on the hair before attaching it to your head.  If you feel comfortable doing so, you can also ask what percentage of mark-up the stylist charges for the hair.

Some hair extension experts will actually allow you to buy your own hair wholesale and bring it to the salon to be attached to your head.  If you bring your own hair, you will still be charged for the time it takes to add the extensions to your head.

Other extension experts use a mark-up on the hair as a means to recover some of their costs for doing the extension process and will not allow you to bring your own hair.  Or they may be picky about the hair they use and only be willing to use what they hand pick on your behalf.

Ultimately it's up to you to do your own research to feel comfortable with the price you pay for your hair extension hair and attachments.

Best wishes,

Karen Marie Shelton


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To AskKaren a question, send an e-mail to: [email protected]

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