Celebrities, with their long, lush hair, often get a little help from ‘hair extensions’ to look so gorgeous.
“That’s the fun part of extensions, if they’re done right,” ShaRon Peters, owner of Philly Finest Hair Salon in St. Petersburg said.
The problem: if they’re not done right, extensions can lead to allergic reactions, headaches, bald spots, and even permanent hair loss.
“It’s called 'traction alopecia,' where they’re pulling the hair too excessive and then that causes breakage,” Peters said.
That’s exactly what happened to Jackie Miller before she became Peters’ client.
“A few years ago, I had breakage in the front from a sew-in that was done too tight,” Miller said.
Luckily, Miller’s hair loss was only temporary. She gave her hair a rest from extensions and it grew back.
When it comes to applying hair extensions, there are several different techniques. Extensions can be sewn them in, or applied using clips, which is the cheapest method, but only lasts for a day. Extensions can also be glued in with adhesive or bonding.
Peters is not a fan of the adhesive glue.
“The hair can become thin,” Peters said. “And the follicle itself can actually start to become damaged.”
Peters prefers sewing them in, which lasts about a month or two, and says she is careful not to make them too tight.
“I think there’s a misconception that 'the tighter the better, the longer it lasts,' and generally, that’s the worst case scenario for damage,” Peters explained.
Extensions provide versatility
Miller still likes to get extensions now and then to change her look.
“Sometimes it just brings out that inner sexy kitten,” she said laughing.
Extensions also make caring for her hair easier.
“I can just get up and go. I don’t have to worry about fixing my hair or curling it or anything like that. You can get wet in the rain and don’t have to worry about, ‘Oh, my hair style just fell apart.”
Human Hair vs. Synthetic
Another tip: Use human hair, not synthetic. It’s more expensive, but Peters says the quality is better.
The cost for hair extensions depends on where you go to get them, and what technique is used to apply them.
Peters charges about $85 dollars a bundle for human hair extensions at her Philly Finest Hair Salon in St. Petersburg. She says it generally takes about two bundles to do a full head of hair.
Many people use hair extensions with no problem at all. If you start to see signs of hair loss, stop before the problem becomes permanent.