We don’t know about you, but with salons fully opening and us fully vaccinated, we’re ready to ditch the low maintenance looks of 2020 and get back to full glam! And for many of us, that includes flaunting long, luscious locks (whether they be real or synthetic). Just in time for summer, celeb hairstylist Kathleen Riley launched her hotly anticipated SHAE hair extensions.
The cost for 18” is $289 and for 22” is $329. The dream, as Riley puts it, is to have her looks worn on a red carpet. And so far, she’s not too far behind. As it is, long before launch, Sofia Richie already modeled those glorious synthetic strands so effortlessly.
We had the pleasure of speaking with Riley all about her line. Keep reading to find out about the launch process, the story behind the brand and why the star stylist insists her extensions are one-of-a-kind.
The SHAE Hair Extensions Journey
Riley first began itching to look into extensions from a design standpoint in 2016, but turned her curiosity into a full-time goal in 2018.
“After working with extensions for years, I really felt like there was something missing, and I wanted to create a better product not only for myself, but for everyone,” Riley tells Mane Addicts. “I was altering most extensions by cutting the wefts to fit the clients head or cutting off the clips and adding tape to make them lay flatter. The more I spoke with my peers, I truly felt there was a need for change, and I felt inspired by them to finally create SHAE.”
The Biggest Challenges of Launching an Extensions Line
“Starting SHAE has come with many challenges especially because our suppliers are in a completely different time zone than we are,” Riley explains. “Sometimes going back and forth with a manufacturer on changes you want to be made or even daily communication is made difficult because of that. The biggest challenge we’ve faced is trying to launch during and post pandemic. Trying to figure out all of the moving parts during the pandemic was extremely difficult. There are also so many small details that need to be figured out when starting a business that you don’t think of when you begin the process. It’s all worth it in the end when everything is exactly how you want and envisioned it!”
The Motivation Behind Launching a Hair Extensions Line
Riley was so accustomed to polishing off a client’s look with extensions that she figured they may as well be her own!
“I just always felt like it gave it that extra magical touch, even if it was just for fullness or some extra length if they have shorter hair,” Riley says. “I wanted to be able to create my own line and give that feeling I have after completing a look to everyone else. It’s the best feeling when the look is done, and I know it wouldn’t have turned out the way it did if it wasn’t for extensions. The possibilities are endless and I truly cannot wait to see the looks everyone creates.”
Why SHAE Hair Extensions Stand Out From the Rest
There are a slew of regularly used extensions on the market, so the bar is already set high. But that doesn’t faze Riley, as she’s confident hers are one-of-a-kind.
“The wefts are extremely pliable, making it lay seamlessly on the round of the head, which make the wefts lay completely flat,” she says. “I worked so hard on this back and forth to get it perfect. There’s also no exposed stitching on the weft so it really is beautiful and seamless. Also, the way we made the different weft sizes makes it extremely customizable and easy to create different looks.”
The Meaning Behind ‘SHAE’
Named after Riley’s sister, the stylist recalls, “A couple of years ago when we decided to name it SHAE, I printed off a paper with the packaging on it and wrapped it up and made her open it. She was so excited she cried. She feels honored to be the name of the brand and can’t wait to see it flourish and is so proud of me. Naming the brand after her means so much to me!”
Now that your extension wishlist is updated, HERE‘s the proper way to sleep once you have them in!