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Everything you need to know about keratin hair extensions

Keratin hair extension

They are surprisingly low-maintenance.

Although I currently have relatively long, thick hair, I've been missing the volume and shine of my hair, which led me to a new form of extensions: keratin hair extensions. And as it turns out, they're not new at all - celebrity stylists have been using keratin hair extensions for years. Curious? Anon. So I reached out to the experts and found two celebrity stylists who have been attaching keratin hair extensions to our favourite stressed-out stars for decades. Read on to find out more about keratin hair extensions - and whether I took the plunge.

What are keratin hair extensions?

"Keratin hair extensions are individual strands of hair that are glued to your hair with an adhesive or microspheres," says Rita H. , celebrity hairstylist, colourist and owner of Rita Salon in New York. They are usually made of real, unprocessed human hair. And while keratin hair extensions may have only recently entered the public lexicon, the truth is they've been around for eons.

The individual extensions are strategically placed in rows so that they always remain covered by your natural hair pieces. (Yes, even if you have an elaborate updo or a ponytail

Depending on your colour and texture, some salons have samples that the stylist can use for you on the same day. However, salons will often ask you to come in advance so they can order the exact type of extension they need your hair.

Keratin hair extensions vs. traditional hair extensions

While there are tons of different types of hair extensions on the market, keratin hair extensions are the only really permanent.

"The other permanent ones used to be silicone hair extensions, which, as it turns out, are not good for your hair," says Ryan, celebrity hairstylist and co-founder of Mark & Ryan Salon in New York. Now keratin hair extensions are the go-to choice for movie premieres and red carpets - in fact, they're so common you probably won't know your favourite star is even wearing them.

And unlike temporary types of extensions - such as tape-in extensions and clip-in extensions - you can air dry, straighten, curl and style keratin hair extensions just as you would your own hair. (You should avoid tangling or 'pulling' them at all costs as the extensions are attached with bonds. Otherwise, you can style them as usual).

Ed's note: The above photo includes tape-in extensions, but you can achieve the same result with keratin hair extensions.

The advantages of keratin hair extensions

Keratin hair extensions are a popular hairstyle for a reason.

"Keratin hair extensions are the lesser of two evils on your hair and they are low maintenance," says Hazan. "They look extremely natural when done right and are perfect for someone who wants longer, thicker hair."

Trygstad - whose celebrity clients include Julianne Moore and Naomi Watts - says keratin hair extensions can "literally bring your hair back from the dead". Whether a client is putting their hair through the wringer or simply unable to achieve the style they want, keratin hair extensions work like magic.

"You can create something that person could never have had before, or you can bring their hair back to where it was before they destroyed their hair," he says.

The disadvantages of keratin hair extensions

In rare cases, keratin hair extensions can make your hair worse than before.

"Keratin hair extensions can potentially damage your hair," says Hazan. "Especially if you leave them in too long and if you never let your hair breathe and grow without the heavy weight of long extensions."

They usually last about 3 to 5 months, depending on how well you take care of them. They may even fall out or become loose. In that case, you should tighten them. (They could possibly last longer - Trygstad says: "The slower your hair grows and the less you do with it, the longer the extensions will last). You'll need to have them removed at a salon - stylists use special solutions to soak." em and tools - give it a try so not alone.

In the worst case scenario, tension alopecia can occur when your hair falls out after the increased tension caused by the extensions.

Who is a candidate for keratin hair extensions?

Someone. Because keratin hair extensions can be extremely personalised and customised to your specific, unique texture, they can be used for any hair type. Of course, some people may want to avoid them - more on that later - but otherwise it's a no-brainer.

"Extensions are now available in so many textures that they match any wave pattern. It makes them look so natural," says Trygstad. "For thick hair, you may need to add a little more strands to match the texture, while for thinner hair texture, a little goes a long way, as most people just want length and a little thickness."

That being said, Trygstad says , you have at least 4 cm of hair with , to need work to get them. And they may not be suitable for you if you don't normally treat your hair well.

"If you're hard on your hair, steer away," Trygstad says. "If you hurt your hair, you hurt the extensions and just cause more damage to your hair all around."

Although they are low maintenance, you still need to prevent them from getting tangled and matted. That's why it's always a good idea to get a special extension brush like this one from Shen Beauty . If it doesn't sound like something you want to commit to, think again.

The costs

Since keratin hair extensions are pretty much the highest quality extensions you can get, they definitely don't come cheap.

Depending on what your desired result is, they can cost anywhere from 500 euros (a "half head" for a little more volume and fullness) to 3,000 euros for a full head of enhancements. (Sometimes even more than that).

Again, it depends on what you want, where you are going and how thick your natural texture is.

Taking that away

Although I didn't get keratin extensions this time, I definitely don't rule them out in the future - because the older and more damaged my hair gets, the more I probably want to "bring my hair back" the dead ", in Trygstad's words.

It gives some drawbacks, but overall, keratin hair extensions are an incredible way to achieve length, volume and fullness that you could never achieve on your own. (No matter how many thickening and lengthening shampoos you buy - trust me, I've tried them all). They are relatively safe, gentle on your hair and look more natural than any other type of extension on the market.

So if you're looking to give your hair a boost - whether due to stress or boredom - keratin hair extensions may be just what you're looking for. And your red carpet favourites would definitely approve.

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