Our hair sometimes needs more than length. It needs colour or volume. Today’s Bride met with Lillian Sciara of Great Lengths Canada to discuss the solutions available to brides.
I think that women with short, thin, fine hair need to be reassured that specific help is available.
Lillian Sciara: Absolutely – volumizing is a big part of what is available. We take single strand extensions and cut them down into fine and extra fine strands so when they are installed they are virtually undetectable, even in the finest hair.
We often recommend that women don’t need length – they just need highlights.
LS: Absolutely true – many women no longer want the damage that comes along with chemical services, especially highlights which require bleach and high volume developers. They are willing to pay to have extensions to achieve highlights (and lowlights) and of course they get the added benefit of more volume and style-ability.
What would be the approximate range of cost, assuming shoulder-length hair?
LS: Be prepared to pay in the range of $1,000+ for a high quality installation which will last for an average of five months. An installation using fine and extra-fine bonds will have a shorter lifespan – about three months. Much depends on how well the wearer follows the home-care instructions.
How do you decide on specific highlight colours for brunettes, redheads and blondes?
LS: We offer over 55 base colours plus flow strands which incorporate two colours in a single strand. A bride needs to have a consultation at which a formalized plan will be developed, so she will understand exactly what the final result will be.
How are the strands removed or do they remove themselves? Are they inevitably just brushed out by the person wearing them?
LS: Clients will normally lose individual strands from time to time due to natural hair fallout. The natural hair to which the extension is attached falls, which is completely normal. Eventually, as the hair grows, the strand grows down with it and there comes a point when the strands need to be removed. Removal is done using a special gel solution which breaks down the bond and the strand simply lets go. It’s not damaging to the client’s own hair and removal normally takes about an hour.
What’s the daily care that is required?
LS: Brushing is the most important – the client must brush her hair from root to end twice a day. For sleeping, it’s a good idea to braid the hair. A satin pillowcase helps prevent rubbing. When washing, the hair should not be scrubbed and it should always be rinsed top down – turning the head upside down in a sink to wash and rinse is not recommended. Once washed (or after swimming or activities that causes the bonds to become damp), the bond site should be dried on a medium heat setting. Other than that, treat it like your own hair. It can be straightened, curled, pulled back or put into an updo. The hair has a natural wave when damp and can be hand-scrunched for a very natural look.
Can you also review the care a woman should take in choosing who will be working on her hair?
LS: Do the research! Check into the brand being considered. The consultation is extremely important. Make sure the extension artist has been properly trained and is certified to perform the service. If in doubt, ask for references. Extension services are expensive and they can go very wrong if the client has not done her homework. For example, our training program is very extensive before a stylist is allowed to join our network.
Originally published in Today’s Bride magazine, Fall/Winter 2015.