Service Scout: Hotheads Hair Extensions Sunday 29 January, 2012
In my whole X amount of decades I’ve been on this earth, I haven’t been able to grow my hair long. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out part of the problem: I’ve had a very steady relationship with chemical services for an extremely long time. See, as a child, I endured perms […]
In my whole X amount of decades I’ve been on this earth, I haven’t been able to grow my hair long. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out part of the problem: I’ve had a very steady relationship with chemical services for an extremely long time. See, as a child, I endured perms (come on, now—if you were a child of the ’80s, you probably sat through one, too!), and then once I hit college, I started in on the bleaching (with facial hair bleach, no less). Post-grad, I landed a job working for beauty magazines, and started seeking professional haircolor help (though, I’d be lying if I said I don’t dabble in my own kitchen beautician dye sessions to this very day). So, yes, my hair has been through the ringer for many, many years now. But also, genes play a hand in how long one’s hair grows, and I think I might have fallen on the shorter side of the DNA strand.
So, as you would think, I find the idea of extensions very tempting. So much so that I’ve even made my own clip-in extensions by sewing in clips to wefts of hair. (This is a DIY project for the beauty-obsessed, let me tell you.) Clip-ins are fun if you can blend them well, but the real extensions—the ones that don’t need same-day removal—now those are loads of fun.
I’ve taken various types of extensions out for a tress-drive: individual bonds, tape-in wefts, copper beads. And all have their little quirks for maintenance. I’m a fan of the tape-in kind because they are quick as quick can be to apply (as opposed to a several-hour venture)—and my time is precious to me. I recently took a trip to Nine Zero One salon, a hip West Hollywood spot (cool factoid: the space is James Deans’ old apartment!), to experience Hotheads tape-in, 100% Remy human hair extensions, a favorite mode of lengthening the manes of celebrities like Tori Spelling and Brooke Burke.
Hotheads celebrity stylist Sheenon walked me through the process: Like your typical tape-in weft, your stylist simply tapes the extension to a small portion of hair. Simple enough. The tape typically holds for up to 10 weeks, when you’d want to remove them anyway because your regrowth will start showing the tape-in tabs. But what’s interesting about Hotheads is that the hair is reusable up to three times. When your 10 weeks are up, you visit your salon, have your stylist remove the wefts using a special removal solution that breaks down the adhesive with no drying effects to your own hair (removal takes around 15 minutes for a full head of hair), and then your stylist can re-tab those very same extensions, and put them back in! That means: No need to buy all new hair each time—which can cost a pretty penny.
Sheenon says that a whole head of hair takes less than 60 minutes to “install”—perfect for time-strapped beautynistas. (Expect your visit to last about 90 minutes, however, when you factor in a shampoo, blow-dry and cut.) What I like about Hotheads: The wefts are smallish in size—probably about an inch-and-a-half across—which makes them lay flat and keeps them virtually undetectable to the naked eye. Also, the tape-in system never feels sticky, and doesn’t require that you dry the adhesive right away after you shower (though, I would still suggest you do…protect your investment!). Sheenon was able to keep my ombré ends alive by blending in two different color wefts—very cool. But of course, whenever you seek out extensions, you’ll sit down with a professional to do a color consult first so that he/she can match your hair color as best as possible.
Once you have your extensions, you’ll have to change your mindset a little. Remember, you now have twice the amount of hair you had before! “Now that you have more hair, you need to rinse it longer—especially near the tabs, to keep the scalp clean so that dandruff doesn’t form,” Sheenon says. To keep the adhesive right and tight, you should steer clear of applying products containing alcohol or oil near the tape; these can break down the adhesive, causing the wefts to slip or slide out. But Sheenon assured me that you just have to be smart about it: You can apply your fave hair oil to your ends—and should to keep them looking hyper-glossed and healthy. (His choice pick for extensions’ ends: Oribe Royal Blowout because “it’s great for softening and adding shine.”)
The trend for lushing-up and lengthening what nature gave us isn’t going away any time soon. “A lot of women attribute long hair with being feminine and sexy,” Sheenon tells me, and I’d have to wholeheartedly agree with that statement. As a woman—and one that would like to appear feminine and, I suppose, sexy—having a full lion’s mane gives me a little more pep in my step.
What do you think? Would you try out Hotheads extensions?
Visit ninezeroonesalon.com to book an appointment, or call up Hotheads (800.327.7971) to find a salon near you.