FAQ’s about Hair Extensions

So you’ve decided to spend the money and get hair extensions….or you’re thinking about it. This is a big decision, and not an easy one. There are many hair salons in Vancouver now offering the service since it has become increasingly popular. We recommend you do your research, make sure you are getting someone with experience and then go to a few consultations before you make your decision.

How do I know my extension technician is good?

Now this is a hard one. Not all extension technicians are created equal, so you really need to do your homework:

  • Ask to see photos (before/after). Ask if you can contact one of his/her long term clients. Most hair extensions clients like to remain anonymous but there is always at least one who would love to let the world know what a great job they had done on their hair.
  • Look at reviews.  In this world of technology, it is easy to find out what an extension salon’s reputation is. If they have been in business long enough there will be reviews from extension clients and other information out there. Be wary if there are too many bad reviews. On the other hand, if there are absolutely no reviews that should make you wonder too. Salons that have been in the extension business long enough will have some feedback out there on the web.
  • Ask how many years of experience the extension artist has, where they trained, and if he/she has any certification. You can confirm any information by calling to check. Great Lengths, for example, has very strict rules about their extensions being used only by certified technicians who have gone through their mandatory training. You can easily call them and confirm your stylist’s credentials.
  • You should get a firm written quote. A good technician will know how much hair you need and what it will cost based on your desired look. A quote should never change at the time of your appointment unless you both decide to change what you originally talked about doing. The extension technician should stand by his/her quote so if you cannot get it in writing then be wary.
  • They should not make you feel rushed through your consultation. A good extension person will want to make sure you are properly informed and will want to answer all your questions. If you feel like you are being rushed out the door, think twice.
  • Honesty is crucial. Make sure your technician is telling you everything you need to know to help you in making your decision and to take care of them. You want all the facts, and not have them sugar-coated. The fact is that extensions do take some maintenance, but it doesn’t have to be that difficult if you are given proper instruction. Wrong information can cause you to be disappointed and to not look after them properly.
  • A good extension person will have accurate and neat placement technique. He/she will also have mastery at colour blending, which is crucial to making the extensions look like your own. More than one colour of extension is used, and these are all mixed together to imitate your own colouring. The combination of placement and colour blending take skill and experience and are crucial to obtaining a seamless, natural look. With improper installation the extensions will pull and cause discomfort and can damage the hair as well. Besides the pain, they can look very unnatural. The application technique and skill level are what differentiates one extension technician from another.

What happens during a consultation?

This will provide you with all the information you need to make a decision based on your needs and lifestyle, and for your stylist to put together an accurate estimate. It is important to start to start a relationship here that is based on the same ideas and solutions to create your look. We want to achieve customer loyalty by developing and maintaining a relationship with each client.

During the consultation, the technician will determine what type of extensions are best for you based on your hair type, your desired result and your budget. It  will also be determined how much hair is needed.  Based on this she will give you a quote which includes the hair cost, installation, haircut and taxes. If you decide to go ahead with it she will do a colour match and take a deposit. The appointment for installation will be booked on the first available day.

How much do they cost?

Each look is custom and so it will vary greatly. The price can range from a few hundred to over fifteen hundred. It will depend on the type of extensions you are having done, whether you want the extensions for length, volume or both and how much hair you need depending on the thickness of your own hair and the desired result. The consult is necessary to give you options and costs for different solutions.  As a rule of thumb, If you have thick hair or short hair you will need a larger amount of extension hair. If you do not put enough in, the hair will look too thin on the bottom and will not blend as well, especially with shorter hair. Differences in price are also directly related to quality/type of hair and method of attachment.

When researching hair extensions and acquiring quotes, make sure you get proper information and accurate estimates. Your technician makes the decision at the time of your consultation how much hair you need, and the price estimation is based on that. When you are given a quote, it should not change at the time of your appointment. You’ve had the consultation and an experienced technician will know what you need at that time.

The cost is based on how much hair is needed and the time it takes to install this amount of hair. Be wary of estimates that seem too low. This may mean that you will not get enough hair installed to make the length look thick enough to match your hair. Alternatively, sometimes what can happen is that when you are having them done the technician “discovers” that you need more hair than estimated and the price suddenly goes up.  What started off as a good deal can get really expensive, especially when you don’t expect it. Look for someone who will guarantee the cost based on what you want the result to be.  An experienced technician will know fairly accurately how much hair is needed and what the total cost will be. We guarantee our estimates.

For more information on price ranges for each type of extension, click here!

How much hair do I need to put in?

The amount you need will depend on how thick your own hair is, what length it is and how long you want it to be. Great Lengths hair comes in “bundles”, for example,  and it can take anywhere from 3 to 6 bundles, or sometimes more, to add length.

If you are having extensions to add length you need to make sure that enough hair is put in to make the bottom thick enough to match your own hair thickness. If there is not enough put in it will look ratty and see-through. Also, the shorter your own hair is the more bundles you will need to put in to make it blend in to your own hair.

To add fullness without changing your length, the amount of hair needed will depend on how much thicker you want your hair to be. You don’t need to add as much hair as you do when adding length, and so the cost will be much less.

The bottom line is, make sure enough hair is added in or it won’t look good. An experienced technician will be able to estimate the amount of hair needed during the consultation, and will be able to give you an accurate quote.

Can I have extensions done just to add thickness?
Yes. Many people have extensions put in to add fullness to hair that is thin and fine. It can really add fullness to the hair and make styling easier. If the hair is too thin, however, it can be difficult to blend the extension hair in properly. A consultation will determine what your options are. The cost of filling the hair in is much less than having it done for length.

Can I wear my hair up?
For some types of extensions you absolutely can. Great Lengths and Neo extensions (microbeads) can be worn up because the sections are very small.  The extensions should not be applied any lower than the base of your scalp and so your hair under this point covers the extensions while you wear it in pigtails, ponytails, french twists, french braids etc. Tape in extensions are more difficult to wear up because the sections are wider and it causes pulling.  You can only wear it in a low ponytail or bun, or even a loose braid.

Are there alternatives to real hair?
High quality acrylic fibre hair is an alternative to human hair when cost is an issue or style or hair texture dictates a need for it. It can look as good as human hair when applied correctly and since it is lighter in weight than human hair it is an option for fine, thin hair. One drawback is that you cannot use curling irons or flat irons on it or it will melt. You can blow dry it but you must also be careful that the heat isn’t too high. You can, however, hot rollers.

Why are Great Lengths extensions so much better than other fusion brands?

We have tried many other companies, but we use Great Lengths because they are one of the most successful systems and we have continually had the best luck with them in obtaining good quality hair. With their revolutionary patented system of application, glues and hot waxes are eliminated. Great Lengths requires training of any professionals certified in their system and the hair salon must meet their stringent qualifications to be able to carry their product and offer the service. This ensures you are getting both quality service and product. We consider these the best because:

  • They last longer than any other type of hair extensions (up to 3-5 months)
  • You do not need to get them tightened or redone during the 3-5 months that you will have them in
  • The hair is colored using a soaking method that does not chemically destroy the hair
  • The extension colors do not fade (with the exception of pastel shades)
  • Best for maintaining the quality of your hair
  • Extensions look just as good the day you take them out as the day you put them in
  • Minimal maintenance
  • Natural and comfortable to wear
  • Can be used to thicken up the look of your hair
  • Can be used to add highlights without the use of bleach or other harsh chemicals

Can You Reuse Extension Hair?

Some types of extensions will allow you to reuse the hair a few times. With tape in extensions you can use the hair 3 times or more, depending on how well you take care of it.  This type of extension is reusable because your stylist can easily re-tape the hair. You can also reuse the microbead extensions because they are just tightened up every few months. Eventually, for both of these methods, the hair will get too dry and/or thin to reuse so you have to get new hair.

You can not reuse Great Lengths extension hair. Once they grow out and you have them removed you need to get fresh hair. They are not reusable for a few reasons:

  • The ‘protein bonds’ (which attach them to the hair) are destroyed during the removal process. Those have to be cut off and the hair rebonded. No matter how good the extension technician is , the hair will shed more when it is rebonded as opposed to when it comes bonded by Great Lengths. During wear and during removal the hairs will shift and don’t all end up in the bond.
  • Because the hair sheds during the time you have it in and when it’s removed, there will be less hair to use. The hair will also be shorter because of the old bonds getting cut off.
  • Hair extensions will break down during wear, since they are not getting nutrients that your natural hair would get. Even if you do reuse the hair (as a few other companies do) the hair will always shed more, will look more dry and won’t last as long.
  • Because Great Lengths is known for their high standards (which is why their hair is deemed the “cadillac of hair extensions”), they do not recommend reusing any extension hair.

Good Hair, Bad Hair - What's the difference?
Hair comes in many qualities and apart from the method of application, the quality of your hair extension hair will determine whether or not they will look real, how they feel and how long they will last. There are a number of companies that provide human hair, ranging from low end to high end. The cheaper hair is usually over-processed, with the cuticle stripped off, so it then it needs to be coated with a silicon to imitate shine. This coating wears off quickly and the hair becomes dull and dry looking after just a few washes.

Is it true that extensions will damage my own hair?
They will damage your hair if they are put on poorly. If the stylist does not know what they are doing they will put too much tension on the hair and, especially if it is fine or damaged at all, it will break. It’s true that some methods of attachment are more damaging than others, but with the proper method it does not need to ruin your hair. You just need to know when to take breaks from extensions and find a stylist who cares about your hair as much as you do 🙂 If the extensions are attached and removed properly by a trained and certified hair stylist, you have lowered your risk of any type of damage to close to zero. It is also very important to follow the care instructions given to you by your stylist and to not leave the extensions in too long.

How do I look after them?

You look after hair extensions almost the same as you would with long hair that you grew yourself. If you have never been able to grow your hair long before it is probably because you are killing it just as quickly as it grows. Some tips:

  • Make sure you MOISTURIZE (very important). The extensions do not receive your natural scalp oils and so need to have moisture added every wash. If you don’t moisturize your hair extensions they will become brittle and break easily leading to split and ratty ends. The hair itself is not really difficult to comb, if it is quality hair. We recommend a good moisturizer for proper maintenance.
  • Treat them kindly. Just like your real hair, you want the extensions to continue to look shiny and healthy so you don’t want to yank at them with a brush, burn them with the blow dryer, or kill them with chemicals. Of course you want to be able to use flat irons, curling irons or hot rollers, but use them sparingly. You pay good money for your extensions so make sure you treat them like gold.
  • Always brush out all knots before you wash your hair, swim, or sleep. Start at the bottom and work your way up slowly using a proper brush. Do not use just any brush…we will recommend the right type of brush to use.
  • Don’t leave the extension hair in too long. The recommended amount of time is generally 3 months. Everyone loses from 50 to 150 hair a day which means that after a while there isn’t that much hair in a bond to support the weight of the extension especially with daily brushing and pulling on the extensions. If left in too long eventually your hair will break. 3 to 4 months is what most hair can handle.

Have we answered all your questions?

If not, please send us an email at: info@citrushairsalon.com or call 604-688-1332 to chat with one of our specialists.