So LongJuly 1, 2008 By: Rachel Aguiar American Salon
With so many advances in hair extensions, there's no need for lengthy debate about whether or not to offer the service.
Before you choose a line of extensions, it's important to know as much as you can about what's on the market and how to work with them. We asked Shiela Stotts, a pioneer in the hair extension industry and one of the most sought-after stylists in Hollywood, for some advice. Having a real mastery of your craft is the only way to achieve success, says Stotts, who has teamed up with Paul Mitchell Schools, where students will learn how to properly work with extensions and benefit from working with a range of tools developed by Stotts after years of perfecting her skills. "Any person wanting to get into hair extensions can use my tools," Stotts says.
Great Lengths extensions from Hair U Wear
Here, we take a look at some of the companies offering hair extensions today.
Hair U Wear is an industry leader with high standards for everything from the hair it uses to the application method. The company offers a line of extensions called Great Lengths and only uses 100-percent Remi (the cuticle layers all face in the same direction) Indian temple hair. "The only thing Great Lengths does to the hair is to use our de-pigmentation and coloring process so that we can offer a wide color palette," says Brett Butcher, Great Length's national program director. "Our process of removing natural color is done via osmosis, where the whole color molecule is completely removed and replaced without any toxic chemicals."
There are three different Great Lengths applicator machines available, none of which use glue guns or wax melting pots. The 3200 Thermal System has a tong that is heated on one side. The temperature, which is approximately the same temperature as the lowest setting on a standard curling iron, softens the bond so it can be molded to the natural hair. The Ultrasonic 5000 uses a cold fusion method that generates heat within the bond itself via ultrasonic wave, leaving the application tool completely cool throughout the procedure. New from Great Lengths is the Air Pressure System, which allows you to complete a full head of extensions in less than one hour. It has a tiny built-in air compressor with a specially designed application arm that, once activated, simultaneously applies seven to 10 strands in just 20 seconds. "This method is not a replacement for the other two methods," Butcher says. "It should be viewed more as a hair design tool rather than an extension tool."
Great Lengths also offers three-day training programs on how to apply its products. "Great Lengths USA operates with selective salon distribution with certification requirements for all methods," Butcher says. "Our policies are designed to enhance the professional image of those representing the brand, and the policies are ultimately in the consumer's best interest."
Also available from Hair U Wear are Hairdo extensions from Jessica Simpson and Ken Paves. The Hairdo Clip-in Extension System consists of one multilevel, contoured piece that creates stylish results without having to work with several individual wefts. What's more, the extensions are available in both 100-percent human hair and Kanekalon Vibralite modacrylic fiber, which is the finest quality synthetic fiber available.
Videos that demonstrate how to clip on the different types of extensions are available on the Hairdo Web site. You can also sign up to become a Hairdo salon.
SO.CAP.USA was one of the first companies to develop 100-percent keratin protein tips, which ensure a strong, healthy bond that lasts anywhere from three to six months.
New micro-grafts were expressly designed to create extra fullness and thickness, especially for chemotherapy patients and men. The company also has a new Flat Ice bonding machine, which utilizes heat-free bonding to crystallize the keratin bond, forming a strong, invisible and long-lasting hold.