Bianca Arussi, Co-Owner of J'Adore Salon Beverly Hills and Certified Great Lengths Extension Expert knows a thing or two about hair extensions. Learn how to treat, wash, style, and maintain hair from her great tips below:
Tell us Bianca, what are some telltale signs of a bad extensions job?
First, color-matching is extremely important. If the extension hair doesn't match the color of your natural hair, it's a dead giveaway that it's fake.
Second is the cut. If extensions are not cut properly to blend in with your layers, it won't look natural. If I have a client come in for extensions, I always do the haircut after the extensions.
Third is the quality of the hair. Normally, if the extension hair is too shiny, then it most likely has synthetic hair mixed in with natural. This can look fake against natural hair, because your natural hair has a completely different shine to it. Also, synthetic hair is harder to manage and tangles more easily.
Fourth, a lot of stylists out there place the extensions too close to the root of the hair, causing tension which results in hair loss in round patches in each spot where the extension was placed.
And lastly, some stylists place the extensions too high on the top of the head, or too close to the face, where they can be easily seen. A good extension job should never be visually detectable!
Got it! How can we pick the right kind of hair and the right stylist to avoid standing out like a sore thumb?
Do your homework. It's always good to do a little research on the stylist you choose and make sure he or she is certified in extensions. It's also helpful to check reviews, or see someone who's been referred to you by client who was pleased with their work.
How often should we wash our hair with extensions in?
Extensions hair is just like your natural hair! You should wash it the same way. It's never good for anyone to wash their hair every day. I recommend every three to four days. You can rely on dry shampoo in between washes.
What products should we use to prolong the life and look of extensions?
I recommend getting a treatment every month to give hair moisture and keep it healthy. Moroccan Oil is also good - it helps detangle. It's always good to apply product before brushing to avoid pulling, and use a special extensions brush. Ask the stylist who's doing your extensions to recommend a brush, and show you how to brush properly.
What about styling? Any do's and don'ts when it comes to heat?
Yes!! Blow-drying extensions is totally different than blow-drying natural hair. You want to be careful to avoid pulling with the brush.
First, apply your favorite product and dry through all the extensions with your hands. After it's dry, style with the brush and blow dryer (or curling iron or flat iron) as you prefer. Remember, if you have really curly hair you can leave the top part of your head with 70% moisture because there's no extensions there, and you can pull that area as much as you want while drying or styling.
How often should we replace our extensions?
Time varies with each individual person. Some people can go 3 months, some 4 months and some 5 months, depending on how fast your hair grows. Check with your stylist and see how much the hair has grown. You also don't want the extensions to grow out enough that they start tangling at the root.
Any additional tips and tricks?
Never leave your hair wet! Always dry it, because keratin (this is what adheres the extension to the natural hair) expands just like your hair expands when it's wet, and this can cause you to lose pieces over time. Don't use just any brush, use an extension brush, no combs! A good trick is to braid hair at night. It keeps it nice for the next day and you'll wake up with beautiful beach waves!
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