Beauty Dare: Going to Great Lengths With Hair Extensions
I’ve wanted to get hair extensions for a long time—15 years, to be exact. Back then, if I’d spent the $800 a goth salon in Chicago quoted me, I would have asked that my hair look like this.
A lot has changed between then and now. I grew my pixie cut into mermaid hair, but then stupidly chopped it off into a Kirsten Dunst-y bob. I got a real job—meaning I have a little budget for extensions and a level of sophistication I’d prefer. And, best of all, extensions have become affordable—the natural-looking ones, I mean (I didn’t ask about the dreads this time!).
So how do you go about finding someone to give you extensions?
Tweet it. I did, and a few hours later I was directed to Bee Bond, who works in Venice, California. Right off, I was like, “I want pretty, cheap, easy, long Kim Kardashian hair,” and Bee was like, “It’s called hair lingerie. That’s what you want.”
She tried explaining why it’s called that, but I still don’t really get it. She mentioned something about there being no lines, but most lingerie has lines? Anyway! We chatted for about 20 minutes and she answered all the questions I could come up with:
How expensive is it? The hair itself is $250 to $300; installation is between $150 to $200.
How often do I need to have them reapplied? Every few months, but the hair should last you about a year.
What about my grays? We’ll touch them up when we touch up the extensions.
Can we do this tomorrow? No, day after.
“Hair lingerie” is a nickname for the Skin Weft style of extensions. Here is a video showing you how they’re installed.
After watching that video, I was completely on board. I’ve stood behind people on the train who have visible hair extensions, but these didn’t have that knotty appearance at the root and seemed a little more malleable and less painful than the sew-in type or those scary-looking ones with the beads.
So here’s my hair before:
Here are the pros of getting the hair extensions:
1. The hairstylist installed them in an hour, which is a huge improvement from the six to eight hours needed for other types.
2. Washing them is easy, although this is a ton of hair and I’m using so much shampoo. I’m washing less often, though, because I had to change up my whole shampooing schedule. With extensions, you can’t go to bed with wet hair, which has been my m.o. for years. I am instead shampooing in the morning and letting my hair air-dry so the extensions don’t get too fried from the blow-dryer.
3. Styling the hair is MAD easy. I can finally do those long, beachy Gisele waves in about ten minutes with a styling wand.
Here are the cons of my hair extensions:
1. I’m hot. My back is hot. My neck is hot. Everything is sweaty.
2. My hair stinks sometimes. Right now I smell like last night’s Korean BBQ. I don’t know if it’s because the extensions are drier and, therefore, absorbing more odor. I, however, never had this problem with my natural hair.
3. It takes some finagling to get the hair into a bun or ponytail without the strips showing. It’s possible, but my arms get tired.
4. If I don’t style it, it looks good after air-drying it for about half a day. Then it goes all wonky and the difference between my natural hair and the longer pieces becomes apparent. Luckily, I just whip out the curling iron and make a bunch of waves and it goes back to being camouflaged.
5. People are kind of bitchy to me about them. My mom said, “The top is your natural hair, right? Well that makes sense—it’s the part that actually looks good.” YIKES, MOM! Then I got into a casual conversation with two women at a bar and I revealed that I had extensions (because I am not embarrassed) and it was as if I was saying, “I’m so VAIN. Go ahead and pick on me!” And they did. Just a warning that hair extensions give people feelings they cannot help but express. My dude, on the other hand, just keeps accidentally pulling all the new hair, which isn’t the worst problem to have!
I’m keeping them—at least for another month so I can do my hair like this for my wedding.