Lusting after long, beachy summer waves? Hair extensions can add instant volume, length and unrivalled oomph to your hair - but it is important to do your research and shop around before committing to a salon.
Sarah McKenna studied biochemistry before retraining as a hairdresser. With a scientific background, she knows a trick or two about improved application techniques in hair extensions. After five years of intensive research and training, Sarah opened her first Vixen & Blush salon in 2011. Renowned for creating natural looking styles with the highest quality, custom-made hair extensions, Vixen & Blush will open the doors to a second salon just off Oxford Circus on 2 July.
If you can’t make it down to the salon, you can print out and keep Sarah’s essential guide to perfect, damage-free hair extensions:
Common Hair Extensions Mistakes
- Poor quality hair – some salons find it difficult to get good quality hair, even if it is expensive, it can still be over-processed and not long lasting.
- Bad colour match - hair extensions that are pre-made in strands are generally one colour, or two colours mixed in a stripy strand, so the colour match is never going to be good enough as client's natural hair is multi-tonal.
- Strands too large for a small section of clients hair - the strand of hair must be securely placed using an appropriate amount of the client's own hair, matching weight for weight of the clients natural hair.
- Hair extensions not blended in and cut properly to create a new hair style - inexperienced salons can just leave the extensions, but they need to be properly blended and a new haircut needs to be created.
- No aftercare advice given - most salons do not guide their clients through how to take care of their new hair extensions and get the most out of them in terms of styling. Simple routines like tying the hair in a low pony at night, drying thoroughly at the roots, can save damage to the hair roots, prevent matting and help the extensions last longer.
Top Tips for Perfect Hair Extensions
- Find an expert salon and make sure that the result you want is achievable with how much hair you have currently. If you have thin hair and its short, you can only add enough hair extensions to add maybe 5 inches of length - adding 10 inches is not advisable!
- Try out the hair extensions before committing. Having hair extensions is an investment of your time and money. You should go to the salon and have a consultation and have test pieces of hair extensions put in. You can then wear those for at least a week to see how the method and the hair type suit you.
- Don't settle for a bad colour match. You should never compromise with the colour match as even a slight difference is noticeable, you should also never have to dye your own hair to match hair extensions.
- Ask Questions. Any good hair stylist wants to share their knowledge with you and cares about you and your new hair, so you should be able to ask any question and expect a thorough, informative response. Hair extensions can change a client's appearance drastically, so clients should feel comfortable and be able to ask their stylist lots of questions.
For more information or to book a consultation at Vixen & Blush call 020 77 388 388 / 0207 729 6263
Photo by Stephanie Sian Smith, courtesy of Vixen & Blush.