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Get the Best Results with Hair Extensions

Dec 19, 2017 | Tips, Trends, Tutorials

Celebrity stylists and beauty professionals know that the secret to creating the full, goddess-like, glamorous tresses we see pictured in the pages of fashion magazines, on runways and movie screens is the addition of hair extensions! Believe it or not, augmenting natural hair with woven-in additions dates back to Cleopatra’s time, as early as 3400 BC—when woolen and human hair wigs, hair pieces and braids were sewn on to add color and adornment.

Today, creating the wow-factor using hair extensions is no longer exclusive to the elite few in the entertainment and beauty industry and instead has become a wildly popular and beautiful solution that millions of women and men enjoy today. Thankfully, today’s high quality hair extensions are sophisticated and can help a multitude of specific styling needs. Not only for adding glamour and volume for a special event, hair extensions can be great problem solvers. They can help expedite the “growing out period” from a short style to long. What used to take months can now happen in as quickly as a day’s time. Thinning hair caused from hormonal imbalances or even medically-related hair issues find that hair extensions offer a beautiful solution.

With the surge in popularity of hair extensions comes an overwhelming amount of options from which to choose. Now they run the gamut from synthetic “as seen on tv” extensions available online to completely custom human hair that is exquisitely tailor-made, colored and cut.

There are numerous considerations from the quality and source of the hair extensions, to the application process and required upkeep. Janet St. Paul Studio for Hair and Beauty, a luxury downtown Austin hair salon, knows a thing or two about the world of hair extensions. In this blog post, two of our senior stylists, Shannon Briggs-Hack and Whitney Shaaf help educate and inform you.

First, like any professional service that involves your appearance, the biggest decision is who you choose to trust with this process. If you’re thinking about hair extensions which are either temporary or more semi-permanent, do yourself a favor by seeking out a reputable salon with experienced licensed hair stylists. Experience is key to getting the result you are seeking.

An experienced hair extension expert considers your lifestyle and daily routine in helping you to choose which technique and style of hair extensions are ideal. Licensed hair stylists have exclusive access to the highest quality hair—many are not available to the general public.

They also have an attuned eye that is trained for beautifully matching your hair color and texture with the right type of extensions. Because hair extensions now come in such great variety, to ensure the most natural-looking, beautiful result you’ll want to rely on the best professional advice in order to get the best match.

For hair extensions to look stunningly beautiful, natural and well-blended, the technique of the haircut is also crucial to achieving the finished look. Any type of hair extensions may cause some wear and tear on the hair, so your stylist can help you find complementary products and treatments to maintain the health of your hair while your extensions are in. By using the highest quality hair extensions, an effective application process and the right hair care products, they can help you protect the health of your natural hair.

Shannon Briggs-Hack
Senior Beauty Stylist

Whitney Schaaf
Hair Extension Expert

At Janet St. Paul for Studio for Hair and Beauty, our award-winning stylists have decades of experience applying beautiful, natural looking hair extensions to clients in both Manhattan and Austin. Shannon Briggs-Hack and Whitney Shaaf, Austin’s leading hair extension experts share their answers to some of our most frequently asked questions concerning hair extensions:

What options do I have when considering getting hair extensions?

Shannon:
I would first determine why you want them. Do you want instant long hair for a special occasion? Do you want added thickness and volume?

Whitney:
Right! Do you want them in your hair long-term—where you’ll sleep with them and wear them daily? Or are you more interested in short-term/removable extensions for a night out or special occasion? Once you have a goal for the outcome, we can take it from there.

Once you know why, the next decision is what type?

Whitney:
The quality the hair used to make the extension matters. For ours, we use only the highest quality 100% human hair from the best suppliers in the industry. To account for the variety in texture and wave, choosing the correct extension type from the countless varieties can only come from experience and training. Because I’m working in both Austin and Manhattan, it’s key to understand the client’s lifestyle and choose an extension that perfectly suits their needs.

Shannon:
Totally agree. As listed below, there are many types of hair extensions available on the market. Keratip is the process that most of my clients request. It provides the most natural, long-lasting and versatile result. Because these smaller extensions are bonded to the natural hair strand-by-strand and with keratin glue versus taping in wefts of hair, they tend to last the longest, look the most natural, and you can still wear your hair up all different ways without it showing. It’s going to move like regular hair.

Types of Hair Extensions

Keratip

Individual strands applied with a keratin protein glue and bonded to the hair.

Advantages:
– Most subtle, looks real, significant length, a lot of body
– Invisible when you put your hair up
– Lasts 3-4 months

Disadvantages:
– High price point
– It is not advisable to reuse the hair

Maintenance
– For some, appointments are recommended every 1-2 months to get “fills”

Tape-Ins

Tape-in hair extensions are composed with sections of hair, completely flat with keratin tape. The taped extensions are placed below and above a sectioned line of hair.

Advantages:
– Lasts 4-6 weeks, can reuse the hair & re-tape
– Not as long lasting if you’re not ready to make the commitment

Disadvantages:
– Tape-ins are bigger
– Limited in styling options, doesn’t always look great when hair is pulled up
– Can be uncomfortable and cause possible hair damage/loss when removing tape

Clip-Ins

Clip-in hair extensions are temporary and often worn for special occasions. To begin, a stylist would order the hair and teach you how to put them in. Then, it would require ongoing appointments or do-it-yourself. Clip-in hair extensions come in 5-pack, 7-pack or individual clip-ins.

Advantages:
– Less expensive
– Easy to remove
– Not permanent

Disadvantages:
– Does not always look as natural
– Limited in how you can style

Beaded Extensions

Beaded hair extensions are often recommended for women with coarser hair. There are a number of varieties of beaded extensions. (Note: Janet St. Paul Studio for Hair and Beauty does not recommend these.)

Advantages
– Popular technique that is widely available
– No taping or glue required

Disadvantages
– Can weigh down the hair, causing damage to the hair and scalp
– You can feel the thick beads when you put your hands through your hair
– Some complain that they are uncomfortable when sleeping

Halo Extensions

One-piece removable extension that is hand sewn and fitted to your head. Halo extensions can be cut, colored, and heat-styled. The weight of your own hair holds the extensions on. On the back, it anchors on your occipital. This typically does not require any tape, glue, or clips. There are poor quality Halo extensions due to the material used and construction. You also want it professionally fitted to your head, because if the materials are stretchy or become loose, they can come out of your hair.

Advantages
– Very little chance of damage to your natural hair or scalp
– Easy off/on
– No ongoing maintenance
– Once it is created, can last forever, as long as the hair is taken care of
– Color can change as your natural hair color changes

Disadvantages
– High price point

How long does it take to get hair extensions?

Shannon:
Once we’ve had the initial consultation, we can have the hair as quickly as within two days. The first appointment is usually about the same amount of time as it would take for a haircut and a full head of color–typically no more than three hours. That really depends on the individual. Then, for maintenance, every four months to trim and fill.

Whitney:
I agree with Shannon for the individual strand. For custom halo extensions–which are really popular with my NYC clients, the delivery time can be a little longer. After we match the hair color, measure the head and hair length, it can take one-to-two weeks from ordering the hair to creating the custom halo extensions. Then, the client would come in for a follow-up appointment where we would teach the client how to apply the halo extensions in their hair and give tips for a variety of styling techniques. It’s also popular for the client to schedule to get a blow-out with their extensions at this appointment, when they’re in the salon so they leave feeling fabulous.

How long do hair extensions last?

Whitney:
There’s not one answer to this question. Because, the hair products themselves can last pretty much forever, if they are well-maintained. I would say that they can be a great investment and very long-lasting depending on the type a client chooses. For extensions to look good and work properly, you really need to have the right cut. We work to removing some of the weight of the extensions and open up the hairstyle to create natural movement.

Shannon:
The results my clients enjoy from our hair extensions is around 3-4 months, on average. But, like Whitney says, it’s all about what the client needs. If you are looking to have gorgeous full hair for a wedding or holiday gala, the more temporary clip-in or halo solutions are great. But if clients want that fullness on a more full-time basis, day-in and day-out, they can get really long-lasting results.

The beauty is how they can dramatically transform almost any client’s style by adding length, volume, wave, curl or smoothness. With so many choices out there, we hope this helps educate Austin’s fashion-forward folks who are curious. The very best way to find out which option is best for you is to schedule a consultation with our experts.