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10 / 31 / 2014
The Dandruff Dilemma

dandruff dilemma

Dandruff is a common condition that leaves flakes of skin from a shedding scalp on your hair. If you’re suffering from this condition, it may be embarrassing at times and hard to keep under control. Dandruff doesn’t mean you can’t wear hair extensions, it just means you have to take a few small extra care steps.

Sulfate free and anti-dandruff shampoos and conditioners are safe on your hair extensions and are effective at controlling a mild case of dandruff. Although we tell you not to wash your hair very often, if you’re prone to dandruff, you should. Part of controlling the flaking is to have impeccable hair hygiene.

Medicated dandruff shampoos prescribed by your doctor should be applied only on your natural hair. Keep the medicated shampoo away from your hair extension ends, as the problem isn’t your ends, it’s your scalp. Most medicated dandruff shampoos will dry out hair extensions so try applying a sulfate-free shampoo on your ends while applying the medicated shampoo at the roots and your scalp. These prescribed shampoos will ask that you leave the shampoo on your scalp for a specific amount of time to let the medication work, it shouldn’t affect your hair extensions however.

Because you are washing more than the average hair extension wearer you will probably be at your move-up appointment sooner than you would normally. Typically it takes 8 weeks until your next move-up appointment. Because you are washing your hair more often, your move-up appointment will be closer to 5 weeks. It will also mean that you have to be extra careful during your washes to make sure you’re not tugging at the connections of your hair extensions too harshly. Tugging is what leads to hair extension slippage.

You should have your hair flake-free on the day of installation. If anti-dandruff shampoos aren’t helping you, try getting a prescribed medicated shampoo from your doctor before hand in time for your hair appointment. If your dandruff condition tends to be the dry kind, you’ll want to brush thoroughly as these kinds of flakes will just fall off. If your condition tends to be a greasy type of dandruff, the best method of installation for this hair type is Kera-Link. You will experience more slipping, but as mentioned before, all it means is that your move-up appointment will be required sooner.

If you’re fighting a dandruff battle, let us help you out!


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Ask Donna Bella

10 / 24 / 2014
Am I Too Old For Hair Extensions?

am i too old

“The older you get the shorter the hair.” Who came up with this misleading concept anyway? One of the biggest mistakes you can make when getting older is to chop off your hair. Why? Having a real short hair cut adds years to your look because you’re calling more attention to your facial features such as lines and wrinkles. Any stylist will agree that the style is more important than length. So the short answer is no, you’re never too old for hair extensions. For a few ideas on how to use hair extensions to revamp your look and take away a few years, read on…

Layers. Layers are a great way to frame your face because they soften your facial features and provide volume. As we get older our hair will thin out, which is another element that makes us look older. Build up volume and thickness by adding a few hair extension strands, if you prefer not to have a full head of them. Ask your stylist for layers that will provide the right frame for your face, build volume, and show off the thickness of your hair and hair extensions.

Highlights. You should be placing different tones of highlights around your face and at the top of your head to make your skin look warm and young. Different tones of highlights also provide dimension. You don’t have to put your natural hair through the coloring process either. With hair extensions, you can choose which colors you want and which method you prefer (I-Link, Kera-Link, or Tape-In) to accomplish the look without any damage to your natural hair. You should stay away from just one solid color. No matter your hair color, if it has no dimension, it will make you look older and can make a great cut and/or style look dull.

Cover-up. Syrra Salon in West Virginia recently sent us a before and after picture of a client who had a bald spot at the top of her head (featured below). By adding a few Donna Bella hair extension pieces, the stylist was able to cover it up, looking completely natural. If it wasn’t for the before picture, we wouldn’t have been able to tell!

Hair extensions aren’t just a trend, they are also a lifestyle, and in some cases life savers!  Still have a few questions? Drop us a line below; we’d love to help out!


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Ask Donna Bella

10 / 17 / 2014
Can I Install My Own Hair Extensions?


Although you can technically install your own hair extensions it is highly not recommended. The only type of hair extensions you should be installing on your own are Clip-Ins. Even the most talented hairstylists go to other certified hair extension stylists to get their extensions installed. Here are a few reasons why it’s worth paying your certified stylist for the install.

Blending. The secret to a great hair extension job and the MOST important part of the hair installation process. This technique takes a lot of practice that certified hair stylists spend tons of time mastering. Trying to blend in your own extensions is like trying to give yourself a new haircut…not the brightest idea.

Consistency. Whether it’s Tape-In, I-Link, or Kera-Link, installation takes precision and skill. Can you imagine trying to place evenly spaced bonds on yourself? Now that just sounds like a disaster waiting to happen! You risk having crooked Tape-Ins, partially crimped beads, and messy bonds. You also have to make sure your extensions are placed at the exact right spot on the head. Too close to the scalp (for I-Link and Kera-Link) and you create a “waterfall” effect where the extensions don’t lay flat, but rather stick out at the attachment point. If they’re too far from the scalp (for all methods) the extensions will look like they’ve already grown out and need a touch up. Both scenarios result in giving away your secret, because your beads, bonds, or tape will be much more noticeable.

Time. We all know extensions can take a while to install. Even with the most talented stylists, you’ll still find yourself sitting in their chairs for at least an hour. If you install yourself, plan on spending at least double the time to only get half the quality.

Finding a certified stylist is very important for a successful hair extension job. There’s a reason why stylists go through the extra training to become masters in hair extensions. And let’s not forget the pretty penny you’ve invested in your new hair. Don’t chance it! if you need help finding a stylist or have a question about how to find a stylist, please let us know!




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Beauty News

10 / 10 / 2014
Move Over Blond, It’s Brunette Season!

Woman washing hair with shampoo

Now that it’s officially fall, we can all agree that the majority of us are hitting our stylist’s chair for darker tones of hair color. Darker tones of ombres, balayages, or dip dyes are the latest hair trends of the season. It’s a perfect compromise for those that don’t want to give up their blond hue. Here are some ways you can use Donna Bella Hair extensions to achieve each one of these looks.

Ombre. An ombre features darker, more natural colors at the roots of your hair that transition into a lighter color at the ends. A perfect combination for a fall ombre would be a dark and light tone of brown. Hair colors like #8 and #6 are a beautiful combination to try, and they come in all four methods (I-Link, Kera-Link, Tape-In, and Clip-In).

Balayage. This technique shows off a natural, more sunkissed glow that looks like you’ve been sitting under the sun for hours. It’s an ideal fall makeover for those that aren’t quite ready to get rid of their summer blond. Since balayages consist of highlights, try adding a few strands of colors #27, #8, and #5B to your mix. These colors can be found in I-Link, Kera-Link, and Tape-In extensions.

Dip Dyes. Also known as “the melt”. We love how this unsubtle color turns your hair from extremely bright roots to extremely dark ends. The best thing about this technique is that it doesn’t take much to blend. If you already have bright blond roots, like color #24, for example, try adding length with colors like #5B or #6. These colors are also available in I-Link, Kera-Link, and Tape-In extensions.

All of these hair colors can be accomplished with hair extensions if you don’t want to put your natural hair through the coloring process. These color jobs do require blending to create the subtle looks. We always recommend ordering a color wheel (if you do not have one) so you know which colors will blend best before ordering your bundles. If you plan on coloring the hair extensions, always make sure to do a strand test first.

We’d love to be part of your fall makeover! If you have any questions, please ask!


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Ask Donna Bella

10 / 03 / 2014
Hair Extensions Tailored to Fit Your Budget

Woman washing hair with shampoo

Since the demand for hair extensions has increased, manufacturers have made it possible for more women to afford them. By offering a variety of installation methods and hair quality, women everywhere can have longer, fuller hair, without it costing them an arm and a leg. Whether you’re shopping for hair extensions for yourself or for your salon, here are things to consider when shopping for hair extensions to help you stay within your budget.

Tape-Ins. These are the easiest and fastest to install for a hair stylist. The installation time can range from 30 minutes to an hour and a half. Because it’s such a quick installation, Tape-Ins aren’t as expensive when it comes to the application time. As of now, Tape-Ins are the latest trend because of their seamless, natural finish. Their high quality will also last you up to three months with proper care, before your next move up appointment.

I-Links. You still get the same amount of hair in grams as any other hair method. However, you will be spending a little more on installation because this method involves installing each strand by connecting them to your natural hair with micro-beads. The minimal time for installation is 2 hours but it can surely take longer depending on the thickness of your hair. It’s a client favorite because it requires no heat, glue, bonds, or chemicals. Because the beads are so tiny, they are easily hidden in your hair. If properly cared for, they can last you 3 to 4 months before your move-up appointment.

Kera-Links. These, like the I-Link method, are installed strand by strand. Instead of using a bead like the I-Links, Kera-Link extensions use keratin bonds that are fused into each strand of your natural hair. This method is also known as Fusion. It is the oldest method of installation because of the ultimate styling potential—no beads or tape to hide! If cared for properly, these will last you as long as I-Link hair extensions before your next move-up appointment. Again, these will be more costly due to the time spent for installation.

Clip-Ins. If your budget is super tight, Clip-Ins are always a great option. They are a combination of long and single wefts that you install yourself by using the clips that are attached on the weft to your natural hair. Because they are only attached by a clip like a hair barrette, they will need to be taken out at the end of the day. If you don’t mind taking the time to place and take these in and out of your hair each day, then this method will be perfect for you.

All three hair methods come in 100% human remy hair which means you can reuse them for up to a year. Clip-Ins come in synthetic and remy. The price of hair extensions are based on the method of installation (time it takes to install), length (the longer in inches, the more pricey they get), and the hair quality (synthetic versus human remy). Since human remy is the highest quality of hair extensions, they will be more expensive than synthetic hair. You cannot apply heat styling tools to synthetic hair like you can to human remy.

If you’d like more information on how to shop for hair or hair stylists, drop us a line! We’re always here to help!


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Ask Donna Bella

09 / 26 / 2014
4 Things You Should Never Do at a Hair Extension Appointment

Woman washing hair with shampoo

Every so often we’ll get phone calls or emails about a hair extension problem that could have been easily avoided. Whether it be a first installation or a move up, we want you to have the best experience with Donna Bella Hair. So we’ve listed some things you should never do on the same day as your hair extension appointments.

Color Jobs. Otherwise known as the most common cause for slippage. Maybe you were a little off in the color when you ordered your hair extensions and now you need to color one or the other to match. Or maybe you’re just overly excited about switching over to a new hair color. Either way, the day of installation is not the best time for a color job. Any product containing chemicals or dyes causes your hair to react in a way that compromises  the adhesive from your Tape-Ins and the bond from your Kera-Link extensions, making them less effective. Think about it, the ideal hair for installation is free of build-up. When you’re adding any product to your hair you’re doing the opposite, which brings us to our next subject—clarifying.

Hair Build-Up. On the day of your installation, make sure your hair is freshly stripped of any hair gunk by using a clarifying shampoo. Next-day hair is not a good idea for your extension appointment because your scalp produces oils that will definitely have your I-Links slipping, your Tape-Ins not-sticking, and your Kera-Links struggling to connect to your natural hair. Wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo of your choice and skip the conditioner. Conditioners are meant for moisturizing hair, so the oils in your conditioner will make it more difficult for your extensions to stay put.

Scalp or Conditioning Treatments. So if you shouldn’t condition your hair in the shower before your installation appointment, you absolutely should not get a scalp or conditioning treatment the same day, either. Again, for the same reasons listed above, anything that moisturizes your hair contains oils that are not friendly to hair extension installations.

Perms. If you’re using a perm to curl your hair, or a relaxer or a blowout to straighten your hair, it’s best to schedule these treatments a few days before installing your extensions. For the same reason you don’t want to color your hair the same day, these treatments have chemicals that will counteract the adhesives for your hair extensions, and give your hair a coating that causes extensions to slip.

Stylists, you can use our online education resources to learn all the ins and outs of hair extension installation, including how to handle tricky situations like a pro.

Donna Bella Hair clients, feel free to ask your stylists about the rules of hair extensions, or ask us here! We’re more than happy to help.


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09 / 19 / 2014
Fall/Winter Hair Care for Your Extensions

Woman washing hair with shampoo

During the summer season, the sun’s heat is as threatening as it gets. You would think during the winter months the weather wouldn’t be as threatening, but think again. The cold winters can sometimes be really harsh on your hair. The element of winter that is most damaging to your hair is the lack of humidity. The dryness of the season can make your hair more brittle. Protect your natural hair and hair extensions by adding these easy winter hair care tips to your hair care routine.

Silk or satin linings. For outdoor protection, it is best to wear a hat, headscarf, or hood made with silk or satin linings. They are best to use since they don’t absorb moisture and they don’t allow your hair strands to rub together like other materials such as cotton. By letting your long strands rub together, you are causing friction that leads to frizz, static, and tangles. You should always protect your hair and hair extensions while outdoors.

Conditioners. Use an instant leave-in conditioner to fight frizz and help restore moisture during the day. Apply deep conditioning treatments at least once a week to your hair extensions. Use a hair mask, a hot oil treatment, or any one of your favorite deep conditioning treatments, as long as you don’t apply it close to your bonds (slippage will occur if moisturizing products are placed near your beads, bonds, or tape). Before your move appointment, try to nourish your scalp with a scalp treatment if the winter days are drying it out. However, do not do this the day of, as this will stop the hair extensions from adhering to your natural hair.

Trimming. The cold, dry air will sometimes cause breakage and split ends. Try trimming your ends a little before installing your hair extensions or before your move-up. Trimming your natural hair will make it easier to blend into your extensions.

If you have a winter hair care favorite, please drop us a note. It’s always a pleasure to share

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09 / 12 / 2014
Hair Extensions and Workouts

Woman washing hair with shampoo

Lately we’ve heard buzz around town that once you have your hair extensions installed, you can’t workout as hardcore as you want. This is completely and utterly false! Not only can you workout in yourI-Links, Kera-Links, or Tape Ins, you’ll look fabulous before, during, and after your workout. We only recommend taking out your Clip-Ins before a workout (you don’t want those slipping out in the middle of handstand push-ups—kind of embarrassing). Here are some tips to keep in mind for you faithful gym goers and active athletes.

Wrap your hair. If you don’t have head scarves, or headbands, you definitely need to get some. Not only will this help your hair stay in place, it will also help keep the connection between the hair extensions and your natural hair dry. You can’t avoid perspiration around the neck area during workouts, especially intense ones. You’re headband/scarf will absorb most of your sweat which is exactly what you want in order to avoid slippage. Also, a swimming cap is a MUST for all swimmers. It may not look very cute but at least you’ll avoid frizz, matting, and tangling.

Don’t tug. If you’re not into wearing head scarves of bands, try a super high bun or a loosebraid. However, when styling them in either way, make sure you’re not tugging or tying your hair too tight. The constant pulling on your extensions will cause them to loosen or slip. Another reason you want to have loose hair it to allow it to air out your sweat instead of consuming it, which is what tight hair styles do when they get wet.

Outdoor protection. Fall is approaching and for some of us it means a cool down in weather. But for others that have warm weather year round, protect your bonds for those outdoor activities. If you’re doing any outdoor workouts where a hot sun is constantly beaming on you, especially with Kera-Link hair extensions—the sun’s heat may cause melted bonds.

By taking these precautions before your workout, your hair will look great afterward. Just spray a little dry shampoo after your shower and style it before heading out again. Hair extensions aren’t meant to be washed everyday, which is why we always recommend using a dry shampoo between washes.

The holidays are coming up and we all want to look picture-perfect for those Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years photos. Look twice as amazing by keeping up with your exercise and your long locks!

Have a question? Please ask, it’s always a pleasure to hear from our Donna Bellas!



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09 / 05 / 2014
Backstage Access: Billings, Montana


As our Billings, Montana Pro Series event approaches, we wanted to take you as much behind the scenes as possible by interviewing the team that has put this all together for you. We had a chance to catch up with Caleb Walker, who is on the front lines of this event and has worked countless hours on providing the best experience and opportunity for future attendees. He had a few minutes to answer some of our questions. Read on for the full interview.

Q: How did this idea come about?

CW: Ruben Martinez, International Educator and stylist, has always dreamt about touring and bringing educational events to people outside of traditional trade show regions. By touring, he feels like it’s more personal. It’s also a way to reach out to a lot more stylists and create hair magic. The Pro Series has been in the works for years.

Q: Why Billings?

CW:  Sometimes it’s hard for stylists to travel to the major cities where trade shows are held. It’s difficult to leave their clients for an extended period of time and it can be expensive! Montana isn’t traditionally a region with many trade shows, so we thought this would be a perfect location to launch our highly personalized educational event. We’ve made it a personal experience for Billings locals who are interested in becoming certified or boosting their business in hair extensions.

Q: Who would benefit from this event?

CW: Anyone interested in getting a new edge on the competition. What I mean by this is that if you’re not certified, this will be a one shot chance to be certified by a well-renowned international hair extension stylist. If you are certified, this will be your chance to take your hair extension abilities to the next level by learning to work with the most difficult hair situations. Wouldn’t it be nice to skip the calls to customer service and know exactly what to do in any tough hair situation that arises? That’s what we want to accomplish with this event.

Q:What would you say to those who think it’s too expensive?

CW: This isn’t about just being certified. It’s about understanding hair extensions and providing the very best product and service to your client. The training is valued at over $3,000, but offered for as little as $495. You’ll walk away not only with materials, but knowledge that will bring in more revenue for you business that comes from being trained in all 3 hair extension methods. You’ll definitely have an advantage over your competition and you can’t put a price on a lifetime of business.

Q: Anything you want to end the interview with?

CW: Everyone that participates will grow hair artistry abilities and feel like they have a new advantage in the market. This is going to be an unbelievable event for all of our attendees. We have everything from giveaways to accommodations, and exclusive access to Ruben and the Donna Bella Team. You won’t get anything like this at any trade show. Round up your stylists friends and spend the weekend with us!

Thanks for your time Caleb! If you have any questions or suggestions for the Donna Bella Team, please share it with us!


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Ask Donna Bella

08 / 29 / 2014
Need An Excuse to Get Away? How About Becoming a Hair Extension Master?!


If you haven’t signed up for Donna Bella’s Pro Series event, you’ll definitely want to. The space is limited and has been filling up faster than we thought. Round up your girls and plan a trip to Billings, Montana. We will be there September 21–22, so whether you want to make it a weekend thing, or just one day, it’ll be worth it—we promise!

Our Master Educator, Ruben Martinez, will be there to spend some one-on-one time with you and answer all of your questions. Plus, you get all kinds of goodies included. This is an amazing opportunity. Want more details? Keep reading.

Experience an intensive hands on training course with I-Link,Tape-In, and Kera-Link methods. Learn the secrets of installing beads with no slippage and how to find the best beads for different hair types and hair colors. Want to perfect your Kera-Link skills? In these classes, you’ll learn how to install them so they’re virtually unnoticeable. If you’re pace is slower in the Tape-Ins department, you’ll learn how to install a full head of Tape-In hair extensions in 30 minutes!

As a participant of the single day pass, you get our Ultimate Kit and access to Online Education included at no extra charge. In the schedule is an afternoon breakout session where instructors give more in depth details on the business of extensions and extension myths and how to eliminate them. Learn about how to to avoid common mistakes and how to keep cool if you ever find yourself in a tricky hair extension scenario.

If you sign up for the all weekend pass, you get the same package as the single day pass but with way more goodies—we’re talking all inclusive! Overnight accommodations, meals, and a high end dinner with Ruben and the Donna Bella Team as a way to get a more a personal experience with us. The extra day with Ruben is for those who want each and every question answered, advice,  and extra pointers like how to handle the trickiest of hair extension situations. This second day class will also feature live models with hairstyles that are more difficult to work with when installing extensions. However, Ruben will show you how to handle these situations like a pro!

Ready to sign up? Here’s the link:

As always, we’re here to answer any and all questions so please don’t hesitate to ask. See you soon in Montana!

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