Hair Extensions 101

We know pixies are all the rage right now, but in our eyes, they don’t hold a candle to long, loose waves. And you don’t have to be genetically blessed to get them. Many of the most sought-after heads of hair get help from extensions. To learn more about the often-daunting array of fantasy-hair options, we have put together all of the facts to demystify the methods, the maintenance, and more. Welcome to Hair Extensions 101.

 

THE TOP METHODS

Fusion (or Bonded) Hair Extensions

Individual keratin-tipped strands are fused to your natural hair using heat.

Tape-in Hair Extensions

Wefts of hair are attached to small sections of your natural hair using double-sided tape.

Weave (or Sew-in) Hair Extensions

Your natural hair is braided in rows from ear to ear and wefts of hair are woven (with thread) onto the braids.

 

THE RUNDOWN

Finding the right extension method will depend on budget, preference, and hair type. While fusion and tape-in extensions can be used on just about any hair texture, weaves are best suited for curly, kinky hair. Fusion extensions tend to be the most expensive ($500 to $4,000) and have the most time-consuming application process (up to three hours); they also last the longest (three to four months). The tape-in application process is much faster (about an hour) and more affordable ($300 to $2,000) but requires more frequent maintenance (every six to eight weeks). The same tape-in extensions can be removed and reapplied, though, you don’t have to purchase new hair each time. The same goes for weave-in extensions, which last about three months, can be applied in an hour or two, and are the most affordable option of the bunch ($100 to $1,000). (Fusion extensions are a one-shot deal; once removed, you can’t use them again.)

 

Human Versus Synthetic Hair

When it comes to purchasing hair, you get what you pay for. Price will vary greatly based on quality of the hair, as well as the desired quantity (for thickness) and length. Virgin (never-before-processed) Remy human hair is the highest quality and runs upwards of several hundred dollars per bunch (and some heads may require more than one). The hair cuticle is preserved, instead of stripped, and all the hairs run in the same direction, maintaining that natural soft, silky texture. Synthetic hair is much cheaper ($50 to $100) but won’t blend or style the way human hair does. It can’t always withstand heat styling and tangles easily. It can be a great way to try out extra length or bangs without a big commitment, though.

 

What to Look For

It’s important to match the color and texture of the hair extensions with that of your natural hair. Touch the hair first. If it feels dry, it’s going to tangle more easily. And avoid hair with excessive shine: Shiny hair is coated with silicone, which will wear off quickly and lead to tangles and dulling. As for your stylist, experience is a must. Improper application or removal is when damage can occur. We also recommend looking for someone with a colorist background: If the color match is off, your extensions will be very obvious.

 

Shopping Online VS In-Store

When shopping online, especially for expensive products, we always recommend to paying attention to the quality of the website. It is important to be able to read about the product before making a purchase. Always research all the information provided on the website. Also, check if there is an option to easily contact the team in case you have any urgent questions.

If you decide to buy your hair extensions in-store, make sure you find a good assistant. Ask questions about the company and the quality of the hair they use. When choosing a color, try to use the natural light if possible. This will help you to choose the perfect shade. Not getting the right color is a common mistake when buying hair extensions. Most extension companies offer a wide range of colors that make it easier for women to find the right shade.

We suggest doing your homework online before going to the store. It is better to inform yourself prior the purchase. Don’t rely too much on a shopping assistant in this case. Sometimes they just push whatever needs to be sold or don’t have much experience in the product themselves.

 

How Much Do You Get in The Set?

One of the aspects to consider when choosing the hair extensions is how much actual hair and how many wefts you get for your money. Even though some brands are slightly more expensive than the others, we believe it is better to invest slightly more initially than have to buy a new set in a year’s time. When buying a high-quality product, you are paying for the hair you can wear confidently for a long time.

If you see less expensive hair online, make sure it is genuine Remy human hair, so it lasts. Remy Hair is considered to be the finest quality of human hair because the cuticles are kept intact and not stripped, like in most other non-Remy hair extensions. Preserving the hair cuticles and aligning them in a unidirectional fashion creates extensions that are completely natural in appearance. Remy hair is also considered to be the healthiest because it is picked one strand at a time.

 

How to Cut and Style

Good extensions should be entirely undetectable—blending your natural hair with the extension is critical. The best way to do this? A great cut. After the extensions are in, your hair should be cut dry, with layers that blend the two hair types. You can color extensions darker (no bleaching!), but it’s best to choose a shade close to your natural color to avoid over processing. Or you can mix and match various shades for a more natural-looking blend. As for at-home styling, extensions should allow you to wash and wear.

 

TLC

Extension hair should be cared for just like your natural hair: gently. Be extra careful with wet hair, dry hair completely with your fingers before using a brush to style. Avoid tugging or yanking at the extensions while brushing. Instead, hold hair at the root, and begin detangling starting at the ends. You can use all of your favorite hair products but keep oils away from the roots in order to prevent the bond, tape, or weave from slipping. At bedtime, put your hair in a loose braid so it doesn’t get matted or tangled while you sleep.

 

The Damage

The weight of extensions can put additional stress on the roots, so it’s important to match hair density to avoid unnecessary tension on natural hair. In other words, if you have fine hair, your extensions should be a lighter density; those who have thicker, more coarse strands should look for hair with medium density. Placement is also essential. Extensions should be placed where hair is strongest. Avoid areas along the hairline or the back of the neck, where hair is the most fragile.

How To Extend The Life Of Your Color

If you color your hair there’s no doubt that you spend quite a bit of hard-earned cash, as well as precious time, sitting in hair salons each year to keep your color looking gorgeous. And if you’re like many people, you could unknowingly be washing a lot of that money down the drain each time you step into the shower.

Yes, coloring your hair and keeping it looking good-as-new can get pretty pricey, but there are some tried and true tips and tricks that can help you get the most bang for your beauty buck. So before you vow to never wash your hair again, read on for the know-how that will keep your color-treated tresses fade-resistant and looking fresh between salon visits.

 

Moisturize Your Mane

The chemicals in dye strip hair of its natural moisture and can leave your once lovely locks looking fried. This “fuzzy” look is a result of damage to hair cuticles–the outermost part of hair strands. And since hair is porous by nature, each hair-care product you add penetrates deep down causing more damage and color dullness. So, it goes without saying that keeping your hair hydrated is essential in alleviating dryness as well as preventing color-fade. Maintaining moisture takes more than a simple application of daily conditioner. Using a deep conditioning treatment before and after coloring your hair will help offset damage and lock in color.

To extend the life of your hair color even further, stylists suggest applying an at-home deep conditioning treatment every seven to ten days. Once you find a treatment that fits your budget and hair woes, apply it to damp, towel-dried hair and comb through from root to tip. Then, wrap your hair up in a bun, pin it in place and let the conditioner work its magic for 30 minutes before rinsing with lukewarm or cold water.

 

Shampoo Smartly

To maximize your color treatment, it’s important to know when you should and shouldn’t shampoo your hair. Shampooing incorrectly and too often can result in dull color–and more trips to the salon.

Skip the shampoo 24 to 48 hours before you color your hair. Natural oils from your hair and scalp will actually protect your hair, plus help color cling to your strands. You don’t have to worry about leaving styling products on your hair, either. Contrary to popular belief, product build-up won’t affect the coloring process.

After your color treatment, wait at least 24 hours (48, if you can stand it) before washing your hair. This will allow your color treatment to set, which will result in more vibrant color after your first post-appointment shampoo.

Say no to sulfates and sodium chloride when picking the perfect shampoo for your color-treated locks. Color-specific shampoos typically don’t contain sulfates that can strip color from your hair. Instead, these gentle shampoos contain potent color protectants like UV absorbers, antioxidants and vitamins that protect your hair from damaging free radicals.

Shampoo every other day. When cleansing color-treated hair, less is always more. As soon as your hair gets wet, color begins to escape, so washing your hair every day isn’t a good option to protect color. Allowing the oils in your hair to build up for a day or two will protect your hair color, naturally. Hair getting too oily by forgoing a daily shampoo? No problem. Simply use a dry shampoo or dry shampoo spray to eliminate that “greasy” look.

Use a color-depositing shampoo between salon visits if you notice your color fading a bit. This type of shampoo will color the surface of each hair strand temporarily. Just remember to go easy on these because the pigments in the shampoo can weigh your hair down if used too often. You should also always ask a colorist which shampoo hue is best for you!

Keep the water cool when rinsing your color-treated hair. Hot, steamy water can allow pigment to escape more freely, so opt for lukewarm or cold water when rinsing.

 

Condition Correctly

When caring for your color-treated hair, it’s important to know how to use hair conditioner correctly and effectively. When searching for the right conditioner for your color-treated tresses, look for daily conditioners that infuse hair with extra conditioning. Look for conditioners that contain natural ingredients like shea butter, vegetable glycerin, avocado oil, aloe and jojoba extract. All of these will help hydrate your hair, create shine and prevent frizz.

Once you pick your perfect conditioner, you must also be smart about applying it. Don’t just slather it on right after you rinse your shampoo! Conditioner won’t be able to penetrate hair strands when they’re dripping with water, so wring out excess H2O first before applying conditioner. Then, make sure to use your fingers or a wide-tooth comb to effectively coat each hair strand. When rinsing, always opt for lukewarm or cold water to prevent dehydration and brittle ends.

 

Stay Out of the Sun

Though that big, bright, warming star in the sky can offer natural health benefits like healthy doses of Vitamin D, and provide effective treatment for seasonal affective disorder, the sun’s harmful UV rays not only damage your delicate skin, but your hair, too. Light and heat from the sun can cause your hair color to fade and cause hair dehydration.

You don’t have to stay out of the sun completely, though. Just be smart about it! Protect your color-treated hair from the elements to prevent the formation of free radicals that fade color. If you know that you’ll be in the sun for extended periods of time, be sure to spray a leave-in hair treatment with a UV filter. Look for products that contain benzophenone-3 or -4, polyquaternium-59, cinnamidopropyltrimonium chloride and butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane, and vitamins a, c and e. You might also want to double up on the pigment protection by choosing a shampoo with UV absorbers, as well. And for easy-breezy sun protection, simply throw on a stylish hat.

One more important thing to remember is that hot, summer sun isn’t the only type of sun that damages your hair. No matter the season, the sun’s UV rays can fade your color, so always use your sun smarts during the fall, winter and spring, as well.

 

Leave the Heat Alone

Blow dryers can be convenient, but this type of heat styling and others can also be your hair color’s worst nightmare. Heat is actually the greatest factor in color fading. The heat from certain styling tools can scorch your hair–especially when used daily. And once your hair heats up, the hair cuticle opens which allows hair color pigments to escape.

So, if you can bear it, put away that flat iron, curling iron and blow dryer most days. If you find yourself in a rush and need to dry your hair quickly, protect it with a spray containing UV filters and vitamins, then use your blow dryer on its lowest heat setting. Better yet, try to wait until your hair is just about dry before turning on the blow dryer or using any heat styling tools. When in doubt, just remember that damp is always better than dry!

 

Go for Gloss

If you find your hair color looking dull between salon visits, all you need is 10 minutes for a simple shine and color boost! Shiny hair actually masks dull color, and there’s a good chance that your salon offers hair glossing. You can utilize this affordable (and at times, free!) service to buy you more time between color retouches. And if your hair salon doesn’t offer hair glossing treatments, you can always opt for a gloss you can use at home. Look for a hair glossing product that contains broccoli seed, sweet almond oil and wheat germ to leave your hair looking absolutely gleaming.

 

Touch Up Color-Treated Tresses 

When you color your hair, root touch up products are your best friend in keeping your color looking fresh. Once you begin to notice regrowth, head to your local drug store to try a touch up pen. These magical pens are simple to use for at-home color correction–and also cover grays! Touch up pens are available in many shades, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding one that matches your unique color. Be sure to pick a pen that includes a brush for quick and easy application.

 

Have a Thing for Highlights

Before you decide on an all-over hair color treatment, consider opting for highlights instead to save more money and time. This look is low-maintenance and works with your natural hair color. If you go for highlights, your hair color won’t be masked completely which means that over time, roots and regrowth won’t be as noticeable.

On your first visit, highlights will usually take more time to apply than an all-over color treatment, but follow-up visits to the salon will only require a partial highlight, which means a quicker, less expensive hair color treatment for you.

Extend the life of your highlights by choosing a sulfate-free cream conditioner with chamomile extract. Chamomile naturally enhances highlights and nourishes chemically-treated hair.

There are multiple ways you can protect your color-treated hair to save time and money. Trying any combination of these tips will not only help you extend the life of your hair color, but allow you to achieve stronger, healthier hair, too!

 

How To Find The Right Wig

With so many different styles of wigs on the marketplace, picking a wig can be pretty confusing. There are lace front wigs, human hair wigs and several other wig-like hairpieces for women.

Just like choosing a diamond, picking a wig requires a certain level of understanding details. In this buying guide, we take you from A to Z of buying wigs.

What Is a Wig?

A wig is a head covering that’s typically made from either human hair or animal hair, although some wigs are made with synthetic fibers. The root word ‘wig’ is derived from the word ‘periwig’. The term first showed up in documented English literature around approximately 1675 AD.

Wigs are worn for many reasons. Some people simply want to hide their hair loss, as wearing a wig can be far less intrusive (and cheaper) than restoring hair through surgery or even installing hair extensions. Wigs for cancer patients are also very common. Some women use wigs like apparel, as an opportunity to periodically change-up their appearance. In film, it’s common for actors and actresses to use wigs to suit the characters they portray.

Do Wigs Cause Hair Loss?

Wearing wigs for extended periods of time, especially when you neglect to properly care for your hair, can lead to all sorts of hair related issues including hair loss. Although, just to be clear, hair loss isn’t exclusively attributed to wearing wigs. It’s simply that wigs can contribute to hair loss.

Synthetic Hair Wigs and Human Hair Wigs: The Difference?

Which wig type is the best for you?

Synthetic hair wigs and human hair wigs have their own advantages and disadvantages that make them each an ideal choice at different times. Both are great options depending on your needs and budget. Below is a comprehensive comparison of human hair wigs and synthetic hair wigs.

An Overview of Human Hair Wigs

One big advantage of human hair wigs is that they provide the most natural feel and look. This type of wig is very soft with movement and shine that cannot be matched with synthetic hair. Human hair wigs are also very versatile. They can be easily cut and also styled in a way that it suits your personal taste. Although they are the more expensive of the two types of wigs, they are also more durable especially if properly cared for.

Generally, there are four kinds of human hair that are used in wigs: Chinese, Indian, Indonesian and European. Obviously, most wigs are manufactured using Asian hair. Most hair extensions also come from this same part of the world.

If your only consideration is quality, human hair is by far the superior choice. This isn’t only because of its origin (being “human hair”), but another important factor that affects the quality of the hair is the processing technique. The chemicals used during production, which are required to sanitize the hair, as well as strip away the initial color, can give rise to different colors and curl patterns. Not only are these chemicals very strong, but they can also change the integrity of the hair depending on the method used. When chemicals of higher quality are used, coupled with a more artful production process, the resulting wig is of higher quality and therefore costs more.

When crafting or manufacturing a hairpiece, hair follicles are usually made to run in the same direction. Given that human hair cuticles normally all run in the same direction, there is a significant reduction in tangling. Be careful not to buy fake human hair, which is considerably low-priced and won’t meet most quality standards.

Caring for Human Hair Wigs

It’s very important that you only use hair care products formulated specifically for highly processed human hair. You also need to note that wearable hair doesn’t benefit from the naturally occurring oils on the scalp. You need to condition and hydrate human hair wigs.

However, human hair also has some shortcomings of its own. For instance, it requires a lot of maintenance. Just like with natural hair, you need to put in a lot of effort to care for it.

An Overview of Synthetic Hair Wigs

Thanks to numerous advancements in technology, lots of improvements have been made to synthetic hair. Actually, some synthetic hair wigs look so good that it takes a trained eye to tell the difference between the wig and actual human hair. In fact, with certain high quality synthetic wigs, you cannot tell that they are synthetic if you don’t have real human hair to compare it with.

One of the most significant advantages of synthetic wigs is that they can usually be worn straight of the box without minimal styling or no styling at all. The synthetic fiber contains a “memory” component for curls, waves, and volume which enable the hair to bounce back in place with minimal effort. Synthetic hair is even able to hold up quite well in bad weather without much frizzing or drooping (if any).

However, the downside is that synthetic wigs generally lack in the adaptability department. Human hair wigs can generally be worn in a multitude of styles, synthetic wigs are often much more limited.

Note that there are some heat friendly synthetic wigs on the market. Heat can be used to alter the wigs’ curl pattern; however, the synthetic fibers are still somewhat change resistant.

Our research shows that, when properly cared for, synthetic wigs will generally last about 4-6 months on average. For heat-friendly wigs and hairpieces, you should expect a shorter average duration of around 2-3 months.

How to Pick a Wig

Wig Cap Construction Types

The technological advancements made in manufacturing wigs has transformed them from what we used to know as our grandmothers’ hairpieces to pretty amazing, realistic looking hair products.

The base or the cap is the material onto which the prepared hair is attached in order to create the complete wig. Modern caps are a lot lighter, durable, and natural looking compared to earlier ones. The cap’s construction is one of the most important features to consider when choosing a good wig. Different caps are designed with different methods of attaching the hair strands. Each one of these methods also offers its own set of advantages.

The Monofilament Design

This type of design offers a more natural look. The mesh material used on the cap creates the illusion of hair growth on the scalp. Monofilament wigs can be monofilament at the part, crown, or on the entire top of the wig. This allows the hair to be parted or combed in different directions. Note that 100% hand-tied cap is largely the most comfortable of all the monofilament caps.

The 100% Hand-Tied Monofilament Design

This type of monofilament design (think individual pieces of thread or fishing line) gives the hairpiece a more natural look by allowing each strand of hair to move freely. A number of designs that are referred to as “hand-tied” designs, actually combines a set of hand-tied and machine-attached hair strands to create balance.

In these designs, areas like the crown are hand tied, while the remaining areas are machine attached. If you are looking for a 100% hand-tied design, make sure that the wig you pick is labeled as 100% hand tied.

Part Lace Front Wig

Synthetic, part lace front wig with natural parting from edge to crown.

Lace Front Wigs

Lace front wigs attempt to create the illusion of natural hair growth along the hairline. This illusion generally improves the natural appearance of the hair and allows the wearer to style the wig away from their face without revealing that the fact they’re wearing a wig. Some lace front wigs can be bought pre-trimmed while others may require some styling for personalization.

2 Reasons Many Women Love Lace Front Wigs:

They Provide a Natural Looking Hairline:

Lace front wigs are excellent when you want to keep your wig a closely guarded secret. The invisible sheer lace front is designed to blend with your skin’s complexion to create the illusion of natural hair growth along the hairlines. Lace front wigs are among the most popular wigs available today. It’s easily one of the most popular human hair wigs for black women.

They Are More Affordable Than Ever:

Due to their production costs, these lace front wigs were previously reserved for celebrities, actresses, and other professional television and movie personalities. However, due to technological advancements, there has been a big shift leading to significantly reduced costs. Lace front wigs have become quite affordable and more common among those with middle class incomes. More and more wig manufacturers today offer lace front wigs as their lead product offering. This means that your choices just keep growing with each day.

3 Tips to Get the Best Out of Your Lace Front Wig

  1. Hide Your Natural Hair: We recommend that you pull back your hair and secure it before you wear the wig. This will ensure that none of your hair is accidentally exposed under the lace front. If for whatever reason you don’t have hair, simply align the lace front with your natural hairline to create a seamless transition from your skin to the wigs artificial hairline.

 

  1. Match It To Your Skin Tone: If your skin tone happens to be darker than the lace material, you can use a damp tea bag to darken it to match your skin’s tone. The longer you dab the tea bag onto the lace, the darker it will get. You can also use your ordinary makeup kit to match the lace to your skin tone. This is how many women have done it for years.

 

  1. Handle The Wig With Care:The lace on the wig is made out of a very delicate material. Ensure that you handle it with care every time you take it off or wash it. If you feel that you need to trim your wig, we recommend that you take it to a professional. The lace may unravel if you try to trim it yourself.

A Few More Things to Consider Regarding Your Wig

Basic Capps

Basic Caps are the most affordable and most common wig designs available. They feature a closed lace layer at the crown. In basic caps, wefts of hair are simply sewn onto the cap and styled to a specific style. The crowns of these wigs are often crimped or teased to keep people from seeing down through the cap. Ultimately, basic caps often feature an increased hair volume at the crown.

Some wigs that have a cap have been mistakenly called cap-less wigs before. This misnaming usually happens because, instead of the closed lace layer usually present at the crown of these wigs, they feature vertical lace strips that create open spaces between the wefts of hair.

Average sized wigs normally fit up to 95% of all customers. Many wigs also come in large and petite sizes to cater to other customers. Some wigs have also been designed with adjustable straps to allow for up to 1/2” of space for a more secure and comfortable fit.

How to Determine Your Wig Size

To determine the appropriate wig size for you, measure your head’s circumference from the front hairline, just behind your ear, along the back of your neck, to the other ear, then back again to the front hairline.

Record the measurements to use as your shopping online (or in stores) for wigs. However, you should note that sizes can vary slightly based on the wig’s brand. You should also note that some wigs are not available in all cap sizes.

How to Buy an Appropriate Wig for Your Face Shape

While you consider and compare different wigs that interest you, take some time to think about the styles that might be flattering based on the shape of your face. Below are a few guidelines you might find helpful.

Oval: An OVAL-Shaped Face is longer rather than wide while the jaw is narrower than the cheekbones. Since an oval-shaped face doesn’t have any dominant areas and is largely proportional, the face will look good with almost any hairstyle, length as well as texture.

Round: A ROUND-Shaped Face has a wide hairline and fullness beneath the cheekbones. Some women with round faces may be obese with the neck appearing short. Round-shaped faces look pretty good with a linear or geometric style. Add height, if you can, and long, thin side areas for the cheeks to appear narrow. Then comb the hair close to the head both on the side and at the back of your neck.

Square: A SQUARED-Shaped Face has a wide hairline and jaw. Such a face needs height on top while the sides should be narrow. To add height to the face, comb the hair off your forehead. Curly texture and wisps of hair close to the face break the wide, straight lines commonly found on square faces.

Heart: HEART-Shaped Faces have wide foreheads and narrower chins. To hide its width, bring some hair onto your forehead. You should also keep the hair close to the head, on the area close to your eyes, but make it somewhat full around the jaw as well as beneath and at the fore of the earlobes.

 

Easy Easter Hairstyle Ideas

As you’re whipping out the dye and sparkles, decorating eggs and prepping sweet treats, don’t forget to grab some hair-spiration for this springy holiday. Whether you’re decked out in florals or sporting a jumpsuit, all of these styles are fresh for spring, easy to create and will look oh-so cute with your Sunday best. Scroll on for 10 hairstyles you won’t want to hide under an Easter bonnet.

 

1. Romantic Braids:

Inspired by Emily Blunt’s stunning Golden Globes look, this tutorial is simple to follow. While you’re sweeping your hair off your shoulders, you might as well show off some statement earrings too.

 

2. Flirty Waves:

While your shorter, asymmetrical cut may have caused your grandma to raise her eyebrows, you can surprise her with a tamer look full of loose waves.

 

3. Sleek Pony:

Of course, you can always keep it simple while hosting your colorful Easter brunch with a wispy ponytail.

 

4. Delicate Hair Wreath:

Now that winter is finally over, we’re feeling all-floral everything. Wrap a crystal wreath in your hair to match your pastel dress.

 

5. Geometric Hair Pins:

Create a triangle with hair pins to keep fly-aways back while you’re having a blast dying eggs.

 

6. Casual Chignon:

If you’ve got a busy weekend full of entertaining family and friends, we know you’re looking for an effortless, no-fuss look. You can easily craft an Easter-worthy chignon with second-day hair.

 

7. Pastel Perfection:

Go all out with pastel hair. If you’re not up for a dramatic change, use those leftover Easter wreath blooms to DIY a fab flower crown.

 

8. Milkmaid Braid:

You’ve come a long way since those two braids that framed your face in grade school. Give your mane an upgrade with this hairstyle, which can be achieved in minutes and looks super chic.

 

9. Simple Twist:

We’re loving the half-up, half-down trend this season. This look will have you looking polished and sophisticated.

 

10. Bouncy Curls:

While your Easter eggs may be sporting beanies, let your locks flow into this amazingly wavy style.

Home Hair Dye Secrets

There are some of us who are pros when it comes to at-home hair color, with all the tools and mixing bowls any balayage could ever desire, and then there are some of us who have our professional colorist on speed dial (unofficially, at least). But everyone has that one story—you know the one, when you got all idealistic and changed your hair color—only to regret shortly thereafter. It’s like someone who finally decides to go blonde—but after pulling the trigger, the golden-spun silk vision turned into a more of an orange-tinged one—an orange tone, frankly, that’s not unlike the Cheetos bronzer.

But regardless of whether you’ve been an at-home hair color pro for some time now or have never even tried a single-shampoo dye, don’t worry—we got you. In fact, we actually crunched the numbers and what we were immediately able to gather was that all women have one thing in common: We take our hair color very, very seriously.

44%:

The percentage of women would give up wine for a year in exchange for beautiful hair color every day for a year, according to research from L’Oréal Paris

35:

The average age at which women go gray. We get the urge to take a pair of tweezers to your newly gray hair, but don’t: The wild, wiry re-growth will only look worse.

48 hours:

How long you should wait between shampooing your hair and applying at-home hair color

When you’re coloring your hair, lightly greasy hair may actually work in your favor. The natural oils will protect your hair from any harsh chemicals. Plus, a good layer of grime on your scalp minimizes irritation there, too.

Two:

The number of at-home shades you should buy for a single-color process at home.

Purchase a shade that’s exactly one level lighter than your usual color so you can apply it around your hairline. The hair around your hairline—like those baby hairs—is finer than the rest, partly because of wear-and-tear from pulling your hair back and scrubbing your face. Since it’s so fine, it picks up color faster than the rest of your hair—and can therefore look darker once you rinse it out. So, by applying a formula that is slightly lighter around the front of your hair, everything will deposit the same color.

Once a week:

How often you should use a scalp scrub.

You usually never rinse as thoroughly at home as when someone does it in a salon, so there’s always some residue left. That residue could build up and make your scalp itch (no, thanks). Washing your hair with a salt scrub removes it without harming the color.

60:

The number of seconds you should wait before applying at-home hair color to your ends.

You can apply the color formula to your hair as directed but hold off on brushing it through the ends of your hair. Hair that’s subtly lighter on the ends looks real and more modern. Waiting a minute between distributing the color on your ends creates the 2017 version of ombré.

75%:

How many women first colored their hair at-home instead of at a salon.

Raise your hand if you did this in your dorm room. Raise your other hand if you ruined your towels in the process.

 

Five minutes:

The amount of time a DIY hair gloss needs to sit on hair.

And don’t toss the unused color once you’ve applied what you need. Save it until your color starts to look a little dull and faded. Then, water it down with conditioner and apply the mixture to wet hair. After letting it sit, shampoo and condition well. It’ll restore the shine and vibrancy to your hair color, extending its lifespan.

Weird Hair Facts

Here are a few weird facts you may or may not have known about our hair:

  1. Each strand of hair can contain traces of 14 different elements (including gold).
  2. Hair absorbs oil out of the water, working as a natural sponge!
  3. Human hair is used by groups of eco-friendly volunteers to clean up oil spills.
  4. The anticipation of sex makes hair grow faster.
  5. The amount of weight an entire head of hair can support is equivalent to 2 elephants, or 2 TONS!
  6. All of the hair follicles you’ll ever have were formed when you were a fetus (at 5 months).
  7. Hair contains information about everything that has been in your bloodstream, such as medicine, drugs, minerals, and vitamins.
  8. The only thing that CAN’T be identified by hair is gender.
  9. Healthy hair can be stretched up to 30% of its length when wet. If hair does not stretch back to its original state, it’s lacking protein. If it snaps it is either over-proteinized or lacking moisture. This is called the Wet Stretch Test.
  10. The average human sheds about 50-150 strands of hair a day
  11. The most common hair color in the world is Black, and the rarest is Red (1% of the population).
  12. In 1950, only 5% of women dyed their hair. Now, that number has increased to 75%!
  13. If you counted the growth of all the hairs on an average person’s head, in one year it would equate to over 10 miles of hair growth!
  14. In a survey collected about the relationship between hair color and personality perception, these were the results:
  • Blonde: flirty, fun
  • Brown: smart, serious
  • Redheads: strong
  1. Hair is the fastest growing tissue in the body – second only to bone marrow!
  2. On average, Blondes have the highest amount of hair strands (146,000).
  3. On average, Redheads have the lowest amount of hair stands (86,000).
  4. On average, people have about 100,000 strands of hair on their head.
  5. The first hair products specially formulated for African-American hair were created by Madam CJ Walker. She was also the first African-American woman to become a millionaire.
  6. A hair follicle will replace a new strand of hair about 20 times in a lifetime
  7. A single, healthy strand of hair can withstand about 6.5 pounds.
  8. A strand of hair is stronger than a copper wire of equivalent diameter.
  9. The only part of hair that is not dead is within the scalp.
  10. The common thought that hair continues to grow after death is a MYTH!
  11. The werewolf legend is believed to have originated from an abnormality called Hirsutism, which causes excess body hair or facial hair to grow in places it is not supposed to.
  12. Hair is composed of the following elements: Carbon (50%), Oxygen (21%) Nitrogen (17%), Hydrogen (6%), Sulphur (5%).
  13. Darker hair tends to have more carbon present than lighter hair.
  14. Each hair strand has its own muscle, nerve, and blood supply.
  15. If a man never shaved, his beard would grow to over 30 feet in his life time.
  16. On average, women spend about $800 on hair products a year!
  17. It takes only 13 days for grey hair to appear from stress or signs of aging.
  18. The longest female hair was measured at 18 feet and 5.5 inches. Xie Jiuping grew her hair for over 30 years!
  19. Chemotherapy causes the hair to fall out because it is intended to eliminate cells that replicate quickly. Since hair follicle cells grow and divide quickly, they are adversely affected.
  20. Hair can grow back after chemotherapy, but often hair can grow a different color than normal for the first few months.
  21. On average, women’s hair is half the diameter of men’s hair.

You Asked … We Answered

Frizz, gray hair, the dreaded growing-out phase? You asked your most pressing hair questions and we got answers.

“I’m trying to do something with my hair that makes me look younger. Should I change the color, get bangs, or cut it short?”

Bangs hide wrinkles on the forehead and make you seem more youthful. Long side-swept fringe is the most versatile. Short hair is a no no! That tends to mature people—plus, wearing your hair the same way every day is aging. Instead, go for hair that just hits the collarbone, with long layers. You’ll be able to pull it into a ponytail—and wearing different styles makes you look younger. Also, if your skin has gotten pale or sallow with age, try warming things up with golden highlights and a rich base color—just don’t stray too far. The most flattering base shades re-create the color and depth that you used to have.

“What is the best way to grow out a short pixie cut to shoulder length?”

Let it grow for four months before getting a cut. While you do, try tucking it behind your ears and sweeping your bangs to the side. If your hair starts to look puffy, brush it forward or off to one side, and avoid blow-drying. At four months, ask your hairdresser to even it up by cutting the back to create a bob, or to make the back a little shorter than the front—that will make your hair appear longer than it is. After another four to six months, add long layers in the back and cheekbone-length ones in the front. Another trick is to pin your hair up, then people just assume that it’s long.

“I have color-treated hair that is prone to breakage. How can I prevent both that and color fading at the same time?”

If your hair breaks easily, it’s probably either very fine or has been overly bleached and lost its elasticity. Hair color always fades eventually, but it will fade more quickly when hair is damaged. To keep it from becoming more porous and brittle, avoid bleach, shampoo infrequently, and only get highlights every eight weeks. Try not to heat-style more than a few times a week, and always use a protective product. Add strength and moisture by using a conditioning treatment with natural oils once a week and trade in your regular shampoo and conditioner for ones that are enriched with protein. Also, drink plenty of water, and take a biotin supplement. It can take up to six months to see results, but it works.

“My hair is oily at the roots, but dry at the ends and has no volume. The more I style it, the drier the ends get, but the more I condition, the roots get oilier. Ideas?”

You’re probably shampooing every day, and that can strip away natural oils, so your scalp overproduces oil to make up for it. Shampoo every other day instead, and follow with conditioner on just the middle to the ends of your hair. We are also firm believers in dry shampoo. It absorbs the oil that flattens the hair, so it takes care of greasiness and adds volume at the same time. Aim the nozzle at the roots, holding it eight to ten inches away, too close makes the hair look white, and then brush the powder out after a few seconds. Finally, use a light leave-in conditioner on dry hair from the mid-shaft down – it will moisturize without compromising volume.

“My thick, straight hair gets frizzy no matter what I do. I have never had it dyed, highlighted, or relaxed. I shampoo and condition once a day, and I rarely use blow dryers or irons. What can I do? I’m desperate!”

Some people think that leaving their regular conditioner in the hair instead of rinsing it out can prevent frizz, but that will actually dry out the hair. Instead, use a frizz-fighting cream. They are heavier than a serum, so it will coat the hair and weigh it down to prevent frizz. Work a nickel-size amount through damp hair from roots to ends, using your fingers or a wide-tooth comb. If your hair still gets frizzy during the day, use a quarter-size amount the next time. Then blow-dry your hair smooth with a big round brush; a natural boar-bristle brush is better than a nylon one, which just rips through the hair and can make it fuzzy. Work your way from the bottom layers up—otherwise, you risk making the top frizz. You’re better off not flat ironing your hair every day, because it can cause damage. But if it’s humid, zip a flatiron through the hair to make it look silky.

“My long, curly hair is triangular. What do I tell my stylist so that I can get a modern cut without looking like an ’80s rocker?”

Short layers on curly hair can cause that triangle look. In the front, layers should hit at an angle under the cheekbone, and then drop down to long layers by the breast so that the curl is all around the perimeter of the face instead of looking puffy at the top. In the back, you want longer, blunt layers so the hair drops down in softer waves.

“I’m trying to grow my hair long, but I get a lot of split ends. How can I get rid of them without losing length?”

Every 10 to 12 weeks, ask your stylist to trim just the split ends; some will even do it as part of a blowout. I know every product in the world claims to repair split ends, but that’s really hard to do. Plus, a lot of those products are so heavy, and there’s nothing worse than greasy split ends. We prefer leave-in creams. Rub a little bit just over the split ends to hold them together temporarily. That should last for about six hours, so carry the cream in your purse for touch-ups.

“My brown hair has already started graying (I’m 22). What’s the best way to cover the strays?”

Semi-permanent color is an easy way to blend away grays without much commitment. It fades after four to six weeks, so you won’t have obvious roots. Pick a shade that matches your natural hair color by looking at the swatches on the box; they’re more accurate than the picture on the front, but a lot of people don’t realize that. Finding at-home color that matches light blonde and red hair can be trickier, so look for a brand that offers lots of different shades. Apply the dye over the whole head. Don’t worry about only covering up the gray strands—that’s difficult to do and not really necessary. If you need an immediate fix, you can cover a few grays temporarily with a root touch-up pen, but we usually prefer using a loose matte eye shadow. Pick one that’s close to your hair color, and use a wet shadow brush to dab it on the roots.

“I lightened my brown hair but want my natural color back. Can I darken it with an at-home color kit?”

It’s not as easy as slapping on some brown dye, but with these pointers, you can get your natural color back. When you bleach your tresses, you strip away the rainbow of tones (bits of red, yellow, and blue) that make up a rich brown hair hue. So you have to put those colors back in to re-create the vibrancy. To do this, pick out a semi-permanent hair-color kit in a warm brown shade (look for the word golden in the shade name). Let the dye process for as long as the directions indicate, then rinse out. After your hair dries, apply another semi-permanent dye that matches your roots exactly. This should bring you back to your beautiful natural hue.

“Help! The stylist cut my hair shorter than I wanted! How can I tweak it until it grows out?”

Hair grows about half an inch per month. In the meantime, disguise your do with accessories and styling products. Here, some of our tress tricks:

If your bangs went from long to super short, the best solution is to sweep the barely there fringe to either the right or left side of your forehead, then secure it with a decorative bobby pin.

If you wanted long, sexy layers but your stylist gave you short, chunky ones, experiment with different styling products to create an edgy effect. To do, distribute a dime-size amount of texturizing cream to damp hair, then blow-dry using your hands to tousle your mane. Next, smear a pea-size amount of pomade onto fingertips and run over ends of hair to create a slightly separated, funky look.

If you asked for a shoulder-length bob but walked out with hair that barely grazes your chin, go for a super chic, slicked-back do. Just rub a dime-size dab of gel between palms, then rake hands through hair, slicking all of it behind your ears and against the nape of your neck.

“I’m an African-American with relaxed shoulder-length hair. I want to grow it longer, but it’s very damaged. Any tips?”

The chemicals used to relax kinky locks can leave them brittle and sapped of moisture, which can lead to split ends and breakage, making it a challenge to grow them out. To nurse your hair back to health and keep it strong, follow this moisturizing regimen: First, be sure to use a gentle hydrating shampoo that won’t strip away your hair’s natural oils. Follow with a thick, creamy conditioner to boost your strands’ strength and help seal split ends.

Too much heat from a blow dryer, curling iron, or straightening iron will hurt your fragile tresses even more, so always apply a protective styling cream first. Finally, even though you’re trying to grow out your hair, it’s important to get a trim every four to six weeks to keep any dead ends from splitting all the way up your hair shaft.

“My hair is fried from the sun. Any tips?”

If summer fun has wreaked havoc on the health of your hair, pamper your tresses back to their prime with this daily at-home conditioning routine: Mix equal parts of a scalp-soothing mint-oil conditioner and a shampoo made for your hair type. Suds up with this mane-moisturizing concoction, and rinse thoroughly. Follow with a deep conditioner, rubbing the ends of your hair as you let it soak in for a few minutes. Rinse, and apply a leave-in conditioner with sunscreen to shield your strands from do-damaging UV rays.

THE TRUTH ABOUT PERMS & KERATIN TREATMENTS

We all have those days where we get really frustrated with our natural hair. You may even have had dreams about having bouncy, soft curls everyday or having straight, frizz-free hair when you wake up in the morning! If this sounds like you, you may be considering getting a perm or a keratin treatment in order to achieve these looks, which your natural hair just won’t let you do. But, there are a few truths behind these treatments, which you need to consider before making the big decision. Keep reading for all of the details behind the truth about perms and keratin treatments.

THE TRUTH ABOUT PERMS

What exactly is a perm? It’s a type of treatment that sets the hair in curls by treating it with chemicals in order to last several months. Wow, several months! It may sound great to have such voluminous, curls for that long without having to touch a curling iron. But, it comes with a ton of maintenance and is more of a permanent decision than anything. They don’t call it a “perm” for nothing! This is why talking about the truth about perms and keratin treatments is so important. It’s time to get real.

HERE IS WHAT YOU NEED TO CONSIDER:

YOUR HAIR NEEDS TO BE HEALTHY AND IN THE SUITABALE HAIRSTYLE FOR A PERM.

It is important to get honest with yourself here about how healthy your hair really is. In order for the curl to hold, your hair needs to be strong and healthy to handle the chemical treatment it’s about to undergo. Even if you have dyed your hair in the last month or so you’ll want to give your hair some downtime before committing to a perm. According to professionals, virgin, un-dyed hair is in the best condition for a perm.

Not only does it need to be healthy, but, a perm is not recommended if your hair is short or has a lot of layers. Since the curl can often be pretty dramatic on short hair, the extreme curl can often leave you looking like a poodle (and for several months!). Making sure your hair is at the right length for a perm is definitely a huge thing to think about before getting one done.

REALLY CONSIDER WHAT TYPE OF LOOK YOU’RE AFTER (THERE’S DIFFERENT STYLES OF PERMS).

Here is where you need to do your research. There are a ton of different types of curls which you can achieve from a perm, as a result of different setting times, costs, and levels of upkeep. Ask yourself, “what kind of curls am I looking for?”. Whether it might be subtle waves, hollywood style pin curls, tight ringlets, or curls like Carrie Bradshaw, this is your time to get on Pinterest and start pinning and researching for the best curl type for you!

YOUR HAIRCARE ROUTINE IS GOING TO LOOK A LOT DIFFERENT.

After getting a perm, quality hair care is extremely essential. Since your hair has undergone a treatment it isn’t necessarily used to, maintaining its health in the right ways is really important. Here is a list of tips:

  • Use shampoo specific for curls and curl enhancement.
  • Avoid creamy formulas, which end up weighing down your curls.
  • Don’t towel dry your hair (this causes frizz), rather, use an old cotton t-shirt which soaks up moisture more effectively.
  • The less heat the better! Avoid drying your hair with a blow dryer or straightening with an iron.
  • Avoid dyeing your hair after getting a perm (at least a month).
  • Get a trim every 3-4 months! If you let your hair grow out to a point that is too long and heavy, it weighs down the curls.
  • Wear a swim cap if you are swimming and stay away from chlorine filled pools.

GETTING A PERM IS A COMMITMENT

As you can see, there is a lot to consider before making the leap to get a perm! It is not easily fixed, but it can be done right as long as you do your research and make sure you are treating the perm properly post-salon. The truth about perms and keratin treatments is a topic that you really need to be an expert on if you are making the choice since it is truly a commitment to your hair lifestyle.

THE TRUTH ABOUT KERATIN TREATMENTS

Moving over to the infamous keratin treatments! I am sure you have heard beauty YouTubers or even friends who just rave about how great their hair feels after getting it done. But before jumping the gun, let’s chat about some things you need to know.

First, what exactly is a keratin treatment? Basically, the hair is saturated with a keratin formula (almost like when you get your hair dyed), then dried with a blow dryer on high heat, then straightened, which locks in the formula. Your hair is filled with keratin naturally, but the treatment restores the keratin in the hair to a level that creates the frizz-free, shiny look.

HERE IS WHAT YOU NEED TO CONSIDER:

YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR

Since the treatment uses chemicals that can be very harmful to you (e.g. formaldehyde), it is super important to do your research when choosing a salon, stylist and which kind of keratin treatment you are getting. If you aren’t looking to pay the extra money to get the right treatment, it might not be worth the risk of damaging your hair for a cheaper form of it. Everyone’s hair needs are different, so going to a skilled stylist who will take the time to feel out your hair and know exactly what kind of treatment you need will make all the difference!

IT’S ACTUALLY A BETTER OPTION THAN STRAIGHTENING YOUR HAIR EVERY DAY

Straightening your hair every day is one the most damaging things you can do to your hair. So, if you are someone who is a day-to-day hair straightener, considering a keratin treatment might be a more healthy option for you.

YOU NEED TO TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT THE INGREDIENTS IN YOUR HAIR PRODUCTS AFTER GETTING THE TREATMENT

Sodium chloride (a.k.a salt) is the demon ingredient included in hair products that will wash out your keratin treatment. Now going forward, you are going to have to pay close attention to what exactly is in your shampoo, conditioner, and any other products you are using, so that you are ensuring the treatment lasts for the long-term. If you make sure to use the right products, your treatment will last up to two months, maybe more depending on your hair type. So, sadly this means if you are planning a vacay in the near future, dips in the ocean or chlorine-filled pool is a bit of a no-no when it comes to keratin treatment hair care.

And there you have it! Are you still unsure whether the perm or keratin treatment is right for you? Well, there are tons of great ways to get the hair of your dreams without chemically altering it, and it starts with using the right products for healthier hair and the right hair tools to accomplish the styles you are looking for.

How To Make Your Curls Last Longer

Oh how we love those beautiful, flawless, bouncy curls. But you know what’s even better? Beautiful, flawless, curly hair that lasts all day. Here are some tips to help those curls last longer.

1. Get Your Curls To Stay: Cool Them Down

One of the most effective tricks on how to get your curls to stay is to let the curl cool down and set before letting it go. Take each fresh curl (still keeping the curl shape) and secure it with a clip or a bobby pin. How does this work? Well, as you wrap your hair around the curling iron, heat is transferred onto the hair strands, which is what makes them change their shape. So once your pinned curl is cooled down, it will allow the cuticle to close and set in place, making the curl last for a much longer period of time. When unclipping your curls, be sure to let them cool down for a couple of minutes prior to brushing them out. If you break the curls too quickly, they will loose their form in a shorter amount of time.

Hint: If you don’t have time to wait 10-15 minutes for the curls to set, pin them all to your scalp and use your blow drier to blow cold air on them from a distance.

2. Use the right hair products

Help your curls! Apply styling products to your hair, which will help hold the curls in longer. Depending what works with your hair, apply a tiny bit of mousse prior to drying your hair, or simply spray hairspray before, during and after curling. This will give your hair a rougher texture, which will help prolong the lifespan of your curls. All this is after applying heat protectant, of course – always remember the heat protectant first! 

Hint: Don’t hold the hairspray too close to your hair as this will make your curls crunchy and heavy. You want to spray mist onto it, and wait a few moments for it to dry prior to applying heat.

3. Invest in good hot hair tools

For years, you may think that your hair is ‘stick straight’ and that ‘your curls will fall apart in 20 minutes anyway.’ You will think that as long as you use cheap, drugstore brand curling irons or curling wands. Only when you switch to better quality, higher-end hot tools, will you realize that the problem isn’t in your hair – it’s in the curling iron! Yes, they may be more expensive, however, they damage your hair less, they heat up better (so you will apply heat for a shorter period of time), and good quality curling irons will last you a very long time. We recommend to set your tools at a heat temperature of 300-350 F to achieve the optimal curl. If you are curling your extensions, be sure to use a lower heat setting of 250 F.

4. Use the right barrel size

Barrel size is actually pretty important. It’s easy to think that a bigger barrel curling wand or curling iron is what will give you those sexy Victoria Secret Curls. We find, however, that most of the time, a smaller barrel will do the magic. Depending on your hair, of course, try using a 1″ or 1.5″ barrel, and see what difference it can make! Not only will the curls look better, but they will also last longer. Sometimes, using a larger barrel just leads to the curly hair loosening up faster and falling out.

5. Your hair still doesn’t curl?

Well, my beautiful friend, this is a sign that your hair is screaming SOS. Overly damaged hair (including split ends) doesn’t curl well. Period. It’s time to give your hair some love and get a trim!

Spread The Love

When you give love, you get love so why not have a little fun with it this Valentine’s Day?

We know you’ve got the whole “Valentine’s Day” thing down pat. But in case you’re looking to spread a little more love around, try one of these ideas for making everyone’s love holiday the best yet.

  • Visit a shelter and walk a dog (or love on a cat)
  • Bake someone a cake, cookies or cupcakes.
  • Write a letter to someone you miss.
  • Buy fresh flowers and put them in every room.
  • Find things at home you don’t use and give them away.
  • Pass out $1 bills to children randomly.
  • Write cards of appreciation to those who’ve helped you.
  • Visit a senior center and give out flowers.
  • Take a lonely friend to a movie and buy them popcorn.
  • Give some slightly used books to a teen or woman’s shelter.
  • Buy makeup or toiletries and do the same.
  • Treat a friend to foot massage.
  • Buy a box of chocolates and give them out at work or a class.
  • Keep nuts or snacks in the car to give to the homeless holding signs by the road.
  • Give up your seat on public transportation.
  • Pay for the order of the person behind you at the coffee shop or fast food restaurant.
  • Tell a stranger you like their shoes (or hair, or coat, or etc …)
  • Listen to love songs on your iPod in public … and dance!
  • Smile! Your positive energy is a gift to everyone around you.
  • Send old-fashioned Valentines (the kind school kids buy in a 30-pack!) to all of your friends.
  • Leave conversation hearts with cute messages in random places where people will get a giggle.
  • Try a new recipe — and make extra to share!
  • Resolve not to say anything negative, for the entire day.
  • Ask a couple you admire to tell you the story of how they met.
  • Tell your own “couple” story to your kids, nieces or nephews.
  • Say “Happy Valentine’s Day” to everyone you meet … and mean it!