Hair extensions started being used in the 1980s, but because of poor results and high expense, were abandoned until about 5 years ago. Their popularity has been boosted by all the celebrities who now use them.
What are hair extensions?
Hair extensions are hairpieces that can be attached to your natural hair or scalp; they enhance the thickness of your hair or the length. There are several kinds, but the most popular ones are
· Strands, small clusters of about 30 pieces of hair
· Wefts, slightly larger curtains of hair, joined at the top and free flowing at the ends. The best wefts are hand-made, not machine-made.
· Braids and dreadlocks, which are pre-wound.
Some are synthetic and some are made of human hair. The natural hair of Caucasians is different from that of Asians or Afro-Caribbeans and you should choose an extension that will match your own hair.
They come in many varieties and can be pre-colored, pre-highlighted or pre-permed with curls or a body wave. Depending on how it was attached, you may need to have your hair extension Longreach re-done after 6 or 8 weeks, or it might last up to 4 months. Re-attaching will always be periodically necessary because our natural hair continues to grow, the bonding agent becomes loose, life happens, and you’ll need to re-adjust and refresh your hair’s appearance.
How are hair extensions attached?
· Strands are woven, glued, or clipped to your natural hair. If they’re clipped, you can take them off easily any time. If they’re glued, various bonding agents may be used and care must be taken to protect your scalp and natural hair.
· For wefts, your stylist will make a small corn row or weave in your natural hair, and sew the weft to this weave. This method uses no chemicals.
· Braids are usually woven in with your own hair and again no chemicals are used.
Hair Extensions: Synthetic or Human - What's Better?
There are plenty of different options on the market at the moment for anyone interested in longer hair, with much debate over which option makes for the best hair extensions. Here we go over the pros and cons of different types of extension so you can pick the best hair extensions for your look.
Real vs. Synthetic Hair
The first thing to understand when choosing any type of hair extensions is that they can be made of real hair or from synthetic product. Although real hair products are usually more expensive, these are definitely much better than synthetic products, which will never look quite like real hair. There only time the synthetic extensions may be the best is if:
- You're having dreadlocks put in
- You deliberately want to add in a false look for example with neon extensions
Unless either of these applies, you should always go for real hair. Even then there is often a choice of which type of hair to go for. The golden rule is to try and match your own hair type as much as possible, so if you are a Westerner then buy European hair, which is treated to be available in any natural shade. Asian hair extensions are the best extensions to go for only if you actually are Asian, or they will not look like your own.
Different Types of Salon Hair Extensions
Visiting the salon to get hair extensions remains popular, where there are basically two main choices of extensions offered:
- Individual strand extensions
- Weft extensions
Individual strand extensions involve taking small sections of your own hair and adding in the extension hair to the strands. These can look pretty good, and are the choice of many celebrities, but there can also be dire consequences if they go wrong. The fact that chemical substances are used to basically 'stick' the hair extension onto your own hair means that it is pretty difficult to remove them without damaging your hair or scalp. This method can also be expensive, since the extensions will only remain in place for a few months before they start to fall out and have to be completely reapplied.
Weft hair extensions look like a long curtain of hair, and are attached instead using corn rows. Although this is much better for your hair, you still have to visit the salon every few weeks as your own hair grows. The cornrows can also be quite uncomfortable to have against your head over long periods of time.
Hair Clip Extensions
A much newer product to the market is the hair extension clip. These too come in a choice of synthetic and real hair, and are definitely the best hair extension for anyone who likes to change their look regularly, since you can pop them in or out easily whenever you want longer or shorter hair. Hair extension clips can be used to achieve the same look as you would get from salon extensions, but are also much less expensive, since they can be used over and over again.
Overall the question of which are the best hair extensions varies from person to person, but for many who wish to simply gain a glamorous look for a special occasion, clip-in extensions made from real hair are the best choice to go for.
Longreach Hair Extension Salons – A Guide
Our society has been adorning the hair with feathers for a long time now, a tradition that dates back hundreds of years. Feathers enhance the look of clothing, jewellery, hair accessories and more recently, feathers have been making an impact in the fashion industry in the form of feather hair extensions.
Native American culture provides a rich history of heads adorned with feathers. For the native American Indians, feathers represented the power of the thunder gods, along with the power of air and wind. Native American Chiefs wore them to symbolise their divine wisdom, and to communicate with the Spirits. Feathers sometimes represented the courage of the warrior during a battle or a successful hunt.
The birth of the "Flapper" during the Roaring Twenties may be recalled by some; many of the early black and white films showed ladies (Flappers) accessorised with feathers. Many sported short hair styles, unconventional dresses and accessorised with feather trim. Flappers were considered to be on the cutting edge of fashion.
The Flappers of the 1920's wore their hair feathers and feather accessories to symbolise their journey; their metaphorical flight into womanhood - so it is rumoured. The origin of the word "Flapper" refers to a young bird that is learning to fly, though the word flapper does have different meanings and connotations in different cultures.
Feathers have made huge waves in the fashion industry and crossed cultural divides globally. Women still sport feathers as a way to show their liberation from tradition. Feathers can also carry a spiritual significance, or could represent an emotional journey. Fast forward to society today, and the feather accessory is still as impactful as it has ever been; you can choose from an array of feather headpieces, jewellery, or semi-permanent feather hair extensions.
One of the most controversial films of 2010 was the awe-inspiring Black Swan. Dark as it was, it brought the symbolic nature of the feather to new heights. The feather was given a haunting persona, full of intrigue and mystery - the black feathers represented letting go and the discovering her true nature. Feathers in this film were representative of one young woman's struggle with personal identity.
If you're into Hollywood movies, you would have spotted celebrities with feather accessories both on-the-go doing daily tasks, and on the red carpet. This shows that the hair feather extension can transcend formal and casual occasions. The wearing of feathers and its meaning is completely interpretive; It's whatever it symbolizes to you and your own personal journey; rest assured you're not alone. That's what makes the feather such an evolving symbol through the years, or perhaps these days, no matter what your style, you can find hair feathers to suit your own personal style.
The newest types of feathers in hair design for 2012 are being worn as semi-permanent feather extensions. Feathers known as " Grizzly", "Euro Hackle" or "Variants" are being worn by people (men and women) who are interested in more of a long term, easy to manage feather hair accessory. They can be worn in a variety of combinations ranging from bright and fashionable colours for the outgoing and night clubbers to very natural earth tones for the fashionably trendy. You can choose as many feathers as you like to express your current style or persona. These feathers can be treated just like your natural hair. They can be shampooed, hot ironing, etc. You can wear them in your hair for 8 weeks or more with no fuss. Whether you wear them because of a deeper personal meaning, or because you just love to be a trendsetter; now it's easier than ever get the look you want.
The History of Hair Extensions
You see them everywhere; they allow celebrities to go from short hair to greater lengths in an instant. Some look awful while others blend so well that no one would ever suspect; but have you ever wondered where the hair used in extensions comes from? Is it from human sources? What kind of process does it go through before it is attached as an extension? This article will address some of these questions and offer a couple of other insights into the world of the hair extension industry that may interest the average, information seeking, consumer.
First, we should establish that there are many companies that send buyers out to acquire hair for hair extensions and, without sounding biased to one brand or the other, I will just say this... not all hair extensions are created equal, so, buyer beware!
There are three basic categories of hair that is used for hair extensions.
• Synthetic - Hair made from synthetic fibers that are less likely to tangle with your natural hair but is very susceptible to melting due to heat from hot dryers and irons.
• Animal - In particular, the animal hair that is widely used for extensions comes from the under-belly of the Yak. It is claimed that this type of hair, because of its texture and look, has the most suitable structure for use as a match for chemically relaxed and treated African-Ethnic hair. One major drawback is that from there are those who will experience or develop allergic reactions to the Yak hair.
• Human - This hair may come from a variety of geographical regions. A word of caution: There are companies that will claim that the product you are receiving is from a human source but on final analysis, it may be shown to contain animal hair or synthetic fibers, as well. The reason this is allowed to occur is due to the technicality that if a collection of hair joined to form an extension strand contains at least one human strand in the mix, by legal standards it can be marketed as human. So, when researching where your particular extensions come from, always make sure that you are guaranteed that what you are buying is 100% human hair.
Now that we have categorized what the basic types of hair extensions are made of, we can look a little further into how the human hair, used in hair extensions, is collected.
Human hair collected for extensions can be categorized as:
• Remy: Meaning that all the hairs still have their cuticle layers intact with each strand faced in the same direction (this creates a natural fall to the extension, keeps tangling to a minimum, and allows light reflectivity for shine). Ideally the donor of this type of hair has a long braid cut from their head so as to preserve the quality of the cuticle layers following the same direction. Because of the care taken when gathering Remy hair, it tends to be more expensive to purchase but is the most desirable and suitable hair to use.
• Non-Remy: Cuticle layers are not aligned in the same directional flow. These strands are usually collected as naturally shed, fallen hair that is collected from hairbrushes. As you can imagine, this confused mixture of hair is very prone to tangling and matting due to the cuticle layers of the individual hairs not following in the same directions. To rectify this, these hairs are often subjected to acid treatments that remove the cuticle layers from the hair shafts, leaving behind a product that is weakened and dull looking. A silicone is then added to the hair to make the dull, stripped hair shinier. Over time this silicone erodes and washes away, leaving the Non-Remy tresses in their post-chemically treated, compromised condition. Being of lesser quality, this hair is less cost prohibitive than that of Remy hair but typically, produces a less desirable result.
Hopefully, I've shed a bit of light on where hair extension hair comes from, how it's processed, and created a platform where those of you that may be interested in getting an expert hair extension service performed will be able to make thoughtful decisions about the products that are used on your head.