Please visit our new web site and blog at www.Rapunzels-Relic.com for all of our up-to-date information.
Please visit our new web site and blog at www.Rapunzels-Relic.com for all of our up-to-date information.
Fusion extensions are sold as small bundles of hair that have Keratin tips on one end (called U-tips or Nail tips). The keratin tip is joined with a client’s natural hair forming a sturdy bond. Fusion extensions typically last from 3-6 months.
There are numerous methods for attaching keratin to aclient’s natural hair. The most common method is by applying heat directly to the keratin using a heating tool. The tool softens the keratin until it forms around the natural hair.
There are also several new methods for attaching Keratin to natural hair called cold fusion, air pressure and laser fusion. These methods produce a lower grade heat and pulsation that slowly molds the keratin into the desired shape.
Some companies claim that these cold fusion methods are far superior to heat bonded fusion extensions. At Rapunzel’s Relic, we believe that although there may be small benefits in applying cold fusion that the additional cost is not worth the benefits seen with these methods. We believe that most of the damage done by fusion extensions are related to improper care by the client and if the removal process is done incorrectly.
Keratin is the primary component that natural hair and fingernails are made of. This makes fusion extensions a more desirable choice over chemical glue and tape methods for many individuals.
Some suppliers do add fillers to their keratin. The fillers are composed of plastic or glue so it is important to be a smart consumer. Products with fillers are less expensive to manufacture, but may be harsher on the hair.
If you walk into several hair or beauty stores, you will notice that hair prices range from about $10 up to thousands of dollars. It can be really confusing sorting through all of the brands and textures. Here is the low-down on finding good hair:
Synthetic Hair: This is basically plastic Barbie hair. This hair can be cute for adding one or two streaks of color. It is also useful for braiding techniques typically seen in African American hair. I would never recommend this hair for permanent extension hair that will be applied with fusion, flashpoint or microlink; it is much too artificial and tangles. I cannot even believe the prices that Jessica Simpson and Paris Hilton charge for their extensions...crazy. Check out Jessica's hair on the following web site:
I really like to try everything on the market just to experience it, so I did purchase synthetic hair once and used it in my ponytail. The label claimed that this hair would curl and be long lasting. It did not curl and just looked too plastic for my enjoyment. I threw it in the trash that same day. The up-side of the deal was that it was only 10 bucks and looked pretty in the packaging.
Human Hair: This label means that there might be some traces of human hair in the package. It may be mixed with animal hair, synthetic hair or anything else, scary. Agh, Jessica might have animal fur in her hair....don't buy it!
100% Human Hair: 100% human hair should be all human hair. Much of this hair is taken from scraps off of a floor and pieced together to make enough hair for one head. This hair tangles VERY easily due to the fact that some of the hair in the mix is upside down. This means that the cuticle of the hair runs the wrong way. I can pretty much guarantee that this hair will be matted and a knot within 1 day to a week. It is poor quality hair.
100% Human Remi (Remy) Hair: This is all human hair that has the cuticle running in the correct direction. Most hair companies and extension specialists use this grade of hair. Some of it can be good, but I would never buy hair with just this amount of information. My experience has shown that about 80% of this hair is in huge knots within a few washes.
It IS very important that the cuticle is running in the correct direction to prevent tangles, but that is not all the consumer needs to know. Many distributors slap "Remi" on their hair and then charge very high prices for this hair. There are many other variables with the hair concerning how it was processed, where the hair originated from etc.
The largest hair expeditor of hair in the world is China. Other areas that sell a lot of hair are India, Brazil, Korea and several European countries. It is important that the consumer matches the natural hair to their own as closely as possible. For example, I naturally have wavy, long blond hair so Chinese hair is a horrible choice for me. To get that hair to match my own, the factory must bleach it excessively and then perm it to match my texture. By the time the finished product is done, it is completely fried and will not last. While I was learning about hair I wasted hundreds of dollars on buying hair that was a poor match for me.
100% Human Remi Virgin Hair: Awe....now HERE we go! This hair is awesome. It can last for years because it is literally a long ponytail that was cut off of a young woman. It is so raw that it even comes with scalp oil on it at times..nasty, but at least you know it is legit! I love working with this hair.
With all of the hair, this one also has a down-side; it typically only comes in darker colors and is sold in bulk. Bulk means that it does not come with any of the factory tips added to it...the stylist must make them by hand. This takes hours. The hand made tips work out okay, but they typically will not attach to flashpoint or micro-links as well as uniform factory-processed hair. I am actually in the process of experimenting with some new hand-made tip ideas. I am trying to use unconventional materials to make the hair attach in a more uniform way...I will keep you posted.
I've been reading some interesting articles lately about how salons creatively serve their communities. As Rapunzel's Relic takes off, it will be fun to incorporate a way to help people too.
I love the pic in the link below of the woman who has the pink streak. What a great way to show support and help raise money for a great cause.
I thought it could be cool to offer free extensions for a cancer survivor or possibly provide colored extensions for a cause like the Lupus Foundation or for breast cancer awareness. I would love to hear ideas that readers have on this or any other volunteer ideas.
SInce entering the world of extensions, I find myself staring at hair on a somewhat, freakishly, obsessive basis. For instance, today I was strolling through the mall and I spotted a girl with gorgeous, waist length blond hair. My trained eye instantly evaluated her highlights, hair thickness and texture. It was stunning!
I knew that her gorgeous locks were at least partially extensions. Her hair was too perfect and thick on the ends to be natural. The hair really complimented her look...she was really pretty.
Some people constantly say they are trying to "grow my hair out." The problem is that the whole process has less to do with using the correct products and keeping split ends at bay, and more to do with genetics. The average person will grow 1/2 inch of hair per month. So one might think..."okay, in 3 years I will have super long, beautiful hair." If all of our hair follicles remained intact, this would be true, but hair follicles burn out after time. Our genetics determine how long our follicles are active; they range from 2-5 years. So if you have been trying to grow your hair for quite some time...hair extensions might be the answer.
There are many factors to think about once an individual has decided to get hair extensions. Some important things to consider are:
The time commitment involved with extensions.
Hair extensions do require maintenance treatment or "tightening" at least every 3-5 months. Natural hair growth varies with each person, but averages about 1/2 inch per month. It is important to get extensions reapplied as the hair grows to prevent breakage. If growth exceeds an inch or two the natural hair near the scalp also may turn into dread locks or may tear off as the natural hair sheds.
Many extensions need to be completely replaced when the hair is tightened. If high quality hair is used, it is possible that the hair may be reused for many months. It may be more cost effective to use quality hair to initiate a set of extensions due to the fact that it can be reused.
Hair extensions also require special daily care. A professional extension specialist should have written instructions on how to care for extensions to give to each client. To extend the life of the hair it is important to follow these instructions at all times.
Hair extensions have a huge variation in price ranges. Synthetic hair can be purchased for as little as $10 while other elite brands may cost thousands of dollars. It is very important to use quality hair that will not tangle or shed over time. Any individual who has had "bad" extension hair will verify how frustrating it can be to rip through their matted hair several times per day. Most individuals who decide to use cheap hair can only tolerate it for a few weeks before they upgrade to a better quality.
Although it is important to choose hair that is of good quality, it is not necessary to spend thousands of dollars on products. There are many extension companies that claim that their hair is superior and charge an exuberant amount of money for their products.
If a client is savvy and educated, it is very realistic to get great quality extensions for a few hundred dollars. Part of the variation in cost may be in the amount of hair that is needed and the method of placement that will be used. If a client is being charged more than $500 for hair, there should be questions raised about the integrity of the distributor or stylist.
There are as many as 35 methods available for hair extensions. These range from traditional sew-in extensions to newer methods such as the skin weft or flash point. It is important to choose the right method for the client's hair texture and desired result. Some methods are much better suited for fine, thin hair while others are better with thicker and coarse hair types.
There are many salons that offer extensions; but most only offer one method of placement. It is important that the client chooses a stylist that is competent in various methods of extensions. The client should be able to customize their extensions to best suit their lifestyle and preferences.