All About Hair Extensions

Long, loose waves (i.e. Sofia Vergara or Blake Lively) are still ruling the runways. And the good news is that we don’t have to be genetically blessed (nor make a major lifestyle change) to get them. Barb Lince, a stylist at our Gene Juarez Downtown Seattle Salon, has been applying “fusion” or “bonded” hair extensions for the past 10 years, keeping pace with the best trends and products and helping her clients transform, literally, in a day. Prior to that Barb regularly supported photo shoots for fashion shows and catalogs for major department store brands. Here, Barb answers the top questions she receives from clients in her chair and out on the street.

Aren’t hair extensions just for length?
BL: Extensions are primarily used for length but I also see plenty of people who simply want more volume. They want fuller hair with more body and movement. The product is exactly the same, and applied the same way, simply cut or matched to the existing length of hair. Either way, the application process, and how the strands are blended, ensures there’s no visible separation between the clients’ own hair and the extensions. Regardless of final choice, I make sure the extensions are applied in a way that supports the natural density of clients’ own hair to avoid unnecessary tension on the scalp and natural hair.

How much time does it take?
BL: That depends on the individual – how much they want to place and what final look they want to achieve. My service is structured to accommodate this. Anyone interested can schedule a free 15 minute appointment with me just to discuss whether extensions would be a good fit for them. From there, we would schedule a consultation to talk about the final look and test which colors from the extension line are the best fit for the clients’ own hair. My clients get to see the perfect match within the consultation. When they’re happy, we schedule a hair extension application appointment that works with their schedule.

Are they high maintenance?
BL: They do require extra care and attention but by no means do you need to change your lifestyle to have gorgeous, longer, thicker hair! We’ll go over the specifics of care in the consultations and I’ll send home care instructions and tips. You’ll also receive a brush created specifically for extensions. A few things to know up front – 5 minutes of light detangling with your fingers and brush in the morning and 5 minutes in the evening will be needed. Don’t wash them for the first 48 hours. And at night, sleep with your hair up in a braid or wrap. I will make sure you’ve got all the care details when we meet!

And, does it hurt!?
BL: I haven’t had any complaints yet and I make sure my clients are very comfortable. I trim my clients’ hair before applying to clean up any split or worn ends. I work in rows across the scalp with bundles of 25 strands at a time, in the direction the hair falls to get the most natural coverage. The extensions are applied in a 1/1 ratio and attached with a patented protein keratin bond that matches the molecular structure of human hair so it’s not damaging in any way. It’s the size of a grain of rice. When we’re finished, I can provide a haircut if a particular style is desired.

How long until I need to come back or they grow out?
BL: That depends on you and your hair. You can stop in anytime for impromptu questions or check-ins but I do recommend you visit me at least once a month for about 15 minutes. We’ll do a quick review of your growth and make sure all the extensions are maintaining their structure. These visits are always free. After about 4 – 8 months (depending on your hair) we’ll need to reapply.

What product do you use?
In the 10 years of applying extensions, I’ve seen all the products on the market. I specialize in “fusion” or “bonded” extensions and use only Great Lengths. I wanted a product that not only looks completely natural (don’t you?) but also preserves the integrity of my clients’ own hair. Great Lengths is natural human hair from India, and the color molecule is removed by a patented osmosis process and then dyed. The color selection Great Lengths provides is incredible and allows me to match almost any hair color. And, best part, their pigment will not fade. Great Lengths gathers their hair in a special way – cuticle down to prevent excessive tangling – rather than coated with silicone. This means we also have the option to color your hair. The strands are attached close to your scalp in groups of 25 at a 1 to 1 ration with your hair creating the most natural and seamless look I’ve found.
For more information about our hair extension services, contact our Downtown Seattle or Bellevue Salon to schedule a complimentary 15-minute conversation or consultation with Barb.