When selecting weave hair choose wisely: consider costs and styles reflecting your lifestyle
SUN Spotlight On: SalonLabs
Regional Director; Kinshasa Hunter
Specialties: Philadelphia Supplier of Pure Remy Hair Extensions
Appts: Services offered by Appointment Only; Retail Locations Coming Soon
By Leah Fletcher
Once thought to be the domain of the theatre, movies, videos and the fashion runway, hair extensions have become a beauty staple for African American women. Today, they may adorn a range of women found in corporate boardrooms to inner city, neighborhood eateries. In any event, the desire for the hair extension products and services is fueling a half-billion dollar industry.
According to Kinshasa Hunter of SalonLabs, hair installation services may range from $50, which is typically a no-frills package, up to $10,000; a price tag based on the hair installation technique employed, which might be strand by strand, extensions or wefts (tracks).
Hunter believes African American women need to consider several factors when shopping for hair extensions. "By selecting the best hair product, your weave is more likely to look realistic and to provide you with the desired results," she opined.
Choose High Quality Hair
The cost of weave hair may be "pricey," according to Hunter, a regional representative for SalonLabs, a New York-based company that directly markets Remy Indian hair products to hair stylists and salon owners. The firm has plans to open retail outlets in the Philadelphia region. Most hair extension products, according to Hunter, originate in India, China, Brazil and some European countries and may be processed to take on virtually any appearance.
African American women who want high quality weave hair should look for products labeled "100 percent human hair" and "Remy hair." Remy is considered one of the highest quality weaves a woman can buy, explained Hunter. Due to the intentional mislabeling of products that occurs in an industry with few regulatory standards, Hunter advises women to select their purchases carefully. She also encourages women to research product companies to ensure they are not purchasing hybrid products that might contain horsehair or plastic.
Consider Your Natural Texture
Because African American women usually have highly textured hair, buying weaving hair that is straight with no curl can look unnatural and unrealistic. Even hair that has been chemically relaxed has some texture. Hunter advised choosing hair that looks as if it could naturally grow from your scalp for the most realistic look. "You don't want a fake unflattering look that says, " This is not really my hair, " she said.
Some women don't want straight hair weaves; they prefer curly or kinky weaves, especially if they want to see how they look with natural hair or they are growing out a relaxer. Hunter instructs women to find hair weave in a texture that closely matches their natural hair texture. With proper application, she said, most people won't notice that you are wearing a weave. Your curly roots can easily blend into the weave without detection.
Human vs. Synthetic Hair
African American women shopping for hair weaves have two choices: human or synthetic hair. Hunter noted that synthetic hair is good for braid extensions, but it is not as versatile as human hair for other styles. Human hair can be curled, permed and colored, while synthetic hair cannot. In Hunter's opinion, " It is important to decide how you want your weave to look before purchasing hair extensions."
Sewn-in or Glued
Sewn-in weaves are considered to be better for African American women because the braided style worn underneath the weave protects the natural hair from daily wear and tear. Sewn-in weaves tend to last longer as well.
Hunter explained that glued-in weaves are usually worn for a very short time period. However, the glue that's used to attach weave hair can damage hair, especially when it is removed. "Care must be exercised when removing hair weaves that have been glued to prevent pulling the hair out," she said.
The Best Hair Weave
To achieve the best hair weave Hunter advised that African American women consider their budgets and lifestyles. She believes a weave that is 100 percent human hair, particularly if it is labeled as "Remy hair", is preferable to non-Remy hair. Additionally, human hair costs considerably more than synthetic hair. "A woman should purchase the highest quality hair extensions she can afford," explained Hunter. "Not only will it look more realistic, it will also be healthier for her hair and her pocketbook."
But, no matter what the price of the hair extensions, Hunter noted that a great hair stylist will achieve a great look with any priced hair.
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