There are a lot of choices out there when you decide that you want hair extensions. You can have them bonded (glued), braided, or clipped into your head. You can choose real human hair or synthetic hair, and each have varying qualities. Price points can range from around $100 to over $1,000.
I decided to try out bonded hair extensions. After a little research and examining my budget, I chose Cinderella Hair Extensions in the 12" length.
About Cinderella Hair Extensions
Cinderella Hair Extensions have been around since 1994. They use their own unique bonding formula that is made of organic protein and is designed to have little damaging effects on natural hair when applied or removed. Bonded hair extensions are small pieces of human hair that are bonded (glued) in tiny sections to your natural hair. The process is painless and takes anywhere from two to six hours depending on how much hair you have placed. You can choose to enhance your natural hair with extensions or different colors, make your natural hair thicker, or change your hair dramatically with length. Cinderella extensions are quite versatile.
Cinderella uses 100% human Remy hair. Remy means all the hair cuticles are in the same direction, allowing the extensions to blend, and lay easily, and tangle less.
Cost of Cinderella Hair Extensions
Cinderella Hair Extensions cost can vary from stylist to stylist and will also vary depending on how much hair your have placed in your head and how long you you want your extensions to be. Each pack of hair will cost $60 to $130 and you can expect to use three to seven packs of hair for a full head of extensions. In addition to the cost of the hair, you will then have to pay to have your stylist place the hair extensions. Most stylist charge by the hour, and typically each pack of hair will take 30 to 60 minutes to place. As you can see, the cost of extensions can add up quickly, and keep in mind that there are also fees to have the extensions removed.
The Process of Installing Hair Extensions
The process begins with a consultation by a stylist that specializes in Cinderella Hair Extensions. Cinderella stylists are trained and certified by the manufacturer. During your consultation you will go over your expectations and decide how long your extensions will be, how many packs of hair you will need, and you will choose a color (or colors). Your stylist will have samples of the hair in each color so you will be able to compare, mix, and match. I was very impressed with the feel of Cinderella's hair and the wide variety of colors available.
After your consultation, you will schedule an appointment to have the hair placed and you will likely sign a contract. Most stylists will have you sign a contract that does not hold them liable for the condition of your hair after you leave the salon. The purpose of this contract is to release the stylist from responsibility, especially if you do not take proper care of the hair after leaving the salon.
It may be necessary to freshen up your color prior to your extension appointment. You can color your hair after the extensions are placed, however, the less chemical processing done to extensions, the better.
At the beginning of your appointment, your stylist will wash and dry your hair. She will then start at the nape of your neck and section your hair off into small sections to place each individual piece of hair. As previously mentioned, the process will take 30 to 60 minutes per pack of hair. I originally had three packs of hair placed, and later went back and had a forth pack of hair put in.
Care of Cinderella Hair Extensions
Cinderella Hair Extensions, as with all extensions, take significantly more time to care for than natural hair. It is recommended that you do not wash the extensions everyday and specific shampoo and conditioner from Cinderella is highly recommended. I did use the shampoo and conditioner, but I didn't care for the conditioner and often used my own in addition to the Cinderella conditioner.
It is necessary to keep the extensions tangle free and brushed. It is recommended to use a specific brush for extensions that is made with loops, rather than bristles to brush the hair at least twice per day.
The extensions can be blow dried, flat ironed, curled, braided, or pinned just like natural hair. I often curled or flat ironed my extensions. I wore them up, down, and every possibility in between. It was fun to experiment with different styles. Like all hair, the more you you abuse them, the worse they will look. So it is important to be nice to your hair extensions and not over style them, if possible.
Losing Hair Extensions
While your extensions are in, you may lose a few from time to time. When an extension falls out, your natural hair does come out with it. The harder you are on your hair and the more you allow it to tangle, the more hair will fall out. I probably lost one to two extensions per week during the three months that they were in.
How Long Do Bonded Extensions Last?
Cinderella Hair Extensions can be expected to last as long as four months. It is typical to have them replaced or taken out after three months.
Hair extensions are not cheap and require a commitment of time as well as money to take care of them properly. I think that is the most important thing I could convey to anyone that is considering having hair extensions placed. Hair extensions are not a wash and go hairstyle. A commitment of at least one to two hours per day is necessary to keep them looking nice.
After my extensions were removed, I had to acclimate myself to the thickness of my own hair. My hair felt very thin and a little weak immediately after removing the extensions, but after about five or six weeks, I felt that my hair had bounced back nicely. I did have a professional reconditioning and strengthening treatment weekly after my extensions were removed. Two and three months after removing the extensions, I have noticed no ill effects to my natural hair.
I would recommend Cinderella Hair Extensions to anyone with the time, money, and effort required to keep them looking beautiful. It is important to keep in mind that the cost of the hair and the cost to the stylist to place them are not the end of the expense of extensions. Proper care includes the cost of styling products and treatments to keep your hair beautiful.
Cinderella Hair Extensions would be great for someone looking to have long hair for a wedding or special event. My extensions looked nice and very natural. People were often surprised to discover that I had extensions. It's important to note that I only had one placement of extensions. I can not speak to the effects of replacing the extensions on a regular basis.