1 – How much do extensions cost?
This is not an easy question to answer, and it comes in a two part answer. There are parts and labor that need to be discussed. The “parts” is the hair itself. We use high quality, ethically sourced hair from the top hair extension companies in the United States. Covet and Mane, Hair and Compounds, Harper Ellis, and Adored. The straight hair tends to be sourced from China. Wavy and curly hair tend to be sourced from India. We only use hand-tied wefts for our beaded row extensions, and the wefts are priced individually. ( A “weft” is a thin 12-16 inch length of human hair that is tied together at the top with string. Many wefts need to be layered together on each beaded row/track.)
In general, clients need either one, two or three rows of extensions. This depends on the clients current natural hair (length, thickness) and their desired result. Each weft can have between 4-6 wefts per row. This is determined by the clients natural hair density and their desired look. A potential client could need between 4 and 16 wefts on their head depending on all of the variables mentioned above. Each weft length is a different price. In general, 18” and 22” lengths are the most commonly available for purchase. Occasionally we can find or order shorter or longer lengths and would charge accordingly for those. Currently we charge $85 per weft of 18” hair, and $125 per weft of 22” hair. These prices are non negotiable. Quality human hair is expensive – there are no two ways around it.
Then there is the time/“labor” of the stylist who is installing your extensions. Extensions are a specialty service. Stylists have to seek out additional training to learn to properly install, color, and cut extensions. At Ella Rose we charge hourly, and this extends to extension installation as well. If you need or want one row of extensions, it will likely take your stylist between 1 – 1 1/2 hours to fully remove, wash, refresh, and reinstall your row. If you need or want three rows, it will likely take your stylist between 3 -4 1/2 hours to fully remove, wash, refresh, and reinstall your rows. The speed of the stylist is individual, and tends to be based on experience.
The more you do it, the faster you get. Color is an important part of your extension experience. Before we “extend” your hair, we want to make sure you like what we’re extending. We want to achieve and maintain your natural hair’s color along with the extension hair’s color so that they blend as seamless as possible. Everyone’s hair color desire is different, and the path to that desired color is different. One person may need an hour and a half color appointment just to touch up their grays and refresh their toner. Another may want bright blonde which can take between 2 1/2 -4 hour sessions depending on their starting color, thickness, and length of their hair.
Each color session needed to achieve or maintain your color is also part of the hourly sessions/“labor” of the stylist. We encourage you to fill out our extension questionnaire – where we can gather your current and inspiration hair pictures, and hair history – so that we can begin to narrow down the “parts and labor” that you will individually need to achieve your hair goals.
2 – How often do I need to buy new hair?
Hair extensions are human hair that have been highly processes before ever being installed on your head. They degrade, get thin ends, and need a trim just like our hair. But unlike our hair, they don’t regrow after a trim! How long the extensions last depends on your at home care, and your tolerance for the thinning and possible trimming that needs to happen to keep the hair looking fresh and long. If you love to have full, long hair always, you may consider purchasing two to four new wefts every other move up. We can rotate out the older thinner pieces, and the new fresh pieces will fill in the ends, preserving your long, full look.
Rotating in new wefts is also advisable when shifting your color as an extension wearer, as certain color changes (specifically going lighter) are unattainable without new extension hair. If you are okay cutting your extensions shorter as they wear out a bit, you can get a whole new set of hair extension hair every 9-12 months. I you wait 12 months, your extensions will be significantly thinner and shorter than when you started.
3 – What is the maintenance for extensions?
This is again a multi part answer. There is the frequency in which you need to come in for move ups, and there is the at home care.
We will cover the at home care in the following FAQ. The frequency in which you need to come in for a move up depends on your hair and the method that is used. Generally speaking, most clients come in at 8 weeks. We do not advise going longer than this. Some clients with finer, more delicate hair prefer to come in at 6 weeks. At a 6-8 week move up, your extensions are fully removed, your hair is colored, the extension hair is re-colored or toned, and everything is reinstalled.
This appointment can take between 2.5 – 6 hours depending on how many rows you wear and the time it takes to color your natural hair. There is an option for a “mini move up” at three to four weeks with a certain style of installation. This option is good for clients who hate to feel their extensions too far off their head, clients who tend to have beads slip, and those who come in for gray coverage every 3-4 weeks. With this method, the extensions are not removed fully, but the rows are retightened against the head. This service cannot be performed beyond 4 weeks, and can only be performed three times before needing a full re-install. A mini move up service must be performed on clean, dry hair. This service can be done in as little as half and hour if you come in with you hair freshly clean and blown out.
In an hour (or more for the lion’s manes out there) session you can have us wash, style, and perform a mini-move up . Or we can add it on top of a color service in a two to two and a half hour service. A mini move up cannot be performed with the NBR method of installation, or a hidden row installation.
4 – What is the at home care for extensions?
It is extremely important to use certain professional brands of hair care on your extensions. After years of trial and error we have found that our favorite is the Kevin Murphy line. Specifically the Hydrate-Me.wash and Hydrate-Me.rinse, Restore, Un.Tangled, and Heated.Defense. We can help recommend the right Kevin Murphy products for you. Isles Formula, Oribe, and Unite are other approved brands. If you have specific products you love, please check with us first. You want to protect your investment in your extension hair!
Most extension wearers wash their hair once or twice a week. It takes time to wash, dry, and style your extensions, and often the extensions hold a style beautifully for days on end – so why take more time than is needed? You can use dry shampoo or do a mini top/bang wash to freshen your look between shampoos if desired. It is also extremely important to fully brush your hair.
Please fully (up to the top of your wefts) brush your extension hair before washing your hair. Consider fully combing through your extensions once your conditioner has sat on for a few minutes in the shower. Please brush your hair fully after towel drying and applying your leave in conditioner. Tangles can turn into matts. Matts take lots of time and care to get out, and can turn into rapidly degrading extensions and damage to your hair that can get matted up with the extension hair. And remember, brushing your hair is free at home, but we charge hourly for it! 😉
Please do your best to keep sunscreen and perfumes/body sprays off of your extensions. They can discolor your blonde and it may never come out! Bare Republic Mineral Sunscreen is the best choice for extension wearers as it doesn’t contain the ingredient often thought to be the culprit in discoloration. But still be careful and let your sunscreen dry fully before letting your hair down.
5 – Are extensions damaging?
We strive to use the most gentle methods to avoid tension, and preserve the health of your scalp and hair. Some methods of extensions are more suitable for certain hair types and textures. We work hard to make the correct selection of method, section size, bead size, weft weight, and amount of rows for your hair. We are always tweaking to find the best placement, methods and amount of extensions for your needs. After years of wearing extensions, Meagan Reitz, owner of Ella Rose says – “I will never tell a client that there is absolutely no damage to their natural hair.
But I will say that it is very minimal and totally worth it! I have found that after years of wearing and installing extensions, there is a friction that occurs between your natural hair and the extension hair. This can lead to some friction thinning at the ends of your natural hair, especially for those whose hair tends to break off at a certain length. For me, this isn’t a big issue, because I plan on wearing extensions long term, and I’m willing to sacrifice some skinny ends for hair I could never achieve otherwise.” For those who eventually take their extensions out, the skinny ends can be corrected with a good healthy cut.
6 – What are hand-tied extensions?
Hand-tied extensions are a type of hair extension. Not a method of installing hair extensions. Hair extensions can come in all manor of styles. They can be a very small group of extension hair bonded together at the top so they can be individually bonded or beaded onto a small section of your hair. They can be about an inch long with a tape adhesive along the top (tape-ins). Or they can be in weft form.
A weft is a long (typically 12-16 inch), thin string of hairs lined up tightly next to each other. Wefts typically come in two forms – machine and hand-tied. Machine wefts are typically cheaper because the human element is taken out of the picture, but they are bulkier at the top making them harder to lay flat and less comfortable for the wearer. Hand-tied wefts are created by human hands. The workmanship is finer and more delicate, creating a more seamless and comfortable wearing experience.
Hand-tied hair is more expensive because of the human labor. It is generally the preferred type of hair extension for beaded row applications.
7 – What are “beaded row” extensions?
There are many ways to attach extension hair to the head. Beaded rows is a category of methods that use beads and string to attach the extension hair to your natural hair. There are many adaptations and trademarked methods that fall under this category. Many people want to know if there is a “best” method. There are definitely better, safer, more secure, more gentle, and more seamless methods than others.
But there are many great methods and adaptations. More important than the method itself is the skill, detail, and experience of the stylist performing the method. Finding a stylist or salon that specializes in extensions can go a long way. They have had lots of experience with hair extensions, have worked out the kinks, and understand the details that go into a seamless and comfortable extension wearing experience.
At Ella Rose, we have stylists that have been trained in many of the top beaded row methods in the industry. NBR (Natural Beaded Rows), IBE (Invisible Bead Extensions), Grace Hand-Tied, and SKW (Sarah Kendall Wilkes method). We want to help you find the best method and adaptation for your hair and lifestyle.