Keratin Hair Extensions and Everything You Need to Know
This is my 2nd time getting keratin hair extensions and I wanted to wait until I’ve had them in for a couple of months before giving my honest opinion. I’ve always used clip in’s for extra volume and length but after I decided to chop my hair above my shoulders the extensions didn’t blend anymore…tragic. Short hair is super cute and trendy but I felt like I needed my long blonde bitch hair back, you know what I mean?
I was doing a lot of research online and the most popular kinds of extensions are tape-in, keratin bonds, and hand-tied extensions. It seemed like hand-tied extensions were all the rave on social media- if you follow @hairby_chrissy you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Every major media influencer flocks to her salon in Arizona to get the gold standard of hair extensions. Her technique is perfection! However I wasn’t flying to Arizona to get my hair done so I kept stalking the internet to find someone else in New York.
My first experience was TERRIBLE. I won’t get completely into it but stay away from Bua Salon in Oceanside. The owner of the salon claims she is hand-tied certified but she’s a fraud and taught herself by watching Youtube videos. I never went through with it (thank god) but feel free to read my Yelp review if you want the full story.
My second experience was good. I went to Greenpoint salon in Brooklyn and had my extensions installed by Viktoria. We did 174 keratin bonds and I was very happy with the results. The quality of the hair was good but my only reservation was the hair was a little too thick for my head. It weighed me down and was super heavy which got annoying. It felt like a bra that you could never take off and that was hard to get used to. The texture also lacked shine and was not silky no matter how many times I tried to smooth it out.
I started losing bonds within the first 2 weeks which I thought was odd because I was not aware they fall out. It wasn’t taking my real hair with it thankfully, they were just sliding out here and there. By ten weeks I had lost about 50 strands of hair which I wasn’t happy about because it started to look a bit mullet-y. I ultimately ended up getting the extensions removed which didn’t cause any damage to my hair.
My third experience
I was debating on putting extensions back in or not because of the cons I mentioned above. Overall, they looked great but they were high maintenance. I decided to give it another shot after I found @luxhairnyc on Instagram and fell in love with Olga’s work.
I am so soooo happy this time and have been getting so many questions about my hair so I figured I’d give you girls a full guide on keratin hair extensions so you can have the best experience with them!
WHAT KIND OF HAIR DID YOU USE?
Premium quality Slavic hair from Russia. No chemicals or silicone of any kind. All hair is pre bonded with high quality Italian keratin bonds.
HOW ARE EXTENSIONS INSTALLED?
Known as the “fusion method”, each bond is packed with about 20 strands of hair. Attached to the root of these strands is a flat, square tip that connects all of the hairs on the strands. Using a hot tool, the stylist bonds the tip to the section of client’s natural hair and then manually molds the heated bond around the hair shaft.
HOW DID YOU MATCH YOUR HAIR COLOR?
Olga had a huge selection of beautiful, Slavic hair in all different shades and textures imported from Russia. I have a foilyage and she carefully made a blend that was my EXACT hair color. My recommendation is to go to a professional who has a selection of hair on display so they can custom make the bond. Some salons will match the hair to a swab and then order the extensions online. Stay away from these places!!!!
IS THINNER OR THICKER HAIR BETTER FOR EXTENSIONS?
Both! I have a lot of hair but it’s very fine in texture. I suggest if your hair is on the thicker side, shear the ends so it doesn’t look as blunt. If you notice my ends look choppy in the before picture but that was done intentionally! Have your hair stylist thin out your ends a bit if you have thick, short hair so it blends in better with the extensions.
HOW MANY KERATIN BONDS DID YOU GET?
So this depends on the kind of hair you’re working with. The first time I got extensions (pictured above) we used 174 bonds and it felt super heavy. This time I got 214 bonds and it feels so much different! I barely feel them in my head and they are super light. She carefully matched the texture of my hair so it would blend in naturally.
HOW MUCH DID IT COST?
This depends on your hair goals and how many bonds you need. Olga was the most reasonably priced and did the best work. She charged $3.50 a bond + $350 for installation. The price was about $1100 before tip which is actually great for what the industry charges.
HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?
You can probably get away with 9-12 weeks before needing to move them up again. It depends on your natural hair growth and how you maintain them. Olga is amazing because she said if any bonds fall out before my next hair appointment she’ll put them back in at no cost!
CAN YOU WORK-OUT AND WEAR YOUR HAIR UP IN A PONYTAIL?
Yes! I treat the extensions just like my real hair. The only difference is if you comb your fingers through your scalp you will obviously feel the little bonds but they shouldn’t be painful or heavy. Olga did a phenomenal job blending the shorter underneath pieces so they are not visible when I straighten my hair but are also discreet when I put my hair in a ponytail. A++!
DO THEY DAMAGE YOUR HAIR?
If they’re done correctly, no. To remove the bonds a professional takes an alcohol-based solution and uninstalls them seamlessly. The before picture was my hair this morning- damage free and no hair loss!
WHAT KIND OF MAINTENANCE IS INVOLVED?
Oily, creamy products are not your friend and neither are conditioners as these products can cause roots to become excessively slippery and accelerate bond loss (what I experienced). Avoid using products near your scalp, it should only be applied to the mid shaft and ends. Bonds can’t be brushed roughly or be touched by any heat tools. I recommend using a fine bristle brush that detangles your hair without tugging at it. Blow drying your hair with extensions is fine but avoid straightening or curling near the tips of the bond.
Swimming should be done sparingly, if at all. The chlorine and salt in the water can loosen up your keratin bonds and cause extensions to slide out.
Washing your hair too often can cause the bonds to slip out of your hair, so keep your washes to two per week. Avoid all shampoo with sulfates.
Never go to bed with a wet head! It can cause horrible matting to the hair which can can begin to look like dreadlocks.
Here are some haircare products I recommend: