I've posted these here because people keep
asking about it, as a way to reduce the damage done since I know people
are going to do it on their own to save money, despite my warnings.
You will still need to know something of hair science and the art of styling
in order to reach a professional standard, but here are the basics to get
||Hair extensions provide the wearer
with a greater range of possible styles by breaking the limits of hair
length and texture. Despite the press, they are not an un-African
attempt to be more acceptably western. In fact, the wearing of wigs
was very popular in ancient Egypt, and the "pinch braiding" technique for
adding extensions to braids was invented in southern Africa. It was
first made popular in Zimbabwe and surrounding countries thousands of years
Before we get started, please practice
and learn more
before trying to do extensions on someone's hair other than your own.
Pinch Braid Extensions
The most popular method for adding braid
extensions these days is pinch braiding. For this one simply
uses the two half lengths of the extension hair as two of the strands of
a braid, and the natural hair as the third. It's that simple.
No specially qualified stylist is needed to do this. Try it on yourself
and you'll see.
What the stylist is needed for is the "bird's
eye view" of the back of your head and the pattern of your hair growth.
It is important to follow the natural growth pattern of your hair as closely
as possible, or allow for it by adjusting tension while braiding or cornrowing,
or you have a greater risk of hair loss from pulling the hair in the wrong
Learn how to do pinch braids free. Click
here to go to the Cornrows.co.uk Learning Center for the Free
How to Do Pinch Braids Tutorial.
Braid extensions in which there is no characteristic
ridge or bump as there is with the pinch braiding method, are called undetectable
extensions. Different stylists have different ways of doing this.
You will have to practice to decide which way is easiest for you.
There are many other ways that various stylists
accomplish a smooth look, but these are the most common.
You can take a little hair at a time, and
add it to the working strand by poking the top ends through the hairs,
blending them with the natural hair, continuing the braid, poking in some
more hair, and so on. It takes an artist with a good eye to do things
Another way of making undetectable extensions
involves blending half of the length of extension hair with the working
strand at the time, crossing the combined strand with a strand of natural
hair, then adding the second half of the extension hair to the next strand.
Your first few attempts at this, quite frankly, may look like arse, but
keep trying and you'll get the strands coordinated to look like no extensions
were ever there.
Bonding is a great way of getting a hairweave
look without the expense and difficult takedown. You can get it done
for the weekend and take it out Monday. Bonding kits are sold in
many beauty supply stores, but not all kits are created equal, and there
are some safety concerns.
Be sure that you're not allergic to the
glue. It is usually based on latex. The kit should have a glue
and remover. Have extra mineral oil around in case the remover runs
out. Try to keep the glue in the part, and not to get too much on
the hair. Wash the hair thoroughly after removal.
Many people opt for wool extensions for
wrapped twist styles. It is closer to the texture of natural kinky
hair especially when it's curly and the hairs are thin. Most of the
time all that needs to be done is for the wool to be wrapped or braided
around or throughout the hair. Just remember that some people are
allergic to wool or just find it plain itchy. Also wool sucks alot
of moisture, so be generous with the light natural hair oils, not solid
grease or mineral oil.
To prevent breakage, you will need to be
mindful of tension. If you get your hair done and it hurts after
the initial pulling for creating the braid is done, you need to undo the
braid. Also bear in mind that some cheaper types of extension hair
are brittle or wirey and do not flex enough to allow for the stretching
of natural hair. Take one single strand of the extension hair, and
start pulling. If it has no elasticity at all or is impossible to
stretch or break with reasonable effort, then it isn't the right quality.
Good synthetic hair for braiding should
have a little give to it, and have a snappy sound when it finally breaks.
I hope that these tips and instructions
are helpful to you. If you want more detailed lessons and the ability
to have someone qualified check your work and give specific advice, take
our Hair Extensions course. It has photos and illustrations to
help you along.
A note on Islam
and hair extensions:
If you may be serving Muslim clients, or
are Muslim yourself, there are some things you'll need to know. Hair
extensions may be considered haram, makruh, or mubah depending on your
intentions and choice of styles.
Using human hair for extensions is always
haram. Also, the hair or whiskers of pigs or a part of any animal
that is unclean or inappropriate is always haram. Using hair extensions
to conceal hair loss is also haram for single people (because of false
advertisement), but may be mubah after marriage if it is done solely to
please one's spouse. It depends which scholar you ask.
For ornamentation purposes, the use of
synthetic or animal fibers may be makruh or mubah if they are done for
the purpose of facilitating a braided style, or they are obviously not
the person's natural hair. In the case of facilitating braids, they
must not extend past the length of the person's own hair. In ornamentation
however, they can be longer if they are an obviously different color and/or
texture than the natural hair.