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Why Keratin Bond Hair Extensions Are the Secret to Full, Low-Maintenance Hair

For the entirety of my adult life, my hair has been bob-length and baby-fine. Despite multiple attempts to grow it out, I always inevitably chop it off for a little bit of fullness (the usual recourse for fine-haired folks) and accept that length is off the table. But with my wedding on deck and unattainable hair inspo filling up my bridal mood boards, I decided it was time for professional help in the volume department. I didn’t have time for hair supplements—I needed gorgeous, full hair ASAP! Hair extensions have now entered the chat.

Since choosing hair extensions can be a little overwhelming for beginners, we tapped Hollywood’s extension guru and Mane MasterPriscilla Valles (the genius behind Dua Lipa and Khloé Kardashian’s epic locks) to school us in hair extensions 101. From choosing the right hair extensions for you to how to maintain them, Valles shares everything you need to know about hair extensions below.

The Consultation Process

I’m a total newb when it comes to hair extensions, so after asking just about everyone who would listen to me I opted to book a consultation with Glam Seamless at their Los Angeles salon. FYI: Glam Seamless is a go-to destination for buying extensions of all kinds (for everyday consumers and professionals), but they have bi-coastal salons for in-person installation as well. My extension artist, Aide Alejandra, and I discussed my goals, options, and made a color match.

I wanted to look like myself on my wedding day, just with a fuller head of hair—a request that is apparently popular. “The most common request I get is for thicker hair. I have so many clients that try everything to make their hair thicker but still struggle to achieve the thickness they want. In this case, I use individual or tape-in extensions, which can thicken their existing hair up to three times,” Valles tells Mane Addicts. With fullness in mind, Alejandra and I settled on keratin-bonded hair extensions using two shades within the Priscilla Valles pro collection for a natural color blend and flexibility in styling. “You don’t need to apply products or heat to get your hair to look good. So not only does the hair look good in less time, but it’s also less damaged,” Valles adds.

How to Choose the Right Extensions for You

While impulsive hair decisions can be fun, choosing hair extensions requires a thoughtful approach. It’s best to chat with your stylist about your hair goals and what is financially feasible. There are plenty of options for every budget, but certain hair extension formats come with a hefty price tag. Your hairstylist can help guide you through the process of picking out the right type, choosing shades, and aftercare.

For fine hair, Valles suggests tape-in extensions or fine keratin individuals. “The keratin technique is created by cutting the keratin individual in half so that it is lighter in weight.” While individual keratin can be pricey, Valles promises that when applied properly in clean and perfect sections, it provides the most authentic couture look. They also allow for seamless versatility when styling tight buns or updos.

However, if you’re just looking for a little added thickness and you don’t routinely wear your hair up, Valles suggests tape-ins.

How to Maintain Your Hair Extensions Between Salon Visits

Brush, brush, brush! Really, don’t be afraid to brush. Valles loves this Sheila Stotts brush, which is specifically made to detangle extension hair. Another great tip Valles shares is to braid the hair when working out and at night.  

Also, you should never use oily products on or around the bonding method because oil can cause the extensions to slide out. Valles also warns that direct heat on the bonding method should be avoided since it can also reactivate the bond, which causes it to slide out.

To ensure your hair remains healthy and luscious, treat your mane to a much-needed mask at least once a week. Extension hair can be costly and usually, you’ll have it in for a few months. Valles stresses that the more time you invest in taking care of the hair, the longer it will last.

When to Replace Hair Extensions

“Most of my clients are on a six to 12 weeks schedule. These clients remove the extensions and get a new set every eight to 12 weeks. It also depends on the speed of your hair growth and how often you subject it to heavy styling.” She explains, “My clients who are filming or shooting tend to have their hair styled daily, which requires a more frequent application. These clients are normally on a six to eight-week schedule to better accommodate their needs.”

You thought we were done dropping all this hair extension knowledge? Think again. HERE is how you should care for your hair extensions, according to pros!

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