My Hair Extension Journey
Here it is.
I wear hair extensions.
For some reason, people always seem surprised to learn this - despite the fact that I personally know many many women who wear them or who have worn them at some point for all kinds of reasons.
Every time someone asks me how I get my hair to grow so thick and so well, I comment that “with a small investment, they too can have hair like mine!” Haha.
So, WHY do I wear hair extensions? In a couple of words: postpartum hair loss.
Sounds sexy, doesn’t it? haha. Yes, it’s a thing. A thing that most women never talk about or mention to pregnant women. Even doctors don’t seem to mention it much, unless you’re already experiencing it - and I suppose who can blame them? Pregnant women have enough to worry about.
But lots of women lose hair after having a baby - and for a surprising number of women, myself included - that lost hair never bothers to come back.
For me, the loss was enough to be noticeable - to me at least. We’re talking a volume/thickness issue. I could fit all the hair I had left into a single one of those tiny clear plastic twisties that little girls use.
And as a woman who had always had voluptuous, wavy hair in the past - it was a hard change to adjust to, on top of all the other changes my body was going through,
One early morning, I was up with baby Rhett, and I stumbled upon an ad online for clip-in hair extensions. On a whim, I decided to order a set, which I took straight to my hair stylist at the time to have them trimmed and cut to blend in with my natural hair (a very important step).
I kid you not that the transformation was life-changing for me. I LOVE hair. Losing so much hair after pregnancy was really difficult. I’d always been really attached to my hair! (bada boom! Pun intended! lol)
Not everyone will identify. But having hair extensions helps me to feel confident and put-together. And that’s okay. All women have a thing. Whether it’s having your nails done, or rocking a power suit, or slipping on your trusty pair of sneakers . . . it doesn’t matter what your thing is - you’re entitled to rock it. Hair is my thing. And I LOVE rocking a great hairstyle.
Not to worry - I would still be confident and love myself without extensions - but put bluntly, hair extensions are so much fun! From Instagram-worthy braids, to stylish updo’s, to long, bouncy, sexy waves - you can do just about anything with a great set of extensions. And no matter why you might be interested in them - I say, GO FOR IT, GIRL!
I’ve been using clip-in hair extensions for years now. Specifically this brand here. But recently, as our little Rhett Jagger, our southern lifestyle company, and my to-do list have all grown, I’ve found myself seeking out ways to streamline my routine. Instead of maintaining clip-in extensions, putting them in fresh every morning, styling to blend them, etc., the idea of waking up and having the hair already on my head, sounded like such a huge time-saver.
Enter Pepper PRZEPIORA, my long-time stylist, colorist, and all-around hair wizard.
Pepper is the kind of stylist you can count on. This woman doesn’t do bad haircuts - I think perfect hair is wired into her DNA. Not only that - but she’s fabulously intuitive. She’s great at matching a woman to a hair style - one that will flatter, but also work well into your daily life. AND she’s super fun to chat with while you’re having your hair done. She’s so sweet! In short, Pepper is a God-send.
She’s always worked fabulously well with my clip-in extensions. But when I brought up the possibility of something a little more permanent, Pepper knew just the thing. We opted for Natural Beaded Row Extensions.
Getting my Natural Beaded Row Extensions: What it was like . . .
Pepper had previously color-matched my extensions and purchased them for me after our initial consultation, during which she had walked me through the process and given me a chance to ask any questions.
So when I showed up for my appointment, we were able to dive right in!
Unlike clip-in hair extensions that come packaged with multiple wefts of hair in various sizes for individual placement on your head, these extensions came in one loooooong weft. Pepper measured the hair against my head and was able to cut individual wefts to the exact lengths we wanted for placement.
Once we had three wefts of hair measured out, Pepper sectioned my hair and got to work.
Small little batches of hair (picture a itsy bitsy pony tail) are strung through a teenie tiny bead. Many of these are done next to each other in a row across the back of your head near the scalp - secure, but not tight enough to be noticeable. Then a string is cut and sewn through the weft of extensions and attached to the beads . . . so there isn’t any undo pressure on your hair. This process takes a while. So you really have to be patient. But it’s so worth it!
Once we’d completed this process for each of the three wefts, the hardest part was done!
From there, Pepper unclipped the rest of my hair and set to work trimming and styling the extensions to blend with my natural hair. (I have some light highlights on the upper portions of my hair, and I’m still deciding if I want them added to the extensions - they blend so well! I also had Pepper trim the extensions to just a bit longer than my natural hair, as I’m in this more for volume than for length at the moment. But the fun part is that I can always opt to go longer in a later appointment.)
Three hours later - that was that! And I LOVE them!
Pepper’s much better than me at explaining how they work and why they won’t damage your natural hair . . . so keep on reading for a little interview with the expert.
B: What is the extension technique that we used - what’s it called and how does it work in your hair?
Pepper: Natural Beaded Row Extensions. Rows are placed in your hair by creating a "track" with a bead and string technique and then extensions are sewn to the track.
B: Why is this technique better than other extension types?
Pepper: Because there are minimal points of attachment to your hair, so there is less risk of damage.
B: How often do have to have them maintained at the salon? And what’s the time commitment?
Pepper: On average, your extensions need to be maintained every 6-8 weeks, with appointments ranging from 1 to 3 hours in length.
B: What are the best practices for taking care of / maintaining the extensions?
Pepper: These extensions are 100% human hair. When you shampoo, make sure to divide your hair in half and gently clean around the extensions. Also, because they are sewn in, be careful when brushing them. Treat your extensions with the same care as if it is your natural hair.
B: What’s the price range for getting extensions with you at Rob’s Salon, here in Savannah?
Pepper: Prices vary depending on the amount of extensions needed to create your look. So, whatever the cost of your hair extensions + 100/hour. Typically, your maintenance appointments will last around an hour, with your very first appointment taking around 2 to 3 hours. Again, it all depends on the look you are going for!
B: How do people go about setting up a consultation, and what sorts of questions should they be sure ask?
Pepper: All Clients can contact me through my Instagram @pepperismystylist or call the Salon at 912-944-2887. Make sure to ask anything you are curious about! During your consultation, we will determine what look you are going for, whether its volume or length, a different color for dimension, your personal hair care routine, etc. At any point you have a question, always feel free to ask! I want my clients to leave the Salon feeling beautiful and confident with their new look!