Licensed Hair Stylist
Certified Hair Extension Artist
Great Lengths, one of the world's top three suppliers of high quality human hair extensions, is reporting a 70 percent growth in the last five years! That's huge by any standard, and it speaks volumes as to how popular quality hair extensions really have become.
According to a report by the Professional Beauty Association, there has been a 28.5 percent increase in the number of U.S. salons who offer hair extension services. This at a time when the economy has been in the pits is a pretty good indication that this trend is exceeding popularity predictions. While the hair used in hair extensions has not changed, other factors seem to boost their desirability.
So what is contributing to the success of the hair extension phenomenon? First, more and more celebrities are seen wearing hair extensions and are openly talking about them. In the past, movie stars didn't talk much about their beauty secrets, but in today's society everyone gets on the band wagon with sharing just about anything and everything. Sometimes it is in preparation for a launch of their very own product line, other times it is a way of staying in the news.
And, celebrities aren't the only ones talking. Women from just about every walk of life now wear hair extensions and are willing to talk about it with friends, family, co-workers and even acquaintances. It can be such a life-changing event that most women are excited, renewed and feeling so good about themselves that they want to share it with everyone.
What also contributes is the advances that have been made within the hair extension industry itself. The leading manufacturers of hair include Great Lengths, Hairdreams and So-Cap. "Glue" bonds have been replaced with high quality keratin tips that are far less damaging to the hair because keratin is a naturally found in hair itself. Also methods for installation of hair extensions has improved tremendously as more specialists have emerged with superior application techniques.
Outdated methods of glue-tips, sewn in extensions, beaded bands or clips still exist, and are often found in hair extensions of lesser quality. Even the quality of keratin tips can vary tremendously from one hair company to another. Doing research and finding trained stylists who are experienced in hair extensions will generally lead you to those who use more up-to-date methods and provide quality hair from one of the major hair companies such as Great Lengths, Hairdreams, So-Cap and select others.
Training should come from the company itself. In other words, the stylist should be certified by the companies they use, i.e., Great Lengths or Hairdreams (as I am), and not by the salon they work for. All hair extension professionals that are certified have been trained in similar classes. Where stylists differ is in the quality of hair they choose (or that their salon chooses) to use, and the techniques and skill level they have in applying the hair extensions. This is what can make a world of difference in your hair's outcome. Some stylists have a natural "feel" for placement and bonding, while others simply have textbook knowledge. Some see a lot of clients, others may do extensions only once a week, once a month, or perhaps even less.
The bonds used by companies also can vary greatly, and each has specific suggestions for installation, care and removal of hair extensions. As the first salon in San Antonio to specialize exclusively in hair extensions, I quickly realized that too many stylists try a "one size fits all" solution for all of their clients, and some choose short-cuts using cheaper hair or even synthetic hair. I use several of the top companies because my client's needs are all different and I choose what is best for each individual person I see.
The news remains - it looks like hair extensions are here to stay. Not only in San Antonio, but areas around the country are seeing increases in the numbers of women seeking hair extensions as a matter of looking better, feeling better, and many times taking care of medical conditions which would otherwise leave them depressed and hopeless. I'm glad that hair extensions have come out of the woodwork and are no longer seen as taboo.