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I am asked about hair extensions on the daily, which is fine by me because hair (and especially extensions) is one of my favorite things on the planet.

Since hair extensions are a hot topic, I decided to write up a little Hair Extension 101.

I personally became obsessed with hair extensions about 10 years ago when my hair mentor started doing them in her salon. I was fascinated at what a dramatic, new look you could give someone in just a few hours. I immediately knew that extensions were something that I had to learn how to do (and something that I was going to have in my own life as soon as I could afford them)!

In the past 5 years, the hair extension industry has skyrocketed. The love affair for hair extensions continues to grow more intense every day.

Have you have ever wondered how your favorite television star has flawless hair every time? It’s probably extensions!

Most of the photos that people bring to me in the salon are of celebrities (secretly) wearing hair extensions. See, here is the secret…gone are the days when hair extensions were just for adding length. A recent trend is the addition of hair extensions for a more demure affect (not in my personal case, lol). Now people are wearing their extensions more natural to create volume, density, and even for a soft highlight affect.

GreatLengthsJulianna

Young people often have long, colored extensions, middle-aged women have the “sexy/sultry, but I’m not trying too hard” look, while older women want the “wow” affect and often want to mimic the thicker hair that they had in their 20’s.

Because my hair is large and in charge, I often have people asking me about my hair. When I am asked if my hair is real, my response is, “It’s really mine!” 🙂 I think that most of you are very aware by now that I wear extensions. I don’t always wear them, but much more of a happy camper when I am adorned with hair.

So let me tell you about a few of the different types of hair extensions.

Fusion Hair Extensions

I personally wear Great Lengths Hair Extensions. I use this brand on my clients too, and they are always a fan favorite. Great Lengths are the top tier of hair extensions and every year they win the Stylist Choice Awards.

Classic Great Lengths Extensions are applied by hot fusion or cold fusion methods. They are individual bonds that are applied to the hair and they last 3-6 months. No glue is used, only a small amount of heat or ultrasonic wave softens the bond to adhere to the hair. Great Lengths are definitely the most versatile type of hair extension because the bonds are so discreet (the bonds are the size of a small grain of rice), they are ultra comfortable, and because the bonds are so small you can essentially wear your hair in any style imaginable.

Here is one of my client’s Great Lengths bonds:

greatlengthsbondsresize

The one thing that sets Great Lengths Extensions apart from the rest is the way they move!

They move just like your natural hair. If applied correctly, you will see no disconnect between the natural hair and the extension.

Check out that hair action below! Yesssssss… It’s easy to see why I’m obsessed!

GreatLengthsAshley3resize

 

Tape-In Hair Extensions

A rising favorite among hair extension wearers are the tape-in hair extensions. I actually like this kind as well. I have tried these before, and they are very comfortable and if applied correctly, can look completely natural!

With tape-in hair, you wear the extensions for 6-8 weeks. Afterwards you have the hair removed, retaped, and reapplied. It is a pretty easy process. The hair is reusable which is very nice!

The reason I prefer to wear the Great Lengths fusion bonds over the tape is because I don’t love having my extensions adjusted.  I just like to have them put in and be done with them.

Here is what tape in hair looks like:

GreatLengthsTapeHair

Clip-In Extensions

Clip-In Extensions are great if you need a new look for one night for if you like to wear a funky look for weekends-only. Clip-in extensions are exactly what they sound like – hair that clips in.

You can buy these online or go to a local hair shop or Sally Beauty Supply. Just match your color and you’re ready! Start at the nape of you neck and make a horizontal part, tease the base of your hair, and clip in the extension weft. Continue this process until you have reached the top.

My hair color influences a lot of my clients to do something unique with their hair. For the ones that have to wear a conservative look to work, they often opt for clip-in hair on the weekends. I will custom color a set of clip-in hair for them in an array of rainbow colors so they can have their fun, rainbow hair over the weekend, and they can remove it for it the work week!

Here is an example:

ClipInHair

 

Beaded Hair Extensions

Ok, so personally, this is my least favorite type of application method for hair extensions. Some people really like it though, and I need to fill ya in with all the different types. The process is simple – small wefts or strands of hair are attached to small sections of your own hair with a small silicone-lined bead. The bead is then tightened to hold it in place. Every month or so, one would go into the salon to have the hair tightened. If you already have long hair, then this method can work decently, but if your hair layers are short then beaded wefts are never going to blend 100% with your natural hair. The pros of this type of hair is that is is a short installation process. The cons are that they can be bulky and are not suitable for a vast majority of hair types.

 

Sew-In Hair Extensions

I lied. Sew-in extensions are my least favorite. They are extra bulky and more difficult to wash than other types of hair. I assume there is a time a place for this type of hair addition, but there are more up-to-date methods on the market today. No offense to anyone who wears weft hair, it’s just not my personal favorite for many reasons that I won’t continue to elaborate on. 🙂

 One more thing…

GreatLengthsAshley6resize

If your extensions move naturally AND look great straight, then you know you have a great application. The one thing I hate more than anything, is when stylists have to curl the extensions so that they look good. This is not good! Your extensions should be perfect whether you wear them straight or wavy.

Great Lengths Hair Extensions by Ashley Diana, Las Vegas. #beforeandafter

(Above) A full head of Great Lengths hot fusion that I applied to my client, Amy.

If you have any questions about extensions or what you would like to see next regarding hair posts, please leave your comments below!

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17 comments

  1. Hello Ashley, thanks for sharing. When I saw your rainbow colored hairs in instagram I fall in love to them cause that how want to see myself. But can you please make clear, how to deal with extensions when i dye my hair? Usually I have black hair and think that it could look great with rainbow color extension, but what to do with dying of hair? Waiting for your reply before changing style) can you please advice brand of colors for hair which do you use self or which you think is more natural?
    Thank you))) your big fan from Russia 💖

    1. Hi there! You can still color your hair while wearing (most types) of extensions. Tape in extensions are the only kind that I know you have to remove the extensions when you color and then reapply the hair. The Great Lengths that I wear are perfectly for use while still coloring hair. You can still go in between the extensions and touch up the new growth. As far as the ends of your hair, you can reapply color if needed as well. Since extensions give you so much more hair, it would be easiest if you go see a stylist at a salon for your color…otherwise it’s a lot of hair to work with. I hope this helps. It’s hard to explain how to color your hair over messaging. XOXO!

  2. Hello Ashley, thanks for sharing. When I saw your rainbow colored hairs in instagram I fall in love to them cause that how want to see myself. But can you please make clear, how to deal with extensions when i dye my hair? Usually I have black hair and think that it could look great with rainbow color extension, but what to do with dying of hair? Waiting for your reply before changing style) can you please advice brand of colors for hair which do you use self or which you think is more natural?
    Thank you))) your big fan from Russia 💖

    1. Hi there! You can still color your hair while wearing (most types) of extensions. Tape in extensions are the only kind that I know you have to remove the extensions when you color and then reapply the hair. The Great Lengths that I wear are perfectly for use while still coloring hair. You can still go in between the extensions and touch up the new growth. As far as the ends of your hair, you can reapply color if needed as well. Since extensions give you so much more hair, it would be easiest if you go see a stylist at a salon for your color…otherwise it’s a lot of hair to work with. I hope this helps. It’s hard to explain how to color your hair over messaging. XOXO!

  3. I absolutely LOVE your hair!! I find myself staring at your pics on Instagram ALL the time, lol!! It is beautiful girl!!! I wish you still lived in North Carolina so you could do mine! You are beautiful, inside and out and I really enjoy seeing you pics and posts. I just recently started following your blog. This is my first time commenting but I really want to connect with you because I feel like I could really learn a lot from you. You are truly inspiring to me😊how much do these extensions cost? Is there a more economical route?

    1. Hi Jennifer! Aww thank you! Thanks for commenting. 🙂 As for hair extensions, clip in hair is generally the most economical route and it’s also a good way to see if you like wearing hair additions. If you love wearing hair additions, then you may want to transition into tape in hair or fusion for something a bit more permanent. 🙂

  4. I absolutely LOVE your hair!! I find myself staring at your pics on Instagram ALL the time, lol!! It is beautiful girl!!! I wish you still lived in North Carolina so you could do mine! You are beautiful, inside and out and I really enjoy seeing you pics and posts. I just recently started following your blog. This is my first time commenting but I really want to connect with you because I feel like I could really learn a lot from you. You are truly inspiring to me😊how much do these extensions cost? Is there a more economical route?

    1. Hi Jennifer! Aww thank you! Thanks for commenting. 🙂 As for hair extensions, clip in hair is generally the most economical route and it’s also a good way to see if you like wearing hair additions. If you love wearing hair additions, then you may want to transition into tape in hair or fusion for something a bit more permanent. 🙂

  5. I love your hair and I love all the colours you use. I didn’t read through all the commments so sorry if this is a repeat question but I’m more curious about your color. I want to do a purple in my hair but I’m a pretty natural gal and not a fan of the chemicals in hair dyes. I see you’re pregnant (congrats and good luck) so I’m wondering what brand of hair dye you use and if it’s safe?

  6. Do you ever have people come in to shadow you? I’m a licensed hair stylist and also Great Lengths certified (cold fusion method). I love doing extensions but feel like I could learn so much from watching others’ tips and tricks. You do great work!

    1. Hi Chelsea! I have not have had anyone come in to shadow. In the future, if I have people come in, I will reach out to you! Happy to hear you are Great Lengths certified; they are definitely the best! XOXO!

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