Archive for September, 2016

Becoming a Hair Whisperer

Saturday, September 24th, 2016

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Last week we talked about learning how to speak your hair’s language, because knowing how to decode its messages is critical to ongoing hair health. This week, we’re going to take it a step further by unraveling the trickiest of hair riddles, so you can become the hair whisperer you were always meant to be.

What to look for:

Unwanted color change
What it means:
Take a close look at the water you’re using to clean your hair, and consider investing in a filter. Tap water—including shower water—is often loaded with various minerals that can build up on your scalp over time, causing color-changing chemical reactions. This is of particular concern for blondes, since blonde hair exhibits more obvious color change compared to darker hair types. If color change has already happened, invest in a color-correcting shampoo, or schedule a damage-control coloring appointment with your stylist.

Matted hair
What it means:
You’re not drying and/or brushing your extensions properly, or you may be overdue for a move-up. Matted hair is a gnarly problem, and it’s best if you can avoid it altogether. Fortunately, it’s easy to do so if you’re taking good care of your hair extensions. But if you’re a bit lax with your grooming, unbrushed hair can knot together, and low-hanging extension bonds can twist and turn around surrounding strands of hair. Unfortunately—depending on the extent of the damage—there’s not a lot that can be done to correct the problem short of chopping the hair off above the knot. But if you’re in the early stages of matting, try a good conditioning treatment and book an appointment with your stylist ASAP.

Uneven texture
What it means:
Apart from run-of-the-mill differences in curl pattern that may exist between natural hair and extensions, uneven texture is usually caused by one of two things: either you’re not treating your extensions to enough moisture, or your natural hair is pretty damaged. Hair extensions often need more hydration than your natural hair does, mainly because—unlike your own hair—it’s not attached directly to your scalp and the oils that go with it. If they don’t receive regular conditioning treatments, hair extensions can eventually feel more brittle or parched than your natural hair, which can translate to less volume and more frizz. On the other hand, if your natural locks are damaged due to sun exposure, color treatments, or general wear and tear, it may be your hair that feels brittle and parched. If that’s the case, consider taking a break from semi-permanent hair extensions to get your hair in better shape. You can always use Ready-to-Wear extensions in the meantime!

Hair loss
What it means:
Hair loss is tricky, because it can be tied to any number of things. But if you’re relatively young and healthy, not expecting a baby, not a recent mother, and not undergoing majorly stressful life changes, you can probably rule out many of the standard causes of hair loss. In that case, the culprit is either too-tight or too-heavy extensions (resulting from a poor installation job), aggressive hair care practices, or a bad reaction to hair care products. Aggressive hair care practices may include over-processing hair with bleaches or dyes, overusing heating tools, yanking at the hair while brushing, etc. The best course of action for addressing hair loss is to visit your stylist and/or doctor to discuss all of your symptoms and develop a personalized treatment plan. This may involve removing your hair extensions, or exchanging them for a different type. Either way, it’s ultimately for the best, and Ready-to-Wear extensions are always there to ease you through the process.

Has your hair ever spoken out in any of these ways? What did you do about it? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Listen Up! What is Your Hair Trying to Tell You?

Monday, September 19th, 2016

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Your hair has a language all its own, and it’s your job to learn how to speak it. Here, we’ve taken the liberty of translating some common cries for hair-help, and offered up some tips for how to respond.

What to look for:

Dry and/or split ends
What it means:
You’re in need of a trim. To prevent this in the future, get seasonal trims, condition your hair regularly, and avoid rough hair care practices that could cause breakage (heat styling, improper brushing, vigorous towel-drying, etc.).

Short and/or scraggly strands poking out all over the hair
What it means:
Lighten up on your hair care methods. The way you’re doing things now is causing a lot of breakage. Make sure you’re brushing with the correct brush, in the correct way, and avoid overuse of heating tools. To address the problem, visit your stylist and request a blend, keep your hair hydrated, and style your hair so that it lays in a uniform way (preferably with the ends sloping inward towards your neck).

Oily scalp
What it means:
Take a shower, invest in some dry shampoo, and/or lay off the conditioning products around the roots of your hair. If your hair is naturally oily and you wear extensions, try a regimen of 2 hair-washings per week, using dry shampoo in-between.

Flaky scalp
What it means:
Make sure your shampoo regimen is up to par. Too little shampoo can cause dirt buildup on the scalp, which can clog pores and exacerbate dandruff. Too much shampoo (or too strong shampoo) can dry the scalp out too much. You may have to experiment slightly to arrive at the right balance for your hair type. Also, read this.

Lack of body or volume
What it means:
Make sure your conditioning regimen is up to par. When your hair is lacking moisture, it’ll do one of two things: frizz out in search of environmental moisture (curly hair types), or fall flat in the most drab way possible (straight and fine hair types). Address the problem by adding a good conditioner to your haircare routine—and maybe a hair mask for good measure!

Flat roots
What it means:
Your hair is too heavy, whether it’s because there’s too much oil, too much product, or too much bulk at the ends of your hair. In the first case, a shower should do the trick. In the second, a little moderation is your best bet. In the third, a visit to your stylist may be in order. Ask for a layering job, and maybe a texturizing spray for some extra umph!

What has your hair been trying to tell you lately? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Easy-to-Make Hair Care Mistakes

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

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Hair care is a multifaceted and extensive process, which means that there are lots and lots of opportunities to mess something up. From your product collection, to your tools, to your various techniques, unhappy surprises can be waiting in the most innocent-looking of places. So let us help you parse out the good from the bad. Here are some common, easy-to-make hair care mistakes, and tips to help you fix them:

Using products with sulfates in them.
There are a lot of promising-looking products out there with sulfates on their ingredients labels, and it can be almost heart-breaking to part with a product based off of that alone. But it’s got to be done, because sulfates spell only damage for hair extensions, and for your own hair, too. Beware the sudsy, too-clean feeling, and always read the label!

Tying hair into a topknot while conditioner sets.
Most of you probably know by now that conditioning the roots of your hair is an extension crime. It compromises the extension bonds, causes slippage, and (best-case scenario) leaves your hair looking greasy. That being said, conditioner is great and so, so necessary for the lengths of your hair, and you’ll get the most benefit from it if you let the formula set for 5-15 minutes before rinsing. While you do this, your instinct might be to pull your hair up and away from your shoulders to prevent the conditioner from coating your skin. Good thinking! But opt for a low ballerina bun. A topknot—though appealing—will ultimately drip conditioner down into the root area of your hair. No thank you!

Blow-drying dripping wet hair.
While we recommend that you blow-dry the root area of your hair after showering, we don’t mean blow-dry the hair while it’s still sopping wet. Shooting wet hair with heat can be super damaging to your locks, since the liquid coating around each hair will just funnel the heat and multiply its effects. Instead, gently wring your hair of water, towel dry with a microfiber cloth, spritz some heat protectant to the areas of your hair that you intend to blow-dry, let it set for a couple of minutes*, then blow-dry on a low heat setting (using the cool shot afterwards).
*Heat protectant forms a barrier around the hair, but only after it’s dried slightly on the hair shaft.

Brushing with the wrong comb or brush.
While we’d love to tell you that you can continue using your standard brush/comb on your hair extensions, that’s most likely not true. Unless your brush is a 100% boar hair bristle brush, like ours is, it’s not going to mesh well with your hair extensions. That’s because ordinary brushes have bristles that are too rough for hair extension bonds, and many brushes and combs don’t effectively distribute oil from the scalp to the ends of the hair. So invest in one that does what you need it to do!

Using the wrong brushing technique.
Your hair-brushing woes may go one step further; you could be brushing your hair in the wrong way. This can happen even if you have the right kind of brush for your hair, and it can wreak havoc on your locks! The correct way to brush your hair involves starting at the ends, coaxing the knots out in a downward motion, and then slowly working your way up. Don’t start at your roots and yank through the knots! That is immediately damaging to both your extensions and your natural hair. To minimize the tugging at the roots and bonds, always grasp the roots of your hair with one hand while you brush.

Slathering hair in oil.
Hot oil treatments are bomb for hair extensions, because they provide a fix of much-needed moisture. That being said, you should not douse your hair in the stuff, and you should not apply any around the bonds or roots of your hair. As with the conditioning thing, it’ll quickly lead to slippage and/or greasy, flat-laying hair (since oil is notoriously difficult to wash out). And, again, tie the hair in a low ballerina bun to set.

Sleeping with your hair loose.
This one seems so natural, right? Most of us don’t even think twice about falling into bed with our hair down, because it’s what we’ve been doing for most of our lives! But just because it’s easy doesn’t mean it’s good. In fact, all the tossing and turning you do during the night can mess up the cuticle layer of your hair, draining it of moisture and leaving it frizzy come morning time. And that’s just not a great way to start the day. Instead, sleep with your hair in a braid, invest in a silk or satin pillowcase (to minimize friction), and consider getting a silk or satin bonnet, too. A head wrap could also work. Anything that’ll keep the hair laying smooth and undisturbed.

Skipping UV protectant.
It can come as a surprise to hear that hair needs sun protection, too. But, if you care about maintaining a healthy-looking mane, it most certainly does. UV rays are disaster for color-treated hair (think your hair extensions), and can cause premature color fade. Even on natural, uncolored hair, sunlight will have a lightening and drying effect. Over time, this can compromise the integrity of your strands. So reach for a UV protectant, give it a couple of spritzes into your hair, and work it through with your hands. It’s not a lot of extra time or energy, and the results are well worth it.

Got questions? Comments? Suggestions? Leave them down below!

 

Getting to Know Sono by Donna Bella Hair

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016

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We’ve mentioned Sono before, but we think it’s about time for an update. Last year we introduced a brand new line of 100% human, removable hair extensions for the commitment-wary extension lover, including Bangs extensions, Solo (halo) extensions, and a range of Clip-Ins in various lengths and weights. These extensions became available through our branch company—Sono by Donna Bella—on a custom-made site tailored to stylists and clients alike. Now, we’ve brought the Sono goodness a little closer to home, introducing a brand new “Ready-to-Wear” section to our product categories where you can find all of Sono’s offerings, in addition to our existing Clip-In pages. This enables you to browse conveniently from the comfort of our Donna Bella site, and to use your existing Donna Bella account to make Sono purchases! And, to celebrate, we’re offering an exclusive 15% discount to Donna Bella site users who purchase from the Ready-to-Wear line, from now until September 8th!

Some of you may already be familiar with our new-and-improved removable hair extensions, as well as the many style tutorials that go with them! But for those of you who are new to the Sono game, here are the facts that you need to know:

There are 3 methods, and they’re great for any hair type.
We’ve been touting Clip-In hair extensions for a while now, explaining how they’re great for ambivalent hair extension clients who want a test run before committing to a professional method. Like the rest of our Sono by Donna Bella line, they’re also great for ever-changing hair enthusiasts who want flexibility in their daily look, and for clients of all hair types and thicknesses—even finer-haired clients! Solo hair extensions, for example, fall from a single wire that sits around the crown of the head, meaning that this method applies no weight or pressure to the hair strands themselves! And Bangs extensions follow suit, attaching with three comfortable clips to the hairline.

They’re 100% human, guaranteed.
That longstanding Donna Bella promise of premium quality, 100% human hair applies to Sono hair extensions, too. Each and every strand in our Sono by Donna Bella hair extensions is fully human, sourced from the pristine hair of Indian women engaging in religious worship. That means that you can treat your Sono extensions as you would your own hair—treating them with sulfate-free products, drying them with heat protectant in place, and styling them to suit your tastes.

There are 3 distinct lengths available, and you can get each length in 1 of 2 weights.
Sono Clip-Ins and Solo hair extensions come in 16”, 18”, and 20” lengths for a range of possible looks. Plus, each length comes in 2 different weights—Regular or Deluxe—for varied thickness to match your natural locks! That’s a total of 6 extension customization options per method!

Bangs are here, and there are 2 varieties.
Skip the endless snipping-then-growing-out cycle and help yourself to removable Bangs extensions! You can go the classic route with the Straight Across style, or rock your inner side-bang girl with the Side Swept style.

Pick from 16 familiar Donna Bella colors.
Sono by Donna Bella extensions come in colors 1, 1B, 2, 3R, 4, 6, 6/10, 8, 10, 12/600, 24, 27, 27/613, 30/33, 613, and 1001. That means you can still use your good-old Donna Bella Color Ring to arrive at the perfect match!

Hang them up at the end of the day.
Removable means you can put the hair away when you’re done wearing it, limiting the need for hair extension-oriented showering or sleeping routines. And now, you can put your hair away in clean and tidy style, using the Sono by Donna Bella Extension Hanger and Sleeve! (Other Sono-inspired tools are available, too.)

If you have any more questions about Sono by Donna Bella extensions, check out the Sono YouTube channel. It’s full of useful Sono-related information, and more! And don’t forget to take advantage of 15% off the Ready-to-Wear line while it lasts!