Beginner’s Guide to Extensions & Wigs

Hair extensions are a chic way to keep up with the latest trends. Whether you are looking for gorgeous volume or longer locks, extensions will instantly create the look of your dreams. But, before jumping into the salon chair, it is important to know all of your options.

Extensions 101

First, the quality and type of hair you choose is key. Extensions come in two main forms: synthetic or human. For a more natural look, 100% human hair extensions will provide you with the most versatility. Like your natural locks, you can use normal styling tools such as blow-dryers, flat irons, and curling irons. You can even color these extensions for a more accurate match to your current shade.

Unlike human hair, artificial extensions are created with various types of man-made fibers. Heat will immediately cause this hair to melt on contact. If you are willing to pay more for the 100% human hair option, it is definitely worth the investment.

There are a number of extension applications. So which one is best? “It depends on what the customer truly wants,” says Andy Hammad of Hair & Accessories. “First, ask yourself two basic questions: Do i want to use heat or cold methods? Also, how much time am i willing to spend at the salon to get my hair done?”

Heat techniques involve using a bonding solution to fuse your hair with the extension strand. A heated clamp then melts this bond, sealing the extension to your hair. Cold methods utilize several different means including or inserting strands into tiny “tubes” which are crimped shut around the root area. Other application methods involve taping, braiding, gluing, sewing, and weaving.

The Hair & Accessories company offers their Unique VIP Human Hair Extensions, a comprehensive combination of extension methods. Made of slow processed, Remy grade, 100% human hair, these extensions are 18 inches long, available in three textures, and come in 36 colors. Sometimes a more preferred choice than the traditional keratin-tipped extensions, the Unique VIP Human Hair Extensions heating method utilizes a polymer tube that shrinks at the bonding point for a more comfortable and unobtrusive feel.

Looking to clip in hair and go? Jessica Simpson’s HairDo line is the perfect solution. Her latest style is the 17″ Human Hair Salon Clip-In Hair, which features 17 inches of softly waved, shoulder-length tresses.

Lord & Cliff provides another fabulous clip-in alternative with their brand new Seven Piece Human Hair Extensions. With three lengths to choose from (14″, 18″, and 20″), this set will easily give you extra length and volume in a snap! Now that you have your extensions in check, a proper care regime is essential. Typically, extensions can last 3-6 months, but it also depends on how fast your hair grows.

For synthetic strands, always opt for a special shampoo and conditioner specifically designed for artificial hair. Keep in mind that professional hair care products work best with 100% human hair.

To begin, always wash hair from ends to roots to prevent tangling and damaging extensions. Never start at your scalp as when shampooing natural tresses. Make sure to rinse with cold or lukewarm water, using a wide-tooth comb for easy styling. Next, softly pat hair dry with a clean towel. If you need a quick dry, set your blow-dryer to the cool setting for optimum results.

“To style, gently brush or comb hair extensions starting from tips, removing any minor tangles. Then move up towards roots,: explains Hammad. “Securely hold hair extensions above any minor tangles and then gently brush out. This will reduce damage to your extensions.” Don’t forget to consult a salon professional for any chemical processes or further application services.

Wigging Out!

Fun and fashion forward, wigs allow you the freedom to instantly try on a trendy new color, style and length. Like extensions, you must decide if a synthetic or human hair version is right for you. Depending on your current styling habits, you can easily determine between the two. For instance, do you love to flat iron or do you prefer a low maintenance style?

The ever-famous bobs sported by your favorite stars, including Victoria Beckham and Katie Holmes, are top sellers on the market today. Even bangs are making a comeback!  Why cut your long locks before trying out a new textured crop or fringe? Wigs let you experiment without the initial trip to the salon. The first step is trying one on. Don’t be afraid to be daring and bold. You never know which style will look absolutely fabulous.

“The wig should feel snug but not too tight,” explains Shevy Emanual, founder and owner of Shevy Wigs. “It should reach sufficiently to the nape without pulling or tugging.” A consultation with a wig or salon specialist will help you decide whether a man- or machine-made cap will work best for you. “Standard sizes are available, but because no two people are identical, adjustments can be made for your comfort.”

Shevy wigs only uses the highest quality of European hair, offering a wide range of styles perfect for your inner fashionista. Celebrities who wear their brand include Jennifer Landon of As The World Turns, Melinda Doolittle of American Idol, and TV personality Leeza Gibbons.

Just like extensions, wigs also need a little TLC. If you opt for human hair, always remember to use high quality shampoos and conditioners. Investing in a silk shine spray is a great way to keep your wig from looking dull. If proper care is taken, a great human hair wig can last up to 5 years! Special care should be taken if you wear your wig daily. “A lot of heat. which radiates from your body, tends to build up,” says George Mayer, President of Jacquelyn Wigs in New York City. Long-term wear will erode the hair, but alternating between the use of your wigs will help to prolong their life. Jacquelyn Wigs offers endless variety. From 100% Virgin European Human Hair to advanced synthetic wigs, Jacquelyn has often been called a one-stop shopping destination. With these tips in hand, you will be on your way to a style even your favorite celebrities would envy!

By Jessica McCafferty

 

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