It’s all smoke and mirrors when it comes to hair these days. Most major manes rely on the help of good ‘ol extensions to get that va-va-voom volume and fullness. Takisha Sturdivant-Drew is the mastermind behind some of Hollywood’s most major manes, such as Kerry Washington, Iman, Gabrielle Union, and so many more, and relies on extensions to give her clients’ the perfect red carpet #manemoment. With 20 years of experience in the hair industry under her belt ranging from editorial to red carpet to TV and print, Takisha set out on her own journey to create a line of natural texture hair extensions –TSD Hair–after noticing a major void in the extension industry when it came to hair quality and texture.
Known for creating serious volume and length via extensions, Takisha’s line is the answer to the demand from her clients wanting natural texture hair extensions made from high quality hair that blended with their own hair. Starting around $175 dollars, you can choose from a variety of colors and hair textures including spring wave, body wave, deep wave, kinky curl, straight and more. We sat down with Takisha to pick her brain about how she artfully uses natural texture hair extensions on her celeb clients and how to know if you’re purchasing high quality hair–read it all below!
How did you first start using extensions?
When I started weaving hair more than 10 years ago, that’s when I started using extensions. I loved it because the end result would be so amazing.
Why do you like to use extensions?
I like to use extensions to give people a different look. Most people want change but don’t want to use their own hair to do it. I also like it because it gives them more length, volume, texture, and instant color.
What is the biggest misconception people have about extensions?
That it doesn’t look real or won’t blend in with their own hair. Most of my clients wear extensions and you would never know. As long as you have the right texture; it will always blend well.
What percentage of your clients use extensions?
At least 50 percent of my clients have extensions and they love it. Most of all they have a head full of healthy hair under the extensions.
What challenges did you have using hair extensions on your clients?
The challenges I had in the past was blending the extensions with my clients own hair, it was either to silky or not coarse enough. Since a lot of my clients are natural, they like a more coarse look.
Why did you decide to come out with your own range?
I could never find the right hair texture, shine, or just great quality hair in general without any melting or problems. So I decided to search for a source of my own and I finally found the hair that I love.
What makes your range different?
My hair is high quality hair that’s 100 percent virgin with no shedding or tangling, And, I don’t have any synthetic fibers in my hair either. So you’re buying it’s natural color and virgin texture.
What is the mistake most people make when putting in extensions (clip-in, tape in, etc)?
One mistake is when they start to neglect their own hair. They put a lot of heat on it or don’t condition it well. Another mistake is they keep the tape, or clip-ins in too long and the hair starts to break off or fall out because it’s being neglected. You can only leave extensions in for a short period of time. It doesn’t last forever. Especially, if it’s clip ins. You should take clip-ins out every night. If it’s tape extensions; every month or month and a half. Or if it’s braids; every two months you should remove them.
Why do some lines advertise that the hair came from Peru or Brazil?
Because of the look and feel of the hair and it sounds good to customers to say that however there is no such thing.
What does that mean?
It means that it’s false advertisement. What some vendors are saying is that the hair from Brazil is thicker. Peruvian hair vendors say the hair has more of a natural light feel but is also thick. It also has a natural wave in the texture and also the silkiness of the hair.
Any tips for women who have really thin hair and are scared that you will see the clip ins or wefts?
Clip the hair in a place where it has more volume. Also, always tease the roots before clipping in the extensions so that way, it stays secure.
What do we look for to know we are getting good quality hair?
You should always ask where the hair is sourced from, is it 100 percent virgin hair, and have any chemicals been used in the hair. Some talk about the grade of the hair as well. For example 7A is supposed to be great; however, they just came out with an 8A grade as well. It’s always great to test samples of the hair and see how the hair reacts.
What are the signs of poor quality hair?
When the hair is shedding, tangling, or the hair melts on the irons you know that the hair is poor quality.
Keep up-to-date with all of Takisha’s work by following her here @takishahair