It's the miracle that your clients' dreams are made of: instantly gaining inches of hair with only a few hours of effort. Hair extensions are among the most revolutionary services offered by hair professionals—and they're also the most complex. To simplify the process, I'm providing answers to frequently asked questions about how to keep extensions looking fabulous and natural for as long as possible.
Q. How long after applying extensions is it safe to color hair?
A. I recommend waiting three to five days before coloring for the best results and also to save your client from having to spend most of her day in your chair.
Q. If a client with extensions wants highlights, do I add them all over her head?
A. No. Ninety-nine percent of the time, I apply highlights only to about half the head, leaving the nape area untouched.
Q. Do extensions hold color the same way natural hair does?
A. No, they don't. Even though quality extensions are made with real hair, they are often infused with a textile dye that adheres more robustly and doesn't fade as quickly as traditional hair dye. So even if you achieve perfect harmony between natural hair and extensions on day one, that may not be the case a few weeks down the road.
Q. So what do I do when my brunette client's hair fades from sun exposure, but her extensions are still a rich chocolate brown?
A. In a word—glazes. They're the ideal way to refresh everything but the extensions to revert to a more balanced look.
Q. How can I maximize length for my clients with baby-blonde hair?
A. As you know, the intense processing involved to achieve a pale blonde color usually causes hair disintegration, so superlight hair tends not to grow very long. Extensions are the perfect solution to add inches and thickness to the ends. —E-mail Kim Vo at firstname.lastname@example.org.