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Hair Extension Style

07 / 17 / 2016
Hair Extension Cuts by Texture

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Did you know that your hair texture can dictate which styles look best on you? Your hair texture affects the way your hair flows from your head, frames your face, and sits over your shoulders, meaning the same general cut won’t look the same on a curly girl as a straight-haired one. Last week we talked about haircuts that suit your face shape. Now let’s level up the conversation to address the best cuts for your hair type!

Straight Hair
Inspiration: Karlie Kloss | Avril Lavigne | Alessandra Ambrosio

The look: Long layers
Straight hair keeps no secrets. Any irregularity in the cut will show through in the final hairstyle. That’s why classic, smooth hairstyles with seamless transitions work best on straight hair. Take advantage of the long layered look to add some dimension to your style, complete with those ultra-flattering, face-framing strands.

Wavy Hair
Inspiration: Gigi Hadid | Kristen Stewart | Blake Lively

The look: Built-in texture
For that effortless beachy look, have your stylist texturize the ends of your hair with a razor, and introduce some subtle layering throughout the hair. This will divide and visually separate the waves in your hair for a more dynamic hair style. And feel free to experiment with your hair part! Zig-zags parts suit wavy hair textures like no other.

Curly Hair
Inspiration: Taylor Swift | Ariana Grande | Shakira

The look: Faux-side bangs
When it comes to curly hair, over-all layers are optional. Add them in if you want more volume, or leave them out if you want more sloping length. What you should focus on, instead, is adding a visual center-point, like this faux-side bang—which is actually just strategic layering around the face. The trick with this is to follow the texture of your natural hair and cut as few layers into the face frame as possible.

Coily Hair
Inspiration: Amandla Stenberg | Solange Knowles | Alicia Keys

The look: Blunt cut
Whether your wear your hair natural or relaxed with extensions, a blunt haircut shows off the beautiful shapeliness of coily hair. Have your stylist cut your ends into a straight, slightly diagonal upward sloping line for some extra visual interest, then let it dry into its final fluffy and/or silky form.

What was your most flattering haircut ever? Let us know in the comments below, and feel free to share pictures with us via Instagram!

 

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Hair Extension Style

07 / 11 / 2016
Hair Extension Cuts by Face Shape

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One of the best parts about wearing hair extensions is getting to personalize your new long locks. There are so many ways to wear long hair, and playing around with some styles until you find your “signature” look is both fun and liberating. But if you need help formulating a place to start, take your face shape as a guide. Here, we’ve outlined some classic long haircuts you can show your stylist to achieve that natural, face-flattering frame.

Round Face
Inspiration: Miley Cyrus | Miranda Kerr | Selena Gomez

The look: Bombshell blowout
Otherwise known as the “Victoria’s Secret look,” this blowout style volumizes hair beginning at the roots, which adds length to round face shapes. It also produces nice undulating waves, which naturally draw attention away from the curves of the face to the curves of the hair.

Square Face

Inspiration: Leighton Meester | Sofia Vergara | Kate Winslet

The look: Center-part and curtain bangs
A center part is an easy way to center attention on the length of the face, rather than the width or the angles. Gently sloping curtain bangs, or a well-maintained layered face frame, narrow the appearance of the forehead and emphasize the cheeks, which can make them look like they’re higher on the face.

Heart Face
Inspiration: Alexis Bledel | Tyra Banks | Reese Witherspoon

The look: Swooping side part
Balance the prominence of a regal forehead (without hiding the forehead altogether) by placing hair in a deep side part and allowing the hair to plunge down across one eyebrow. This style makes the eyes and cheekbones the center of attention, while still letting the forehead show off a little.

Oval Face
Inspiration: Jessica Alba | Anne Hathaway | Liv Tyler

The look: Effortless bangs
Bangs disguise the length of the face while placing attention squarely on the eyes. They also add some drama to otherwise round features for a dynamic look that needs little-to-no daily maintenance (depending on your hair texture).

Rectangle Face
Inspiration: Jessica Simpson | Angelina Jolie | Gisele Bündchen

The look: Soft curls
Balance your striking rectangular angles with soft and abundant curls. You’ll still have that whole eye-catching, mature thing going on, but it’ll be less editorial and more wearable and down-to-earth. Plus, it’s easy to play it up for more formal settings, too.

Diamond Face
Inspiration: Jennifer Love Hewitt | Ashley Greene | Halle Berry

The look: Sleek and straight
Sharp and dainty diamond faces can be easily over-complicated with elaborate hairstyles. Let your facial features stand out by wearing your hair in a complementary sleek and classy straight style. It’ll also give you the opportunity to flaunt bolder makeup looks!

What’s your signature Donna Bella hairstyle? Share your pics with us on Instagram! And, if you have any comments or questions, leave them in the space below!

 

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Hair Care

07 / 03 / 2016
Your Guide to Beach Hair

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The beach is our favorite place to be during the summer, but it’s also a place filled with hair extension perils. Between the intense sunlight, accompanying heat, dry air, and harsh seawater, your extensions can leave a day at the beach looking ragged–or worse–showing actual signs of damage. Fortunately, there are things you can do to minimize beach hair damage that won’t get in the way of your summer fun. Here are a couple of our favorite tips to get your started:

Use UV protection. We’ve mentioned this tip before, and for good reason. Protecting your hair from the sun’s UV rays is the bare minimum for long-lasting, healthy locks. Make it your haircare starting point, regardless of the season, or find products that multi-task, like serum with UV protection included.

Pack in the leave-in conditioner. You hair needs extra moisture during the summer months to counteract sun and heat-related drying, and it needs even more to counteract salty ocean water. The key is to saturate your hair before getting into the water–especially at the ends–so that your hair has a barrier that prevents it from losing moisture or absorbing ocean water.

Wear your hair up. Once you’ve applied your leave-in conditioner, we recommend that you tie your hair up in a protective style, so the ends of your hair are not exposed to the elements. This helps to minimize the amount of hair that you’re exposing to sun, sand, surf, etc., and keeps the most vulnerable parts of your hair from excessive drying.

Cover your head. Whether it’s with a swim cap, a sunhat, or a pretty scarf, covering your hair ensures that your hair is protected to-the-max. This is especially important for hair extension-wearers, as the heat from the sun can compromise the integrity of extension bonds. It’s also important for preventing heat stroke and fatigue, as the shade over your head will keep your beautiful brain as cool as possible. Bring at least one head cover in addition to your umbrella for versatility.

Correct damage in the shower. We recommend that you shower immediately after spending time in ocean or pool water to clean your hair of the mineral buildup that accompanies it. Left unchecked, these minerals can damage the hair’s protective layer, cause hair breakage, and even alter the color of your strands. Use a sulfate-free clarifying shampoo to get the job done, then follow up with more conditioning around your midshaft and ends. If you’d like, you can even pre-emptively color correct with lavender or gold-tinted products.

Dry your roots. As an extension-wearer, you know that wet bonds are no good for hair extensions. That’s why it’s important that you dry your hair after getting it wet. Apply some heat protectant to your roots before hitting it with a blowdryer, and make sure you get your entire root and bond area sufficiently dry.

Re-condition your ends. Once again, you want to make sure your hair stays hydrated after a long day in the sun, so coat the ends in another round of leave-in conditioner so they can soak up as much moisture as possible!

If you follow these tips, we guarantee that your next-day beach hair will be as beautiful as your glowing beach-trip skin!

For more summer hair extension reading, check out the following posts:
Donna Bella’s Summer Favorites!
Overcoming Hat Hair
When in Maui…

Have a question? Leave it in the comments below!

 

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Hair Extensions

06 / 28 / 2016
Human Remy 101

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When we say our professional extensions are 100% Human Remy, what do we mean? Those of you who have been following us for a while may have some idea, but newer customers have probably never heard the term before–especially the “Remy” part. But “Remy” is what makes all the difference with our products; it’s the distinction that makes Donna Bella hair some of the best hair in the extension industry. Here’s why.

All human hair extensions are not created equal.
When we talk about hair quality, we first have to talk about the source of the hair. Donna Bella’s Human Remy extensions are sourced from India, where women cultivate long, beautiful, chemically untouched locks and donate them to local temples as a religious and social service. Untreated or “virgin” hair is key, as it ensures that the base hair extension material is of the highest quality possible.

Humane sourcing practices are a priority.
Not all hair extensions are acquired in a dignified–or even consensual–way. There have been instances of women being forced to sell their hair for money due to economic hardship, women being coerced into selling their hair or giving it away, and even women being assaulted for their hair. No product is worth victimizing other people, and no company should profit from the hardship of others. That’s why we purchase Indian Human Remy hair from temples–what some people call “temple hair.” These temples operate by accepting hair as a religious donation, then selling it to various companies. They use the money generated from these transactions to fund the temple and support the community that houses it.

Technique matters.
It’s worth noting that even the highest-quality hair sourced through the most reliable methods may not ultimately become Remy hair. The thing to keep in mind is that hair has a natural direction to it–there’s a root side and an end side, or a natural top and bottom, and the cuticle layer on the outside always faces downward. Remy hair takes this direction into account, meaning the hair is properly aligned with the root side at the top, the end side at the bottom, and the cuticle layer facing downward. Non-Remy hair is mixed, with some hairs oriented in the right direction, and some hair oriented in the wrong direction. This is why non-Remy hair is more likely to get frizzy and damaged–when you brush it, you’re brushing against the cuticle layer of the upside-down hairs, making them more likely to break or tangle. What ultimately determines which type of hair extension you get is technique. When collecting donated hair, monks may either shave the head or bind and cut the hair so that the strands stay together. Shaved hair ends up scattered on the floor to be collected later, whereas bound and cut hair stays together in proper alignment. Human Remy hair derives from the latter method.

100% is uncommon.
There are many companies that sell Human Remy hair that is not 100% Remy. Perhaps the majority of the hair in the extension meets the “Remy” criteria, but not every single strand. This is because Remy hair is more expensive than other hair on the market, and some businesses are tempted to cut corners by pairing Remy hair with synthetic or non-Remy strands to bulk up the extension. We do not subscribe to this practice. Rather, we pride ourselves on the unparalleled quality of our products, and choose to operate our business with integrity.

If there’s one thing you should take away from this explanation, it’s that 100% Human Remy hair is the finest grade of hair in the industry. It’s also the rarest. So take advantage of Donna Bella’s many 100% Human Remy products–you’ll be able to feel the difference!

Got comments or questions? Leave them down below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible!

 

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You made several nice points there. I did a search on the subject and found a good number of people will agree with your blog.
-Adrianne Pistoresi

Hair Extensions

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

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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:

____________
I-Link

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.

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

Cons:
- 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

____________
Kera-Link

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.

Pros:
- 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

Cons:
- 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

____________
Tape-In

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.

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

Cons:
- 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

____________
Clip-In

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.

Pros:
- 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

Cons:
- 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

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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

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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

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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:

Brushing

  • 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.

Coloring

  • 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.

Styling

  • 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.

Storing

  • 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.

Washing

  • 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!

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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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Uncategorized

05 / 23 / 2016
Tackling Spring Fever and Extension Burnout

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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!

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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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