Hair Extensions

06 / 21 / 2016
Options, Options: How to Navigate Donna Bella’s Extension Methods


I don’t know if you guys have noticed, but Donna Bella offers quite a few different extension methods. Between I-Link, Kera-Link, Tape-In, and Clip-In, it might be hard to figure out which extension method is best for you. This is where your stylist can help a lot–they are, after all, trained to know everything about DB’s extensions. But if you’re the kind of client who likes to have an idea of what you want beforehand, or the kind of stylist who needs a little help identifying the best method for any situation, we’re here to offer some assistance. So, to make things a little easier for you, here’s a snapshot of each method, including their relative benefits and ideal candidates:


What it is:
A professional (semi-permanent) extension that applies with only beads–no glue, tape, or heat required.

How it works:
I-Link installs in a strand-by-strand manner, wherein a single strand of hair is looped through a bead, a single hair extension tip is placed into the bead, and the bead is clamped down to hold the two together. I-Link requires no chemicals for removal, just a little pressure to unclamp the bead. This type of extension installs in 1-2 hours, and needs to be moved up every 8-12 weeks. They can be reused 1-3 times for a total lifespan of about 3-6 months.

- Semi-permanent increase in hair length and volume
- 360 degree movement
- 100% hair-safe installation
- No processed components involved
- Removal is quick and easy

- For clients with a sensitive scalp, I-Link beads can be uncomfortable to sleep on
- As with any professional method, since the extensions remain installed for an extended period of time, natural shed hair will remain trapped in the bond
- Clients must take certain precautions to prevent professional extensions from slipping

Who it’s best for:
- Clients wary of glue, tape, heat, or chemicals coming in contact with their hair
- Clients who prioritize maintaining natural hair integrity
- First-time professional extension clients


What it is:
A professional (semi-permanent) extension that is fused to the hair with melted keratin bonds.

How it works:
Kera-Link installs in a strand-by-strand manner, wherein a single strand of hair is isolated, a single extension strand is laid on top of it, and the extension’s keratin bond is melted around the two with applied heat. Kera-Link is removed by applying Keratin Bond Remover–an alcohol-based serum that breaks down the bond–then manually breaking the bond with the Hair Extension Tool. This type of extension installs in 2-3 hours, and needs to be moved up every 6-7 weeks. They can be reused 1-3 times for a total lifespan of about 2-4 months.

- Semi-permanent increase in hair length and volume
- 360 degree movement
- Bonds are totally camouflaged within the hair
- The most durable of all extension methods
- Slippage is unlikely

- Kera-Link requires that heat be applied to the hair during installation
- Kera-Link is somewhat difficult to remove, and removal involves an alcohol-based chemical
- As with any professional method, since the extensions remain installed for an extended period of time, natural shed hair will remain trapped in the bond
- Clients must take certain precautions to prevent professional extensions from slipping
- Since the old extension bond is cut off before reinstalling Kera-Link extensions, every time they are reused the length of the extension will get a little bit shorter

Who it’s best for:
- Clients who prioritize strong extension hold
- Clients who prioritize minimal bond visibility
- Repeat professional extension clients


What it is:
A professional (semi-permanent) extension that is taped to either side of the client’s hair.

How it works:
Tape-In installs with wefts, which are wider than hair extension strands. During installation, a section of hair is isolated, a Tape-In extension weft is taped on top of it, a second Tape-In weft or a piece of Single Sided Tape is taped underneath it, and the hair is thereby sandwiched between layers of tape. Tape-In is removed by applying Tape-In Bond Remover–an oil-based serum that breaks down the adhesive bond–then manually peeling the extensions and/or tape from the natural hair. This type of extension installs in 30-60 minutes, and needs to be moved up every 3-6 weeks. They can be reused 1-2 times for a total lifespan of about 2-4 months.

- Semi-permanent increase in hair length and volume
- Natural and comfortable feel
- Super-fast install
- Exceptionally lightweight extensions

- Tape-In offers slightly less movement and flexibility than the strand-by-strand extension methods
- As with any professional method, since the extensions remain installed for an extended period of time, natural shed hair will remain trapped in the bond
- Clients must take certain precautions to prevent professional extensions from slipping

Who it’s best for:
- Fine-haired clients
- Clients who prioritize comfort
- First-time professional extension clients


What it is:
A non-professional (removable) extension that is clipped to the hair.

How it works:
Clip-In extensions come in variously sized wefts for easy row-by-row installment. These extensions come with clips already installed, and are applied to the hair by clipping the wefts along a row of parted hair. Clip-In is removed by simply unclipping the wefts from the hair. This type of extension installs in 5-15 minutes, and removes in under 2 minutes. They can be reused as many times as the user sees fit, and typically reach a total lifespan of about 6-12 months.

- User-controlled increase in hair length and volume
- Super-fast install and removal
- Commitment-free, great for experimentation
- Easy, unhassled hair care
- Minimal salon maintenance required

- Clip-Ins are impermanent, and will need to be installed and removed per every usage
- Depending on the user’s hair texture, Clip-Ins may slip slightly while in use

Who it’s best for:
- First-time extension clients
- Fine-haired clients
- Non-committal clients
- Clients who prioritize flexibility
- Clients who prioritize control

Please keep in mind that different methods will offer a different assortment of colors, lengths, textures, and even material varieties, so check in advance to see if your preferred method carries the specifications you’re looking for. Human hair extensions can be modified to suit the needs of the wearer, so a less-than-perfect match shouldn’t necessarily deter you from one method or another. Again, consult with your stylist for your best hair extension match! And, stylists, take advantage of our upcoming hair extension events to brush up on your consultation skills! There’s always more to learn, and there’s no better way to practice!

Got questions? Leave them in the comments below! We’ll be sure to answer them for you.


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Clip-In Hair Extensions

06 / 12 / 2016
Extension Tips for Thin-Haired Ladies


Hair extensions are for everyone, and that includes fine or thin-haired women. With recent innovations in hair care and hair extension varieties, thin-haired women don’t need to worry anymore about extensions putting too much strain on their slender roots; all they need to worry about is knowing what to look for. So here are our expert recommendations for you fine or thin-haired ladies, to make your extensions shopping that much easier:

  1. For professional extensions, choose Tape-In. If you’re in the market for a professional hair extension method, Tape-In is the one for you. Tape-In hair extensions come in wefts so that the hair is dispersed along a wider surface area. What this means is, when Tape-Ins are installed into your hair, the weight of the extensions will be dispersed across a section of your hair (rather than concentrated on a single strand). Unsurprisingly, this has made Tape-In a favorite among finer-haired clients.
  2. Use Single Sided Tape. Another fine-hair friendly benefit of Tape-In is that there are two ways to install it–one that utilizes two Tape-In wefts sandwiched on either side of a strip of hair, and one that utilizes a single Tape-In weft in the front and a piece of Single Sided Tape in the back. Opting to use Single Sided Tape in lieu of an additional extension means that even less weight is being applied to the hair section. We recommend that those of you with particularly fine or fragile hair opt for this tactic, seeing as it was designed with you in mind!
  3. Invest in dry shampoo. Fine hair tends to need more washing than thick hair, as scalp oil saturates thin hair more quickly. But, with professional extensions, you’re not supposed to wash your hair too often–ideally no more than twice a week. The solution? Dry shampoo. Get your hands on some to keep your scalp area clean and dry without the extra shower. It’s better than risking Tape-In slippage!
  4. Consider Clip-Ins. Clip-In extensions are great for women who are on the fence about professional methods, as well as women who just like to have some flexibility with their look. They also happen to be great for finer-haired ladies. Like Tape-Ins, Clip-Ins come in wefts, so they share that aspect of dispersing extension weight along a wider section of hair. You can also choose how many Clip-Ins you would like to apply to your hair at any one time. You’d only need a couple to add some volume to your hair, and fine-haired women might not need a whole set to achieve convincing length. Best part is, if the hair starts to get uncomfortable, you can simply remove it.
  5. Spritz, twist, clip. If you do go for Clip-Ins and find that you have a hard time getting them to grip to your hair, try the spritz-twist-clip technique. First, spritz some dry shampoo or texturizing spray to your roots for a little grit. Next, twist the section of hair where you’ll be applying the clip. Finally, clip the hair extension in place. You should be good to go for hours after that.

Are you a fine or thin-haired extension wearer? What are your tips for conquering the extension game? Let us know in the comments below!


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Clip-In Hair Extensions

06 / 07 / 2016
A Simple Guide to Clip-In Hair Extensions


Clip-In hair extensions are an important part of any stylist’s product arsenal (and any beauty enthusiast’s wardrobe). They’re comfortable, convenient, easy to style and care for, and increasingly popular among the fashionable crowd. But there’s a whole lot more to them than meets the eye. Here, we provide you with a snapshot guide to everything you need to know about Donna Bella Clip-Ins.

Who are they for?
Clip-Ins are for everyone, but they’re especially great for commitment-phobes, change-lovers, thin-haired ladies, and clients who are considering a professional method but want to try extensions out, first.

What are they like?
Donna Bella Clip-Ins are made from 100% Human hair, though we do offer a Heat-Friendly Synthetic option, too. They’re dyed to perfection, so you should experience little-to-no color fading. And each package comes with 113 grams of hair in the form of 8 extension pieces:

  • one 9” weft
  • one 7” weft
  • two 6” wefts
  • and four 1.5” wefts.

What varieties are available?
Donna Bella Clip-Ins come in either 100% Human or Heat-Friendly Synthetic, as well as a range of lengths and colors. You can even choose to purchase a full package or individual strands. Here’s a breakdown of what’s available, depending on the type.

Full-Head Set
100% Human                                            Heat-Friendly Synthetic
16” Straight                                                                      16” Straight
20” Straight

Colors 1, 1B, 2, 4, 4/33, 6, 6/10, 6/24, 8, 10, 10/12, 10/613, 24,
27, 27/613, 30/33, 613

Single Clip
100% Human                                            Heat-Friendly Synthetic
16” Straight                                                                      18” Straight

Colors 1, 1B, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 24 (16”), 27, 60, 613, Blue, Burgundy,
Dark Fuchsia, Green, Orange (18”), Pink, Purple, Red

What tools do I need?
We recommend that you complement your DB Clip-Ins with:

You’ll also want to invest in a good hanger or container for storing the extensions. Our sister brand offers one here.

How long does it take to install them?
Depending on how many wefts or clips you’re installing, installation time will take anywhere from 5-15 minutes.

How do I install them?
Like this:

  1. Clean, brush, and dry hair before installing, or apply a dry shampoo or texturizing spray to reduce oil and increase grip. Clip-In hair extensions are designed to stay in place without backcombing the roots before installation, but some women with finer hair may find that this step helps their extensions stay in more securely. For extra grip, twist hair before attaching the clip.
  2. Part your hair in a T-shape, then take your first section at the low occipital.
  3. Make a horizontal part 2 inches above the nape of your neck. Lift the hair above the part and secure with clips.
  4. Position one of the six-inch pieces below the part with the clips facing in. Snap the center clip into place, followed by the two outer clips.
  5. Make another horizontal part one inch above the first row. Lift the hair above the part and secure the hair with clips.
  6. Position the second six-inch piece below the part. Snap the center clips, then snap the two outer clips into place.
  7. Make another horizontal part one inch above the second row and secure hair above the part.
  8. Position the nine-inch piece below the part. Snap the center clips into place, followed by the two outer clips.
  9. Make another horizontal part one inch above the third row and secure hair above the part. Be careful to avoid any splits in the hair.
  10. Position the seven-inch piece below the part. Snap the center clips into place, followed by the two outer clips.
  11. Move to the side, parting the hair right next to the top extension in the back.
  12. Place one of the 1 ½” wefts just slightly overlapping the top extension in back.
  13. Take a diagonal back section, starting a little bit behind the hairline (so that there’s enough hair to cover the extensions).
  14. Place another 1 ½” weft along the part line.
  15. Repeat on the opposite side.
  16. Blend and shape the extensions, or simply brush them into place.


How do I remove them?
To remove, simply unclip each weft by placing even pressure in the center of the clip while pulling upward from the sides. This should take no more than 2 minutes total.

How do I care for them?
Like this:


  • Use the Extension Brush to brush over the attachments of any hair extension method in a way that does not snag or pull the hair. It distributes the oil from your scalp to the rest of the hair and keeps the extensions tangle-free.
  • Brush 2-3 times per day and before washing or wetting hair.
  • To brush, hold the weft at the roots with one hand to support the bonds. With the other hand, brush gently, starting at the ends and working up toward the scalp. Always go in a downward direction to preserve the hair’s natural direction.


  • Use the Color Ring to select the perfect match for your client’s hair.
  • Because the hair is 100% human you may color the hair to a level of your choice.
  • Do a strand test.
  • Use only demi or semi- permanent color.
  • Deposit, don’t lift.
  • Stay within 2 shades of original color.
  • Color extensions when they are not installed in the hair (to prevent color from getting close to the bonds).
  • Remember that extensions will process darker, duller, and faster than your own hair. You may need to color them more than once for a lasting effect.
  • Do not swim with your extensions on. Swimming in salty or chlorinated water with your hair extensions on could cause drying and color change due to mineral buildup.
  • Be careful not to get any self-tanner on the hair extensions.


  • Use sulfate-free products, only.
  • Use salon-quality products for optimal results.
  • Extensions can be washed, curled, blow-dried, straightened, and processed.
  • Use a heat protectant, low heat settings, and avoid heat styling and chemicals whenever possible.
  • Keep all heat and product away from the bonds. Condition only from the midshaft down.
  • Don’t relax or perm the hair–especially the blond hair.


  • Don’t sleep in the extensions.
  • Brush the hair before storing.
  • Store them in the original packaging, or in a bag or box to keep them from getting tangled or dirty.
  • Consider braiding them before storing.
  • Only store the hair once it is fully dry.


  • Extensions take longer to dry than ordinary hair.
  • Remove before you wash them.
  • Wash 2-3 times per week, or every 3-4 times you use them.
  • Use Dry Spray Shampoo to absorb excess oil between washes and keep hair looking and feeling clean.
  • Sulfate-free products, only.
  • Use salon-quality products for optimal results.

How long will the Clip-Ins last?
With modest use and optimal care, your Clip-Ins should last up to a year (and maybe even longer).

Ready to add these lovelies to your life? Click here to start browsing. And, if you have any remaining questions, please leave them in the comments below!


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Biz Tip

05 / 27 / 2016
How to Take Your Best Before & After Ever!


Before & after photos are a big part of marketing hair extensions services. They show prospective clients what you’ve accomplished in the past, and give them some insight into what their hair could look like in the future. Needless to say, it’s important that your B&As look good! But if you’re sitting there thinking, “I’m a stylist, not a photographer–how am I going to take a professional-level photo?”–don’t you worry. Our photographer friend has shared some easy tips that will have you snapping Instagram-worthy shots in no time (no photo gadgets necessary).

Find the right light. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy. What we mean by the “right light” is a diffused light. Consider this: portraits taken outside turn out better when the weather is slightly overcast, as opposed to your standard beautiful sunny day. That’s because direct sunlight is too harsh, highlighting imperfections and leaving clear-cut, high-contrast shadows that are better suited to edgy editorial pieces. Overcast/diffused light is more gentle and forgiving. Achieve diffused light in your salon by investing in some sheer curtains to put over your windows, or white lampshades to put over your lights.

Set up a formation. Ever wonder why you look so much better in your bathroom mirror or in the mirror backstage at a show? Even though the lights are shining directly at you (no filter or diffuser other than the glass) the effect is still gentle and soft. That’s most likely due to the arrangement of the lights. One of the most flattering lighting tools used in photo shoots and videos is the ring light–a light that’s shaped like a ring. The ring light casts light evenly around all sides of the subject, producing an ethereal glow. You can recreate a ring light in your salon by adding LED lights around your salon mirrors (which will also give your clients an optimal reflection of themselves to look at while you’re working).

Position your subject. The area you want to photograph should be facing your lighting arrangement, not facing away from it. That means that, if your lighting arrangement is around your mirror, your client should sit with her back facing the mirror. If you’d like to feature the added length or texture produced by your work, opt for a back-shot. If you’d like to showcase your blending work, take a photo from the back but toward one side, so you get a glimpse of the face frame. You should also direct your client to look just slightly downward, so that their silhouette appears more natural (not elongated). When you’re taking the photo, try to keep the camera level with the base of your client’s head, so that this area becomes the center of the photograph.

Position Yourself. If your client is positioned with her back facing a light source that is attached to a wall (mirror lights or window), you won’t be able to get on the other side of the lights for the picture. Instead of standing in-between the client and the light source for the picture (which would cast shadows over her hair), utilize either a selfie-stick to get the camera behind the client’s head, or the mirror itself by standing in front of your client and taking a picture of her hair’s reflection. Try to position yourself outside of the camera frame in these situations.

Check your camera settings. Whether you’re taking the photo with a camera or a cell phone. You’ll want to check the settings to make sure they’re ideal to your shooting environment. Check your zoom, aperture and shutter speed (if relevant), color balance and/or filter settings, at minimum.

Take multiples. Sometimes it’s hard to tell how well a photo turned out just by looking at a viewfinder or smartphone screen. Once you transfer that photo to a computer, though, all the details get blown up, and you can see clearly whether the focus is off, the lighting is flared, or the composition isn’t centered on the back of the head. Taking multiple photos from the beginning will prevent you from having to make do with the one photo you did take.

Have you got all of that down? As with anything else in life, achieving the perfect B&A will take practice, but we know you can do it! So go ahead and send those B&A photos our way. Please and thank you!


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05 / 23 / 2016
Tackling Spring Fever and Extension Burnout


The weather outside is nice, the salon is hot, and all you want to do is sit under a tree, soaking it all in. We get it. Spring fever is a real thing, whether it involves getting allergy-sick or just plain sluggish, and it can happen to stylists just as much as anyone else. It’s even worse if you’ve been working hard all winter (which we know you have) and you get a double dose of spring fever and burnout-related fatigue. So how do you fight off the lethargy and get back to your energetic self? We’ve got some tips:

Open all the blinds. If you want that glorious sunlight, let yourself have it. Open the blinds, dim the interior lights, and let the natural light fill your space unhindered. Sunshine is great for making you feel awake, and also for keeping your happiness hormones going. Crack a window while you’re at it, too, for some good old fresh air–unless someone is dealing with really bad allergies, in which case…

Install an air purifier. Allergies are no joke, and they can seriously put a damper on your spring and summer. If you’ve got the itchy-sneezy variety of spring fever–or someone who spends time in your salon does–try installing an air purifier. It’ll help to remove allergens from the inside air and keep your space feeling fresh as a springtime breeze.

Add a scent. Good smells can immediately boost your mood, and even increase your productivity. Plus, they add charm and character to a space and are just generally nice to have. Try something like candles, reed diffusers, or even potpourri, among many other things. Or you can invest in a plug-in scent diffuser like this.

Play some music. Whether it’s something upbeat to get you moving, or something a little slow and introspective to mirror your mood, music is a healing art that can help you deal with your emotions while you work. Plus, customers tend to love it, too.

Switch things up. If you haven’t performed your spring cleaning duties in your salon, you absolutely should. Spring is a time when everything feels new again, and if your working space doesn’t get an update to match the season, you might start to feel stuck. Make the place feel like it did when it was new, or reorganize the setup to create a different feel. Clear those cobwebs out of your mind, and from under your seat, too.

Take a break. Still feel a bit blue? Or, worse, are you legitimately under the weather? Stay home! It’s okay to take a break now and then, and spring/summer is typically a great time to do it. Give yourself permission to plan a day for yourself or your family. You can even take a break without taking a workday off! Invite some of your coworkers out after hours for some bonding and seasonal fun. The world is your oyster.

Reinvigorate your practice. Maybe you’re dealing with something a little more profound than just spring fever or a little burnout. Maybe you’re starting to feel tired with your work, or limited in your prospects. That’s normal, and, luckily, there are some easy fixes for it. Here at DB, we always offer stylists opportunities for professional development and continued education, and experiences with other stylists from around the country. Look into one of our Pro Series events, or catch us at a Trade Show to get to know the gang. They’re a lot of fun, and they’re designed to kick your career into the next level.

What’s your advice for beating spring fever? Did you try any of these tips? Let us know how it went in the comments below!


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Hair Care

05 / 14 / 2016
Donna Bella’s Summer Favorites!


Ready to hit the sun, sand, and surf? Not without your hair-protective products, you’re not! Summer is just a month away, so now’s the time to get preparing. Here are our top picks for beautiful and healthy hair and hair extensions–all season long!

UV Protection. Always, always, always a must. We’re liking the feel of Aveda’s Sun Care Protective Hair Veil, which boasts 16 hours of water-resistant sun protection. No need to reapply throughout the day (like your sunscreen!), and no need to worry about your silky strands frizzing up. Just keep swimming without a care in the world.

Texturizing Spray. For those hat-wearing days, spritz some Living Proof Instant Texture Mist to your roots, then enjoy up to 48 hours of non-stop volume. This stuff is also great for recreating that classic beachy wave, whether you heat the beach or not.

Anti-Frizz. For you curly-types who need a little flyaway maintenance, try something like Bumble and bumble Defrizz–a frizz-fighting hair softener with a refreshingly short ingredients list. We especially love that whole “works in any weather” thing.

Leave-In Conditioner. Your summer hair can never get enough moisture, so help yourself to this super gentle and nice-smelling Citrus & Neroli Detangler by John Masters, made of certified organic ingredients. It’s also a great regular conditioner safe for color-treated hair!

Conditioning Mask. Kick the deep-conditioning up a notch with a luxurious conditioning mask like Kérastase’s Masque Nutri-Thermique. Designed to add moisture back to sun-dried locks, it’s kind of like hitting the reset button after a long day outdoors. For a DIY remedy, try one of StyleCaster’s assorted summer hair masks. Our favorite is the avocado honey one.

What are your summer hair care picks? Have you stumbled upon any noteworthy hair mask recipes lately? Let us know in the comments below!


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Hair Care

05 / 10 / 2016
Getting to Know the Ingredients Label – Part 2!


Now that we’re all caught up on the chemicals we should be avoiding in our hair care products, let’s talk about ingredients that your hair will love! Some of these will depend on your hair type, but more than a few of them are universal favorites. So without further ado, here’s the bright side of the ingredients label.

Panthenol. Looking for moisture in the form of a good conditioning agent? This is the ingredient for you. According to EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, this little number is a variety of vitamin B5 that comes from animals or plants. Talk about keeping it natural.

Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein. Here’s an ingredient that will condition your hair and form a protective film around the follicle to retain moisture, without all the garbage side-effects and hardcore buildup.

Lauryl Glucoside. This gentle surfactant will clear the dirt off your scalp without stripping your hair bare of its natural oils, since it also has some conditioning properties. Plant-based and biodegradable, the stuff is even sold directly from

Cetearyl Alcohol. Still want to get that lathery foam from your cleansing products? Try cetearyl alcohol, the Lush-approved emulsifier free of the allergic side-effects of propylene glycol and the cancerous associations of ethanolamines.

Hydrolyzed Keratin. Keratin, the protein that makes up your hair and skin, is great for reinforcing the strength of your natural locks and mending breakage. Hydrolyzed Keratin is even moisture-binding, so you can strengthen and hydrate your hair at once.

Polyquaternium-55. Instead of relying on isopropyl alcohol for hold, try this ingredient. It scores a healthy 1 in EWG’s database.

p-Anisic Acid. Don’t like the sound of parabens? Opt for products with this preservative, instead. It’s a naturally-occurring germ killer that also promotes a pleasant smell.

Potassium Sorbate. Speaking of naturally-occurring preservatives, have you ever heard of potassium sorbate? Also repels microbes; also adds a nice scent.

Natural oils and butters. We think it’s safe to say that if it’s okay to eat, it’s okay to put in your hair. Natural ingredients are all the rage right now (as they should be), and there are lots of homemade recipes and boutique blends out there to choose from. Some good picks include: shea butter, coconut oil, aloe vera juice, jojoba oil, castor seed oil, tea tree oil, avocado oil, and vegetable glycerin. Check out this slideshow from Refinery29 to find the best picks for your hair type.

What are your favorite hair care products? What ingredients do they use? And what ingredients work best for you? Let us know in the comments below!


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Hair Care

05 / 03 / 2016
Getting to Know the Ingredients Label


There’s a big wide world of beauty products out there, and not all of them are your friends. In the last few weeks, we’ve talked about how to find products that complement your hair type. This week, we’re telling you about some ingredients in products that don’t complement anyone, least of all extension-wearers. So here are those chemical names, decoded, so you can start getting to know those ingredients labels a bit better.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate/Sodium Laureth Sulfate. You’ve definitely heard of this one before. Sulfates are the number one ingredient you should be avoiding if you’re wearing hair extensions because they dry out your hair like crazy. Ideally, though, everyone should avoid the stuff if they can help it. They strip the natural oils off of your head, preventing the healthy distribution of said oils to the lengths of your hair. NOT recommended if you want well-hydrated hair.

Isopropyl Alcohol. We’re looking at you, hairspray. Isopropyl alcohol (otherwise known as rubbing alcohol) is another ingredient that can seriously dry out hair, and it’s found in a disheartening number of products designed to keep your hair in place. In large quantities or concentrations, this ingredient can even dry hair out to the point of breaking off.

Propylene Glycol. Products that come out of the bottle as a foam or emulsion more likely than not contain this chemical. It’s an anti-freeze that contributes to the liquid state of a product, and opinion is divided on the relative toxicity of the chemical. In general, concentrations of propylene glycol used in cosmetics are considered safe, but we recommend that those of you with sensitive or damaged skin, eczema, or other skin conditions refrain from using products with this ingredient, as it can cause allergic reactions.

Petrolatum/Mineral Oil. These ingredients form a plastic-y film around your hair strands in order to seal in moisture, but the barrier is so effective that your hair basically can’t breathe through it. This can ultimately impair hair growth.

Ethanolamines (DEA/MEA/TEA). These guys are supposed to emulsify your products (make them foam) and help maintain a healthy pH level in your hair and scalp, but they have the unfortunate side-effect of drying your hair and skin out. More importantly, they’ve also been linked to cancer!

Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde-donors, and Parabens. We’re lumping all of these ingredients together, even though they definitely have some differences. Formaldehyde is supposed to temper the carcinogenic properties of other ingredients, formaldehyde-donors are chemicals like ureas and DMDM Hydantoin that act as preservatives in beauty products, and parabens are antimicrobial preservatives. What these guys all have in common is a potential link to cancer and immune-system problems. As much as we love beautiful hair, it’s not worth compromising your overall health to achieve it.

Fragrance. If you see “fragrance” or “perfume”/”parfum” on the label of a product, that’s basically code for “and many other chemicals we won’t list here.” Skip the ambiguity in favor of an unscented blend. If you really can’t deal without your signature hair scent, try to recreate it with essential oils.

Need help sorting out which hair (and skin) products are safe to use on your body? EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database has proven invaluable for us, and we think it can help you out, too. Try it out, and let us know what you think!


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Hair Care

04 / 24 / 2016
Overcoming Hat Hair


Warm weather’s here! And if you’ve been reading Hairline for a while now, you probably know the drill: enjoy the sunshine, but protect, protect, protect your hair extensions from it! Heat is bad for all kinds of hair, including your natural locks, but it’s especially bad for hair extensions as it can compromise extension color, dry extensions out, and even damage the bonds to the point of slippage! Not what we’d like for our spring and summer vacays. So throw on a hat when you plan to be outside for a while, and take advantage of these tips to prevent any icky hat hair scenarios, too.

Wear the right-sized hat. What? Hats come in different sizes? If this is a question you need to ask, then you’re definitely overdue for a shopping trip! Wear a hat with a touch of breathing room, meaning you can easily slip a finger or two in-between your hat and your head. For extra help, consult a hat sizing chart.

Wear a light hat. This is probably a given for hot weather, but you should be opting for lightweight hats in the spring and summer, not only to prevent your hair from being weighed down, but also to prevent sweatiness at your roots! Go for a simple straw hat, or a not-too-thick sun hat at most.

Make sure your roots are dry. Otherwise, your hair will dry flat against your head. Not ideal! You can take this drying opportunity to set your hair upside-down—that is, blow-dry it upside-down on a low heat-setting, maximizing your root volume before-hat-wearing time.

Brush your hair upside-down. While you’re at it, go ahead and brush your hair with your head down, too. Once your hat is off, you can repeat this step using your fingers.

Utilize a texturizing spray. Apply a texturizing spray to your roots while your head is down to maintain hair volume around your scalp. A dry-spray shampoo will work, too.

Grab some anti-frizz. Depending on your hat’s material, you may need to take extra measures to prevent frizz. If static electricity is a problem for you, try spritzing some anti-frizz into your hair, or rubbing a dryer sheet along the inside of your hat.

Don’t go overboard. With hair products, that is. If you do, you risk making your hair stiffen in hat hair pose. It’s not great for the extensions, either.

Change your part. This is a trick we’ve seen and used a million times. Pull your hair out of its usual part before donning your hat. Then, when you remove the hat, tousle your hair back into its usual part. For extra umph, swing your hair back and forth (head-banger style) before applying and after removing your hat.

Wear your hair up. This is by far the best way to prevent hat hair, and it’ll keep you from toying with your strands throughout the day. Our favorite is a low-ish crown braid, which will allow your hat to sit on the braid rather than your scalp. Bonus: it’ll also keep the lengths of your hair out of the sun, preventing dryness and split-ends.

We have plenty to say on the topic of spring/summer extension upkeep. Check out our related blogs, “Sun Exposure and Hair Extensions,” and “When in Maui…” for more!

Did you try any of these tips? Let us know how it went! And feel free to share your hat-wearing extension photos with us on Facebook and Instagram!


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Hair Care

04 / 18 / 2016
How To Balance Hair Care and Extension Care


Last week we set you up with some tips for parsing out your best hair care routine. This week, we’re going a step further, because hair extension care is a whole ‘nother beast. It can be difficult to juggle both your hair routine and your extension routine…unless you wear Clip-Ins and can just care for the extension hair separately. For the rest of you, though, keep reading for our advice.

Know the difference. Since your hair extensions literally came from another person’s head, you can’t expect them to behave in the same way as your hair. Keep in mind that Donna Bella hair extensions come from India, where naturally dark, straight, untreated hair is donated to temples as part of a religious practice. The hair is then subjected to gentle and effective coloring processes—and, if it’s wavy or curly hair, to additional perming procedures. So your hair extensions fall under the category of “color-treated” or “heat-treated,” and should be cared for with the appropriate products. That being said, your hair extensions are made from some of the most high-quality hair in the world, and they underwent first-rate moisturizing and protective treatments, too. So they’re likely to be less-frizzy, knotted, or generally unruly than your own hair.

Find a happy medium. Things can get tricky if your natural hair is oily and wavy while your extensions are relatively fast-drying and straight. Buying suitable products and achieving your hair care objectives becomes a lot more complicated when some of the hair on your head reacts differently, or needs totally different things, than the rest of your hair. Take a page from the cosmetics industry on this one, and see how combination-skinned women deal with their complexion issues. Oftentimes, you’ll have to look for “compromise” products: a cleanser that doesn’t over-dry your dry skin or under-clean your oily skin, or a shampoo that doesn’t over-dry your hair extensions or under-clean your natural roots. Products labeled as “gentle,” or those that target “sensitive” scalps may be a good fit.

Stay professional. While drugstore products can and will work for hair extension and natural hair maintenance, we recommend that you err on the side of professional products for top-notch, tailored solutions. Professional lines are designed to deal with tough hair and hair extension situations, because the creators behind them are experienced with professional hair procedures. Get in touch with your stylist and ask for their expert recommendations. Or, if you are a stylist, try looking at Beauty Depot—an online vendor of professional hair and beauty products across a wide range of premium brands.

Use insider tricks. The whole point of this blog is to help you guys reach your hair goals, with or without hair extensions. Logically, though, most of our advice is directed towards hair extension-wearers. So flip through some of our old posts and uncover some techniques for styling your natural locks and extensions together! It might seem like your hair has multiple-personality syndrome for a while, but it’s nothing that you can’t handle. We’re in this together!

What are your tips for reining in your hair and hair extension routines? Tell us in the comments below!


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