Wed, 15 Aug 2012 20:05:04 GMT | By Viviana Fernandez

Craving hair extensions? What you need to know



Maria Teijeiro-Getty Images

It seems like nowadays every woman on the planet can go from short or thin hair to long and lush hair from one moment to the next. It seems that hair extensions are not just for Hollywood starlets, models and TV stars anymore.

These cosmetic enhancements are sought by women of all ages and backgrounds, but have especially grown in popularity amongst Latinas. Who doesn't want to have the hair of their dreams?

But Diego Quint, a renowned expert on hair extensions from the ever-trendy Miami, says that before any client decides to invest in hair extensions there are some things they should know.

First, a woman interested in hair extensions should be very careful about the procedure they choose for having extensions applied and the care needed to make the extensions last longer.

"Otherwise, we will see a lot of bald, young women in the near future," says Quint, who is in charge of hair extensions at the celebrity favorite Rocco Donna salon in Miami Beach.

Quint, who was a pioneer in the hair extensions field back in his native Buenos Aires, Argentina, confesses that he has witnessed the damage that some application procedures cause to women's natural hair overtime.

It was so bad he decided to stop working with hair extensions. That is until he found a new method five years ago that was much safer and kinder to hair. Now this is the only method he uses.

His preferred method involves using adhesive weft hair extensions and applying them by creating 'sandwich' sections inserted parallel to the floor. The extensions come with surgical glue and adhesive tape with doesn't cause friction in the hair's root. The natural effect of gravity on the hair is not damaged using this method and the extensions come in a variety of lengths, colors, and textures from slight wave to wavy.

No matter which form of hair extensions your stylist would use, Quint recommends considering the following information:

  • The hair extension specialist has to be honest with the client at all times and provide her specific directions about proper care for the extensions.
  • Directions must be followed diligently, or the consequences can be very severe.

Quint cites the keratin fusion and the micro cylinder procedures for applying extensions which can turn out into a real recipe for hair and scalp disaster.

"If we plant a lemon tree, when the tree begins to show its fruit, you see that the lemons are hanging from the branches. The branches are not really 'designed' to hold such weight from the lemons, therefore the branches begin to break and the lemons begin to fall. That is the perfect example of what can happen when a keratin fusion or micro cylinder procedure is utilized. Gravity, just as it would with a lemon tree, will begin to make the hair strands holding the extensions fall and everything else which is attached to the growing root," explains Quint.

These procedures can also leave women with fungus growing in the spot where the insert was made because the extensions are not properly cared for and they don't receive the required maintenance.

The other viable option chosen by many women are the clip on extensions. But again, you must be careful about how you do it. Quint says some women get very into clip-in hair extensions and when they come into the salon he can see wedges made by the metal on their scalp.

His tips for all kinds of hair extensions are as follows:

  • Women should braid their hair loosely every night when they go to bed. After all, it is dead hair and it can get extremely tangled.
  • Everyone should use the products recommended by the specialist to maintain the extension until their next visit. The maintenance visits cannot be skipped.

Therefore, you must be prepared to be able to afford not just the first visit but all others that are required in order to maintain a healthy set of hair extensions. Adhesive weft hair extensions, for example, can cost around $900 the first time and maintenance visits can run upwards of $200.

The following, according to Quint, are the three "musts" that you should keep in mind if you are considering extensions because if one fails, the whole procedure can fail:

1. The hair quality must be exactly what the label states: 100% Remi hair. You can ask the hairdresser to use the flat iron a few times on the hair before putting it on you. This way you will know if there is no artificial hair mixed in the extension.

2. The hairdresser must be knowledgeable about the procedure.

3. The specialist should be very clear and specific with the client about the maintenance directions.

LatinZine wants to know: What do you think about hair extensions?

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Viviana is a multiplatform freelance journalist for various media outlets around the world. For over fifteen years, Viviana was a leading producer, anchor and reporter for CNN En Español. In the year 2008, Viviana was awarded with an Honorable Mention from the CNN Heroes Initiative for her efforts to better the life of people with Down Syndrome in Nepal. Her ten year old son is her inspiration to continue trying to make a difference for children with disabilities. Viviana practices yoga, loves hiking, animals and reading anything she can devour.

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