Hair extensions have become increasingly popular over the years, especially as beauty lovers everywhere have taken to social media to share their inspo. Extensions are a huge part of the hair styling world, but they’re also a frequently misunderstood accessory.

Over the years, we’ve learned to set proper expectations and reassurances to first-time or newly minted hair extension users. We’re big on education here at Donna Bella, so we’ve compiled a list of the six things we think the truly curious should know about hair extensions.

1. Length & Volume Go Hand-In-Hand

As the old saying goes, you can’t have one without the other. When it comes to hair extensions, this rings true with length and volume.

Imagine someone with shoulder-length hair. Now imagine adding a single strand of 22-inch extensions dangling past their shoulders. That’s a rat tail. What about if you had 20 strands of extensions attached to their head? Will that make it look fuller? Still not quite. One pack of extensions makes not a full head.

It requires a full set of extensions to achieve length, and these are the packs we recommend as a starting point:

Tape-Ins: Four to Six Packs
I-Link, Kera-Link, and Flat-Tip: Five to Eight Packs

As a general rule: the thicker one’s hair, the more packs are needed. Be prepared to accept volume when your end goal is longer hair. Which brings us to the next point...

2. Hair Extensions Add a Little Extra Weight

There’s no getting around it. Especially when getting professional methods applied for the first time, the added weight can feel...well, a little weird.

Most people adjust to this rather quickly, but the sensation may feel similar to when you’ve had your hair pulled into a tight updo or ponytail all day. This can often lead to some short, temporary discomfort, especially for first-timers.

3. Professional, High-Quality Hair Isn’t Cheap

If you want to achieve longer locks, getting more than just one or two packs of hair may set you back by a few hundred dollars, and that’s no joke! Purchasing quality hair extensions requires money, so you’ll want to be sure you’re getting good value for what you’re paying, right?

We’re proud to say that Donna Bella has always stood for great quality at a reasonable price. Our hair is ethically sourced and is 100% Remy, 100% human, with the cuticle intact. Your extensions can be reused after six-eight weeks, especially if you’ve established good care and maintenance habits.

4. TLC is Key

We take great care to source and produce the highest quality hair possible (see point #3), but how long they last depends entirely on how well you care for them.

Many extensions are meant to last up to six months (although some people have told us they lasted even longer!) but this requires a special care routine. Brushing properly, applying the right products in the proper way, and employing extension-friendly styling techniques are all crucial in ensuring a long and healthy life for your hair.

We can’t cover all of our tips here, but this might be a great resource!

5. DIY Can Be Fun, But It’s Not Recommended

Our Ready-To-Wear extensions are perfect for an easy installation and a non-committal style change. Our professional methods are not, plain and simple. There will always be a few go-getters that do a great job installing the hair themselves, but they’re the exception, NOT the rule.

Time and again we see self-installation as a leading cause of disappointment with extensions. Professional stylists that offer these services have been trained (and often company-certified) to do installations with various professional methods. Extensions are a big investment, let a professional put them in.

As an added safeguard, Donna Bella offers Hair Insurance that protects your investment in the event of a botched color job or cutting booboo.

6. The Truth About Removing Extensions

When you first get your hair extensions out, it may suddenly feel like your own hair is so thin and wispy. You might even wonder, ‘is my hair thinner now than before I wore extensions?

This is a perfectly normal thought, and don’t worry! You just got used to having more volume. In addition, we’ve seen a lot of ladies freaking out when their hair seems to be shedding like crazy after their extensions are removed. Don’t panic. This is totally normal.

Here’s the thing: your hair sheds naturally every day. While wearing extensions, the hair that would have naturally fallen out stays with the bunch (whether sealed between the tape-in wefts, secured in the bead, or fused in with the kera-link bond). Finally, when it comes time to remove them, those little strands get loose from the bonds.

It may take a few days for them to fully come out, so don’t be alarmed when you pull loose hair after getting your extensions removed.

You can browse through all of our hair extensions here!

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