Hair Extensions:
The Skinny and The Scary

THE SKINNY

I cannot say enough about this subject. Hair extensions are a field of their own. A stylist by being a stylist does not make them qualified for being a hair extensionist.

In the field of extensions there are about thirty methods of hair extensions, and easily about five hundred and growing manufacturers. Within the methods there are lots of companies and lots of them have poor quality. To be a creditable “Extensionist” one has to sort out the good from the bad. This takes time, effort, research, testing on models, and did I say lots and lots of money invested and lots and lots of time invested.

All human hair is not made equal. Human hair grades range from horrible (fall out hair), to just okay (poor hair condition), to great hair (shiny and healthy looking with hair cuticle in tack). It is impossible for any company to have all variances of hair color to match with your hair. All hair extensions are not colored with tints that are used on our hair that grows from our scalps.

What is used to color the hair extensions is called fabric color. It is colored that way so the hair will have longevity of the color. This type of coloring can not be used on our hair because it would color our scalp and make it very difficult to ever change our color. If one has to alter the color to get an exact match it is much more difficult and one needs a great background of experience and education in this type of color theory as it is a totally different color theory. Also, it’s costly to make mistakes on hair extensions.

Next, is the design and cutting of the hair extensions. One needs to know what system is best for each individual to get to the desired styling and cut in. A knowledge base of lots of different systems is detrimental to achieve the right fit for the client. Again, the cutting of the extensions is apples and oranges compared to cutting hair that is growing out of our scalps. Each individual hair that is growing from the scalp is spaced the same and is directed in a slight angle through the skin which makes the hair fall in a specific way. Hair extension hair has a strong push downward flow and is implanted in small clumps or clusters of hair so the hair will fall completely different. Cutting traditionally for hair growing from the scalp will not work. This is a totally different technique of cutting and one does need to understand these differences.

Placement of the hair extensions is imperative to create a natural look, flow, and fall of the hair. The placement is determined by the density of the clients hair, the clients hair length throughout their head, and the desired outcome (style). This means it will vary from each client where to place the hair extensions.

Without a knowledge base of all methods of extensions, one does not have the expertise to know what system and/or what manufacturer is right for a client. The things to consider for the client is; what is the density of their hair, the length of the clients hair throughout her head, cost, maintenance, their hair condition or fragileness of the hair, what is the desired hair style, color matching and explicit explanation of maintenance and care following up with a care sheet.
What is a hair extension certification? A 99 percentile of stylists’ today are stating they have this certification, which is given to them for attending a one day seminar. They are given instruction and/or application of that one particular manufacturer’s hair extension. All they are taught is application in just an investment of several hours. None of the above mentioned qualifications is taught in any one of these classes, and for that matter is not taught anywhere period except by me.

What is needed to call ones self a hair extensionist:

  • Knowledge of at least 10 or more methods of hair extensions.
  • Knowledge of at least 100 different manufactures to determine the best system.
  • Precise knowledge of proper application and experience.
  • Knowing the variances of placement of the hair extensions to create the desired look
  • Hair extension color theory knowledge and experience
  • Lots of experience and knowledge of cutting in hair extensions.

At Claude Thomas Salon ad Spa, I (the owner Claudia AKA Claude) have over 20 years of experience and education in this field. I am considered in the beauty industry as one of the top experts in hair extensions. I am an educator and expert extensionist which has ranked this salon #1 in the nation for the body of work in hair extensions. Claude Thomas stylists have to be educated and trained under myself for at least 1.5 years before they are called an extensionist.

THE SCARY

DID YOU KNOW? As stated above, 99% plus of all hair stylists doing hair extensions, do not have the knowledge and/or experience discussed in the previous segment.

It was stated on the show “SHEAR GENIUS” by one of the so called “expert” judges, that hair extensions is a “no brainer”. By you reading to this point you are now more informed than 90+ percent of the beauty industry. You are now an informed and educated consumer. And now that you have read, “The Skinny” on hair extensions does it sound to you like a NO BRAINER?
What they (uneducated stylists), don’t know will hurt you when it comes to hair extensions.

Some if not all of these unfavorable results can happen:

  • Improper application can result in the longevity of the extension to be shorted and yourown hair can be compromised and create breakage.
  • Improper design will create a less than favorable result and again could break off yourown hair.
  • Not being informed verbally on care and maintenance and given an informative after care sheet will result in possible damage to hair extensions, compromise the longevity of the hair extensions, and also damage to your own hair and the extension hair.

A hair extension system that is not right for your hair or the condition of your hair willcause a less than desirable style of your hair (looks like a bad hair cut). It also can be too stressful for your hair causing breakage, or if your hair is too thin or you have colic’s that expose the hair extension attachments. All of these things shout out “HAIR EXTENSIONS”!

More factors that go into not having a knowledge extensionist do your hair:

  • Poor color matching so your hair extensions shout out “HAIR EXTENSIONS”.
  • Poor to horrific cut in of the hair extensions, so now it shouts “HAIR EXTENSIONS and WHAT A BAD CUT”. (It’s like the guy with the bad toupee. Everyone knows he has it, but doesn’t say a word to him. They gossip all the time about the bad toupee, but not to his face.) With hair extensions, you have seen this on lots of celebrities who have bad hair extensions jobs.

All in all, because the 99 percentile of stylist only know one at most two systems and didn’t investigate into more than one to two companies, the end result could be they are using a system with inferior hair and/or a system that could have poor attachments.

Some or all could produce these results:

  • Your hair extension become something out of a bad dream every time you shampoo and condition your hair. It is tangled and matted and now it takes you 3 times longer to dry and style your hair. Generally, at his point, you can’t get them out of your hair fast enough.
  • The poor condition leaves the look of your hair dull, flat and damaged looking.
  • As the result of all the tangles and matted hair it is putting undue stress on your own hair and is breaking it off.
  • The hair extension has excessive shedding out of the hair resulting in an unfavorable look to your style and the longevity of the extension is now shortened.

When these scenarios happen, and they happen more often than not with the 99 percentile, it is no wonder why so many people have either heard hair extensions are bad or made this decisions themselves after experiencing this scenario.

None of this ever needs to happen if it is done by an Extensionist who is experienced, educated, and knowledgeable in this field (the one percentile).

You are now an educated consumer and have more knowledge than 99% of the stylists in the beauty industry. A qualified (1%) Extensionist can be compared to an Illusionist and/or Magician (such as a David Copperfield) as they both create something that appears to be real but it is not.