Wednesday, September 17, 2014

How Long do Hair Extensions Last?

What kind of hair extension?

Which hair extensions last the longest?

Fusion extensions last the longest. However, the difference in products, brand name, maintenance, hair type, bonding quality, hair quality, the users hair quality, quality of the application will all factor in.

For top name brand fusion brands, such as Great Length, Hair Dreams, SoCap, Balmain, Keratip, Custom Blends, and some other with higher grade bonding, it can stay in your hair until you take them out. Great Lengths have said 4 to 6 months. But what are the consequences?

I say three months is how long they should be in. Yes, they will stay in your hair longer, even 9 months to a year, but your hair will grow out, and with that comes complications, such as matting and dreads above the bond that can be detrimental when it's time to remove your hair extensions.

How am I sure how long they might last?

I have done thousands of sets, literally. This what I have done exclusively for the last ten years. My experience has shown me that low grade bonding material will shed out fast. High grade bonding material will not come at all until it's taken out. Well, perhaps some may come out on their own. Pictures of hair extensions here.

After three months, the hair extension is growing out with the hair and it not close to your scalp anymore. Hairs can twist ender these, the longer it gets and make the extension begin to stick together and dread up. While some people can go 5 month successfully, it is usually because they have good hair to begin with, practice good maintenance, and have enough hair to still cover and hide the bonds.

People with thin, fine hair may barely make it to three months and may require maintenance to stretch it to three months.

After 4 or 5 months and the hair begins to dread, removing them takes longer or damage will start to happen. This is with fusion.

3 Months

Hair Extensions will last three months. That is how long that the hair extensions I do should last. Maybe more. Maybe less. While indeed they could stay in much longer, I strongly advise against it.

Monday, September 15, 2014

How To Remove Hair Extensions?

For some reason you do not want to go back to your hairdresser to have your hair extensions removed.

I must highly recommend against removing extensions yourself because damage can be very likely. I must caution against it. But, if you follow my direction to a T, and be patient, you can get them removed safely with no or minimal damage.

Why you are presented with the problem where you must remove your extensions on your own? Does the hair extension artist charge you more money to have them taken out? One solution, before you have to deal with removing them yourself is to see who else might remove them for you. I know that I will not charge to remove your old extensions if you plan on having me install a new set for you. Plus, I do not normally charge to remove them after either. Also, when I remove them, I know how to untie each hair when I untangle and I do not rip through snarls. I have heard others say "Your time is valuable" so removing fast is important to the client. I'm more of a "Your hair is more valuable" kind of person, so the extra work is worth

What kind of Hair Extensions do you need removed?

It's important to know what kind of hair extensions that you have before you try to remove them. There are many different methods. Just as well, with a fusion method of hair extensions, there are different kinds of bonding material for different brands. This means that the chemical in the removers will vary as well. I'm going to talk about fusion hair extensions. There are two main different kinds of bonding. It will be hard to know which one is in your hair unless you already know or you test it, by trying the two main kinds of remover. One will work. One won't.

How to remove the higher end extensions like Great Lengths, Hair Dreams, Cinderella, Balmain, Socap, Super Keratip, and Custom Blends Hair Extensions:

First, I must explain what the bonding material is made of.

There are probably others because there are an endless numbers of companies who sell hair extensions with this high grade bonding material, which is a high quality thermoplastic polymer. It can be known as Thermoplast, or many companies call it keratin. It is called keratin because keratin contains the long chain molecules that bind together to form a solid material, which is used to produce polymers or plastics. It's loosely called "glue" sometimes. I've been corrected though. It's "keratin" not glue. No, horse hoofs are keratin. Glue is just a term that can mean the material used to connect other things. That's all. And it's not really keratin either. It's just made with keratin. It's really a polymer resin. Thermoplastic means it fuses together with heat, or cold fusion ultrasonic welding, which still produces heat. It melts when hot and solidifies when it cols back to room temperature, as opposed to a thermoset polymer, which will burn when heated.

Let me explain my source. I've done extra studies on the material science of polymers for engineers so that I could understand the molecular differences in the different hair extension brands that I was experiencing.

What is the remover I should use to get these hair extensions out?

Each company has their own unique remover. While it might be nice to find the actual remover for the exact brand of hair extensions, the main ingredient in all of them in isopropyl alcohol. Yes, the kind you find in your drug store. You may find that acetone is sometimes used. This works on some types of lower grade extensions.

What kind of remover tool should I use to remove my hair extensions?

It's important you have all the right tools, as well as having your hair prepared properly. You will need a pair of flat pliers, ones without teeth. You can buy them at hair extension supply stores, or Sears. However, I use a medical grade surgical tool that was made in Germany. It prevents you from applying too much pressure because it clicks when too much tension is applied. Too much pressure can cause damage. I imported this tool from Italy. I do not know where you can buy them but I can order one for you. It will take a few weeks. In the meantime, just be gentle with the ones you buy at Sears. Most of the hair extension companies I mentioned just have plain flat pliers and not a fancy tool like mine. I was the one who discovered it's use so you won't find it being sold by extension companies. I will, but I haven't quite yet.

How to prepare your hair before you remove your hair extensions.

Hair extensions can be hard to get out and that is why you will see and hear of damage from the removal process. You will hear stories that glue is bad and so on, but it doesn't have to be if you use the product correctly. Preparing your hair extensions for the removal is important and by doing so, the time needed to remove the extensions will also be shortening.

For as long as a week before you are due to have your extensions removed, it is a very good idea to pretreat your hair to make it more porous. Nothing is going to instantly dissolve your hair extension bonding. That's what they pliers are for, to crack the bond so that the remover can spread deeper into the bond as it breaks it apart.

Soak your hair over night, every night with a heavy protein enriched conditioner. Do this on your dry bonds with the conditioner straight from the container and not diluted with water. Remember, do not sleep with wet hair. Lanza products are good for this as they have a very small molecular weight protein in their products. This is the very type of conditioner that I DO NOT want you to use during the wear of your hair extensions. The protein in the conditioner will bind with the keratin in the bonding material and cause it to softer and become porous, so over night, for a few nights, up to a week. Longer is okay too.

You may also use coconut oil to soak your bonds with. Oil is part of the thermoplastic compound so it will also work. It will work by targeting different compounds the bonding material. So use both, but on different nights, not together.

There is a huge different in weather you presoak overnight or not. Do not presoak with alcohol because it will just evaporate, disappear, and not work at all.

Removing the hair extensions.

Wash all of the oil or conditioner from your hair. Comb through the hair to make sure there are no tangle that prevent the hair extension from sliding out. If you use oil or conditioner during the removal with the alcohol, thinking it will help slide the product out better, you may be in for a surprise. The conditioner or oil, when used with the alcohol may cause the hair not to dissolve proper, but instead reinforce the bonding material into a clay like sticky substance, so don't be temped to use multiple removers at once. You can use spray conditioner under the bond to help it slide out.

The hair can be wet or dry. You are finally ready to start removing the hair extensions.

Work in clusters of about 5 or more. Put a drop of alcohol on each bond. While it is still wet, use your plier tool and give it about 6 squeezes. Do not try to break it all the way apart yet. Then add another drop of the remover and then leave it and move on and do the whole head or half of the head. Just drop, sqeeze, drop, and move on. Do not attempt to pull any out yet.

It is time that is needed to work into the bond, layer by layer the solvent goes deeper, softens a bit on each pass. Forcing it with the pliers can cause damage. It only needs to open a little and the remover will work by itself with time.

Go back to make sure all the previous bonds do not dry up. Keep them all moist as you work. You may go forward and back and forward and back. Going back to the beginning ones, do the same thing. Add a drop, squeeze gently just a bit and leave it, working in clusters, doing a few at a time, going around the head and then back again.

After two to three passes and it has soaked for a bit. Add a drop of remover, press a few times, gently, then try to slide the extension off. If it does not slide off super easy, do not tug harder. Just give it another shot of the remover and leave it and move on and come back. It is very important not to use brute strength to force them out.

You will notice the bond expanding and turning white as the solvent begins to work.

Combing Out the Tangles

Now, for the tangles that are left. Do not comb out any bonding chunks that are left behind with force. Give them another dash of remover and squish them until they come out with ease.

It is best to use a carbon small tooth comb. Certain combs will be of the wrong plastic and will not work right or they get destroyed by the solvent. Also, you may want to get an eyelash comb to work with the tangling that may happen above the bond. Do not force the snarls out by ripping them.

It should not cause pain to remove the hair extension bonds. If it does, that is a signal of something bad, like hair breaking. You can use a spray in conditioner at this point. Remember, damage come from humans pulling and ripping it, not the "glue" itself. This process may take several hours, which is another reason why presoaking it over night is very important.

It should not cause pain to remove the hair extension bonds. If it does, that is a signal of something bad, like hair breaking. You can use a spray in conditioner at this point. Remember, damage come from humans pulling and ripping it, not the "glue" itself. This process may take several hours, which is another reason why presoaking it over night is very important.

If it is so hard to remove, why do people get this kind instead of micro-rings or some other kind of hair extension

When properly installed with even tension, fusion hair extensions, which includes all the brands I mentioned, have a nice round or flat soft bond that should be comfortable without distinguished corners than can pull or snag other hairs. Yes, micro rings are easier to remove, but fusion is a better wear for the client. They should be tiny bonds that are less detectable and easier to wears and sleep on. They also shed less than micro ring, IF they are installed properly with only high grade products.

Look at all the amazing pictures of hair extensions that I have on my web

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Can I Color My Hair Extensions?

I Don't like the color of my hair extensions. Can I color them?

First thing I would ask is why you didn't just buy the right color in the first place? Was there a limited color swatch pallet to choose from? Is your hair highlighted or does not match the hair extension color choices?

Well, those are problems. What I would have done to begin with is had a custom color of hair extensions ordered? Oh, who in the world does that? Custom Blends Hair Custom Blends doesn't just have 30 choices. They have endless color combination choices that can match the toughest of colors, even hard to match reds.

But, can I color the hair that I'm stuck with now?

Yes, hair extension hair can be colored. But, here are some things to consider. Hair Extension hair may have been processed in a number of different ways that you can not be sure about. If the cuticle is stripped, it will color too dark. The hair extensions may be processed with acid, textile dyes, which makes it colorfast. It may not bleach out well. It could be virgin color. Still, it can be done.

Take Test Strands

Always take color test strands if you are working with extension hair. This is the only way to be sure that you are going forward in the right direction without destroying your hair extensions.

You can color your own hair with hair extensions.

You can certainly keep up with your color touch ups while you have hair extensions in. A root touch up is certainly okay. Make sure your stylist is experienced with shampooing hair extensions or they could possibly have a really hard time.

What do I do about changing color with my extensions on my clients?

Color touch ups? Most certainly. No problem.

Okay, I did your hair extensions. We came up with a great color and now you just want "something different." WHy do you do this to me!!?? I just say "no, forget it." You can get a new color design after three months when we do a new set of extensions.

I hate doing this because a persons hair and the hair extensions will react differently to the same color and the results may not be favorable. I won't let my clients drag me down that road.

I use the Custom Blends hair extensions and coming up with your exclusively unique color, having it blended before the extensions are even made is the best color you can get. Highlighting hair extensions already in the head can make it chunky, uneven, and no, the answer in just no. Get the right extensions in the first place and you will never have to worry about coloring them.

My hairdresser sometimes tones the blond because the hair extensions are too yellow.

My solution for this is a way of mixing colors that cut the yellow and my final result is the coolest platinum thats available, that doesn't even exist until I make it. I mix a #60 and a #613 into a very fine blend and that eliminates my need for toning and the result is platinum hair extensions that are not canary yellow.

So yes, you can color hair extensions but you shouldn't have to if you get the right color hair extensions in the first place.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Why are My Hair Extensions Shedding So Much

What are the culprits that cause hair extensions to shed?

Hair extensions are not all the same. I have 30 years experience and have seen a lot of different kinds of hair extensions. I thought that plastic was plastic and that the bonding material was pretty much all the same stuff, until I noticed hair extensions that held better than mine did; the ones I used a long time ago. I used to have clients come in for maintenance so I could fill their hair back up after it sheds. Now, I never have to do this. The extensions I do now have the strongest bond of all and my extensions don't shed. So, the number one reason that hair extensions shed is because of the bonding material that is used on your extensions. It's most likely a low grade resin.

What are the differences between hair extension bonding materials?

I did a study on the Material Science of Polymers for Engineers. A new world opened up. I realized that keratin is the base for most plastics. Some companies call their bonding for their hair extensions "keratin". Not "glue." Okay, whatever. Glue is just a general term for a substance that attaches things together. The correct term for most of the bonding material would be a "thermoplastic polymer." Hair Dreams call is "Thermoplast." Either way, companies want you to believe they have the market on something special.

There are many, many different kinds of polymers that are used as the bonding material for hair extensions, all with different chemical make up, different formulas, colors additives. A low grade polymer may be made with a lot of fillers and additives that weaken the bond. Even color is a filler that can compromise the bond.

What hold the structure of the bond over time through shampooing is the purity of the thermoplastic polymer. It can be semi-crystaline(aligned molecules) or amorphious(multi-directional). The keratin in the thermoplastic is where the long chain molecules come from that is responsible for it's solid structure. Tightly packed, long chain molecules is preferred for the strength of a good, long lasting bond that doesn't shed. This kind of polymer will usually be found on premium hair extensions, like the ones I use, of course.

But I paid a fortune for my extensions. I use Great Lengths.

Agreed, Great Lengths uses a high grade bonding material. However, some hairdressers just say they use Great Lengths to get you in the door. They may actually think that what they do is the same. For the most part, it is exactly the same; hair with bonding material. It doesn't really seem different, except that is cost a whole lot less. Maybe you were secretly switched out. The hairdresser doesn't know the difference. Why should you? I'm not saying your hairdresser was dishonest. I just know it happens. Cheaper hair is not the same.

But remember, price is relative. Maybe what you pay seems like a lot, but the price of extensions can run as much as $5,000.00 in some cases.

What if it's not the product, but some other reason that makes my hair extensions shed?

Micro Links will shed. If you have the metal clips, or micro rings, those can bend and slip very easily. They are easy for hairdressers because they go in and come out easy.

The hair must be clean and oil free before installation. Oil is a chemical that with break down the polymer. They will shed from the slip of the oil, not allowing the polymer to completely fuse to the hair, or from the breaking down your bond. Don't allow your hair extensions to be oily or dirty.

Poor installation can be a culprit. If the polymer doesn't form a complete melt, it will not absorb into your hair. If you soften the polymer just enough to attach itself around the hair, it may slip right out. This could be a reason for slipping or shedding.

The products you put on your hair.

You should only used approved shampoos and conditioners. The most successful one I have my clients use is Pureology. It does not have animal proteins or sulfates in it. Proteins can bind with the extensions and soften them, causing them to shed. Oils can do this too.

Dirty, Sweaty, or Oily

A person's own body chemistry can play a part in the life of your hair extensions. More active people will see the bonds break down faster.

One final reason, but this one is rare.

A few people have the silkiest hair of all. It's like glass with a very tight cuticle, and naturally oily. I've only encountered two in the last ten years and I've done thousands of hair extension sets, literally. The hair resists the fusion. My first one, I feel, allowed her hair to be too oily. They second is doing well. I've mastered this problem I think. I keep a special polymer that I allow to age. It becomes stronger and cures as it gets older. I use that. But with other products that are lower grade, I know it would slip right out.

What should I do now to stop it?

Keep it clean and oil free using approved shampoos. Try to get your stylist to fill your hair back in. Don't go back to that same stylist. Find a new stylist and see if they can reinforce your extensions. A good reinforcement is adding shrink tubes around your current extensions. This is a small plastic tube that shrinks when you apply heat. It's good to protect the bonds that you have left and hold them in tighter.

If you don't live in the Seattle area, you can fly in to see me and I'll make you don't suffer like this again.

Learn more about hair extensions and me at

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Why Do My Hair Extensions Tangle so Bad?

There are many possible reasons that make your hair extensions tangle.

The product or maintenance habits are the first likely culprits. If you are following all the maintenance rules, like keeping it clean, conditioned, and brushed and wrapped while sleep, ALL the time, then it's most likely the product. Now remember, having hair extensions does require extra care on your part. Detailed hair extensions care instructions. Click here.

All hair WILL tangle to a certain degree, especially if not given proper daily care. Having ruled out neglect on your part, lets consider the product; the hair itself.

Why do hair extensions tangle so much?

Perhaps you are using a low grade brand of hair. Even if it is 100% human hair, it can tangle. Your hair may not be remy hair. If it is not remy, this means that some of the hairs are upside down.

The outer layer of your hair is called the cuticle. The cuticle layer is like scales on a fish. They must all go in a downward direction from the scalp to the ends. If hair that is cut from the donor is not processed correctly, then the direction of hairs may get turned upside down. It's like combing a cat backwards when your brush your hair. It lifts the cuticle and that catches on another cuticle that is going the opposite direction and then the cuticles lock together and then more hairs get involved, until you have a nice snarl or dread.

Sometimes hair that is not remy has the cuticle layer chemically removed and then a coating is added to the hair. This can make it nicer and less tangled, but this is still not the best quality hair.

Dirty Hair

Remember, dirty hair or even 2nd day day will tangle more on the 2nd day. Why? Because, even if the hair is remy, the natural cuticle has a tendency to lift, then snags onto other hairs. So keep it clean and combed and brushed out, enduring smooth cuticles.

Not Double Drawn

The hair could be "naturally layered" meaning it's full of different length hair, shorter pieces that make the ends thinner. This is common in cheaper grade hair. It's mixed with shorter hair and sold at higher prices. Those inside ends can cause problems, even if it is considered remy.

It's just plain OLD hair.

Hair on a person while it is growing naturally replaced itself. Hair Extension hair can not. When it gets split or old, the cuticle lifts, the split ends make it tangle.

Tangly hair can also be a combination of any of these as well.

What should I do now?

Have a professional take a look at it. Condition and shampoo better. Don't go past three months with a set of extensions in your hair. Keep is tied or braided at night. Cut it off. And in the future, respect your hair and only require top quality extensions.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Why Do Your Hair Extensions Itch?

You just had hair extensions, but they itch. Why?

Crooked installation causes itching. If the bond isn't flat to your head, then the weight of the entire bond pulls from the hairs on the top of the parting. This will cause breakage. Many stylist do this when they put hair extension bonds in really tight. They say it will last longer, but they are wrong. It only breaks faster and becomes very uncomfortable, especially when sleeping.

The weight of each hair extension piece must be evenly distributed by each individual hair from the parting that the hair extension is attached to. This means that it must all fall down straight and the bond must not sway from the head. From each hair from the bottom of the parting to the top. That is why it is best to bond the hair in an off-base position. The bond should be directly under the small parting of hair you use to bond the hair extension to.

What will happen now?

Because the weight of the hair extension pulls only on the very top hairs of your parting, it will itch. Eventually, those top pieces will break, then the next top pieces will break. Then all the sudden, you blame the glue and figure that fusion hair extensions are damaging.

Why it's your hair dressers fault and not the product.

The glue, or keratin, or polymer, or resin, or whatever it's called is not a dangerous chemical that breaks your hair. The bond itself is perfectly safe for your hair. It's the crooked manner in which it is applied that is itching and pulling your hair.

What can I do about it?

Well, because this is a very common occurrence, the best you can do is be very careful with them. You may try to get the stylist to remove them. I caution that as that stylist has already proven to put them in sloppy. Chances are the removal will be sloppy too. Most stylist do the best they know how and if you were on a budget, then well, . . . . that's usually how it goes.

Finding the right hair extension artist.

Research hair extension artists. Remember, hair extensions are not easy to do. To find an really good stylist, be prepared to get in line and pay the price. While haircutting and coloring is easy to fudge and get away with, hair extensions are not. A specialist will understand better because they have more experience with hair extensions. Beware, even high cost extensions can still be put in sloppy.

As a hair extension artist, myself, I know people will travel all the way across the country to see me, and even from other countries. because they know they are getting the absolute best work, from installation, to the product, to the color and design. So, start saving up for air fare.

Take a look at my web site and learn more. Kim Lake

Why Custom Blends hair Extensions are better than any other brand.

Custom Blends Hair Extensions

If you look closely at natural hair, you will see that there are multiple hues of colors spread though out the hair. If you look at a person with one color hair very closely, you will still see variations in the hair color. Highlighted hair has many variations of colors, from a fine mesh to chunky highlights with multiple colors in between. There can be obstacles when trying to match hair extension hair to a person's exact color and textures when using conventional brands of hair extensions. Alternating different color hair extension pieces to try to match highlights may look chunky and stringy. You may find a close match, but never a perfect one. With Custom Blends Hair Extensions, you can have that perfect match. You can also expand your creativity in the overall color and texture in much greater detail with more design possibilities.

How is this different than other hair extensions?

Many other popular brands of hair extensions come in single color strands. Alternating different strands is how you would try to mimic highlighted color. This can too chunky or stringy and you can see the different color of strands when it separates which can be a dead give-a-way that you have hair extensions. With Custom Blends there can be 2 to 4 different colors of hair pre blended in each strand before the tips are attached to create endless possibilities of new colors so you can capture those subtle differences with all the in between colors to get an exact match with the color.

In addition to being able to create the best in color matching, matching the texture is also customizable. We use different suppliers from around the world instead of just one supplier. Clients have different textures of hair, so no one source can work for everyone. Russian hair will be the fine. Indian hair will be soft. Asian hair will be heavier for those with heavier hair. All of our hair is remy and of the finest available quality.

In addition to the colors and the blends, you may choose an entire blended "formula." A blend formula is a combination of different colors and blends that will create specific looks and effects with multiple colors that goes far beyond just being able to just alternate different color locks. There are different formulas to choose with interchangeable options that allows you to create very specific detailed color matches. You can embellish their original hair color greatly with the number of possibilities that Custom Blends Hair Extensions can offer.

Customize the hair to the method of hair extensions you want to use as well.

The product is also made to order by the kind of method used to attach the hair extension. Our Custom Blends Hair Extensions can be made to be used with fusion, hot or cold, made in flat tips for fusion, or round tips for use with metal tubes such as a lock system, or with shrink tubes sometimes called shrinkies. The bonding material that tips the hair strands is a keratin based thermoplastic polymer, or "Keratin" as is widely used as it's trade name. It is a high grade polymer imported from Italy, that is holds well and resistant to shedding. It has been been tested to perform out perform many extensions brands on the market as well as hold just as strong as any the leading hair extension companies.

You will also be able to determine the sizes of your hair extension locks or have a mixture of sizes.

This is a fully customizable product that allows for better matching for your clients hair on a number of levels as well as being able to use it with the methods you may already know and it had many options that you most likely didn't have with hair extensions before.