Updos are perhaps one of the most enjoyable services that stylists offer in their salon, but they can also be quite tricky. In order to let your creativity shine through, you have to get familiar with the length, texture, quality, and character of the hair at hand. This is especially true when styling hair extensions, because each of Donna Bella’s hair extension methods has its own strengths and obstacles. We spoke with stylist Linda Bangphonethip (@__linda_b) about how to optimize updo styling to the strengths of each method, as well as go-to looks to suit each (and any!) one.
Why use hair extensions for styling updos?
Beyond the benefits of overall length, volume, and fullness that hair extensions add to a client’s loose hair, hair extensions can also add substance to a formal updo. This includes bulk material for extra braids, curls, coifs, and the like, as well as the length to do more intricate styles. Linda especially loves the way that hair extensions add dimension to a look. “I always incorporate different colors into my updo so you can actually see all the details!”
To help you make the most of hair extensions for your Valentine’s Day updos, Donna Bella is offering a special discount of 10% off all hair! This includes all of our semi-permanent methods (Kera-Link, I-Link, Flat-Tip, Tape-In) as well as Ready-to-Wear extensions (Clip-Ins, Solos, and Bangs) in all lengths, textures, and colors. Visit the website now to start browsing. The sale is valid from February 4-14, 2018.
Related: Get Sexy Hair for Valentine’s Day
When should I choose strand-by-strand, and when should I choose weft?
“All extensions are suitable for any styled updo. All can be worn down and loosely curled. Kera-Links and I-Links look great if you want the hair all up. Tape-Ins are great for quick fullness and loosely down.”
Our strand-by-strand hair extension methods include Kera-Link and I-Link, which come in packs of 20 strands that are each installed on small, circular sections of the client’s head. Strand-by-strand methods are renown for their 360 degree movement, meaning they offer maximum flexibility when styling hair extensions. Choose Kera-Link or I-Link for clients who like to wear their hair both up and down, or who regularly opt for high buns or ponytails.
Tape-In is our single weft method, and it comes in packs of 10 wefts that are applied to flat, rectangular sections of the client’s head. Tape-Ins claim to fame is its unparalleled comfort and easy application, and this method is ideal for clients who wear their hair mostly down. This is because the comparatively wider bonds prevent the kind of mobility offered by strand-by-strand methods. However, Tape-Ins can be accommodated to allow for some updo styling. To do this, part the hair into a subtle “U” shape during installation, rather than a level (0 degree) line, with the part line curving upwards towards the ears. Place your Tape-In extensions along this part line, taking care not to install too close to the face.
A note on Flat-Tip
Flat-Tip is our hybrid hair extension method, exhibiting traits of both I-Link and Tape-In. Like I-link, Flat-Tip is installed with a single bead, giving it the 360 degree movement of a strand-by-strand method. Like Tape-In, Flat-Tip features a small, rectangular weft, which extends from the attachment point and allows the extension to lay flat against the client’s head. This double-nature of the Flat-Tip makes it an optimal choice for clients who appreciate the comfort of Tape-In and the flexibility of I-Link, and for those who spend a good amount of time wearing both updos and loose styles.
The importance of the consultation
Planning your hair extension client’s future updo potential begins during the consultation phase, because their styling preferences and habits may inform which method is most suitable for them. Linda makes a point to ask a couple of key questions during each of her consultation appointments: “How often they wash their hair? How they style it? Products used?” Her rationale is simple: “Most of the time women coming in for extensions have never had extensions. I need to educate them on proper care so they can make the most out of it. After all, they are spending a lot of money on their hair, so I want to make sure they get their money’s worth!” This process of education should include explaining the strengths and/or shortcomings of the selected method with regard to styling, as well as any styling tips and recommendations you may have!
Don’t know where to start? See below for some of our method-specific styling tips...
Recommended: Questions to Ask at a New Client Consultation
Kera-Link Styling Tips
“I feel the Kera-Links feel the most natural,” comments Linda. “They blend great and are comfortable. Your hair can easily be pulled back without any bonds peeping through.” This is due to the camouflaged keratin tip of the hair extension, which is colored to match the hair extension itself. While you should still take care to hide the bonds of the extensions when crafting your updo, you can, arguably, take more risks with Kera-Link than with other methods. Use Kera-Link for sleeker updos, edgy faux-hawks, or any variety of romantic wedding looks. Just make sure to gently brush hair smooth after you’ve completed your updo, as this will help to even out any unevenness that could betray extension bonds.
I-Link Styling Tips
While I-Link is just as easy to maneuver as Kera-Link, the bonds are not quite as discrete, and you should be vigilant to ensure that they do not peek out from beneath the natural hair. One tactic that will help you to accomplish this is to keep extension updos loose. This is important firstly because excessive tension on the extension bonds can cause premature slippage, but also because taut hair is more likely to stretch hair right over (and around) the beads, which makes it easier for them to stand out.
Tape-In Styling Tips
While all hair extension looks should be styled relatively loosely, loose looks are particularly fitting for Tape-In extensions. Linda agrees. “Thank goodness trending right now for updos are the Bohemian, Braid style. Very loose and natural. This is styled lower and looser so bonds are never seen.” Braids are excellent for covering up large chunks of scalp with a thick layer of hair, so use them liberally in Tape-In updos to hide any wayward wefts.
Recommended: Go Boho. Feel sexy with a free-spirited style.
Video: Missy Hart creating a Tape-In updo on Paige W.
Wild Card Looks
There are a handful of updos that are easy to achieve with any hair extension method, and many are uncomplicated enough for your client to try at home. Linda’s particular favorite is the classic chignon. “I love doing a messy chignon. It’s super simple and classy. You can achieve this look with or without extensions! When I do brides I usually order the Clip-Ins. They are maintenance-free, but still look extremely natural!” Clip-Ins are an updo staple for the simple reason that they can be placed anywhere on the head, and at any angle, making all looks feasible. It doesn’t even matter that they come in “weft” form. The semi-permanent equivalent, of course, would be Flat-Tip, whose flexibility and versatility make it suited to almost any updo look. To learn more about hairstyle possibilities for various hair extensions, check out our blog post “All the Hairstyle Resources You Need”.
Many thanks to Linda for sharing her extension styling insights! To learn more about Linda’s salon practice and see her beautiful hair extension transformations, visit her Instagram page and website below!