Companies You Wish You Knew About: MyPinkVanity

Companies You Wish You Knew About: MyPinkVanity

logo_1409250294__98073

MyPinkVanity Hair Extension Swatch in 'Cream Soda'
MyPinkVanity Hair Extension Swatch in ‘Cream Soda’

If you love hair extensions and are an avid purchaser of clip-in hair extensions you probably know the big 3: Foxy Locks Hair Extensions, Bellami Hair Extensions (hocked by the likes of Kylie Jenner, Guy Tang, and my favourite Nicole Guierro), and Luxy Hair Extensions. All are great options if you want to jump on the brand band wagon. Full honesty, like cosmetics, with extensions you pay for the branding. Specifically speaking, Bellami extensions are quite expensive when not using a coupon code provided by their many affiliates – most of whom can be found on YouTube and Instagram. Although they are on the cutting edge of hair colour trends, they offer nothing that couldn’t be duplicate either by a colorist or at home if you are experienced with hair color. Their least expensive set is the Piccolina is 18″ and is 120g of hair. The cost of this set which has the least amount of hair that they offer is $119.99 USD in addition to either the $12.50 USD in US shipping or the $20.00 USD international shipping. Your total bill for 120g of 18″ hair is somewhere between $132.50 USD and $139.99 USD which in Canadian tops out to be about $170+ dollars FOR THEIR BASIC OPTION. Foxy Locks and Luxy boasts lots of grams in their extensions selection; however, their hair sources vary which results in inconsistent hair quality – sometimes it is amazing but I have gotten some sets where they were just obliterated within a month of having them.

MyPinkVanity Hair Extension Swatch in 'WheatWhy am I telling you this? I believe this is a good place to give you some good news. Meet the best clip in hair extension company: My Pink Vanity. This company is owned by a lovely lady named Amy. The whole thing is a family operation and love goes into everything they do. They offer complimentary free domestic US and international shipping with each order and they have an excellent variety of shades and colours to match any colour. The least expensive set of extensions that they offer which has the least amount of hair is 20″ which is 140g of hair for $129.95. The free shipping and the higher grams of hair means that you are paying less per gram for your hair. For the most basic sets, comparing Bellami, which with shipping you are paying about $11.67 USD per 10g of hair, and MyPinkVanity, which you are paying about $9.28 USD per 10g. It may not seem like a HUGE difference but believe be especially if you are paying an exchange rate is a big deal.

MyPinkVanity Hair Extension Swatch in 'Dark Chocolate Cherry
MyPinkVanity Hair Extension Swatch in ‘Dark Chocolate Cherry”

Another big deal about MyPinkVanity is their hair quality is consistently amazing. When I do my hair extensions installations on clients and they ask where to purchase hair I always recommend MyPinkVanity, even though they are clip ins we cut the clips off and use it in a variety of different semi-permanent hair extension techniques. I still am never disappointed with the way the hair lasts for my clients.

They offer lengths of 20″, 22″ and 24″ and options of hair thickness from 140g to 240g. Here are little extra bits of lovely information about MyPinkVanity hair Extensions:

  • They only use Remy hair (this means all hair strands in extensions are directionally identical. Since all the hair is laying in the same direction from root to end, the outer hair cuticle stays intact which prevents drying and tangling.
  • The hair extension sets either double or triple wefted (this means you get an ample amount of hair without the bulk. Wefts are carefully sewn together to offer more hair per square inch offering you more glamorous volume).
  • The clips used on the wefts and silicone lined to prevent slippage and damage to your natural hair.
  • Each pack of clip in sets come with 11 pieces allowing for lots of different clip placements depending on what your style is that day!

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 4.42.43 PM

Let’s make a move to take the guessing game out of extensions! If you are considering getting a new set of extensions or have always been wanting to try out hair extensions I can not express how highly I recommend MyPinkVanity hair extensions! You will not be disappointed and if you do have any questions feel free to contact customer service at www.MyPinkVanity.com. Also go ahead and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

From Copper Craziness to Ashy Perfection

From Copper Craziness to Ashy Perfection

wpid-the_goddess_by_ahmigad-d3i0ehd.jpgI’ve been around the block – Hair colour wise that is! I have been anywhere from bleach blonde, to a level 2/3 brown, to red violet, to vibrant red ombre, then a disastrous attempt by a lazy stylist at lightening all that mess which then resulted in a self-colour correction of her colour correction which left be with lovely chemical burns on my scalp. After that I did some repeats of previously mentioned colours, added some pink and purple ends, had extensions and didn’t have extensions. The whole time I was trying to get the colour I had in my head to become a reality.

For years, I had a stylist who was afraid to challenge the standard formulas or take on the task of something that required a bit more effort than she was used to, in an attempt to create something beautiful. This lead to extreme and unnecessary brassiness, green colour bases, and a level of breakage you only have nightmares about. I am happy to say that after about 6 years of describing the perfect cool-toned dark blonde/light brown. It has finally happened. It took a passionate stylist to share my vision, and my love of cool tones.

Screen Shot 2015-09-12 at 7.52.37 PM Screen Shot 2015-09-12 at 7.52.24 PM

Above are my before and after shots – displayed in chronological order. The very left was our starting Point. Due to all of the colour that has been put in and taken out of my hair, my hair naturally pulls and fades bright copper. Something I can not stand is orange or copper tones in my hair. It has plagued me for years, and made me seriously dislike my hair on many occasions.

Before I did this colour correction I hadn’t coloured or chemically treated my hair in just over 2 months and firmly practiced the curly girl method of co-washing/”cleansing” with conditioner. Before getting in the shower I regularly massaged a mix of jojoba and rosemary oil into my scalp, running it through to the ends and letting it sit for 5 – 10 minutes. It was extremely important that I make my hair as hydrated as possible.

My hair appointment was with the lovely Jenny, at Locks Hair Design in Victoria, BC. You can find some beautiful pictures of their work at http://www.instagram.com/lockshairdesignyyj . I have known Jenny for years and our life paths just moved away from each other as time passed, as so often happens, but we were together when she started her journey as a hair stylist and her passion for the craft is something inspiring. She is a courageous artist, always learning and improving her talent. After years of frustration I knew exactly where to go to have my vision shared.

1437074258605

Something that is extremely popular right now is a product called Olaplex. Olaplex is the newest thing in the hair colouring industry as it’s intention is to preserve the integrity of the hair during any chemical processes. Here is an explanation right from the Olaplex website:

“Olaplex is free of silicone, sulfates, phthalates, DEA, aldehydes, and is never tested on animals. Olaplex reconnects broken disulfide sulfur bonds in the hair. Hair bonds are broken during thermal, mechanical and chemical services.”

Please don’t be confused, this is not a miracle product that can take the place of a great colourist, this is a tool to be used in conjunction with your stylists’ knowledge, creativity, and professional discretion. This is not going to keep the integrity of the hair intact if you put 40vol peroxide + bleach on already bleach blonde hair. Kiss your strands good bye. Think of Olaplex as the helpful people that stay and clean up after a kegger. If the party was insane, the clean up crew can only do so much to restore the house to it’s natural glory.

Jenny used Olaplex in conjunction with L’Oreal’s professional colour line, to create a beautiful ash base, and cool blonde highlights. After this process, my hair is definitely in need of some TLC. I am continuing with my Curly Girl method, doing minimal heat styling, and using a heavy duty leave-in conditioner.

Something important I do have to say to all the curly-haired mavens out there is to avoid using keratin infused products on the daily. The type of keratin bonds present, genetics, and the shape of your hair follicle determine your hair structure/texture. It is a complicated road to travel when trying to answer the question what is the difference between straight, wavy, and curly hair.

One of the main factors, and one that I want to focus on for maintaining healthy curly hair is the distribution of keratin proteins. Under an electron microscope strands of curly hair are shown to have an uneven distribution of keratin resulting in its spiral shape. Straight hair has a more or less even distribution of keratin amino acids from root to tip. Adding keratin products to your daily hair care routine will only disrupt the natural amino acid structure of your hair and over-keratinize your strands leaving them brittle and dry. This will only make the dryness worse and lead to breakage. You don’t need keratin to impart moisture – you need fats. Think shea butter, avocado and coconut oil, everything high in tri-glycerides and natural fats. These products are high in vitamins essential for cell development and health, as well as hydration! Take your hair off of its diet and feed it well!

Screen Shot 2015-09-12 at 7.57.58 PM

My hair colour currently looks very natural and is very complexion flattering, it is beautiful!

My Top Tips for Keeping Your Extensions Perfect

My Top Tips for Keeping Your Extensions Perfect

Screen shot 2015-02-11 at 9.00.45 PM

Happy Humpday Hair-mavens! Just thought I’d swing by and give you some helpful tips I wish I knew in the beginning of my hair extension career! These rules can be applied to all different types of extensions, a few adjustments for clip ins, but all-in-all these rules still apply:

29 beh hair washingWashing

Keep your hair and scalp clean! When sweat and dirt build up your hair tangles. Use a good quality shampoo and conditioner. Your stylist can tell you what products are best for your hair and extensions. Detangle your hair first from the ends to the roots before shampooing. Wash your hair gentle in a downward motion (from the roots to the ends).

Rubbing can cause the hair to tangle. When you’re done rinse your hair thoroughly. Make sure that your hair is clean before you use a hair conditioner. Condition your hair after every wash. Your extensions don’t receive the natural oils from your scalp. Do not apply conditioner in the root area or near the attachments. It can loosen the bonds and make your extensions fall out. Dry your hair gently, don’t rub it with a towel but move in a downward motion from roots to ends. Gently detangle your hair. After you get your hair extensions it is best to wait 48 hours before you wash your hair.

**Clip Ins: Skip the shampoo. Clip in’s don’t have the luxury of getting the natural oils from your scalp. Pre-rinse your extensions by dipping them into a large bowl of luke-warm water, making sure they are fully saturated with water, then follow with a great KERATIN FREE conditioner. Also, Do yourself a solid, lets those bad boys air dry, nothing kills extensions more than blow drying.

heat_styling_hairHeat Styling

It is better to avoid heat. Heat is your one of your hair’s biggest enemy, the more you use it, the shorter your hair extensions will last. Be careful with the use of blow dryers, flat irons and curling irons. It is best to let your hair dry naturally. This is why one of my biggest recommendations is to purchase hair extensions which are similar to your own hair pattern and texture. This will enable you to air dry the hair, keeping it in better condition for a longer amount of time.

Use a special brush for hair extensions when brushing your hair (soft bristle brush). It is best to start at the ends of your hair and when all tangles are removed gently work your way up. Always brush in a downward motion. Brush your hair a few times a day. You can purchase something called a loop brush, the bristles don’t come to a point, they look back into the brush. These brushes are more gentle on both the hair and scalp.

Another important aspect of styling any type of extensions is using a good heat protectant. A great one is Paul Mitchell’s Hot Off The Press. Bonus: Paul Mitchell does not endorse or conduct animal testing!

product_6Hair styling products

Use a good (leave-in) conditioner to keep your hair soft. Don’t over do it. To much conditioner or any other hair care product can cause a build up and tangling. Avoid hair products that contain alcohol and keratin. Alcohol makes hair dry and keratin can easily make the hair brittle.

Confirm with your stylist or hair extensions technician that all styling products (including shampoo and conditioner) that you use are OK for use on your hair and extensions. The best line of products I have found for both styling and washing are from either AG Hair Cosmetics or Paul Mitchell. Both are cruelty free companies contain a huge range of products.

Sleepingtired dog

DON’T sleep on wet hair. Make sure that your hair is completely dry when you go to sleep. A good habit is to tie your hair together in a ponytail to prevent tangling as much as possible. Another great protective style is a french or regular three-strand braid.

**Clip Ins: Don’t sleep in your clip ins. Unless you want your hair to break off at the root and your extensions to be matted together. It’s not a good look.

exercise_craving_newExercise

Avoid long exposure to chlorine and salt water. Chlorine and salt water can cause the hair to tangle and mat up. It is recommended to wear a swim cap if possible or wear your hair up to keep it out of the water. After swimming it is best to shampoo and condition your hair immediately. In general it is a good habit to wear your hair up or in a ponytail when you exercise

**Clip Ins: You don’t need long hair to burn calories. Leave your extensions at home, in your gym bag, or where ever else. Sweating with your clip ins in will only require you to wash them that much more often, shortening their life span.

Semi Permanent Extensions: Which is Right for You?

Semi Permanent Extensions: Which is Right for You?

Hollywood Waves

"If your hair is done properly and you 
have a good pair of shoes, 
you can get away with anything."
- Iris Apfel
(Harpers Bazaar, 2013)

First things first, consider what type of extensions you would like:

I do Keratin Fusion extensions and Microbead Weft extensions. They both have their pros and cons; however, it is most important to consider what you want out of the extensions before evaluating the pros and cons. Do you want volume? Do you want a bit less commitment?

blonde keratin bondsKeratin extensions are bonded using a crystallized keratin glue (it’s composed of the same protein that your hair is made of) to individual small sections of your hair. The keratin glue is heated and then the melted glue is attached to each individual section The pros to this is they are literally almost undetectable since the bonds are so small, they are also extremely versatile when styling and you can customize the volume all over your head (ex. If your hair tends to be a bit thinner on the left side of your head more individual strands can be added to that section to make it more voluminous).

The cons are the removal is a little more time consuming and difficult, they are more sensitive to heat (you can put heat directly on the bonds otherwise they will slip/come out), and you can’t reuse the hair. They can last up to 6 months depending on how you take care of them. If you are rough with them or if they aren’t removed properly they can result in damage. I used to get these ones all the time and I always removed them properly and never had any issues.

extensions blonde before and afterThe Microbead Weft Extensions are more hearty in a way. Since they are not vulnerable to heat directly on the bonds, you don’t have to be as careful when heat styling. They are attached in larger wefts/track across the head and can be more voluminous than the keratin bonds; however, they are a bit more heavy for the wearer because there is more hair being applied in one section. The pros are that they typically last longer than the keratin and if the hair is still in good condition you can reuse it. The reason it lasts longer is because you can continue to wear the extensions for as long as the integrity of the hair allows, adjusting it as your hair grows out – moving it up towards the root. The removal is quick and easy and these extensions are more fool proof – it would be pretty rare if it caused any damage to your hair. The cons are that they are a bit heavier like I said and may be a bit more uncomfortable to sleep on.

Both will feel tight on scalp right after installation but will loosen about 1 – 2 days later and about 4 -5 days after installation the hair can be put up into any up-style!

If you feel like both options are too much commitment/you won’t want to wear them constantly I would not recommend booking in as will not be able to give you what you need. I would recommend looking into clip in extensions for a no commitment alternative.

microbeads

A few other things to consider when booking your installation appointment:

Allow up to 2.5 hours for the appointment (3 hours for fusions). Please don’t book or agree to be anywhere right after; I don’t want to make you late or have to try and rush through the appointment – it will cut down on the time I have to perfect your extensions.

DO NOT HESITATE TO ASK WHICH EXTENSIONS YOU SHOULD BUY. As someone who has had many many extensions in my lifetime I know how frustrating it is to purchase hair only to have it not last due to poor quality. I’m happy to help in anyway I can.

Try to match up installation with your hair colouring cycle. Dying installed extensions makes them not last as long so please keep that in mind when making your appointment! (I can guarantee using chemicals over keratin bonded extensions will make most of them fall out almost immediately). It is ideal to get your hair coloured right before you get your extensions involved.

Keep your natural hair texture in mind! If you have curly hair, installing straight extensions means more work in styling! Buying extensions with texture closer to your natural texture will mean less work for you!

Your extensions are going to need extra attention from you. Since your extensions are not attached to your head and don’t have the benefit of getting the natural, nurturing oils from your scalp, they will dry out much faster than natural hair. You should consider investing in an ultra gentle shampoo, a deeply moisturizing conditioner and conditioning treatment, an effective heat protectant, and a light weight hair oil.

My Top Tips for Purchasing Hair Extensions

My Top Tips for Purchasing Hair Extensions

As always I am open for questions but I thought it important to list a few Key bits of information to consider when purchasing extensions:

blonde keratin bonds

What type of extensions you want…


if you want fusion extensions you can purchase either bulk (loose hair bundled together)or wefted (hair that is sewn together into a long curtain-like weft of hair) hair. Microbeaded extensions require the purchase of wefted hair, bulk hair can not be used!

group long hair

The quality: DO NOT PURCHASE SYNTHETIC HAIR…


Synthetic hair is made similarly to the way fishing line it made, it is a manmade plastic product which can be heat RESISTANT but is not at all like natural human hair. It also has a heavier weight per stand which tends to make you look ridiculous if its windy and your natural hair is blown about but your extensions remain still. Not a good look! Look hor hair descriptions that include the words REMY (a term used to indiate all hair strands are aligned in the same direction to prevent friction and hair breakage), HUMAN HAIR (kind of a no brainer!), AAA (often there is a grading system applied to hair quality – AAA is one of the highest grades), and VIRGIN (this applies to many of the raven or dark haired beauties out there, you have the luxury of using completely unprocessed hair which with inevitably hold up longer due to the pristine nature of the hair cuticle. BEWARE blondies and rainbow-haired darlings! If your blonde extensions claim to be virgin, they’re in denial!). Also bear in mind the natural texture of your hair – if you have curly hair and you purchase straight extensions you will be spending more time styling to make the two very different textures blend. Opt for a texture similar to your own so you have the option of allowing your hair to air dry!

blonde and shades

How much hair will you need?

Hair extensions are sold in bundles and come in a variety of weights. The weight is essentially the most important piece of information – it determines the volume of hair you will get (ie. Long hair extensions with low weight means very thin hair). The standard weight for 18″- 20″ of Human Hair is anywhere between 50g-75g. This is about a half head of voluminous extensions. One bundle is also appropriate simply for adding length. In my experience i have had the best results with about 110g-150g of hair. PLEASE NOTE – HAVING HAIR LEFT OVER IS A GREAT OPTION IF YOU WANT MORE ADDED OR FOR FUTURE TOUCH UPS. If you have naturally thick hair you may want to add more for a natural fullness.(For reference I have a lot of hair which is fine per strand)

24743-Long-Wavy-Hair

Color accuracy…

Possibly one of the most difficult parts of ordering! More often than not your hair color will be as unique as you and hard to match. My recommendation as something who has colored extensions many times FIND THE SHADE CLOSEST TO YOUR SHADE BUT LIGHTER. You can’t lift/lighten hair extensions (technically you can but they are unable to recover and you cut your total wear time in half). Worse case scenario you will need to use a deposit only color to tone the extensions to match your own which does very little damage.

tumblr_meqsxczamb1re2o28o1_1280

Delivery time…

either have the extensions in your posession at time of booking OR book the appointment 2-3 weeks in advance to allow sufficient time for extensions to arrive. Planning ahead allows for your best extension experience.

I hope this was helpful!xo

Going Rogue: Embracing Your Curly Hair Destiny

Going Rogue: Embracing Your Curly Hair Destiny

tumblr_meqsxczamb1re2o28o1_1280Something that’s important to understand about your unruly, beautiful curly hair is that at it’s base your hair is created different than any other hair texture. An uneven distribution of keratin amino acids from root to tip giving it the kinky, spirally texture you’ve come to love and hate.

Since curly hair is molecularly different than the rest, we should take care of it differently also, agreed? Agreed! Let me introduce to you my much loved curly girl method. This method is best used for people with naturally curly hair, whether you wear your hair curly or not (although, your hair structure makes your strands extremely susceptible to dehydration so I would second guess that flat iron for a second) to maintain and restore the health of your hair and scalp. I’m going to give you a step by step guide as if you would be starting from scratch, make product recommendations, and insert my own personal experiences with the method as well. Before I jump right into this one of the main features of this method is that it is a “no-poo” method, meaning you will not be shampooing your hair. Yes. That’s right. Goes against everything you thought you knew, right?

34523-Honey-Blonde-Curly-HairStep One: Do your “final cleanse” with a clarifying shampoo. If you’re looking for a less harsh option, my best recommendation is using an apple cider vinegar based shampoo. The vinegar will help to strip away any residue and silicones left on the hair and scalp, giving you a clean slate. To save money, and not have a semi-used shampoo lying around, you can also shampoo twice with a regular shampoo, ensuring to give your scalp a good massage. After this initial shampoo, do not shampoo. Chemicals commonly found in shampoos tend to be too harsh and drying to sensitive, parched curly hair. By tossing the shampoo, you give your hair a better chance of retaining any moisture you give it.

long curly brown hair cityStep Two: Prep your arsenal. You want to be well equipped with silicone, parabens, and sulfate free styling products and conditioner. I like a good thick conditioner for daily “cleansing”. I start at my ends and work the conditioner through my hair, ending with a scalp massage to help stimulate circulation to keep my hair follicles healthy. I then like to have a heavy leave in conditioner to keep my strands hydrated during the day and my curls smoother. A couple other optional additions are a intense hydration mask to use 2-3x a week and a serum if you are concerned with your hair looking lack lustre.

tumblr_nm5h12Wscg1qi1b8no1_500Step Three: Lose the dead weight. Go get a hair cut. I know it’s painful to cut ANY length off as curly hair takes what seems like forever to grow; however, split ends and breakage will actually hurt you more in the long run. As the hair breaks and frays, the damage moves up the hair shaft making your strands shorter over time and it will appear as if your hair is not growing. Get your stylist to trim off enough to get rid of any breakage so you can start fresh with healthy hair.

8f75e78b3e2b1b6ae4d4f730ff0c7222Step Four: Get your co-wash on girl! To make the co washing (washing with conditioner) effective you need to put effort into your scalp massage. You can loosen any dirt and lessen the accumulation of natural oils by giving yourself a firm, thorough scalp massage using conditioner. This will also stimulate the blood circulation, keeping your hair follicles healthy and your hair growth at it’s maximum. This method is also good for those who suffer from minimal to moderate dandruff. Since you are eliminating products that dry out the scalp and cause dermatitis or reactivity, any residue that may turn into dandruff is minimized and the health of the scalp is dramatically improved.

blonde curlyStep Five: Keep your comb in the shower. Never brush or comb dry curly hair. You are asking for frizz, heartache, and pain. Invest in a good wide toothed comb and keep it in the shower. When you have fully saturated your hair with conditioner, starting at the ends and working your way up, gently detangle you hair. Be thorough but do so with care, do not pull or tug. This also gives you a chance to monitor your hair loss. As weird as it sounds, if I notice more hair in my comb than normal, I take it as a hint that a new stressor has been introduced in my life and it is time to take a step back and do some self care/make some changes.

10899442_1002676933093296_1591528545_nStep Six: Don’t waste time and get those products on! You want to apply your styling products when your hair is almost still soaking wet. Emulsify the products in your hands first then gently “rake” the products into your hair separating your curls as you do so. This will encourage your natural curl pattern as your hair dries. If you are planning on straightening your hair, remember to use a good heat protectant as well as your curly hair products.

11205954_1575012402763944_2099748363_nStep Seven: Scrunch girl, scrunch! To continue to encourage your hair to curl naturally, use your hands or a t shirt to scrunch the hair. A normal towel will absorb water from the hair and too fast of a pace, making it frizzy and causing friction to undo the natural curl pattern. The softness of a cotton t shirt or your hands will not take away the water but will continue to help lift and develop the curls.


This just happens to be “my version” of the curly girl method, there are definitely more steps you can add but I find this the most “do able” on a daily basis. A few things to note is that you need to commit to this routine – it takes about 1 – 3 weeks to see a noticeable difference. Think of it as a lifestyle change! Also, get a good stylist on your side. Especially if you are trying to grow out your hair, you’ll want to get trims every 3 months or so to keep hair healthy and prevent any breakage.

Another addition I do with my routine is an pre-shower scalp massage using almond, jojoba, or avocado oil. I also mix in essential oils like eucalyptus, birch (if I have a head ache), and rosemary. This is my go-to as part of a pamper session or if I’m feeling like I had a rough day. You can either jump into the shower after using this mixture, or sleep with it over night. Make sure you drape your pillow with a towel you’re not terribly attached to.

Hair Extensions: A Complete Introduction

Hair Extensions: A Complete Introduction

blonde flower crown

Something that has always had my interest for many years are hair extensions or artificial hair integrations. Since I first started getting interested in extensions I become more and more able to spot “bad” or unblended sets/installation and am able to admire the artistry of undetectable extensions. I feel like a lot of time hair extensions, more specifically semi permanent extensions, get a bad wrap for a few reasons:

  1. They have been applied improperly causing extreme damage to the hair
  2. The extensions applied were not the right ones for your hair type also leading to damage
  3. Poor quality hair was installed
  4. They were poorly cared for

The hair industry has been around for literally thousands of years, and hair extensions and wigs have been used since the times of ancient Egypt as a sign of social status. Extensions, much like any of the other branches of the beauty industry, are always evolving and becoming more efficient and technologically advanced. They offer many different options which cater to many different lifestyles and price points. Clip in extensions are most often the more affordable, lowest maintenance options. They also offer a low level of commitment since you can choose when and where to wear them. It’s a great way to pump up the volume and length for special occasions.

What Extensions are Right for Me?

largeSo when you’re thinking about extensions think about what you want them for. Do you want them for a special occasion and not every day? You are a clip in kind of gal! Do you want to have longer hair everyday and are able to take the extra time to baby your hair? Semi permanent options are most likely for you!

Now that you have determined which method would suit you best put your detective hat on and do your research. You need to understand what kind of additional care your extensions will require and a knowledgeable source of information regarding sourcing your hair, installation methods, and ease of removal (very, very important to know how you will be removing extensions). There are literally tons of methods to install semi permanent extensions. For example, you’ve probably heard of weaves. This is common for women of who have the luxury of having extremely strong and resilient hair. Typically speaking women of European or Caucasian heritage do not have hair strong enough hair to support the installation of a weave without experiencing quite a bit of damage. You need to understand the method in order to make an appropriate decision as to which installation method will be right for you. Weaves can be great, protective options for people who are lucky enough to have beautiful strong hair but they can be one of the worst options for people who have normal/fine hair.

Where do I buy them? How do I know what to buy?

tumblr_lh4lzrtU0D1qbotogo1_500Getting hair extensions can seem like a huge process but it is truly an investment. A good set of clip in extensions can be anywhere from $100 to $200 depending on the seller and extensions for semi permanent installation can cost anywhere between $60 to $170 per bundle depending on length (a full head takes 2 – 3 bundles). THEN you have to source your extension tech to install them which also garners an additional fee.

Extensions come in literally all colours and manufacturers are constantly introducing new color combinations to fit current trends. Currently there is a lot of popularity around bright, colourful extensions and ombre styles. Many companies also offer custom coloring options for an additional fee. The market for hair extensions is literally based on client requests. As far as installation methods go, my personal preference is the semi permanent option of hair extensions. My reasoning for this is due to my hair type and what I’m looking to get out of the extensions:

I want long hair CONSTANTLY, I don’t want to have to worry about taking them in and out each day – it’s just not something I want to spend time doing. I have a LOT of hair – it is very thick all together but per strand is very fine. This means that my hair is more prone to damage when stress is put on smaller portions of my hair (think the clips in clip in hair extensions) and has a hard time holding in clips especially when straight. My hair is VERY curly – It has a kinky-curly or spiral curly pattern depending on the type of product I use and the level of humidity outside. ALL of these traits of my hair make semi permanent hair extensions a better option for me. I have found that my particular hair type does not do well with clip in extensions because the clips break my hair and prevent growth.

Of course, this is just a bit of introductory information as hair extensions are a vast subject.

If you are looking for an easy place to start I would suggest selecting a set of clip ins. They are typically a “gateway” extension before people move onto more permanent methods. SO I am going to wrap up this post by giving you the buying basics for clip in extensions:

  1. You Want Remy Hair Human Hair – the word remy indicates that all the strands of hair are laying in the same direction which means there is no friction between strands of hair. Strand-to-strand friction breaks down the hair making it dry and brittle and eventually leads to tangling and breakage effectively cutting the life of the hair in half. Also, make sure you are buying human hair and not synthetic hair.
  1. Standard Length of Clip ins are 18″-20″ – this is about Victoria Secret length hair. Clip in’s can be trimmed and layered to your liking also so they can easily blend with your natural hair
  1. Read Reviews – it’s as straight forward as it sounds. Many companies have open reviews sections for their products. BEWARE OF PAID REVIEWS – many individuals, especially beauty vloggers, are paid to review products. Typically there is an agreement which requires the product to be shown in a positive light. Only take the opinion of vloggers you trust and that you know to be truthful and not swayed by money.
  1. You Can Color Clip ins – if you can’t find your perfect color buy a shade lighter and you can color them (or have a professional do it) to match. DO NOT BLEACH YOUR EXTENSIONS.
  1. Clip Quality – you want clips that are silicone lined to ensure a firm grip on your hair to keep from slipping.
  2. Pay Attention to Grams – you want anywhere between 150g-200g per set of clip ins. This will ensure that the thickness of the extensions look natural when clipped into your hair.

Finally to make your search here is a list of my favourite online clip in extension retailers:

24743-Long-Wavy-Hair

My Pink Vanity (Lush Locks)

Foxy Locks

Dirty Looks

Luxy

I have tried sets of clip ins from each of these companies. All were more or less a great experience. My top pick is My Pink Vanity. To this day, they had some of the best hair quality and clips of any set of extensions I have every owned. Foxy Locks and Luxy Hair extensions were good at the beginning but after a few washes they dried out to the point of no return – they are a bit more affordable than other brands so my suggestion would be to not use shampoo on them or blow dry them. If you do need to give them a rinse just use a great KERATIN FREE conditioner. Dirty Looks, formerly Head Kandy, are AMAZING but very expensive. As a brand I find their marketing a bit questionable, as of late they have been focusing less on their extension quality and more about styling the extensions. There is very little promotion of their own product on social media and it just doesn’t sell them or show how great the extensions are!

blonde and shades