The Lowdown on Hair Extensions + Hair Health

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Let’s talk a bit about hair extensions. I get A LOT of questions about hair extensions over on my Instagram page, especially after sharing that I removed my tape-ins after 2 years. Two years was a long time to not give my hair a break from tape in extensions. But it was a hard thing to just cold turkey…it’s like you kind of get addicted to having a full head of lush hair every day with minimal effort. But the annoying thing about tape in’s and other semi-permanent hair extensions is that they shed and your own hair gets damaged in the process so that initial VA-VA-VOOM feeling is hard to keep up. It’s like if you drink alcohol every night, sooner or later you will need to drink more and more to feel that same buzz- OK that may be a very dramatic comparison lol but you get the picture. Once you start getting the semi permanent extensions, you slowly start adding in more, and more and more just to keep up with the original fullness you experienced from your first round of application. All of that leads to more damage, more money spent and more hassle in my opinion. Plus, the more you have on your head, the harder it becomes to brush your hair, wash it and run your hands through it- it ends up feeling like a damn minefield in there! I was in a full blown extension addict situation and decided that I just needed to take them out and work on repairing my hair.

If you follow me on IG, you know I have been on a quest for healthier hair. I swapped out my hair ties, started taking a supplement for hair growth (that is REALLY working), I use a scalp serum to activate growth and got a new blow dryer that is so much gentler on my locks. I still use hair extensions from time to time for a shoot or a special event, but they are temporary and cause no damage.

I try to refrain from using too much heat on my hair but that is SO hard to do with my career. I am on set shooting a show this year and my hair gets put through the ringer almost daily. When I am not shooting, I make sure to condition my hair super well, air dry it and give it a rest.

So without further ado, I am going to break down all the things I have been doing for my hair, including the temporary extensions I use, and why they are helping on my healthy hair journey.

Velvet Scrunchies

These are a game changer. If you had asked me like 4 years ago if I would be caught dead wearing a velvet scrunchie, I would have told you HELL no. But times are changing and now they are back in style (crazy right?!?). I personally still think they are kind of hideous BUT I am at the point where I don’t really care because they are so gentle on my hair and the teenagers are wearing them so whatever. I’m not like going to wear them out to dinner, but I will wear them to the gym or when
I’m running errands. I use them to put my hair in a pony or bun when I work out and they really do hold my hair in place. I tend to do a low pony though because a high one tends to slip out if you do a workout thats more intense than pilates. They are soft and gentle- perfect for hair health.

 

Braids

Braids instead of a pony are a great idea. I love switching up where I put an elastic on my hair because putting an elastic in the same spot every single day eventually weakens that area of your hair and will lead to breakage. So, I opt for a braid or two braids often when I want my hair out of my face. I also love working out in a braid. Plus, they create cute beachy waves so you can go from gym to looking cute just from slipping your elastic out- viola!

 

Perfectil and Viviscal

These are the two hair supplements that I have found really work for me. (Viviscal is not vegan, but really works SO well…just FYI). Perfectil is the newer supplement I have been taking and it really works well!  I have been taking Perfectil for 8 weeks and I have so much new hair growth which is amazing! It kind of looks like I have all these short fuzzies on the top of my head and at my hair line- all new hair growth, which is so exciting. I plan to continue taking it so my hair can continue growing back in and get back to being lush and thicker again.

 

Evolis Scalp Serum

I LOVE this stuff….like I want to pour an entire bottle of Evolis Activator on my head daily but I contain myself. Whenever I use it regularly (morning and night every day) I see SO much new hair growth. It also makes my hair softer and shinier and just more manageable in general. Couple it with the hair supplements like I do and your hair will see some major improvements.

 

A GOOD Blow Dryer

This is one thing I have never had until recently. I’m pretty sure I had my previous blow dryer for…ummm…SEVEN+ years. No joke. I remember the day I got it actually. I was living in NYC, dating my now-husband. We had just had brunch and I pulled us into a nearby Ricky’s because my previous dryer died. As I was looking at my options, I got a phone call from my agent about this HUGE job I was up for. Like, this was a huge one….would’ve probably changed my life type of thing. It was the weekend and my agent was calling me about it, which doesn’t typically happen to put that into perspective. I don’t talk about this job loss publicly but the whole story is a crazy one that I tell all my friends because it was a fucking whirl wind and the way it played out was so so weird and devastating all at the same time. So much so that now it’s just this wild, funny story I tell. Maybe I’ll share it with all of you one day- not sure, maybe. IDK. Anyway.

I was super upset and disappointed but I still needed a blow dryer so I proceeded to buy a Babybliss something or other. I just picked whatever because I wanted to go home already. It was a good blow dryer- got the job done for sure…but it wasn’t a nice one, you know?

Fast forward to now, when I have a super nice, super lux blow dryer. The T3 Cura. It is bad ass you guys. I have never loved a blow dryer more- and I have a lot used on my head from all the sets I work on. First of all, it is white and rose gold- CUTE as shit. And it dries my hair so much faster than the old man babybliss did. Plus, my hair is shinier and smoother- I don’t get that “I don’t know what I’m doing, but I dried my hair” look….YOU KNOW the look I am talking about. Highly recommend. Plus, it will last a long time, so spending a little extra to care for the health of your hair is totally worth it in the long run.

 

Clip in Extensions

OK, so here’s the thing about clip in extensions- they can be an amazing way to add volume and even length without damaging your hair IF you put them in and remove them correctly. This is the type of extension I use on sets when I am acting- always to add volume because I am already happy with the length of my hair. They make my hair look thicker and more luxurious. And to be honest, almost everyone on TV and in movies is wearing some type of fake hair, it has kind of just become a standard. I separate my hair using alligator clips and a rat tail comb, then put in the clip ins. You have to do a little bit of backcombing in your own hair for inserting the clips, so they don’t slip around, rip at your hair or slip out (yikeeees). BUT I do the TINIEST bit of backcombing humanly possible, like the bare minimum- one or two gentle backcomb strokes will do it for each clip. I also don’t apply any sprays to the backcomb because I don’t really need it. The only time I have a little texture spray added is if I am on set and will be doing a little more action and need the hair to stay put for the whole day through a lot of moving around.

OK, so once I have all my extensions clipped in, I take my own hair that I alligator clipped on top of my head and smooth it down over the extensions. I like to do a tiny bit of backcomb on these sections at the back of my head and smooth it all into place so that the extension tracks don’t show or reveal a bump-like look at the back of my head. NOTHING is worse than seeing someones tracks showing!!

When removing, I do this very delicately by unclipping the pieces first, then slowly slipping them out. If you do it all too haphazardly, you can cause breakage on your own hair.

 

Halo Hair Extension Piece

This one is new to me. Very new. Like, only worn it enough times to count on my hands type of deal. BUT so far I love it! It is the least damaging option in my opinion and super easy to use as long as you get it color matched and cut to fit your hair well. The reason I decided to get one of these was because I saw them advertised all over IG- totally fell victim to the ads lol. BUT I was a few days away from getting my tape in extensions removed and I wanted to find the safest, least damaging option to amp up my hair do on certain days. I was also expecting to have like 10 hairs left on my head after the extension removal, so I wanted a piece to wear that was EASY first and foremost. So I had my hair stylist order me The Band by Hot Heads. (I have the 14-16 inch piece).

(BTW- I was pleasantly surprised that I had way more than 10 hairs left after removing the extensions haha).

Anyway, I went with The Band because my tape in extensions were Hot Head brand and we already knew that their blonde ombre color matched my own hair perfectly. The pair piece is really nice. It is thick, but not unnaturally thick. It fits my head really well and doesn’t look like I am wearing a fake hair piece. The thing that makes a halo piece unique is that it sits on your head and just kind of hangs there via a clear “invisible” thread.

 

Here is how you do it + some photos below: (I have a video tutorial on my IG if you need more of a visual).

-If you want to wear it wavy, add the waves to your own hair and to the piece first- curling it while it’s on your head is difficult and weird- believe me, I tried HA.

-Brush our your hair and the halo piece, then place it on top of your head, placing the thread about an inch or two from your front hair line.

-Once you have it in place, use a rat tail comb to gently pull the top layer of your own hair out from under the thread. This takes a little practice and a little trial and error. It doesn’t need to be perfect, it just needs to be enough hair to cover the piece. Because, again, there is nothing worse than a hair track showing!

-Continue this all around your head and smooth your own hair down so it lays flat and adjust here and there as needed.

-That’s it! No clips or pins needed

 

Now, I have never done any wild activities while wearing this so I don’t know how it fares with lots of wind and fun times. But I feel like using a couple of those short hair colored bobby pins on the hair piece underneath would prevent any Weave-Gone-In -The-Wind moments. Yikes. that would be embarrassing.

On thing to keep in mind even with temporary extensions: if you wear them every single day, your hair probably won’t like it. I think that it is best to use the halo and the clip in’s for special events etc, not for your day to day grind. Your hair needs a break and doing anything to it repetitively day after day will eventually cause damage… and the whole point of this post is to keep damage at bay.

That’s all beauties. LMK if you have any questions, and make sure to head over to my IG stories to see a full tutorial.

XO Katrina

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