Want to know how my year went? In November 2021, I bleached my black curly hair shiny blonde. In April I dyed my hair blonde orange. A few weeks later I cut it all into one chin bob. In June, I dyed it to my natural color. And finally, at the end of July, I had the length of Kardashian keratin hair extensions.
Having super long mermaid hair has been a dream of mine since childhood. Can I grow my hair out naturally to achieve this look? Maybe, but I think we’ve established that I’m impulsive when it comes to hair choices. Just like my hair color journey has been a wild ride, I’ve also had just about every hair length you can imagine, including a chic trendy cut, no boasting, except long hair. So when Justine Marjan, who has big-name clients like Khloé Kardashian and Ashley Graham, offers to give you extensions, you say yes. Keep scrolling for everything you need to know.
What are keratin hair extensions?
If you have applied clip-in extensions before and wish you didn’t have to remove them, keratin extensions are for you. Of all the types of extensions available, keratin extensions, sometimes called bond extensions, are the most durable option. Justine used Long lengths extensions for my new ‘do, which are the same kind of extensions that celebrities love Selena Gomez, Dove Cameronand Eva Longoria use (so you’re in good company). Essentially, a strand of hair extensions has a keratin tip. A machine then softens this tip, allowing your hair and extensions to be glued together. “It’s commonly referred to as ‘strand by strand’ due to the nature of the small amount of hair applied per point of application,” says Jennifer Martin, Senior Director of Marketing at Great Lengths US.
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How long does it take to apply the extensions?
This number will depend on a myriad of factors. “It will vary depending on the size of the client’s head, density, stylist, etc.,” says Marjan. I have a lot of hair, and between Marjan and her assistant, it took almost five hours to put in, including styling the extensions. TL;DR: It’s definitely not an errand to squeeze into your day like a manicure. If you want great results, you will have to invest time.
Who is a good candidate for keratin extensions?
Full disclosure: I was nervous about doing these expansions for a lot of reasons. For one thing, my natural hair is thick, curly and bob-cut, the opposite of any “before” videos I’ve seen online. I was concerned that adapting my texture to the extensions would require constant styling, that my hair and the extensions would not blend, that the color would not match, and that my new hair would be high maintenance. Thanks to a combination of excellent expansions and Marjan’s skills, none of this ended up being true.
The advantage of these extensions is that they adapt to different hair types. “Links are a great way to instantly get length, fullness, or add highlights to hair without a chemical service,” says Marjan. “I especially love the slurs if you plan on wearing your hair up or want versatility with the style.”
What does the interview look like?
Once the extensions have been applied, it’s time to prepare for the next few months. Just as if your hair was recently bleached, you need to handle your new look with care. “Hair extensions last longer and give the best results if handled with care,” says Marjan.
Can keratin extensions be wet?
Immediately after installing the extensions, I was instructed to avoid getting them wet for about three days. Once this period is over, you can shower normally. After showering, treat your hair as gently as possible. “Be sure to avoid tugging or tugging at the hair and gently squeeze out the moisture after washing instead of shaking with a towel,” says Marjan. “Use a Great Lengths Extension Brush to brush daily and dry immediately after washing so water weight doesn’t stress bonds.” Because I have super long extensions, this process takes a while. But the good news is that you don’t need to be a skilled hairstylist to do this – a simple quick blow-dry will do the job.
Can you style keratin extensions?
In my opinion, the best part of Great Lengths Keratin Extensions is that you can treat them almost the same way you would treat your natural hair. If you’re addicted to your flat iron or curling wand, you don’t need to give them up. “The styling is the same with the caution of keeping high heat away from the attachment site,” says Martin. While you can use your favorite styling products on the middle sections and ends of your hair, it’s a good idea to avoid any hair products near the roots or links of your extensions. These extensions are real human hair, so they should be treated as such!
How to sleep with hair extensions?
The most demanding part of extensions for me is the nightly routine, and it really doesn’t take a lot of time or skill to do. Every night, “sleep on a silk pillowcase with your hair braided to avoid tangles,” says Marjan. I now have an extension brush that I use to detangle my hair from root to tip. Then I put my hair in a loose braid or two and head to bed. The whole thing only adds two or three minutes to my routine, and it has the added bonus of giving me beach waves when I wake up.
How long do keratin extensions last?
If you treat your hair gently and follow your stylist’s advice, your keratin extensions can last between three and five months. Because I can’t wait to celebrate my birthday in November with hip-skimming hair, I’ll treat my extensions very, very gently.
How to remove keratin extensions?
If I had the choice, you would keep the extensions forever, but I digress. When it’s time to take our bonded keratin extensions, go to a professional. “A removal solution is applied by a certified stylist who breaks the bond and they slip,” says Marjan. Never attempt to remove extensions yourself, or you may damage your natural hair.
Do the extensions look real?
There are so many different types of extensions, but I think keratin extensions are the most natural. “The great thing about Great Lengths Keratin Bonds is that they can be customized to match the density of your natural hair for the most undetectable finish,” adds Marjan. “The ties are hand cut in a smaller size for hairline and parting, and [in a] larger size in the back where the hair is denser. So far no one has called me to get extensions or spotted the pearls in my hair. My friend’s dad actually said, “Wow, your hair grew so fast!”
How much do keratin extensions cost?
Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer to this question. “Extensions are sold with service only, and each stylist sets their own price for hair, preparation, application, cutting and styling, so costs vary from stylist to stylist and vary by depending on the desired outcome,” says Martin. Many salons offer free consultations, so you can sit down with a professional and they can assess your hair, your desires, and figure out what’s possible for what price. A fair warning: if you use high quality real hair, it can be very expensive. I love it as much as the next girl, but these extensions are going to live on your head for a while and incorrect application or removal can damage your hair, so be sure to see a stylist who knows what they’re doing. Now is not the time to be frugal.
Can extensions damage hair?
“Hair extensions do not damage hair: Improper application, care and removal can cause damage,” says Martin. Sometimes a stylist may use a heat machine to bond the extensions to your hair, but the temperatures should not harm your natural hair. Because the extensions require gentle handling, I feel like my natural hair is healthier than before.
Where does the hair come from?
If you want to use human hair for your extensions, I believe it is your ethical duty to know where the hair came from, which is another reason I was so happy to work with Great Lengths. “Great Lengths selects the finest human hair from various Indian Hindu temples, which have been voluntarily donated as an act of devotion,” Martin explains. “The main benefit to the community is that the revenue generated from the sale of Temple Hair is used for social purposes. Each strand was given with her full consent. Each person who chooses to donate their hair has been treated with respect and care.
As soon as Marjan finished styling my extensions, I knew I had found my new beauty addiction. Somehow, despite all the haircuts and hair colors I’ve worn over the years, these extensions are the simplest, most maintainable style I’ve ever had. had. They are comfortable, versatile, easy to style and look completely real. If you get the chance to try keratin hair extensions, be prepared for your confidence to skyrocket like mine.
Tatjana Freund is a beauty business writer, covering makeup, skincare and haircare trends and products. She is a fan of vodka tonics and creepy Wikipedia pages.