27 Aug Keratin Extensions: Everything You Need to Know
The average speed of hair growth is half an inch per month. That means that within one year, the average head of hair grows by six inches.
If that’s too long to wait, keratin extensions might be what you need. Hair extensions (and keratin extensions, in particular) are a great option for changing up your hairstyle. Women commonly get extensions in preparation for a wedding, but as you will soon see, getting keratin extensions to enhance your look “just because” can be fun and exciting.
The following is all you need to know about keratin extensions.
What Are Keratin Extensions?
Keratin-bond individual hair extensions are tiny strands of actual, unprocessed (or virgin) human hair. Instead of being fastened with tape or glue, keratin extensions have tiny beads of keratin adhesive at the tip of every strand. Keratin is the stuff your hair is already made of, so for many, it simply seems like the natural choice.
Keratin extensions look like wisps of your own hair, only with the keratin-based glue dried onto one end. The awesome thing about keratin extensions is that they can be dyed, curled, straightened, and styled using heat — basically everything you might do with your real hair.
The extensions are applied one by one, using either heat or ultrasonic waves to fuse the keratin bond with your own hair. The extensions are laid down in rows so that they will always be carefully covered by another section of hair, even when you’re wearing a ponytail.
How Keratin Extensions Are Applied
Usually, before you actually have the extensions applied, you’ll come into the hair extensions salon for a consultation with the stylist. That’s when they will match your hair color and place an order for new hair in your color. However, some hair extension salons do have do keep lots of colors on hand already, ready to be used right away.
Once the stylist has matched your color and has the right hair extensions in stock, they will section off your hair into rows, scooping small sections of your hair up and placing individual extensions roughly half an inch away from the root of your hair. It will feel a little like having highlights done. Then, the stylist will use a special tool to fuse the new hair onto your natural hair.
This process takes somewhere between one and two hours. Afterward, the stylist will finish with a blowout and dry cut, to ensure that the extensions are layered-in and evened-out to perfection.
What it’s Like Living With Keratin Extensions
Some people who walk away with keratin extensions are a little “weirded out” by the feeling of the keratin bonds in their hair. There are physical, noticeable beads of adhesive keeping your new hair fastened to your natural hair, and even though no one will ever see them, they can feel a bit off-putting at first.
However, this feeling quickly goes away as you become used to it — and, especially, as you start to fall in love with your new look.
You do have to be careful when you’re washing and combing your new head of hair. It’s important to use a special brush made for hair extensions, so you don’t accidentally yank out all your new hair.
It’s important to note that extensions aren’t low-maintenance. You’ll need to comb it with your special brush often to prevent it from appearing matted.
Where to Get Quality Extensions
Where you get your hair extensions is just as important as how to take care of them afterward. If a salon charges less than $500 for keratin extensions, you should look elsewhere, as a quality procedure will set you back something between $500 and $1,500. For a full head of hair extensions, the price can range from $1,500 to $4,000.
While these may sound astronomical to some, it’s imperative to keep in mind that the quality of your extensions will have a profound impact on your life while you’re wearing them. It’s far better to go for a tried and true brand at a trusted salon than to take your chances with a low-end establishment.
With the right extensions and a skilled stylist, few things can compare to the princess-like look offered by keratin extensions. It’s a safe investment both in your appearance and in your confidence.