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Hair Care

04 / 11 / 2014
Stylist Nightmares: Touch-Up Trauma

Woman washing hair with shampooYou may hear us harping on it all the time, but it never gets any less important: hair extensions need to be regularly maintained! This includes regular touch-ups (moving the extensions closer to the scalp to account for growth), brushing to eliminate tangling and matting and taking special care to avoid damaging activities to your extensions (like bleaching, or exposing them to chlorinated water). What happens though, when clients forgo these regular maintenance tips and just let their extensions grow willy-nilly? Here’s our next stylist nightmare for this week. Read on.

One client came in with fusion extensions. She’d had them in for over a year, and there was maybe a good 6 inches of growth. The hair had matted to the point of ‘dreading,’ in some cases as hard as little balls of concrete. I gently reminded her of the ‘12 weeks rule’ to prevent this kind of thing in the future. I dumped every chemical I had to try and soften the dreads, and I washed it multiple times–all to no avail.

After attempting, for a good three hours, to remove the bonds, even resorting to acetone (!) to break the bonds, I had to give up. The hair was completely trashed and broken. I had to leave most of the dread clumps in her hair, and the only way to get them out would be with a good pair of shears.

Don’t get me wrong, some people have greater tangling or matting issues than others. These depend on factors like the natural build-up of  the scalp, the kind of products the client uses in their hair, or if they’ve mistreated their hair with bleach.

Basically what I’m saying is that, even if you don’t see any major tangling at the roots, you may have a bigger issue brewing that you can’t see. Word from the wise who’ve removed many stubborn dread clumps from client’s hair? Regular touch ups could’ve prevented this. Don’t let them grow out too much, and if you can’t keep up with the maintenance, it’s best to have them removed. Don’t just let them grow unchecked!

Yikes. DREADful (yuk!) indeed right? Acetone? Yes folks, that’s paint thinner. Is that what you want going in your hair? Me neither. Don’t let it get to that point. Regular touch ups aren’t just an aesthetic adjustment, they’re absolutely essential for you, your scalp and your sanity!

Avoid the heartache and the acetone. Get your extensions touched up regularly!

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Hair Extension News

04 / 04 / 2014
Stylist Nightmares: Dampness Downers

db_blog_dampnessOur next installation of stylist nightmares covers the topic of hair extensions and moisture. Where’s the nightmare in that? Well, let me tell you chilling story that a stylist shared with us.

This particular stylist had a client with very thick and coarse hair. She’d had Kera-Link hair extensions installed in her hair, and had been diligently having them maintained every 3 ½ months over the course of a year. However, the last time this stylist serviced the client, she hadn’t been seen in over 4 months. She was ready for a new head of extensions, but kept mentioning “spots” in her hair and on her scalp. Apparently, she’d stopped fully drying her hair, and let it stay damp for extended periods of time. Well, you can guess what those “spots” might have been: mold! That’s right. The client had patches of mold scattered throughout her hair and her scalp.  The mortified stylist quickly removed the extensions, and encouraged the client to give her hair a rest.

Quite unpleasant, no? The take home message here is not to let hair stay wet, especially at bedtime. Damp hair, coupled with the friction of your head on the pillow, can actually exacerbate shedding. Just as a damp bathroom floor becomes a veritable breeding ground for mold and mildew, so too can scalp that’s left wet for too long. Now, don’t worry. We’re talking about extended periods of time here, multiple hours at a time. The general rule of thumb still stands though. Don’t go to bed with wet hair, allow it to dry thoroughly and put it in a loose braid or ponytail. Don’t overdo it with the heat either. If you’re going to use a heat tool, try to apply a heat-protectant to your hair and use low hair dryer settings.

Remember, these are extreme cases meant to serve as cautionary reminders…but the point still stands. Let your hair dry thoroughly to prevent any fuzzy green invaders from setting up shop on your scalp!

Thanks for reading! Are you a stylist with a “stylist nightmare” you’d like to submit? Send it to me at Jane@Donnabellahair.com

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Shop Talk

03 / 28 / 2014
100% Human, 100% Remy…What’s the Big Deal?

whats the big deal

One of the questions we get asked often is what “Remy” means. It’s a good question that we love to answer because it’s also what makes our hair so unique.

Remy is the highest grade of quality of hair extensions, most likely because it’s the easiest to work with, the most durable and the kind of hair that looks the most natural. Hair identified as “Remy” (sometimes “remi”) gets its name from having been cut in a special way to reduce tangling and matting.

Think about it this way: all hair has a cuticle, which is essentially a membrane that forms a protective shell around the hair shaft that forms a microscopic scale pattern. If the cuticles are facing different directions when the hair is bundled, they’ll catch and tangle.

All of our human hair comes from human donors. Before it’s cut, the hair is placed in a braid or a ponytail. Once it’s been removed, the whole head of hair is kept bundled as it is processed and prepared to be made into hair extensions. Because the hair is cut with all the cuticles facing the same direction, remy hair resists tangling and maintains a natural look.

Maybe you’ve run across hair extensions that aren’t identified as remy. In these cases, the hair was likely collected from brushing or from being gathered up from the floor after being cut. Though we do carry a line of synthetic hair extensions, all of our human hair extensions are 100% remy.

Here’s the way we look at it: hair extensions are a commitment. Yes, they’re transformative and beautifying, but they’re still a commitment. If you’re serious about hair, we strongly recommend seeking out 100% remy extensions. They’re the longest lasting, and will carry on that chic and sexy look day after day. We hope that helps!

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Hair Gossip

03 / 21 / 2014
Stylist Nightmares: Hot Hot Heat!

db_blog_hot_heatWe like to talk to stylists to get into the nitty gritty of the hair extensions biz. We often hear funny and heartwarming stories about how women have been empowered and transformed by their hair extensions, but occasionally we hear some horror stories too! Don’t worry, these anecdotes aren’t meant to freak you out, merely to inform. Someone far more intelligent than me once said (and I read this on the internet, so you know it’s true) “Smart people learn from their mistakes. Really smart people learn from the mistakes of others.” Here’s a few of the mistakes we’ve seen, and some commentary following.

Anyway, here’s a few of the worst things our stylists and stylist representatives have seen involving heat and heat tools.

“Once I saw someone who’d used the melting connector to re-melt the Kera-Link Extensions to try and get them out. This is especially ineffective and dangerous, especially after the bond-remover, which is alcohol based, has already been applied!”

Yikes! Very true though. Alcohol and heat aren’t a good mix, especially when you’re working around hair…unless of course you’re going for that “scorched earth” look made most famous by Patrick Stewart and Mr. Clean in which case, carry on! Just kidding. We don’t condone any form of hair-based pyrotechnics.

The melting connector is used only to apply the Kera-Link extensions and not to remove them. The alcohol-based bond remover should be enough to remove the extensions if the bonds have been completely saturated and broken up.

“I once worked on someone who’d used Kera-Link Rebonds to “re-tip” I-Link Extensions. Then, they didn’t inform the client to keep ALL heat away from the bonds so that they don’t re-melt around  the beads, especially since the melting connector temperature is often lower than many newer tools out there that can heat up twice as hot!”

Uh-oh. All Donna Bella tools are specifically designed to service the specific method listed in their packaging and we can’t guarantee any tools efficacy if it’s not used correctly. I-Link extensions are for beads and Kera-Link extensions are for Keratin bonds, and we won’t recommend mixing and matching here. It’s especially dangerous here because the client didn’t know any alternative method had been used.

“It doesn’t happen much, but I have seen clients who’ve used an oil product to make their hair softer BEFORE they apply heat tools like blow dryers and flat irons.”

While we stand behind many oil-based hair products to rehydrate  hair, using them BEFORE you use heat isn’t a great recipe (unless we’re talking “original recipe KFC” or a deep fried corn-dog) if it’s moisturization you’re looking for. Save the oil for AFTER the heat (or without it entirelyl) because mixing them together is only going to make your hair crispy and lead to more damage. Looking for perfectly formed curls? Consult with a stylist on how to most properly utilize heat.

Are you a stylist with a hair extension nightmare story? How about a client with a question? Don’t hesitate to send them my way at Jane@Donnabellahair.com

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Comments: 2

Hey there. Wow! Sounds like a nightmare! Yeesh!
-Jane Knight

Hair Extension News

03 / 14 / 2014
Get Donna Bella certified in Chicago!

Woman washing hair with shampoo

Guess what? We’re back from the International Beauty Show New York and we had a blast! We loved getting to talk to everyone in our booth, and we especially loved all the hair we got to install. Thanks to everyone who came out and made it a great experience!

Now onto more exciting news, we’re coming to Chicago! We’ll have our booth (#1211) at America’s Beauty Show stockpiled with premium Donna Bella products and stylists waiting to install your extensions! We’d love it if you came by to say hi! That’s not all though.

Free Introductory Classes

We’re offering  a live hands on training class taught by world-renowned stylist Ruben Martinez. This exclusive 90 minute class provides a thorough and personalized walkthrough to the world of hair extensions, covering installation, maintenance and removal for all three methods (Tape-In, Kera Link and I-Link). Spaces are limited (50 participants per class) so reserve your spot ASAP for this definitive guide.

Reserve your spot here. We’ll be hosting these classes on:

March 22, 2014 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
March 23, 2014 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
March 24, 2014 11 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.

Free Installation

We’re also offering free hair extension installations at our booth! You only pay for the cost of the hair (which is discounted for the show) and the hair is installed by our professional stylists at no charge.

Overall, we’re talking about up to $750 that you’ll save on an installation!

These appointments will fill up quickly, so you must sign up here ASAP to enjoy this offer!

We can’t wait to see you there!

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Hair Care

03 / 07 / 2014
How to Properly Care for your Curly and Wavy Extensions

db_blog_curly

We’re launching new curly and wavy hair extensions soon! Since caring for curly and wavy extensions is a bit different than straight extensions, we want to prepare everyone to make sure they’re ready to flawlessly rock their new style!

Before we get started, there’s one word to always keep in mind when it comes to hair with any kind of a curl: moisture! Extensions are already drier than natural hair because it doesn’t receive all of the oils that your scalp produces. On top of that, the curlier your hair is, the more prone it is to dryness, so keep those curls quenched!

Here are our five S’s of curly and wavy hair maintenance:

1. Showering. Try to shampoo only once or twice a week, and in between shampoos, use a heavy-duty, moisturizing conditioner. It’s best to comb through and work out any tangles in the shower, since brushing dry curls can create a frizzy mess! Combing with the conditioner in helps easily remove tangles and ensure the product is evenly distributed throughout your hair. After you shower, using a styling cream really helps lock in the moisture. You can also use a deep conditioner when you need to step up your moisture game just a bit.

2. Silicones. Using products with silicones can cause build up and weigh down your hair. If you need to use them, make sure the silicones in your product are water soluble, since those cause much less build up.

3. Sulfates. Sulfates can dry hair out, so using them can negate all the hard work you’re doing trying to keep your hair moisturized. Not to mention, sulfates can affect your bonds (especially keratin ones), causing them to slip prematurely. Basically, don’t even think about it! They’re just bad news all around.

4. Styling. You don’t always have time to let your hair air dry after a shower, but you’re worried that the hair dryer will dry out your curls too fast or blow them into a crazy mess. The easy solution? Just use a diffuser! If you use a medium heat setting, you won’t over dry your curls, and the diffuser reduces the air velocity of the dryer so it won’t affect their shape.

If you find a few strands are losing their curl or wave, feel free to use a curling iron for a quick fix. As always, make sure you use a heat protectant before using hair dryers or curling irons. Just don’t straighten the hair! The curls and waves in our extensions will relax over time, but using a straightener will really speed up this process, giving you a lot less wear time—and that’s no good!

To battle humidity, use a serum before you head out the door. No need to let the weather determine your style!

5. Sleep. The friction between your hair and your pillow can cause extra frizz that you certainly don’t need. Sleeping with a satin pillow or headscarf is a simply solution to this problem. Also, as with all types of extensions, sleeping in a braid keeps hair from matting and tangling, and it works double duty for wavy and curly extensions—it helps them keep their shape longer!

As long as you follow these tips, you’re destined to have a long-lasting, enviable curls!

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Hair Extension News

02 / 28 / 2014
5 Quick Tips for Silicone Beads

db_blog_silicone_tipsWell, our final bead posts is here, and while we’re sad the day has come, we’re always excited to highlight one of our premium hair extension products. Here’s a quick point by point guide exploring the features of silicone beads, and what you can use them for.

Silicone

Silicone beads are actually made of aluminum, a soft metal. Their name comes from the supple silicone coating that’s inside the beads, which lends them a smooth and soft hold that won’t fade or rust. Like all I-Link extensions, you can use the Donna Bella hair extension tool and the Loop Tool  for a smooth and easy installation process.

Gentle and versatile

Silicone beads have a gentle hold that’s ideal for any hair type, when installed correctly.

Popular

Silicone beads feature all the standard I-Link traits like strand-by-strand, a secure hold, and a full range of motion, ideal for any hairstyle.

 Slippage

The soft silicone lining makes Silicone beads safe and secure, for a strong hold with minimal slippage, when installed correctly.

 More Resources

For more information on beads, extensions and any of those pesky issues that comes with installation, please consult our other helpful blogs on the subject, or contact us directly! We’re happy to help answer any questions!

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Hair Product Reviews

02 / 21 / 2014
5 Quick Tips for Flare Beads

db_blog_flare_beadsIn our attempt to better familiarize you with our premium hair extension tools, here’s our next installment in our series of bead posts, specifically covering Flare Beads!

They’re Long and Thin 
Donna Bella flare beads are longer and thinner (3.5 mm) than Grooved or Silicone beads, making them functional for I-Link (or “beaded”) extensions, that conceal completely into the hair.

They’re made of Copper
Flare beads are made of copper (grooved beads are made of aluminum and silicone beads are aluminum with a silicone lining). This means they’re very malleable, lightweight and (as mentioned earlier) easy to conceal. They’re also heat resistant and won’t fade or rust.

Use them with the Loop Tool
Because of their shape, flare beads work ideally with the Donna Bella Loop Tool. Simply string the beads onto the tool (up to 50 at a time!) and then thread the client’s hair and pre-tipped extension weft inside the bead. The Loop Tool can also crimp the bead closed to hold the hair securely inside. To remove the bead and release the hair, just clamp the bead in the opposite direction.

Great for Fine or Thin Hair
Some clients may find that beaded extensions strain the individual strands of hair. Because of their lightweight construction, flare beads are handy to those clients with fine or thin hair. They won’t put as much weight on the individual strands, but they’ll still hold the hair in place safe and secure.

More Resources
For more information on beads, extensions and any of those pesky slippage issues, please consult our other helpful blogs on the subject, or contact us directly! We’re happy to help answer any questions!

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Comment: 1

I see that in your description of the durability of the flare beads you stated they don't fade or rust.
I believe that statement to be true but what I didnt see is the fact that the coating on the beads chips showing a golden Color which can be seen in the hair.
If the bead is squeezed more than once in application it will
Chip or scratch.
I have tried several different brands of the flare beads and the longer they r in the hair the weaker the color coating gets. I love these beads for fine hair and I am not using my tool to apply unnecessary pressure to them
During application. They do scratch easily or chip within a couple weeks of application.
Im hesitant to use these on my clients with fine hair because I know within a couple weeks they will complain about the color on the beads and I will have to replace them.
I just wish the colored coating was more durable. I love the concept of the flare bead because they are the best design for fine hair.
I use them on my own hair but as soon as I see one that has that gold color I can replace it now.
Im just hoping someone can make this awesome product even better
and with all the companies selling these online a higher quantity per package and pricing could be better.
I have used these exact beads from your company and and the other well known extension brand and have had similar results.
like I said before i'm not using excessive pressure and I'm sure you are picturing me crimping these into the hair with all my might.
Not the case
I have used these beads for over two years.
and I will continue to use them on my own hair but probably won't be ordering them for clients.
Thanks
And seriously if I didnt love them I wouldn't bother even voicing my
Concern.
S. BRYANT
-s. bryant

Donna Bella News

02 / 14 / 2014
Introducing: Hands On Certification Classes and Free Installations in New York!

Woman washing hair with shampoo

Bright lights, big city, fabulous hair—Donna Bella is coming back to New York and we couldn’t be more thrilled! We’ll have our booth (#1437) stocked at International Beauty Show with all our products and we’d just love it if you stopped by to see us! That’s not all we’re excited for though.

Hands on Certification Classes

For the first time ever in New York City, we’re offering  a live hands on training class taught by world-renowned stylist Ruben Martinez. These exclusive 3 hour classes provide a thorough and personalized walkthrough to the world of hair extensions, covering installation, maintenance and removal for all three methods (Tape-In, Kera Link and I-Link). Spaces are limited (50 participants per class) so reserve your spot ASAP for this definitive guide.

Reserve your spot by calling  1-877-398-6938 and for more information, visit the link here. We’ll be hosting two classes at these times:

March 9, 2014 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

March 10, 2014 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Free Installation

We’re also offering free hair extension installations at our booth! Here’s how this incredible deal is broken down:

  • You only pay for the cost of the hair (which is discounted for the show)
  • The hair is installed by our professional stylists at no charge

Overall, we’re talking about up to $750 that you’ll save on an installation!

These appointments will fill up quickly, so you must sign up here ASAP to enjoy this offer! 

We can’t wait to see you there!

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Featured Products

02 / 07 / 2014
5 Quick Tips for Grooved Beads

db_blog_grooved_beads (1)Why do we love I-link extensions? They’re secure, attach near the roots (helping hair fall naturally for a full range of motion) and require no messy glues or heat to attach. Our customers love them too! However, when it comes to installing I-Link extensions, your choice of bead can make all the difference between a pleasant hair extension dream and a nasty nightmare. Donna Bella currently offers 3 types of beads, each with certain features and capabilities. In fact, we even wrote a blog post on how to select beads here. Still, as a little more in-depth refresher, we’d like to highlight each bead specifically..so without further ado, here’s 5 quickie points to remember when it comes to Grooved Beads!

1) Strong Hold

Grooved Beads offer the strongest hold of all our beads, facilitated by their namesake inner grooves (made from aluminum) that interlock with each other when they’re crimped. These grooves reduce the slippage of the extension and also keep extensions looking fresh for longer.

2) They’re ideal for strong, thick hair

Grooved beads tend to work best for clients with strong and thick hair, because they’ll support the beads most effectively. If you or a client has fine or thin hair, fear not! We’ve got beads for all hair types, and would recommend flare beads  in this case. They’re longer and made of a softer metal (copper) so they reduce strain.

3) Slippage

Slippage occurs when the hair extension has fallen out of the bead. Sometimes this happens as a result of something external (like brushing or styling) and sometimes it occurs on its own. Some slippage is completely normal and expected, but any more than 10% (10 strands out of 100) is excessive. Some of the reasons for excessive slippage include:

  1. Improper strand width: If the hair extension and the strand of the hair it’s attached to aren’t the same width, slippage can occur. For example, if the bead is too small, the hair won’t hold the bead or the extension, and if the bead is too big it’ll slip right off.

  2. Bad crimping: Each strand should be crimped three times with the proper hair extension tool – Once in the middle and once on each side.

  3. Root conditioning: Conditioning is great for extensions, but should only be done on the mid-shaft down. Conditioning the roots can weaken the bead and cause slipping, pulling and picking on the bead.

4) Use the right tools

All Donna Bella tools are designed specifically to work with Donna Bella hair extensions, and so for the best functionality and hold, we strongly recommend using the Donna Bella Loop Tool  to install grooved beads, and any other beaded extensions. Our tools are guaranteed for durability and ease during the installation process. In fact, our loop tool can hold up to 50 beads at one time!

5) More Resources

For more information on beads and extensions or to troubleshoot slippage issues, please consult our other helpful blogs on the subject:

http://www.donnabellahair.com/wordpress/hair-extensions/what-causes-i-link-hair-extensions-to-slip

 

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Comments: 2

Hey Beth,
thanks for getting in touch! Currently, all of our beads are metal beads, just different types of metal. The flare beads are made of copper and the grooved and silicone beads are made of aluminum (the silicone beads have a silicone lining). I'd speak with your doctor/surgeon beforehand just to make sure what's safe and what isn't, but I hope that answers your question. We've got this question a time or two before, so we'll be doing a blog post on this very subject in the future. Let me know if there's anything else I can help answer!
-Jane Knight