07 February 2012

The Dos & Don'ts of Hair Extensions from Celebrity Hairstylist‏

Hair extensions have increased in popularity over the years, especially as hair has become a tool for celebrities to express their own perceptions of beauty. With stars switching between short and long styles, and the utilization of extensions during Awards season and Fashion Week, more women everywhere are looking to be a part of this transformative trend. However, most of us don’t understand the pitfalls of this style or how to maintain healthy hair in the process. Here, Gocha Hawkins, celebrity hairstylist and makeup artist and owner of Gocha Salon, shares her insight and gives the lowdown on all things extensions.

Be In the Know
Before getting extensions, know the facts. It’s important to take all information into consideration before making a decision, and learning from a professional is the best way to know that you are not making a mistake.
  • Most all experts agree that hair must be between three and five inches long for effective extensions to be applied. If hair is shorter, allow more time for growth; be patient, it’s worth it!
  • Maintenance calls for appointments every six to eight weeks. Know when the extensions should be removed; monitor for dryness and general wear and tear.
  • Treat extensions like real hair. Most women are hesitant to apply products or wash synthetic hair, worried that they may end up damaged. Extensions need to be maintained, just like natural hair.
  • DON’T: “Whatever you do, don’t apply your first set of extensions yourself. No amount of YouTube videos can do justice to the amount of work associated with the task, and you should entrust your hair care professional with the job. No reputable hair stylist would ever glue extensions to the head, so keep that in mind as a red flag,” Gocha explains.

Take Care
This goes for both real and synthetic! One thing that women forget when using hair extensions is to take care of their real hair. Extensions are for added length and body, and will last a long time if they are treated correctly. However, they can also cause damage to real hair if they are carelessly applied and removed.
  • Extensions: Comb and brush extensions gently. Always apply and remove carefully. When it comes to products, treat extensions as real hair. Don’t be afraid of hair spray! Using professional hair care and styling products keeps them in better condition for a longer amount of time.
  • Real Hair: Always make sure there is enough time to apply and remove extensions without damaging hair; carelessness is unacceptable. Keeping natural hair healthy should always be top of mind. Misuse of extensions can lead to baldness.
  • DON’T: Gocha points out, “Neglecting your natural hair for the sake of synthetic hair seems a little silly, but many women don’t consider the damage they are doing to their own scalps because they are covered by the extensions. Keep in mind that for extensions to look healthy and natural, your real hair needs to be in prime condition, not just for aesthetic purposes, but for overall health.”

Information courtesy of Gocha Hawkins.

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