Micro Link Hair Extensions, Benefit Analysis

It’s no secret that individual micro link hair extensions are my least favorite hair extension method. I’ll try to not be too biased but I make no promises.

 

Some benefits companies claim with individual micro link extensions, also called I tip or linked/beaded, make sense and sound comforting to a client. This method is zero heat, zero glue, and no tight braiding.

 

For clients hesitant to try hair extensions they come across as very safe and non-damaging. That’s true, they are safe and damage free when applied and removed properly. They are also one of the most common hair extension types to experience difficulty, by stylists and from client lifestyles.

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This method uses prebonded extension hair and attaches it to the existing hair using a small metal bead that is crimped closed. Because no glue is used there’s no need for heat to be applied. Oil, from sweat and hair products, can be an issue however because without adhesive to bond the extension hair to the existing hair the beads can become lubricated and slide down if too much pressure is applied while brushed or if too heavy with water while wet from assisting or the pool.

 

They can be reused with ease if client maintenance is followed. As long as they don’t get tangled they’re pretty easy to put back in.

 

I typically prefer not to do full heads with this method because of the additional maintenance visits often required can become very time consuming. I usually only recommend this method for clients who request it and aren’t comfortable with extensions yet.

 

I do encourage anyone getting this method from another stylist to be very sure they’re comfortable before you leave after your initial visit. They can be heavy and occasionally pinch hairs from nearby the attachment point, it’s important to adjust any issues before leaving the salon.

Team Spirit, Why Every Client Should Care If Salon Staff Works Together

At first glance it seems silly. You book an appointment to see an individual stylist so why would it matter about how the whole staff works together?

Don’t forget all the steps that go into your appointment. Not just the shampoo technician and assistants who blow dry as well, but also purchasing managers who make sure the right products are there to use and sell, and never forget the gatekeeper front desk coordinator who makes sure you can get an appointment to begin with.

It’s not just about making sure they don’t fight. Obviously personal issues between staff can provide intentional vendettas if unresolved, but it’s more than that. Even staff who never fights can have difficulty working as a team. Working together as a team means that open communication is always happening so little details don’t go missed.

The easiest ways to see this in action:

~when the front desk already knows where they can fit in extra clients, and where they can’t

~when shampoo technicians are keeping a watch on your timer so they’re ready, keeping an eye out to get people washed in the right order to get them back into chairs

~when you’re never told (or at least rarely) that the product you wanted is out of stock

Fusion Hair Extensions, Benefit Analysis

Lots of information gets thrown around about hair extensions so I’m taking a little time to explain more about some of my favorites.

 

This post is going to highlight some great things about fusion bonded hair extensions but it’s going to go over some of the potential drawbacks as well.

 

Let me start by saying that fusion bonded hair extensions are my absolute favorite for long term hair extension wearers. Unlike many other hair extension types that may restrict styling options, fusions are virtually invisible and are easily hidden in the hair. When wearing hair extensions is  temporary commitment losing the ability to style ones hair in certain ways is less of a concern than when one knows they will be wearing them as a long term commitment.

 

Fusion hair extensions are done by taking small sections
of prebonded extension hair and attaching them to your natural hair. Most companies use a heat tool for this, which requires special training. Some companies use a cold fusion tool which essentially uses ultrasonic vibrations to melt the bond instead without the same feeling of heat. In terms of bond strength and hair health there is no difference in attachment method.

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Hair cost is often higher for fusion hair extensions than it is for other methods but the extended wear time typically makes up for it. Fusion extensions can be worn for 4 to 6 months, with especially great care they can last up to 8 months.

 

Because fusions are small pieces, superior blending of colors can be achieved. Matching multiple colors of highlights and their placement make this a great option for dimensional color clients. Typically hair comes in packages of 10 to 25 pieces, with an average head using 150 pieces, this means you can choose several colors and really tweak it to look 100% natural.

 

The biggest downside to fusions is tangling. Because they can be left in for such a long time without requiring maintenance it’s important to invest in good shampoos\conditioners as well as brushes designed for extensions.

Occasionally there are other issues with fusion hair extensions:

~on very fine hair fusions can be too heavy, this results on pulling and sometimes traction alopecia

~on overprocessed or dry brittle hair the bond of a fusion hair extension can be too stiff and cause breakage

 

If your stylist thinks either of these might be an issue, listen to them. They want what’s best for your hair and their reputation.

 

In the end though the only way to know what kind of extension is best for you is to set up an in person hands on consultation so the stylist can really get a feel for what they’re going to be working with. It’s important to go over your hair growth goals, expected time commitment, desired thickness and length, in addition to things like preferred styling options and how much time you have to work on your hair daily.

Olaplex: Blonde’s Best Friend

Arguably one of the best things about using Olapex is the ability to achieve success in dramaticIMG_20150624_222839 lightening applications without breakage.

I currently have every new client who calls the salon asking for it as though it’s actually a bleach itself. When these clients call in our walk into the salon it is my job as a stylist to inform them of how the product works and that it can be so much more than that also.

It’s originally designed to mix into bleach services to prevent the damage from permanent lightener. It can also be used mixed with any traditional coloring product, though it does tend to make the processing time a bit slower.

The best thing though, is that it can be used as a stand alone service. That’s right, better than a deep conditioner just coating the hair, Olapex can be used as it’s own service to erase some pretty stubborn damage.

The example here is a client of mine. You can see she had naturally dark roots, and a rich golden blonde color previously. Olapex  No1 into the lightener allowed me to use 40 volume developer on her for 2 rounds of bleach back to back. Then I used Olapex No2 on her before toning so I was sure I would have even porosity. Once she was toned I used Olapex  No1 as a treatment. I can’t wait to take her even lighter next time.

Cold Weather Hair Tips

woman-wearing-winter-hat-snowThe weather changes with each season, why would you expect the same routine to work year round? You may need to add, remove, or completely change the products and tools you use. Here’s some points to get you started:

Use More Leave-Ins

The weather is harsh and the cold can be detrimental by hiding how humid or dry the air is. Trust me, you need the extra love, especially if you’re blowdrying more often to avoid leaving with wet hair.

Use Softer Hold Products

Gels and mouses that hold firmly will dry feeling too stiff in cold weather, so go for a lighter hold when choosing products for fall and winter months. You can always tease or add a finishing spray.

Be Wary of Protein Heavy Products

Yes, usually it’s thought of as a good thing, but it may not be necessary to add extra proteins to the hair. Normally a product that is protein rich will protect damaged hair, but if there is no damage they can build-up and may make hair dull and brittle. Avoid these unless your hair is actually damaged. Cold weather is not forgiving to brittle hair.

Use More Conditioner

Get into the routine of using extra conditioner to counteract damaging cold weather. Simple. Use more, rinse thoroughly.

Seal With Oil or Silicone

Jojoba and almond oils will add shine, and coconut oil and shea butter are perfect for coarser hair types. Silicone also works well as a moisture barrier to keep your hair soft.

Seasonal Makeover, Autumn 2013, Part 3

20130825_13524420130825_135253 I know, I know. I’ve been slacking a bit on the posts recently, but it’s only because I’ve been busy doing fun stuff on people’s heads!

For this client we wanted to blend out a previous color root line and add noticeable length and some thickness using hair extensions. Her base cut was not changed dramatically, only a reshaping of the bangs/fringe area was done before the hair extensions were applied.

Working with her color it was key to take into account her upcoming schedule: she’s getting married in less than a year and wants it to be very blonde for that. 20130825_17220520130825_172143

In the meantime however, we wanted something more subtle. To achieve this look we added mid tone highlights using a high lift color and lowlights using a level 6 golden brown demipermanent color. Demi was used for the darker tone so it would fade out before we’d be coloring for her wedding. This reduces the amount of bleach we would require later, and helps prevent brassiness when it’s lightened again later. The result was a slight ombre effect that should blend in with minimal root for the Fall and Winter seasons.

We then applied hair extensions in multiple colors from So.Cap USA and DiBIasi. We used two brands to mimic the natural variation in textures on her own hair, some being fine and some being ultra fine. There are dark and light hair extensions added but we tried to keep the balance heavier on the blondes to bring some more brightness to her look.

This was definitely a fun one, it’s not often I get the opportunity to fully double someone’s length!

You’re gorgeous and I can’t wait to see you in my chair again, hunny!

Seasonal Makeover, Autumn 2013, Part 2

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For this client we wanted to do something a bit more subtle. With a family wedding just a few weeks away we wanted something that would feel brighter and richer without being so different that roots would be visible in pictures from the event.

We started by taking a look at her natural hair. She had no coloring services on her hair so we used the sun lightened ends of her hair as our target colors for her highlights. Her hair tends to take on a golden/cinnamon color so we applied a slightly redder tone on the highlights throughout the sides and a more golden toned color for the highlights through the crown area.

The color result was augmented by slight changes to her hair cut as well. By adding more layers, especially at the front, we were able freshen the layers framing her face and show off our new color better.

The only styling product used on her hair was “It’s a 10” leave-in conditioner. Her hair was blowdried out with a round brush and then touched up with a flat iron for

additional smoothing and control shaping.

Hope this was a fun inspiration for some of you to show that makeovers don’t have to be big to fun. Enjoy the weather!

Seasonal Make Over, Autumn 2013

20130825_101231I’m absolutely loving the cooler weather approaching, and along with it comes all the beautiful reds/browns/brondes! This was a wonderful makeover I got to do on one of my favorite clients. (I promise, you’re all my favorites.)

 

Our starting point was a level 5 dye over pre-existing highlights underneath, so I knew there could be some variation if we tried doing a very full highlight pattern. Instead, we opted to highlight just around the face in a “Victoria’s Secret” style pattern. We used a very low volume lightener and then toned with a golden blonde.

 

Once her natural hair was prepped to the desired colors we began the hair extension application. We used fusion hair extensions from multiple companies to get all the colors we were looking for. We applied a base of natural brown extensions, adding red and gold ombre pieces throughout the front and lower layers of her hair. The result was a stunning Autumnal blend of colors and gorgeous all over length.

 

I always love being able to really create and build new looks for my clients, and I’m particularly happy with this one!

 

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Bronde: The Perfect Transitional Color

18_medium-brown-hair-2013A lot of us are holding onto Summer season but as September draws closer we are forced to admit Autumn will soon be upon us. Many people choose to change their hair coloring or style with season changes and as a hairstylist changing is one of my favorite things to do.

 

What direction to adjust hair color though? Bronde. It’s only a sort of made up word. Halfway between blonde and brown lies bronde. A beautiful tone that compliments almost everyone. It’s a personal favorite of mine for Autumn because it’s warm and vibrant without being over the top.

 

If you’re currently a blonde: ask your stylist for some chocolate lowlights and a honey wheat colored toner. This will add depth and richness to your hair without giving you an overall dark color.

 

If you are currently a brunette: ask your stylist for some face framing highlights in a caramel tone, and if you’re really dark ask for some tawny or bronze low/highlights to break it up further. More colors helps avoid stripes.

 

If you are currently a red head: okay, yes this is a trickier color for you to get to, and I recommend using it more as inspiration than actually copying it. To get a similar feeling without sacrificing your luscious red you could ask for amber or copper highlights to kick up some brightness, and/or mahogany or chestnut lowlights to bring more depth.