How Hair Changes With Age and What You Can Do02-05-2019
How Hair Changes With Age and What You Can Do
It is evident from a glance at childhood photos that hair changes dramatically over time. One-time blond ringlets can morph into brown wavy locks over your childhood years, for example. Although gradual, hair changes are continual, and a natural part of life. Some people might experience dramatic hair changes, such as baldness or excessive thinning. Others might experience textural changes, colour changes or even excessive growth.
One thing we all experience is cyclical hair loss. That’s one of the natural cycles our follicles go through. Sometimes you’ll lose a lot of hair, and other times not much at all. It can be alarming when your hair isn’t behaving as you’ve come to expect, but fortunately there are often answers. At New Image Hair Extensions in Manchester, we have seen it all. In this article we’ll impart some information on common hair changes and what you can do about them.
How your hair works
Every strand is made up of the protein keratin, which keeps it strong. There is also an outer layer, which can be likened to overlapping sheets, and these constitute the hair cuticle. The hair you can see is technically dead, but the part of the hair inside the follicle is alive. The epidermis and dermis of the scalp contains incredibly fast-growing cells.
Hair changes and ageing are generally the result of hormonal or biochemical changes, or environmental factors. These will affect the follicle and consequently the constitution and appearance of the hair.
Each of your hairs will stay alive for between four and five years. It tends to grow at a rate of just under half an inch each month, so it makes sense that hair that has been around for years will have been through quite a lot. That could include UV, heat damage, chemical damage, etc.
The cuticle cells will soften and raise, which makes your hair appear more rough. It will also break more easily, and the follicles will eventually start to produce smaller and thinner hairs. In some cases, they stop producing hair completely.
Although the hair greying process is not fully understood, it is thought that hair melanin (the pigment giving skin and hair its colour) production slowly halts. There is a definite genetic factor, and there is also a parallel between the colour of your skin and when it will grey: the darker your skin, the longer your hair will take to grey. To give you an example, most Caucasians will start to grey in their 30s.
There is also a theory that oxidative stress is behind greying hair. This basically means that free radical production is amplified as new hairs start to form, and this in turn damages the pigment within the follicle cells. Similarly, hair may become more coarse and unmanageable when melanin has diminished, as the cells responsible for its production are also responsible for the keratin production.
Hair thinning and baldness
It is not only men that experience pattern baldness. Women often also experience some degree of balding as they get older, meaning that their hair will at the very least start to thin out with more of the scalp becoming visible. Again, genetics can play a part in this, as can smoking and changing hormone levels. Another thing that can affect this is vitamin deficiency, and some health conditions.
Although this might not seem like an issue, for some people it is. There is a condition known as Hirsutism, and it makes hair grow on women’s bodies the way it does naturally on men’s. Although harmless, Hirsutism often causes embarrassment. It can also be a genetic issue, but sometimes ageing seems to trigger it. Certain types of medication might also cause it; for example, the medicine given to treat polycystic ovaries.
What you can do about the above hair problems
There are five main solutions that will help you to overcome negative hair changes:
• Stop exposing hair to chemicals and heat
• Use products that aid hair growth and scalp circulation
• Use natural, plant-based hair dyes that condition rather than damage
• Refrain from smoking and try to find alternatives to medications that alter your natural hair production patterns
One of the best options for those suffering from thinning hair (dependent on the cause, of course) is to install hair extensions. Provided that the extensions are not going to exacerbate an already fragile scalp condition, they can be attached to give your hair the appearance of thickness and length.
When the reason behind your hair thinning is natural ageing, hormones or wear and tear, we can install hair extensions in our Manchester salon to improve the overall look of your hair. If you’re not sure whether this is right for you, you’re welcome to pop in for a free consultation and we’ll help you to decide in the right course of action.
4 Simple But Sexy Hairstyles for Hair Extensions18-04-2019
4 Simple But Sexy Hairstyles for Hair Extensions
If you’ve got – or plan to get – hair extensions, you are probably excited about all the new styles you’ll be able to wear. One of the most common complaints we hear from short-haired ladies is that there are only one or two hairstyles they can do - and it feels boring.
We’ve done so many transformations in our Manchester hair extension salon we’ve lost count, but there is something else we’ve lost count of too: the number of times we’ve been asked about cool hairstyles for the extensions we’ve put in. That’s why we decided to come up with a blog on some of the best hairstyles for hair extensions.
If you never had seriously long locks before, you might have concerns about drastically changing your image. Rest assured that when you come to our hair extension salon here in Manchester, we will talk you through everything you need to know and our extensionists will be happy to impart a few tips and tricks for styling your new hair.
In the meantime you can get a few starter ideas from this blog. The best thing about these hair extension styles is that they are quick and easy enough for even the newest of hair extension newbies to handle:
1. Sexy beach waves with hair extensions
Good old beach waves… everyone loves them! Beach waves can be achieved with a combination of products and tools, but it’s simple as can be. They look great with any length of extensions and the desired result is seemingly effortless loose waves that say, “No really… I just got out of bed!”
We’re not fans of scorching hair extensions with heat tools, but if you’re only doing it now and then it should be OK. A wand set to no more than 350 degrees will do the trick. If you don’t want to risk it, you can achieve beach waves with the ‘two strand twist’ method. Spray a fine mist of water on your hair and then use a light hair mousse on your hair before twisting it.
2. The classic half-up, half-down with hair extensions
This look is so simple but so pretty. It suits wavy, curly or straight hair so you can’t go wrong. Simply gather the top half of your hair, being careful not to expose a row of micro rings. You probably don’t want to advertise your hair extensions to the world!
Push it up a little if you want a looser, bouffant style at the crown; backcomb the roots under this section if you want to really go for it. Otherwise, you’ll simply twist the gathered hair into one bunch at the back and tie or clip it into place. For another version of that look, you can make the pony tail part into a little bun.
3.The sleek low ponytail with hair extensions
The sleek low ponytail is a timeless and classy style that suits most people. It looks as good with a business suit as it does on a night out, so it’s incredibly versatile. One of the best things about it is that you can change it up with various parting positions. It looks quite different with a centre parting, compared to a side parting.
The only tricky part is in slicking the hair neatly down around the scalp. You can use a serum for this task, and just tie it as tightly as you can at the nape of the neck. If you want to upgrade this look even further, take some of the hair from beneath the ponytail and pull it around the hair band to cover it. Be careful not to pull your hair so tight that it stresses your extensions, of course!
4.The messy high bun with hair extensions
This one is so popular these days that you’ll no doubt already be seeing it wherever you go. It is popular because it looks gorgeous, so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t get in on the action. When creating this style with hair extensions, you’ll need to sweep your hair up from underneath in the same direction, then use a Tangle Teezer brush to brush it upwards from underneath - if you want it to sit flush to the scalp. We always encourage you to remember your aftercare protocols when styling extensions!
You can then tie the hair in a pony on your crown before twisting it loosely around itself and securing the ends at the base of the bun with pins. Doing it roughly like this will mean that bits of hair fall out all over the place… and that’s the point of a messy bun! If it’s really wild, just pin a few more of the straggly bits to the base of the bun. There aren’t many rules to this, and in this instance, imperfection is perfect!
There are so many hairstyles that will look wonderful with your hair extensions but these are a good place to start. As you get more used to your hair you can get more adventurous! If you’re stuck for ideas or concerned about making the leap, contact our hair extension centre in Manchester and we’ll do our best to help.
4 Crucial Tips for Washing Your Hair Extensions30-03-2019
4 Crucial Tips for Washing Your Hair Extensions
For most women, getting hair extensions is quite exciting, and it’s not hard to work out why. Extensions make women feel more feminine and beautiful, and they get a whole new look – it can feel like a whole new identity for some.
With the modern popularity of hair extensions, it won’t be a surprise to hear that every week we are contacted by so many women looking for hair extensions in Manchester. That means we get to talk them through the process from start to finish; we hear about their ideals, expectations and hopes and fears – and of course we pass on lots of tips.
Hair extensions require consistent aftercare…
One thing we have noticed over the years is that although women are super excited to have new hair extensions, they often haven’t considered the maintenance factor. The reality is that hair extensions do require various forms of aftercare if they are to stay looking sleek and beautiful for many months to come. You simply can’t treat your hair extensions like normal hair, which is alive and therefore more resilient and robust.
One of the most important maintenance considerations is how to wash your hair extensions. You will need to pay attention not only to the products you wash them with, but also to pre-wash preparation, and washing and drying techniques.
Here are our best tips for washing your hair extensions:
1.Brush your hair before washing it -
This one isn’t obvious to everyone, but it is very important to brush your hair thoroughly before washing – every time. For this we always recommend Tangle Teezer brushes, which have softer, flexible bristles and are gentler on hair extensions.
the reason you always – we repeat always - need to brush before washing is that hair extensions can get tangled. This is especially likely if you’re not brushing them several times a day. Sometimes you won’t notice that the hair is a getting tangled, especially if it’s around the back of the head or underneath, near to or around the micro rings or bonds.
If you start adding shampoo to tangled hair and rubbing it around, you’re going to end up pulling it out or making it even more tangled. Then when you go to brush it, you risk damaging the extensions - or your own hair. Spare yourself such costly damage by aligning all the extensions properly with gentle downward brush strokes ahead of your shower. By removing tangles before the water hits your hair, you’ll have a much easier washing experience and drying your hair won’t have to be a painstaking exercise in knot removal.
2. Use gentle shampoos
All shampoos are not equal – particularly where hair extensions are concerned. Natural products are always a good idea, as high street products often contain silicone that adds a fake shine to your hair. That might make it look good temporarily, but it creates a build up that leads to dull, lifeless looking hair eventually.
You’ve probably heard the rumour that you need to change your shampoo and conditioner regularly, because apparently hair can ‘gets used to’ products you’ve been using. Actually, that isn’t true. It’s just that the silicones in the products are difficult to wash out. They form a layer around the hair shaft that prevents water from penetrating the hair. Inevitably that leads to dry and brittle hair.
Also, stay well clear of medicated shampoos, which can contain very strong ingredients that dry your hair out. Your extensions will suffer if they come into contact with such products. Anti-dandruff shampoo is a no-no too, especially if you have coloured extensions - or coloured natural hair, for that matter – the ingredients strip the colour from your hair. That’s only ever a good thing if you hate the colour! As mentioned in our ‘do’s and don’ts’ blog, dying extensions yourself is not recommended.
3. Always wash your hair with a side-to-side motion
The way you wash your hair is off the utmost importance. The first stage is brushing it, but equally if not more important than that is the technique you use for application and distribution of your shampoo.
As you can see from the picture, well-installed hair extensions are neatly aligned and attached to small sections of your natural hair. That natural hair needs to stay in the alignment we attached the extensions in, otherwise it can get disheveled and tangled. That will stunt your natural growth, and potentially split or damage your natural hair. On top of this, your extensions won’t sit right. In short, incorrect washing techniques can make a mess of your hair.
So here’s the golden rule: never wash your hair using circular motions as you might without extensions in place. Always use a side-to-side motion.
You may be wondering why that is. Well, it’s because the side-to-side motion only pushes the hair from side-to-side and back. Circles lead to tangles, as they’re not controlled. The easiest way to distribute shampoo into your hair is to divide it into sections, starting with one major parting straight down the middle, from front-to-back.
This will give you easier access to areas close to the scalp where the rings or bonds sit. You can and should shampoo these, as where the natural hair has been sat closely together it can get a little greasy around the rings. So by all means lather up, but just make sure you’re scrubbing gently from side-to side only.
4.Don’t apply conditioner near your micro rings
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again! Conditioner applied near your micro rings or fusion bonds means you can kiss goodbye to them sooner rather than later. We know you want them to last as long as possible! It’s a simple one: just condition the actual extensions (starting a few inches lower than the rings/bonds), and if you need to, the natural hair that doesn’t have extensions close to it.
The reason is simple: conditioner will make micro rings lose their grip, and gradually dissolve fusion bonds. Save the deep conditioning for your extensions, especially if they are looking a little thirsty.
So, you’re almost done. Once you’ve rinsed out the conditioner, you’re ready to dry gentle towel dry your hair by wrapping your hair in the towel and squeezing water out of it rather than rubbing it with the towel. We won’t go into drying techniques right now, as we’ve said plenty for one article, but if there’s anything else you want to know, don’t hesitate to ask. We have lots of information in our blogs and we’re always at the end of the phone or email if you’ve got a burning question.
Best Products for Growing Your Hair15-03-2019
Best Products for Growing Your Hair
You might be wondering why we recommend growing your hair when our job is to install long hair extensions in our Manchester salon. Well, it’s simply because the longer your hair is, the easier it is for us to install and blend your hair extensions for a natural finish.
Sometimes ladies come to us with short, cropped hair after a regretful haircut; sometimes they just want a change but their hair seems to be taking forever to grow out. We can work with all kinds of haircuts, but it is actually easier for us and less expensive for you if you are able to grow your hair out a little first.
Don’t get us wrong: you don’t have to do that if you’re desperate to put some extensions in. We are more than happy to give you a consultation whatever the state of your hair. However, if you do want to grow it before coming to have them installed, we have some advice for you.
There are a number of brilliant products out there that will do wonders for the length, thickness, strength and overall condition of your hair. Here is our pick of the best:
1 Nutravita Biotin High Potency Hair Growth Supplement
This product works quickly, and many start to see good results within a month. Hair grows much faster, and it will become shinier and thicker too. Those whose hair has a tendency to fall out should find that this product also dramatically reduces hair loss.
If you want truly healthy looking hair, you could very much benefit from this biotin supplement. The bottle gives you a year’s supply and it’s relatively inexpensive at £17.95. It contains coconut oil for extra absorbency, and coconut oil is also beneficial for the condition of your hair.
One of the best things about this product is that it also benefits your skin and nails, making skin clearer and benefiting the elasticity; nails tend to grow more quickly, developing more resilience and shine.
2 Watermans Grow Me Shampoo and Conditioner
These UK-made products receive rave reviews - and so they should. Both the shampoo and conditioner smell good, and they are sulfate and paraben-free, so no nasties will be infiltrating your precious system. They strengthen hair follicles and improve circulation in the scalp, making them great for bringing life and lustre back to dull, dry and damaged hair.
Both products are good for reducing that troublesome hair loss too (something clinically proven, in fact) so the results are consistently positive. Watermans shampoo and conditioner improves your natural hair growth rate, thickening your hair and making it super-shiny. They didn’t win the UK Hair Magazine Hair Awards in 2018 for nothing! Get the set for £24.50.
3 Grow Gorgeous Hair Growth Serum
Grow Gorgeous Hair Growth Serum has been designed to make your hair feel long, thick and shiny… and that it does. The serum combines seven different technologies that visibly improve the length of your hair.
If you’re into statistics, you might be interested to know that this growth serum works to increase hair density by up to 13% over a period of four months. You can get it in a 90ml supersized bottle, but be warned… it’s not cheap at £46.95. Then again, beauty enhancement often comes with a price tag!
4 Leave-in Conditioner: Pureology Strength Cure Fabulous Lengths
Good, strong locks are all about protection. One of the best ways to protect your hair is through leave-in conditioners, and Pureology do one of the best. Their patented Antifade complex and Asta-Repair technology is all about improving the strength of your hair, so naturally the stronger it is the longer it becomes.
This product will particularly appeal to vegans too, as all ingredients are vegan and cruelty-free. The conditioner is a luxurious treatment that will give your hair a protective shield, meaning less breakage and more softness. It also contains heat protection, so you won’t need to worry as much about hair dryer and straightener damage. It won’t cost the earth at £19.91, either.
We don’t recommend hair straighteners on your extensions, however; extensions are drier as they’re not receiving nutrients from the scalp, so they’ll be damaged more easily.
A word of warning
If you already have extensions installed, note that these products are obviously going to keep working regardless. That can mean that your hair extensions are going to grow out more quickly as your natural hair is also going to be growing more quickly. Therefore, once you have had your extensions installed you might want to stop using the products, or use them less frequently.
Another thing to remember is that we never recommend applying hair conditioner directly onto the micro rings (and especially fusion bonds) as this can make them slip (or dissolve). So if you have been using a hair-growth conditioner on your scalp before your extensions are installed, it is not a good idea to rub this into the scalp after extension installation.
If in doubt, pop into our Manchester hair extension salon or give us a call to arrange a consultation. We are all about making the best of your looks, and that includes your natural hair as well as our hair extensions!
How to Prepare for Your Hair Extensions Appointment20-02-2019
How to Prepare for Your Hair Extensions Appointment
At New Image hair extension salon in Manchester, we see a lot of women every day with different types and lengths of hair. This is completely normal and we know how to work with every kind of hair type and cut. However, if you haven’t come to us for a hair extension fitting before, there are a few things you should know in advance. By preparing yourself ahead of the appointment you not only make our job easier; you also save yourself salon time.
There are various different elements to take into consideration when preparing to get hair extensions for the first time. Even if you have had them fitted elsewhere before, processes and recommendations may be different, so we advise you to read on anyway. We want to do everything we can to make sure your hair extension fitting goes smoothly.
Below are the main things you’ll need to take into consideration before coming for your hair extension fitting in Manchester:
Be sure your hair is properly washed with the right shampoo
Unless you have booked in to have us wash and dry your hair before your fitting, you will need to prepare your hair at home. We recommend washing and drying it thoroughly a couple of hours before your appointment, rather than the night before. If you’ve slept on your hair over night it will have had a chance to get greasy again (even to a small degree) - or to tangle. Neither of these make it easy for us to install your extensions – in fact, greasy hair can make the extensions more likely to slip.
The type of shampoo you use is also important. We don’t recommend using silicone-laden high-street products. Instead, use a clarifying shampoo that will strip both products and grease from your hair so that it’s super-clean and malleable when we fit your hair extensions. You may also be interested in our blog on washing your hair extensions.
Don’t use any hair conditioner
We also recommend that you don’t – repeat, don’t – use a hair conditioner on this occasion. This can leave some residue and make your hair soft and slippery, which isn’t ideal when you want to attach a ring or bond to it.
This is also why we always recommend keeping conditioner away from your rings or bonds whenever you wash your hair afterwards. We know you may not be used to going without conditioner, and although it’s possibly an annoying request, it’s important that we can ensure your hair holds the extensions. Otherwise you’ll be back in just to have slipped extensions refitted!
Be sure to dry and straighten your hair properly
If you turn up with wet hair we’re going to have to dry it before we get started, which could eat into your appointment time or extend the time you have to spend with us. That’s probably not going to be convenient for you or for us, so we recommend that you properly dry your hair before you arrive.
Unless your hair is naturally poker straight, we politely request that (if possible) you straighten it before you come for your hair extension appointment at our Manchester salon. However, if you can’t do it, we will be able to do it on arrival - so don’t worry too much. It is easier for us to fit extensions on straight hair because it’s level and provides clarity. Curly or wavy hair needs a bit more navigation to make sure the rows are evenly fitted. We are perfectionists, but we hope you’ll see that as a positive!
Make sure you allow enough time for your appointment
When you first book an appointment with us, we will give you a rough idea how long it’s going to take. We can’t be exact with these kinds of things, since it’s not an exact science and there are unpredictable factors. However, if you have had one of our free consultations, we will have been able to get a good idea of what needs doing and how long it will take.
The more extensions you need, the longer your appointment is going to take, obviously. On average, we can fit hair extensions in as little as 1.5 hours, but it can take up to 3 or more. If you’ve booked in for any of our other services like dying, cutting, washing and blow-drying, you’re going to be with us for longer still.
We recommend that you factor these into the equation as well as travel time to and from the hair extension salon. If you do have any urgent appointments afterwards, do your best to give yourself an hour’s leeway, as we would hate to have to rush your extension fitting!
If you haven’t yet booked in with us but are interested in having hair extensions at our Manchester salon, feel free to get in touch via the free consultation link above. We’ll be happy to talk you through everything you need to know about.