Category Archives: Stylist Nightmares

Stylist Nightmares: Touch-Up Trauma

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stylist Nightmares: Dampness Downers

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

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

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

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

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

Stylist Nightmares: Hot Hot Heat!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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