Get glamorous with hair extensions

By: Julia McEwen

Photography by Marek Szkudlarek Author: Canadian Living Credits: Photography by Marek Szkudlarek


Get glamorous with hair extensions

By: Julia McEwen
What she wanted
When Melissa Yetman, 31, walked into Doll Bar Inc. in Toronto, she knew she was going to leave with a whole new head of hair. This trendy Queen Street West salon is North America's first hair-extension-only beauty bar.

"I've tried to grow out my hair but, because it's so fine, as soon as I get any length it starts to break off," explains the Newfoundland native. What she wanted was the dream hair that Mother Nature never gave her – and Doll Bar Inc. delivered.

What she got: Extensions
Melissa's hair colour was au naturel when she sat in Melissa McKenzie's chair. McKenzie, owner of Doll Bar Inc., started by selecting a colour of extensions that was an identical match. The biggest challenge she faced was making the extensions blend into Melissa's thin cropped hair.

"The ideal candidate is someone with fine shoulder-length hair," explains McKenzie. Because Melissa's hair was closer to chin length, it was important to be extra strategic in the placement of each extension.

Extension science
A full head of 20-inch So Cap Elastica hair extensions was applied with the fusion method, using keratin bonds. "It's the same type of protein your hair and nails are made of," says McKenzie. Roughly 100 strands were placed on Melissa's head, starting five centimetres away from her hairline. "She can still wear her hair up in a ponytail without people ever noticing," says McKenzie.

A critical part of the process is giving each bond a proper anchor while still hiding the extension. "It's important to grab as much of her own hair as there is on the extension so the weight is dispersed evenly," McKenzie says. This way, the extension won't slip out or, worse, pull out and damage the natural hair.

The Cut
To combat limp hair and dry split ends, Melissa would routinely snip her hair off into a blunt cropped style. If you're getting extensions, McKenzie suggests coming in with an outgrown cut. "Never cut your hair right before an appointment," she says. "Healthy, fresh ends are hard to hide."

She kept the style simple and started blending Melissa's natural hair with her new extensions by thinning out the ends. She then cut into the 50 centimetres of new hair, snipping away 10 centimetres to give the ends more movement. The back was cut into a V shape and a few face-framing layers were added.

The Final Verdict
"I'm so happy with my new head of hair!" says Melissa. "I never thought I could have long hair. I love it."

This story was originally titled "Great Lengths" in the September 2012 issue.
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Get glamorous with hair extensions