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It’s taken a long time, but finally stylists are getting it.  Because the popularity of hair extensions is relatively new, there will be a learning curve for all those involved.  Unfortunately, hair extension companies recognize the informational and educational void and are profiting as quickly as possible.  The way they do this is as follows:  The average and even better than average stylist is not able to distinguish between remy human hair and non-remy human hair.  (If you’re not familiar with these terms, please see my other blog entry that gives detailed definitions).

To help differentiate, there are really only a few methods or tricks.  First you could send the hair to a lab of some sort that can put the hair strands under a high powered microscope.  Second, there are some “tricks of the trade” that can do the job nearly as well.  Third, the most effective for a stylist, is the test of time.  Hair extension companies can trick the stylist and the client for just a matter of days, before the true quality of the hair comes out.

The way they do this is during the second to last step of manufacturing.  Here they dip and coat the hair with a silicone oil.  So when the hair is first taken out of the package, the extensions feel soft and silky smooth.  Remember though that this coating washes off during the first few showers or cleanses.  What happens when the silicone comes off?  The true non-remy characteristics reveal themselves.

The hair first becomes very dry.  Then it happens, TANGLING!  We’ve all heard the horror stories.  As mentioned earlier, these companies may be able to fool you temporarily, but not for long.  So you don’t need to waste a small fortune testing different brands, I’ll share my findings.  Please know that I’m an independent stylist that receives no financial gain from these recommendations.  Darn!

I only do hair extensions using the strand by strand method.  Also sometimes known as fusion, keratin, bonding, micro links, beaded, locks etc.  The three main companies that have proven their QUALITY over the years are: Great Lengths, (www.greatlengths.net) Donna Bella Milan, (www.donnabellahair.com) and Hairlocs (www.hairlocs.com).

In this article, I will not get into factors such as back order problems and customer service issues.  If you’ve had good experiences with any other companies, please let me know.  Hope this helps!