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Q&A: Houston stylist talks hair extension trends and styles

Everything you need to know about hair extensions

HOUSTON – Whether you're looking to add length or volume to your hair, the options are endless with hair extensions.

Cecilia Kerr, stylist with The Upper Hand, answers some common questions about this beauty trend.

Q: What are the different types of hair extensions?

A: Permanent:Sew-in (machine or hand-tied), tape-in (single or double), Hot Fusion, Cold Fusion, micro bread; Non Permanent: Clip-in, halo/crown piece, bang piece, ponytail, wig

Haley's look is effortless and embellished. She was able to transform her shorter do with a crown/halo piece.

Q: Any advice for someone who is new to extensions, should they try a piece at home first before going to the salon?

A: First step is to have a consultation with a pro.. there is also a ton of info on the internet but ultimately you'll get the best information from a professional. 

Q: What should you be looking for, when shopping for extensions? Is human hair best?

A: It depends what your ultimate goal is.. are you solving a specific problem? Maybe going for a specific look? Have a special event? Want a special color but don't want the chemical damage? The options run the gamut so by asking a pro you'll narrow it down for yourself. I.e.. for one red-carpet look maybe a fantastic bang piece will do it.. alternatively, you might be looking for something more long term to give your natural hair a break from invasive styling but still want/need to look amazing on the daily. 

Abby's look is 90's cool with a modern twist. She was able to use low-lighted tape-in extensions to add length around the face.

Q: How do you care for them? Can you wash and style hair like you would normally? Anything you can't do?

A: Whatever installation method you decide upon will determine your new haircare life. Certain bonds have limitations but might be the healthiest/best option for your goals. The point is installed hair extensions are very big commitment and investment and without proper consultation and consideration you might entering into a routine that doesn't fit your lifestyle or budget. Would you get surgery without find the best doctor for you?

Q: Any secrets to getting hair extensions to blend in with your own hair?

A: A great extension cut. 

Q: How expensive are extensions? How much can you expect to spend on installation, etc.?

A: Prices will vary from stylist to stylist but generally they're priced two-fold: parts & labor. A deposit is usually required to cover the hair and maybe your haircare kit cost and then there is a cost to have them installed. Quantity of hair needed determines the ultimate cost.. which is why it's so hard to generate a ball park. Everyone's hair density, head shape, hair goal is different. For starters, expect the deposit to be about $500. 

Katie's look is a luxe ponytail with hand-tied wefts installed for length and fullness.

Q: What about taking them out? Any tips or advice for removal? How to protect your own hair from breakage or damage?

A: At-home care and proper installation determines damage. Seeing a professional for removal is detrimental, by doing it yourself you'll be risking damage. At home care includes but isn't limited to: avoiding heat styling at installation point, not going to bed with wet hair, avoiding oils/emollients at installation point, and sleeping in a loose braid. Other tips include sleeping on a silk pillow case and booking a pro blowout once a month to ensure you're in good shape. 

The Upper Hand has locations in River Oaks, Royal Oaks and Hyde Park.

To make an appointment or to learn more, visit www.theupperhand.com.