After dreamily staring at the long locks of gorge celebs and rockin’ local makeup artists, I decided to take the plunge and get permanent hair extensions… and dye my hair RED. The transition from white platinum blonde to red was a bit of a shock and hard to process in my brain for a few weeks. But, I did it and I am extremely pleased! I have never received so many compliments in my life about my hair.. uhhh..and yes, I do admit to people that it isn’t real and that they can have the same hair that I am workin’ right now. Here is the scoop!
My birthday was on the horizon.. my 35th birthday.. which I wasn’t taking too lightly. I really wanted to be hot on my birthday, as we all do, but I also wanted to surprise myself with something huge. I looked on Yelp.com for reviews on local hair artists and extensions starting last year and kept a few notes for myself when the time was right for me to go for it. I found Melonie Pavlick at Luxe Salon : http://www.yelp.com/biz/ampdupbeauty-san-jose , who came to the rescue!
My hair started breaking off , not sure why since my hair seemed fine for a long time, but I had started using a new bleach and had recently had a bad experience at a salon where my scalp was burned under a dryer.. so it was very hard to track down why 5 inches of hair were breaking off in chunks. After a nice mullet started forming on the top of my head, I decided that now was the right time to get serious about extensions. I called Melonie directly and inquired about the extensions. She wanted to see me right away and I met her the very next day at the supply store where I was blown away by all of the hair choices I had.
I decided that I wanted what is called: Individual Hair Locs. According the Melonie’s website (Ampdupbeauty.com) this extensions method gives a 1 to 1 ratio for thickness/volume. Locs of hair are individually placed to the natural hair using either a soft copper ring or nickel alloy ring (silicone is also available). This method is safe for all hair types except those with extremely oily hair. Maintenance on the hair is every 6 to 8 weeks and the hair you purchase is re-usable. The maintenance visit includes re-tightening of locs, trim if needed and light styling. In my case, I will need my hair color touched up at the roots as well. I chose the European hair from Le Prive, (On Amazon: Le Prive I-Tip Extension Hair, 18 inches, straight) in a blonde color choice since we were dying the extensions a bright red shade. The hair was purchased at the “Join Us” Hair Supply store for $165 with a 10% off discount. According to Amazon’s price, Le Prive goes for $150, but they do not have blonde or lighter colors available. This hair seems hard to find online since I only found a few other websites offering the hair at the same $165 price tag. Calling around to hair extension supply shops is probably your best bet finding the hair. There are, of course, other brands out there with quality hair, but this hair is what Melonie recommended and seemed to feel the best to me.
The process of loc installation took about 5 hours since I have a lot of hair to deal with. I bought 1 1/2 packs of the hair at the supply store, when I probably should have bought two packs because we didn’t really get to the top of my head (which is okay since it still looks fantastic anyway). I think I may buy another pack of hair just for a little fullness, but I’m good right now with the amount of hair I have! The process of putting the locs in did not hurt that bad, there was a little tugging here and there, heat styling with a 1.5 inch flat iron that pulled a bit on my hair, but that was it. No big deal!
After the hair was placed, it was dyed (don’t know the brand of the dye) with a permanent shade of reddish orange, a very vibrant and gorgeous color. Since the hair dye shade fades very quickly, I purchased the Sebastian Cellophane temporary dye in Red-Red, which looked very similar to what Melonie used on me. This product left my hair extremely soft and conditioned.. but did fade after two washes. I added some of the product to my shampoo and conditioner in small travel-sized bottles to help keep the red in and it does help a little bit.
The products I am using : Pureology Nanoworks Shampoo & Conditioner (the pumps are the best value at Planet Beauty). This combo creates sulfate-free washing and conditioning that my hair needs. I do not rub the conditioner into my hair locs since it might make the hair slip out. I try to keep distance between the locks and the products by placing my hand in my hair to cover the scalp and locs while applying. I also use this method when brushing my hair so the combs do not snag. I do not have an extensions-specific brush just yet, but I plan on buying one! I use an Enjoy brand deep conditioner once per week.
Also once per week, I use a Colure Clarifying Shampoo from Planet Beauty and the Colure Shine Serum is something I use after every hair wash to keep my hair shiny and healthy. I want to stress again that using sulfate-free/alcohol-free/paraben-free products are very important to me. I want my hair color to last as long as possible, so I always ask or check to make sure the products are free of these ingredients.
To style my hair, I have to sadly admit that I suck at curling my hair with a flat iron. I’ve seen others use it with such ease on me and it drives me crazy. I must be doing something wrong! I also watched countless YouTube videos on how to curl hair with a flat iron. So, I think I need another 1 on 1 lesson! =) I ‘ve been using a set of Babyliss Flocked Curlers for now and a light hair spray by Alterna. I’ll have to say that the flat iron curls last TWO days and the curler curls last about a few hours. Boo! Curling iron curls last a little longer than a few hours, but the irons tend to burn my hair the worst out of all heat styling methods. I use a Hot Tools curling iron and it gets HOT (like the name implies!). I DO see split ends on my new hair that I believe that I induced. Oops. I am trying to be careful!
Anyway, yes… it is LOVELY to have a new set of hair to flaunt around. 18 inches of pure lush locks in the most ravishing red imaginable. I will have to say that the only cons I have to complain about are that the first few weeks were HELL. My scalp was not loving having the locs next to it and it itched like crazy. I woke up in the middle of the night a few times with a throbbing scalp. I took Advils and did dab my head with a prescription itchy head solution (not even sure WHEN I got it or what it really is… so I can’t tell you) but it did work. I did use some Tea Tree oil on some bad spots that turned a little scabby. After two weeks went by, the new hair was like second nature. I don’t feel them or notice them at all. The only time I really need to use caution is when I am brushing and I cannot leave my hair wet to air-dry…. bummer, I know. The reason is (I heard this on the net somewhere) is because the locs will not dry inside and the hair will slip out. I have only lost one loc in the past three weeks and my fiance was able to put it back in for me with pliars.
That is all I have for now, but I will have to say a few things before I sign off about the master who created my hair. Melonie is a great stylist who takes her job seriously! She got me in with new hair within two days of calling her for an appointment! I suggest if you are in the San Jose region, you should check her out at the Luxe salon! You will love her and love your hair!Luxe Salon
361 Meridian Ave
San Jose, CA 95126