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ARTIFICIAL HAIR INTEGRATIONS
Artificial hair integrations, more commonly known as hair extensions, add length and/or fullness to human hair.
Hair extensions are methods of lengthening one's hair by incorporating artificial hair or natural hair collected from other individuals. Hair extensions can also be used to protect one's natural hair. These hair techniques are advanced and are used to change the hair drastically without looking unrealistic.
METHODS FOR HAIR EXTENSIONS
Clip-in or clip-on hair extensions
Bonding and sealing extensions
Micro rings (or micro loops)
The micro loops are designed to be small enough so that they are not visible in normal use. They need repositioning every 2–3 months as the natural hair grows and the micro rings move away from the scalp.
As they do not use heat or adhesives, these hair extensions should cause less damage than some types.
Netting is a technique which involves braiding natural tresses under a thin, breathable net that serves as a flat surface onto which stylists can weave extensions. This method requires the use of hair net or cap to be placed over the person's hair that has been braided. Netting provides more flexibility than track placement because the stylist is not limited to sewing extensions to a braid. With netting there is the option of sewing the hair wefts onto the net or gluing. This technique is not as time-consuming when compared to the other hair techniques because it takes about 2–4 hours to complete.
The most recent development in weave extensions are lace fronts. Lace fronts are made from a nylon mesh material formed into a cap that is then hand-ventilated by knotting single strands of hair into the tiny openings of the cap, giving the hair a more natural and authentic continuity than typical extensions. Furthermore, the extension units can be woven in or attached to a person's hairline with special adhesives. To ensure a proper fit, head measurements are taken into account with this type of weave. A lace frontal is best placed by a professional since more advanced weaving and hair extensions are used. This method is commonly used by women around the world because it makes it possible to have access to a certain part of their scalp and at the same time giving a natural and attractive look.
A hair weave is human or artificial hair utilized for the integration with one's natural hair. Weaves can alter one's appearance for long or short periods of time by adding further hair to one's natural hair or by covering the natural hair all together with human or synthetic hairpieces. Weaving additional human or synthetic pieces can enhance one's hair by giving it volume, length and adding colour without the damage of chemicals or adopting a different hair texture than that of their own. However, hair loss can occur either along the front hairline or above the ears due to the wearing of specific hair styles for a prolonged period of time, such as weaves. Such hair loss in known as traction alopecia.
The idea of hair weaves and extensions first came about in the early days of Ancient Egypt, where men and women utilized extensions in their hair to portray a more elegant appearance. By the late 17th century, wigs in various shapes and sizes became a latest fashion trend. Hair weaves in particular, did not grow interest until the 1950s; even during that time celebrities had been the only ones using them. When the “long, disco-haired” era evolved there started to become a widespread of hair weave. Since that era, hair weave has only become more popular. Most human hair weaves come from parts of Asia and India. This is because Indian hair is easily blended with hair of women in other countries.
MOST POPULAR HAIR WEFTS
The most popular and commonly available form of hair is known as premium hair. It is sold in most beauty supply stores worldwide. The roots and tips of hairs are interwoven in premium hair which causes tangling. This is due to the opposing cuticle layers catching onto one another. However; as it is the most inexpensive type of hair, it is a best seller.
Premium hair comes in two types:
The cuticle is responsible for much of the mechanical strength of the hair fibre. A healthy cuticle is more than just a protective layer, as the cuticle also controls the water content of the fibre. Much of the shine that makes healthy hair so attractive is due to the cuticle. In the hair industry, the only way to obtain the very best hair (with cuticle intact and facing the same direction) is to use the services of "hair collectors," who cut the hair directly from people's heads, and bundle it as ponytails. This hair is called virgin cuticle hair, or just cuticle hair.
Human hair industry
COLOUR, TEXTURE AND QUALITY
Hair Preparation Terminologies
Remy is the modern spelling of the word 'remis' which was derived from the French verb 'remettre', meaning 'put back'. Its historical meaning is that all hair (human or animal) in any given bundle has been 'put back' to the original direction it grew in (i.e. there were (but are no longer) any 'upside down' (inverted) hair in any given bundle). All hair has been re-aligned root to point (tip). Over time its spelling along with its meaning has changed. Today's 'remy' meaning is that the hair was never inverted in the first place. Rather, it was cut from the donor and kept in its original grown alignment. However, this 'remy' word bears little relevance as to whether a bundle of hair is remy or not due to the majority of factories selling incorrectly labelled products. The hair gets passed on as remy due to most people, including hair professionals, being unable to detect the difference. It requires the ability to feel the cuticles which is a highly skilled and learned technique. The result is that the word 'remy' has gone wayside and if a bundle of hair is labelled as such, in reality it is likely not remy. The production of remy hair preparation requires excess labour and skill. Furthermore 'remy' hair produced in factories has all been acid treated to remove a large portion of the cuticles. This minimalises tangling leaving the western hair supplier, and eventual client, thinking that it is 'remy', never learning how to feel the cuticles and misguided in general as to the real meaning of the word.
Single drawn or double drawn hair may be produced from any ponytail or group of ponytails. The single drawn bundles will result in only the shortest hairs being removed from the original ponytail. The amount of shortest hairs removed depends upon the hair preparers (workers) instructions. The equipment used is a hackle and not a drawing board (or drawing mat). The single drawn hair bundle will contain a variety of different hair strand lengths, only the very shortest having been removed. It is commonplace in the hair extension industry to call any hair 'single drawn' regardless of whether it has been drawn at all. The quality of the hair itself is irrelevant to the drawing process. It is generally of a lower price bracket than double-drawn hair due to shorter hair still being contained within.
Double drawn indicates the manual hand process of sorting any given amount of hair into its various lengths and later retying accordingly into new bundles. The equipment used is a pair of drawing boards (or drawing mats). The result being that each new bundle formed contains only the same lengths of hair strands. The term 'double' is used because the process involves drawing (pulling out) the hair from drawing boards (or drawing mats) twice. The hair is drawn first in one direction and then afterwards in the other direction. Double drawn hair will have (nearly) as many hair strands at one end as the other and appear much thicker and not wispy at the end. This process is very laborious, and therefore makes the hair very expensive. There are not many articles available to explain this precise procedure due to industry secrecy. It is commonplace in the hair extension industry to call any hair 'double drawn', even when it isn't. It is likely that hair labelled as 'double drawn' has not been drawn at all.
METHODS OF INTEGRATION
The misnomer of 'tracks' comes from the common, long-lasting method of integrating wefts, known as the 'track and sew' method. The 'tracks' are usually cornrows, braided in the direction of how the hair will fall. Toward the face or away, with or without a part, the tracks build the foundation of how the end result will look. The wefts are then sewn onto the braids, usually with a specially made, blunt-ended needle. The needle can be curved or straight. There are many different colours of specially-made thread to choose from, depending on what colour of hair you will be integrating. Darker hair lends to darker thread. It should also be noted that when the hair is braided at a high level of tension, the client is at risk for traction alopecia.
Invisible Hair Weave is a long lasting method of attaching commercial hair to the natural hair. Application generally takes about an hour. It will last about 8 weeks.
Wefts may also be bonded directly to the clients hair using special bonding glue. Care must be taken not to bond the wefts directly to the scalp, as it can cause sensitivities in some clients. A patch test is frequently recommended, as per manufacturer's directions.
Clip-in wefts, also known as clip-in hair extensions, can be integrated into natural hair to add length and volume. Clip in hair extensions can be purchased for $100 – $200, depending on desired quality. The clip in hair extensions most commonly come in as a long strand of one contoured piece that can be cut into multiple layers for creating separate layers on a user's head. When the hair is purchased from a beauty supply store, it often comes with clips, which are sewn into the hair. Once the clips are sewn in, it is recommended that the user clip in the hair and visit a stylist, to help create a look that is natural. Clip-in hair extensions make for a more temporary style, and are easily removed.
Bulk hair can also be bonded to the hair, using many different methods, from clips to adhesive.
In the South East Asian Region, the practical method of lengthening-rebondage has been in use since the mid-19th century. The lengthening-rebondage method consists of two treatments. The first treatment consists of rebonding and ironing. The second treatment of lengthening-rebondage involves gentle pulling and tugging of the hair. These two treatments are highly effective in lengthening hair without causing serious damage.
Bulk hair can also be added with thread if bonding is not suitable. This may be because the wearer has excessively oily hair or because there is a need to wash hair daily. Adding hair extensions with thread means that damage to the natural hair can be avoided and that the hair extension attachment areas are not vulnerable to external elements like heat, oils and water.
SHAMPOOING AND STYLING OF INTEGRATIONS
Shampooing of artificial hair integrations can be as easy as shampooing real hair, with some considerations. For instance, many manufacturers suggest using a mild shampoo, or even a wig shampoo.
Directions included with the integrations may indicate what type of shampoo to use; the methods of brushing, combing and drying that are most advisable; and what heat setting to use when drying the hair, or if it is even advisable to do so.
The same care taken when shampooing must also be used when styling artificial hair. It is often recommended that the texture of hair purchased should be the style in which the hair is worn. Using heat to straighten curly hair, or to curl straight hair, damages it. The more damage the hair sustains, the shorter the lifespan of the artificial hair.
Most human hair extensions can be treated as real hair, albeit more gently. Since human hair extensions are usually heavily processed to achieve uniform colour and texture, a mild shampoo is recommended, along with a light conditioner to reduce tangling. When shampooing it is suggested that a sulphate and alcohol free product be used, since those contents cause frizz and dry out the hair. Cool water is also recommended when shampooing, to reduce or prevent matting and excessive tangling. Having to remove snarls and tangles loosens the foundation of the integrations and further damages the hair. It is best to shampoo the hair in a top down motion.
To read more about hair extensions, please click on the following link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_hair_integrations