When you're considering hair extensions, the first point of call is often a consultation with the hair extension technician to see if hair extensions are the right path for you. However, if you've never had a hair extension consultation before; it may not be immediately obvious what kind of questions you need to ask. And more importantly to pick up on what they may not tell you. Here are the most important things to ask in that initial consultation appointment.
1. What kind of method is recommended for my hair? It may seem like a very obvious one but your hair extension technician may only apply certain methods and that particular method may not be the best one for your hair texture. For example; tape hair extensions are very popular. But if you have very dry / coarse hair that needs a lot of oil and conditioners, you'll find you will compromise the glue of the tapes and they become soft and unstable. If you have hair above your shoulders you should generally avoid a full head of strand by strand application such as micro rings or bonds. You won't have enough of your hair to sandwich in-between so you'll have a hard time making them look natural on a day-to-day basis. Ask to see some examples of people with hair similar to your style and texture who have been transformed using the method recommended before committing to any particular method.
2. Can you match the texture of my hair with the extensions you use? If you want hair extensions to look truly natural and you're happy with the method recommended; the natural texture of the extension hair really needs to match your own. Think about when you wash your hair. What does it do? For instance, if you like to leave your hair in a natural wave, then you need to have hair that also replicates this as closely as possible. If you have hair extensions that are poker straight and your hair is not, chances are you'll have to either curl the extensions or straighten your hair. This can be damaging on a long-term basis.
3. Do you use virgin or coloured hair?
A very important question if you want to get to the crux of whether your hair extensions will be long lasting. Coloured and processed hair on the whole, has a much shorter shelf life than virgin hair. Much of the cuticle has been stripped away, robbing the hair of its structure and keratin. Then it's only a matter of time until the hair eventually becomes too dry, too broken at the ends of even too tangled to use again. Virgin hair on the other hand retains all the characteristics of the original donor. Meaning that apart from the hair needing the odd trim, it never wears out or becomes excessively dry. 4. What are the maintenance costs? Hair extensions are a commitment so that returning visits must be affordable for you. Maintenance costs vary but it's important to calculate if you can keep coming back when you should. If you don't come back within the recommended limits, you risk matting and damaging your own hair. They also don't look very natural when the attachment becomes inches away from your head. It loses its original shape and taking proper care of the hair extensions starts to become an impossible task. Get your maintenance done in good time and make sure it's feasible. 5. How much volume will I need with a full head? One of the most ambiguous terms in the hair extension industry is a 'full head' of hair extensions. It can be very misleading as one client's full head is quite literally another client's half head. I have clients with whom 120g is sufficient. And I have other clients who have 120g just in their bottom rows. Be sure to check that the salon's definition of a full head matches your expectations. Ask if they can give an estimate of many grams, you're likely to need, based on your style preferences. For instance; if you want very long and layered hair, you will need to make sure you put in a lot of volume in order for the hair to still look thick after cutting. Generally speaking, to have a full layered look you'll need at least 200g of hair added. Your technician should make it clear how much hair they're planning to use. You don't want to end up in a situation where you have to fork out more money for extra volume because the hair doesn't look full enough. The type of method used also needs to be considered when it comes to volume. For example, if you have fine to medium hair and you want to take it to a very thick hairstyle, a strand by strand application may not be suitable. Hand tied wefts will allow for greater volume to be added without having to use as much head space. Or you may need a combination of methods to achieve the look you need. Overall, it's a part of the consultation that is generally skimmed across but is actually crucial to getting your hair extensions to look like your own natural hair. There are lots of further things to consider when thinking about getting hair extensions of course. However, a good hair extension technician should be able to give you an in-depth consultation that leaves you feeling confident about spending your hard-earned cash. Getting as much information as possible and asking the right questions will ensure you get the best results possible from your stylist and your hair extensions.