Category Archives: Hair Care

The Only Color Products for Your Extensions

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When coloring your hair extensions, you may notice that instructions always call for demi or semi-permanent hair color (sometimes called “direct dyes”). Here’s why: permanent hair color literally dehydrates the hair cuticle, lifting its natural color so it can accept new pigment. These color jobs must always be used in conjunction with a strict hydration regimen and treatment schedule as anyone who’s ever bleached their hair can tell you: it can make your hair feel like straw! Using any color that lifts—be it a peroxide or bleach—on hair extensions will actually damage them and render them unusable. Because permanent color puts such a strain on the hair, demi or semi-permanent hair color is preferred for coloring extensions because they will pull off the same coloring effect without putting your hair, extensions, or scalp through the harsh treatment of permanent color.

What is Demi or Semi-Permanent Color?
Demi and semi-permanent hair color contain no ammonia and only deposits color onto the hair. Essentially, since these products do not lift the hair cuticle when adding color, the hair’s existing color stays underneath the new color. Semi and demi-permanent colors are mixed with low-volume developers, which help open up the cuticle so it can absorb the new color, and last for multiple shampoos: demi-permanent hair color washes out in up to 24 shampoos, with semi-permanent hair color lasting anywhere from 4 to 12 shampoos, depending on the amount used. These products are often used to blend gray, enhance natural color, refresh existing color, tone highlights, or for corrective work.

One distinct benefit of using demi and semi-permanent colors is that they can be applied to the extensions (after the strand test and other preliminary coloring tasks) straight from the bottle without having to be mixed with hydrogen peroxide and other chemicals. Since they perform without these strong chemicals and additives, they make the overall coloring experience much more pleasant for everyone involved as odors, the risk of chemical burns, and the sensory harshness of ammonia and peroxide are completely avoided!

It’s important to remember that Donna Bella Hair Extensions are real Human Remy hair and, as such, should be treated like your own natural hair. Proper maintenance, upkeep, and overall preparation are essential for keeping hair extensions looking their best. In that regard, using color products that will help maintain the hair without stripping it of natural oils and colors will go a long way in creating an ideal color effect that lasts. You can color your hair extensions! Just follow our advice, stay within 2 shades, and always deposit color instead of lifting. Whether adding fashionable colors or working to bring out existing highlights, demi and semi-permanent color applied to Donna Bella Hair Extensions will help you get the long, colorful hair you long for!

Visit the Color Takeover Portal for more coloring tips and tricks!

 

Coloring Hair with the Integrity-Focused Approach

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Stylists who go through our Donna Bella certification program know that we promote an integrity-focused approach when it comes to installing and maintaining hair extensions. This means that throughout the hair extension process, we’re acting in a way that ensures the continued integrity of the Remy extensions. This is every bit as true for coloring extensions as it is for installing them; coloring services should always be performed with an integrity-focused approach as this will produce the best, most vibrant outcomes. But what does that involve, exactly?

Firstly, you should always follow the 10 cardinal rules of coloring hair extensions.
These are:
1.  Use professional (semi or demi permanent) colors, only
2.  Do not lighten or bleach (only darken)
3.  Perform a strand test first
4.  Color extensions off of the client’s head (not when installed)
5.  Stay within 2 shades of the extension base color
6.  Pre-wash extensions with sulfate-free shampoo before coloring them
7.  Always flip extensions to color both sides
8.  Go with the direction of the hair’s cuticle when brushing color onto the extensions
9.  Remove all tape from Tape-In hair extensions before applying color
10. Use only sulfate-free, color-safe shampoo and conditioner on color-treated hair
Following these rules will help you achieve the color outcomes that you want without compromising the health of the extensions themselves.

Then, you should simply take your time.
No good will come from you rushing through a color job (or an installation appointment, for that matter). Though the process can be lengthy, shaving off a couple of minutes at the risk of botching the color and/or extensions is just not worth it. Time is the name of the game, and it’s the only way to get those top-notch, beautiful results. So roll your sleeves up and knock it out of the park.

Donna Bella is now offering custom coloring information for human hair extensions at our Color Takeover Portal—an online resource for any stylist looking to incorporate color work into their extension services. Get read up on the latest tips, the loveliest formulas, and the easiest how-tos today! You can even download a free guide filled with everything you need to know to perform the perfect color job.

Visit the Color Takeover Portal Now

 

All the Tools You Need For a Successful Color Job

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No matter how much experience, zeal, and creative whimsy they possess, a stylist can really only be as good as the tools they have at their disposal. Whether it’s a routine change-up, installing a full head of extensions, or a custom coloring for a full-on transformation, here’s our list of the top shelf tools you need for a successful color job.

Semi or Demi-Permanent Colors
For coloring extensions, we encourage the use of semi or demi-permanent colors. These products deposit color onto the hair rather than lifting it (which actually dehydrates the cuticle) for a gentler coloring experience. Plus, since they’re semi and demi-permanent, they put far less strain and chemical stress on the hair than permanent colors would. For fashion colors, specifically, we’ve found that Joico Color Intensity works incredibly well for coloring hair extensions!

Donna Bella #60 Extensions
Although all our Remy shades can be professionally colored, bright, bold fashion colors such as rainbow or pastel hair require a blank canvas for the full effect. In these cases, we recommend our palest, most neutral blonde shade: #60. It’s available in all four professional installation methods and will take on fashion colors vibrantly.

Olaplex Lightener
Olaplex, labeled as a “bond multiplier,” helps reconnect broken disulfide sulfur bonds in the hair. By applying it to a lightener or hair color, your client’s hair will be kept strong during and after the coloring process, essential for keeping colors looking their best. It’s free of the silicones and oils presents in many other products and helps maintain hair’s natural strength and resilience after being treated. Note that in all our color formulas contained on the Donna Bella Color Takeover Portal, we include Olaplex lightener. Clients can also use Olaplex as a weekly treatment for their hair.

A Quality Brush
Applying color to hair or extensions requires a quality brush that will distribute the color evenly. We strongly recommend the Famar brush because the bristles are extremely soft and reduce strain on the wrist and joints—especially handy when you’re coloring multiple extensions at once. Key points to look for when selecting a brush are how well it will distribute color, and the softness of the bristles. Softer bristles will probably distribute better and are less likely to damage the extensions in the process.

Re-hydrating/Moisturizing Shampoo
Encourage clients to keep their hair plenty hydrated after coloring. A hydrating shampoo and even a mask treatment will go far in extending their custom-colored look. All hair types feature different levels of oiliness, and so different clients will require different maintenance regimens. The important thing is that they’re regularly hydrating their hair long after they leave the chair.

Bowl, Gloves, Paper Towels/Coverings
Maybe these seem like a given, but a color job always requires a place to do it, somewhere to mix the ingredients and, of course, appropriate cover for your hands and the furniture around you. Always make sure you’ve got these basic elements at your disposal to ensure clean and streamlined coloring in the salon.

Having the appropriate tools available, as well as a clean and functional workspace, is essential in making your color creation process smooth and hassle-free. Check out our Donna Bella Color Takeover Portal for more tips and tricks!

 

6 Dos and Don’ts of Coloring Hair Extensions

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At Donna Bella Hair, we firmly believe that you can (and should!) color your hair and extensions when creating custom looks. Still, there are some precautions you should take when coloring hair, so here’s our essential guide to general hair coloring protocol when working with extensions:

Do: Use Semi or Demi-Permanent hair colors
Since semi and demi-permanent colors aren’t “Capital P Permanent,” they last for a number of weeks (demi surviving 10 to 25 washes and semi surviving 6-12), and your client won’t be stuck with a color they don’t like for long should the unthinkable happen. Plus, because semi and demi-permanent hair colors deposit color instead of lifting it, they won’t break down the hair cuticle or damage it with chemicals, making post-coloring upkeep that much easier.

Do: Take Note of Your Client’s Skin Tone
Always keep your client’s skin tone in mind when helping them choose their new color. For a good rule of thumb, those with paler skin should opt for warmer tones, while those with olive or darker skin tones may find ashy and cooler colors to be more complimentary. Many manufacturers will provide color suggestions, so pay attention to those, too. If you’re going for pastel, however, don’t worry—pastel shades tend to flatter everyone.

Do: Maintain a Moisturizing Care Schedule
While it’s always important to keep hair moisturized and in tip-top shape, color-treated hair needs that consideration tenfold. Be sure to recommend sulfate-free moisturizing shampoos and conditioners specifically formulated for distressed and damaged hair, and, if possible, throw in a once-a-week moisture mask. Advise your client to avoid applying heat tools to their hair, as well as over-washing as this can strip the hair of essential oils and actually cause the color to fade more quickly.

Don’t: Bleach or Highlight with Over-the-Counter Products
Bleach and peroxide strip the hair cuticle and should only be used under the care of a salon professional. Ensuring that the exact amount of peroxide is used, as well as accounting for varying shades and pigments, is a delicate balance that can very easily leave hair looking and feeling like straw. Make sure that your clients know the dangers of at-home color so they’ll resist the urge to bleach or highlight on their own.

Don’t: Over-Wash Color-Treated Hair
It’s important to keep hair clean and maintained for healthy growth, but you don’t want to overdo it! Washing hair too often will actually dry it out and strip it of the natural oils that it needs. Instead of washing every day, tell your client to try every other day or even every three days, depending on the general oiliness of their hair and overall lifestyle. Those with oily hair, or those who tend to work up more of a sweat, should invest in a good dry shampoo to replace some of their usual showers.

Don’t: Let Your Client Do It Alone
At the end of a coloring appointment, if your client is unhappy, set up a plan to address the problem before they leave the salon. Without a viable alternative, some clients may be tempted to keep adding more color to their hair to try to correct the hue, but they’ll risk making the problem worse and rendering their hair unmanageable. Adding more and more color on top of the problem will only confound things and make it more difficult to return to the hair’s original color. The last thing we want is for a client to attempt fixing their hair on their own!

Ultimately, coloring extensions is a straightforward process. With a little experience and adherence to protocol, you can ensure your color job goes smoothly. Just remember to stay tuned to Donna Bella’s Color Takeover Portal for more hair extension dos and don’ts.

 

KeraExtend™ vs. Cream Cleanse™ – Which Do I Choose?

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If you’ve been following our new Remy Care™ line, you may have noticed that we offer two distinct sets of extension-safe shampoos and conditioners. Dubbed the KeraExtend™ and Cream Cleanse™ sets, these products promise to cleanse and condition your hair and your hair extensions without causing damage or slippage in the process. But there are some notable differences between the two, including different recommended usages. So which shampoo and conditioner pair should you choose for your shower?

KeraExtend™
We recommend the KeraExtend™ Shampoo and Conditioner set for regular use. These products cleanse the hair without stripping it of nutrients, then condition and fortify strands with keratin and 11 botanical extracts. The result is shiny, healthy hair and hair extensions that are easy to maintain.

Cream Cleanse™
Cream Cleanse™ products should be used occasionally for clarifying purposes. This shampoo’s formula is more powerful because it’s designed to remove build-up before installation or move-ups, though still gentle enough to preserve scalp health. Cream Cleanse™ Conditioner reintroduces moisture to the hair via botanical extracts, and can be used to make clarified hair more manageable prior to installation (though it should only be used from mid-shaft to ends on this occasion).

In short, you should use KeraExtend™ for your regular showering regimen, and Cream Cleanse™ for monthly or bi-monthly clarifying, only. If your hair is particularly oily, you may benefit from more frequent Cream Cleanse™ use, though you should supplement the process with other moisturizing Remy Care™ products, like the KeraExtend™ Mask or Serum. But when in doubt, consult your stylist!

For more information about our Remy Care™ line, check out this video. And, as always, if you have questions or comments, leave them in the space below!

 

Winter Care for Thirsty Hair

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It’s finally December! That means our holiday decorations are coming out, as well as our winter hair care essentials. This year, we’ve revamped our regimen to include some of our lovely, hydrating, sulfate-free Remy Care™ products—and we have to say, our hair has never looked better, despite the weather! Here’s what we’re using, and how:

KeraExtend™ Mask
Masks are the holy grail of winter hair care, as they provide much needed moisture to dried-out locks. But our KeraExtend™ Mask goes a step further. In addition to its hydrating properties, the KeraExtend™ Mask restores elasticity to the hair with plenty of infused keratin proteins, so your hair will be both smooth and bouncy!

To use: After rinsing Donna Bella KeraExtend™ Shampoo from hair, squeeze all excess moisture using towel, then comb liberal amount of KeraExtend™ Mask through hair evenly, focusing on mid-shaft to ends. Gather hair in shower cap or hair claw and leave in for up to 5 minutes. Next, rinse hair thoroughly and style as usual, applying KeraExtend™ Serum if desired.

KeraExtend™ Serum
Like the KeraExtend™ Mask, our KeraExtend™ Serum is formulated with keratin proteins. In the serum, however, these proteins combine with the other ingredients to soften and add shine to the hair. The effect is almost instantaneous, as the serum coats the strand and seals the cuticle for a beautiful, glossy look in seconds!

To use: Apply KeraExtend™ Serum onto slightly damp hair with fingers. Do not apply product onto hair extension bonds or wefts. Spread the Serum onto the bottom half of your hair extensions and work your way downwards, concentrating on tips. Style as usual. Note: can be applied to dry hair in smaller amounts.

Argan Oil
Correct that straw-like, brittle texture that comes along with winter using a pump of Donna Bella’s Argan Oil. This antioxidant-rich oil is a quick-fix for parched hair, adding nutrients and a silky sheen that’ll keep extensions looking dewy throughout the holidays.

To use: Beginning with a small pump, apply evenly to bottom half of extensions, adding more to ends if desired. Do not apply oil to hair extension wefts or bonds. Apply only from mid-length to ends.

 

As with all of our Remy Care™ products, these moisture-packed favorites are sulfate-free, paraben-free, and color-safe, so you can use them on your own hair and hair extensions without issue. Want to get your hands on some of these products? Let us know what you think of the results by submitting a review to our review page. Or wrap them up as a present; Remy Care™ products make great gifts, too!

 

How to Fix Matted Hair Extensions!

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Matted hair extensions are a client’s (and stylist’s) worst nightmare. They’re ugly, uncomfortable, painful to untangle, and difficult—if not impossible—to fix. Depending on the level of knotting, matted hair extensions can mean that the hair extensions are ruined, and that the client’s own hair has been damaged, too. But the worst part is the occasional need to chop the hair off to correct the problem, ruining the whole purpose of hair extensions—to add length and volume. So what can be done?

Apart from preventive measures, like properly caring for the extensions, brushing hair regularly with a boar hair brush, and going in for recommended move-up appointments, there is something you can do besides taking out your scissors. Donna Bella has recently come out with a new haircare line specifically formulated for hair extensions, and it features a special little smoothing kit for tackling dry, brittle, or even matted hair. This Hydration Repair Kit—one of three kits in our Remy Care™ line—is a combination of our new KeraExtend™ Shampoo, KeraExtend™ Mask, and KeraExtend™ Serum, which are individually tailored to soften hair and nourish it to perfection. Imagine what they can all accomplish together!

How to use Hydration Repair Kit:

First, lather the KeraExtend™ Shampoo into wet hair, lightly massaging it into the scalp. Rinse thoroughly, then wring excess water from the hair using a towel.

Next, apply a liberal amount of KeraExtend™ Mask to the lengths of the hair, combing it gently through. Gather the saturated hair into a showercap or hair claw and let it sit for 10 minutes (or more, depending on the severity of the matting).

Then, rinse the hair free of the mask, combing through the locks with a wide tooth comb and pulling apart any knots with your fingers. Once all product has been removed, wring the hair of excess moisture and wrap it in a microfiber towel.

Finally, after the hair is mostly dry (but still slightly damp) pump some KeraExtend™ Serum into your hands and work it through the lengths of the hair, focusing on problem areas and ends. The hair should then be ready to brush without issue. Apply more serum if necessary.

If the hair in question is matted in or around the bond area, it may be necessary to apply these products starting at the roots of the hair. Ultimately, this will compromise the efficacy of the bonds (which is why we usually recommend that you only apply these products below the bonds), but if the hair is matted, it simply must be done. As long as the hair itself is healthy, you can always remove the extensions afterwards and re-install them with new bonds.

You can get the Hydration Repair Kit for the flat price of $26 (buying each of the items individually adds up to $33). It’s available right now alongside the rest of our Remy Care™ line, so treat yourself and your client to smooth, untroubled hair!

Got questions or suggestions? Leave them in the comments below!

 

Create the Best Hair Extension Experience for Your Client – And Make More Money!

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Have you ever stopped to consider what the goal of hair extensions really is? This skill that we devote so much time and energy towards perfecting, these products that we purchase and maintain so painstakingly—what are they for, and why do they matter? Most stylists know the answer instinctively, even if they’ve never worn hair extensions themselves; they can see it written all over their client’s face at the end of an installation appointment. Hair extensions are designed to produce that feeling of confidence, beauty, and empowerment, and we stylists are lucky enough to make a living putting the process in motion! But we’re not only after a fleeting moment of hair extension-induced euphoria. We’re much more ambitious than that. We’re in the business of altering our clients’ perspectives of themselves, their capabilities, and their limitations. That involves a hair extension experience that is rewarding in the long term. So if you’re not drilling your clients on the importance of hair extension maintenance, now is the time to start.

Perhaps you’ve noticed that we have launched an exciting new product line here at Donna Bella! If not, allow us to introduce you. Remy Care™ is a premium hair care line exclusive to Donna Bella Hair, featuring everything from shampoos and conditioners to hair masks and serums—all designed to extend the life of your client’s hair extensions. Remy Care™ products are loaded with botanical extracts, are free of parabens and sulfates, and are designed specifically for DB hair extensions, making them an ideal aftercare product to feature on your salon shelves. Having physical, easily-accessible aftercare products available in your salon will encourage your clients to engage in the maintenance process by giving them an easy starting point. It’ll also help you support your business by producing an additional stream of upsell revenue. Of course, having the products handy is one thing—it’s also essential that you explain the maintenance process to your clients, demonstrate if possible, and introduce them to the product line yourself.

The best time to tackle these steps is during the consultation phase, since this is when your client is actively learning about hair extensions and deferring to your professional opinion. Take the opportunity to walk them through the washing, brushing, and styling protocol for hair extensions, then go ahead and recommend the Remy Care™ line just as you would the Donna Bella Hair Extension Brush. After all, hair extension care can be daunting to new clients—Remy Care™ makes it easy for them!

Get to know the Remy Care™ line today. All products are available right now.

 

What’s the Secret to Maintaining Your “After” Look?

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We all love a good before & after, especially when we’re talking about our own hair extension transformations. But how do you keep your “after” hair looking as chic and styled as the day you got it? The name of the game is “aftercare,” or what other beauty junkies might call “hair care.” There’s a whole category of beauty products designated for this purpose, and a wide range of end results to pick from. We’ve written countless blogs about aftercare over the years, mainly because it’s such an important part of the hair extension process! But it really can’t be stated enough: you need to practice aftercare to preserve extension quality. Think you can get away with skimping on good hair maintenance? Here are the reasons why you may want to think again.

Hair care is important even for your natural hair.
Let’s forget about the extensions for a minute and examine your ordinary hair care routine. We’re guessing you don’t just let your hair “do its thing” all the time, because otherwise it’d turn into a bird’s nest. At the very least, you shampoo, condition, and brush your hair with some regularity. Maybe you even pre-shampoo, deep-condition, blow dry, or style your hair with styling products. Why do you do these things? So you can keep your hair looking its best. It’s the same thing for hair extensions, but with a few extra rules.

Hair extensions require their own specific hair care.
That’s why we differentiate between “aftercare” and typical “hair care”—aftercare is the specific hair care regimen you use for hair installed with extensions. Even if your natural hair does well with a common shampoo, a weekly condition, and minimal brushing, your hair extensions are a different story. They’re different from your natural hair, so they’ll need custom treatment. This usually involves scarce washing, frequent conditioning (always below the bonds), mindful product selection (NO sulfates!), and gentle, daily brushing with a hair extension-friendly brush. Yes, there might be a slight learning curve at the beginning, but it’ll all be worth it because…

You have the power to perfect or destroy your extensions.
Aftercare is the longest part of the hair extension process. You spend maybe a day preparing for a hair extension appointment, then a couple of hours sitting in the seat to have the hair installed. But the process doesn’t end when you step out of the salon—it proceeds throughout the duration of your hair extension wear. That’s anywhere from a couple of weeks to 3+ months, depending on your intentions. Needless to say, the aftercare portion of your hair extension experience easily overshadows the consultation and installation parts, so the damage you do (or prevent) during this period can make or break that initial work. Don’t believe us? Read it and weep.

Do you have questions about the aftercare process? Leave them in the comments below. And check back in next week for more aftercare tips!

 

Becoming a Hair Whisperer

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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!