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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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Hair Care

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

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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 naturallythinking.com.

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

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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

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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

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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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Hair Care

04 / 07 / 2016
Composing the Perfect Hair Care Routine

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You’d think that something as commonplace as hair would be easier to maintain. But the reality is, despite generations of (sometimes questionable) hand-me-down beauty insights inherited from our ancestors—like liberally applying oil to your scalp or brushing your hair 100 strokes per day—it often takes years upon years of personal trial and error to master our own hair. And what’s more? The issue can get even more complex with hair extensions in place. So how should you be taking care of your precious mane? We’re here to help you figure it out.

Step 1: Parse out your hair type.
There are lots of things that go into the makeup of your particular strands: curl pattern, hair thickness, hair density, porosity, and even terminal length, to name a few. And you can bet that a lot of these things stem from the one hand-me-down your ancestors successfully transferred to you: your genes. Whether you believe it or not, you and your biological family probably share at least a few hair traits, which means that they should be the first stop on your journey to hair care-enlightenment. Exchange tips and strategies that have worked to tame your natural frizz, or to spruce up your mutually limp locks. Even if your strands are markedly different (like, one sister has curly hair, the other stick-straight hair), you can probably help each other figure out your respective hair profiles. NaturallyCurly.com has some great resources to aid in your evaluations (yes, even for you straight-haired ladies).

Step 2. Determine your haircare objectives.
Your haircare routine will have a lot to do with your natural hair type, but it will also have a lot to do with the way that you like to wear and style your hair. Ask yourself, “What am I aiming for with my hair care routine?” and “What products/ingredients will help me arrive at that goal?” If you like to routinely curl, straighten, or color your hair, one of your objectives should definitely be to minimize/repair damage to your strands, because who doesn’t want healthy-looking hair? If your hair was recently dyed, color-maintenance will likely be one of your objectives. Similarly, if you wear hair extensions, well-blended and well-moisturized hair is a MUST! But keep in mind: hair products aren’t superheroes. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a product that enhances your curls, adds volume, prevents frizz, prevents color bleed, solves all of your problems, and matches perfectly with your hair type. In addition to mixing-and-matching products with different emphases, you’re going to have to prioritize your haircare objectives.

Step 3. Match yourself with compatible products.
If you’re not going about your beauty shopping like you would online dating, then you’re doing it wrong. You should be reading all the descriptions, looking out for relevant keywords (especially the sexy ones like “sulfate-free”), and gauging the compatibility between the product’s intentions and your haircare needs. You should be prepared to try out a few different options with a degree of regularity before making final judgments. And you should be looking for the best possible fit (within reason—see above). Remember: while a one-size-fits-all product may do the trick, it’s basically the equivalent of settling for John from next door. You can probably do better.

Step 4. Fill in the gaps.
Like they always say, what over-the-counter products can’t do for you, do for yourself. And by that we mean, you’re inevitably going to need to do more with your hair than just washing and brushing it if you’re serious about shaping up your routine. We don’t care how amazing your products are—you’re still going to wake up with bed-head now and then. Prepare for it now with the proper tools and recipes to get the job done. Again, the tactics you use will have a lot to do with your haircare objectives—the way you want your hair to turn out. While we’d be more than happy to pry those heating tools out of your fingers for good, we know that many of you value your perfectly-tailored locks above all else (including hair integrity). That’s fine, and that’s your choice (just remember to stock up on heat protectant, too!). For those of you who are a little more squeamish about hair damage, consider playing around with some new styling methods. The internet is chock full of heatless styling tutorials and DIY recipes—all you have to do is test them out and see what works for you! (Pro tip: YouTube is a great place to start looking.)

What’s your haircare story? How long did it take you to arrive at a routine that works for you? Let us know in the comments below, and check in again next week for a complete hair extension care guide!

 

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Hair Care

04 / 01 / 2016
Everything You Need to Know About Split Ends

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Let’s get a few things straight: split ends happen to everybody, regardless of their hair condition. It doesn’t matter how often you color, or brush, or even touch your hair, split ends will happen to you sooner or later (but probably sooner, if you do mess with your hair a lot). Your hair extensions aren’t immune, either. Donna Bella’s 100% Human Remy hair is—you guessed it—real human hair, which means that, over time, it’ll also develop split ends. So why does this happen, and what can you do to slow down/correct the problem? Keep reading.

Splits ends are a real hair condition. Trichoptilosis, the technical name for split ends, happens because hair naturally thins and weakens as it ages. Inevitable environmental stressors like friction and sun exposure (paired with brushing, hair treatments, and so on) gradually strip away the outer protective layer of the hair cuticle, leaving the hair raw and exposed. This makes the hair more susceptible than ever to dryness and breakage, and since the ends of your hair are the oldest, that’s where the breakage happens (a.k.a., split ends).

The main culprit is dryness. Of course, there’s more to the story than just aging hair. After all, not everyone with long hair is sporting inches and inches of split ends. The other thing to keep in mind is that the longer your hair gets, the farther away the ends will be from your scalp’s natural oils, which offer another layer of protection against environmental damage. If your hair is naturally dry or curly, it can be especially difficult for the oils from your scalp to reach the ends of your hair. And if you have hair extensions installed, you’ll need to look for another moisturizing solution altogether, seeing as they’re not even connected to your scalp (and the bonds are in the way).

The problem can be hard to spot. Again, this is particularly true for naturally coarse, curly, or dry hair, which is already more likely to fray at the ends due to frizz or curl pattern. So in addition to a visual examination of the individual strands, look out for general thinness and crunchiness at the ends. A natural taper and slight dryness is natural, but drastic thinning and/or brittle texture at the end is a sign of split ends. Another tell-tale sign is more-than-usual knotting towards the ends.

Your extensions might not be on the same page. In general, wearing extensions protects your natural hair from external damage, much like a shield, so your hair will split at a much slower pace than usual. That being said, it’s possible that your natural hair and your extension hair are splitting at a different pace, with your natural hair splitting a little bit faster than your extension hair. This is because Donna Bella extensions are made from the highest quality hair in the world, and are treated with ultra-moisturizing products during manufacturing. It can be hard to spot the splitting of your natural hair through the layers of extension hair, and even harder to trim your natural hair without needlessly losing extension length. That’s why it’s so important to keep up with your maintenance schedule.

The only real fix is a trim. While there are things you can do to minimize the appearance of split ends, the only way to cure them is to snip them off. We recommend a visit to a professional stylist for this job, especially if you are wearing extensions, as they’ll be able to spare as much length as possible. But, if that’s just not an option (or you are a professional stylist), do it yourself with real hair-trimming scissors, and cut off ¼-½ of an inch at the ends (or a full inch, if the splits are starting to travel up the hair shaft). Cut in a straight line if you have straight hair, or twist sections of hair and cut from there if your hair has some curl to it.

You should focus on prevention. The best way to deal with split ends is to adapt better hair care habits. Try some of the following updates:

  • Shower properly. Only use shampoo at the roots, and don’t do it too often, as shampoo strips the hair of its natural oils. 1-3 times per week (depending on your hair type) should be enough. Also, don’t skimp on conditioning treatments. You should apply conditioner heartily to the ends of your hair (no higher than mid-shaft), and leave it in for several minutes before rinsing with cold water (to seal the cuticle).
  • Treat wet hair with extra care. You should always baby your hair, wet or dry. But wet hair is more likely to break, so it needs some extra love after washing. Don’t towel dry your hair, because it jostles the cuticle; do use a wide-tooth comb to brush through wet hair; and don’t ever apply heat to wet hair (that includes a blow dryer). Instead, wait until it’s at least 50% dry, treat it with heat-protectant, then wait about 3 minutes before blow drying. When possible, allow it to air dry.
  • Don’t yank your brush. Firstly, don’t brush your hair too often. Secondly, use best practices when brushing: use a boar hair bristle brush on dry hair (to minimize damage and distribute natural oils throughout the hair), always brush downwards, starting at the ends of your hair and working up. When you find a knot, use your fingers to tease it apart. You don’t ever want to tear it out with a brush. That snapping sound means your hair is breaking.
  • Scale back on the heating tools and chemical dyes. These products and procedures will dry out your hair like no other, and even sometimes damage the outer layer of cuticle. If you can’t live without your straightener or curler, use the lowest heat setting possible and always use a heat protectant. If you need to dye your hair, consider a henna dye (or different-colored hair extensions).
  • Use soft hair accessories. Putting rough metal in your hair can damage your strands. Soft scrunchies, ribbons, and soft metals (like copper) are much preferred.
  • Sleep smart. Pull your hair into a loose braid before going to bed, or even utilize a silk bonnet. For extra protection, switch out your cotton pillowcases for silk ones.
  • Get fancy. Indulge in hair masks, hair oils, deep conditioning treatments, and even hair supplements like biotin for a total defense against split ends. This is recommended especially for those of your with naturally thin hair (as thin hair breaks more easily), and for those of you with extensions in place (to compensate for the lack of natural oil distribution to your extension ends).

What’s your split end story? Did you find this list helpful? Let us know in the comments below!

 

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Clip-In Hair Extensions

03 / 25 / 2016
5 Easy Ways to Update Your Hairstyle

db-blog-March-2016-update-hairstyle

Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve been talking a lot about spring updates—things like spring cleaning your old extensions and saving your change-loving hair from over-processing. But if you’re sitting there thinking, “I don’t have hair extensions,” and/or, “I don’t have time to color or process my hair,” then keep reading! We’ve got some easy, low-maintenance spring updates in mind for you.

1. Change your part. Possibly the fastest way to change your hairstyle (and overall look), updating your hair part can draw attention to a new and previously under-explored area of your face! Depending on how deep the part is, side parts tend to emphasize the eyes or cheekbones, whereas center parts highlight the symmetry of your face. Changing your part can also change the way your face shape reads by accentuating either the length (center part) or width (side part) of your features.

2. Switch your products. If you’ve been using the same hair care products for forever, now is the time to switch things up. Try a shampoo that’s specifically designed for your hair color—like John Frieda Brilliant Brunette for darker-haired ladies, or Aveda Camomile Shampoo for blondes—to bring out the tonality of your strands, or introduce a color-modifying shampoo like John Frieda Go Blonder or Joico Color Endure Violet to change the tone of your hair. There are also products that accentuate curls, tame frizz, straighten hair…you name it! Pick up a bottle of something new and take it for a spin.

3. Embrace natural. Sometimes the most flattering look is the one you woke up with—or, at least, some version of it. If you’re the kind of person who’s inclined to curl or smooth away your natural texture, step back for a moment and think about playing up your hair’s unique quirks. The easiest way to do this is to match your products with your hair texture (see above), and to implement some quick night-time routines. Wavy-haired ladies: sleep with braids for a more uniform texture. Curly-haired ladies: twist your hair around a headband for perfect morning ringlets. Straight-haired ladies: twist all of your hair into a single (loose) topknot, then cover it with a silk headwrap for sleek-bodied volume.

4. Toy with bangs. Bangs have the power to instantly transform your entire appearance, and Clip-In bangs let you do it without the long-term commitment. Pick up a set from our sister site and try them out for yourself! You can even choose between straight bangs and side bangs, or find your best match with this quiz.

5. Try hair extensions. Maybe you’re into the idea of trying out a new color, or experimenting with length and thickness, but just don’t have the time or willpower to commit to the salon schedule and upkeep. That’s okay! Clip-In hair extensions can do the trick without making a dent in your time, hair, or pocketbook. Here at Donna Bella, we offer both 100% Human and synthetic Clip-In hair extension options for your varied needs. You can order single strands for highlights or a pop of color, a full-head set for a new all-over look, and all manner of hair accessories to go with them. So test away!

What’s your tip for a fast and easy spring hair update? Let us know in the comments below!

 

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