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Extension Lingo for Beauty Pros


When talking about hair extensions, words can get tangled up, making it hard to figure out what's what. If you’re a new hair stylist and want to step up your game, you need to know certain terms and what they mean so you can give your clients exactly what they need. Terms like "double drawn," "Remy," and "Brazilian," are common, but what about other terms?

Let's dig a bit deeper into some important hair extension lingo while you are honing your hair extension skills.

Synthetic vs. Human Hair

What this is about: Some hair extensions are made in labs, and some are made with real human hair.

Real Talk: Synthetic hair is man-made, while human hair comes from real donors. Human hair looks more natural and can be styled like your own hair.

Weft and Tape-In

What this is about: Different ways to attach extensions.

Real Talk: Wefts are strands woven into a strip. Tape-ins are sticky strips used to attach these wefts and extensions to your hair.

Clip-In Extensions

What this is about: Hair extensions you can clip in and out for a quick change.

Real Talk: These extensions have clips on the weft. They're easy to use and don't need commitment, making them an excellent choice for women who’d like to try different looks for different events or seasons.

Double-Drawn

What this is about: A term often heard in the extension world.

Real Talk: Double-drawn extensions mean that the hairs are of the same length from top to bottom. This meticulous selection eliminates shorter strands, resulting in a fuller and more uniform appearance.

Remy

What this is about: A special type of hair extension.

Real Talk: Remy hair refers to a collection method where the cuticle remains intact and all hair strands are aligned in the same direction. This prevents tangling and gives a more natural look.

Brazilian

What this is about: A term that might make you think of hair from Brazil.

Real Talk: Surprisingly, "Brazilian" in the extension world often refers more to a specific texture and not the origin of the hair. It's commonly associated with a smooth and straight style.

Ombre and Balayage

What this is about: Fancy words for coloring techniques.

Real Talk: Ombre is a dark-to-light transition. Balayage gives a sun-kissed effect. Extensions often come pre-colored in these styles.

Texture

What this is about: The feel and pattern of the hair.

Real Talk: Extensions come in straight, wavy, curly, or kinky textures.

Pre-Bonded or Fusion Extensions

What this is about: Extensions attached with glue or heat.

Real Talk: These extensions use glue or heat to stick to your natural hair. Proper application and removal are crucial to keep your hair healthy.

Microbead or I-Tip Extensions

What this is about: Extensions attached with small beads or rings.

Real Talk: Tiny beads or rings secure these extensions to your natural hair. They look natural and allow easy movement.

Bulk Hair

What this is about: Hair sold in bundles without a weft.

Real Talk: Bulk hair is loose strands without a weft. It's great for braiding or making custom extensions.

Loose Wave and Deep Wave

What this is about: Terms related to wavy hair patterns.

Real Talk: Loose wave extensions have gentle, relaxed waves, while deep wave extensions feature more defined, tighter curls.

Lace Front Wigs

What this is about: Wigs with a realistic-looking front.

Real Talk: Lace front wigs have a sheer lace front that creates a natural-looking hairline. They're a popular choice for those who want a versatile and realistic wig.

Monofilament Cap

What this is about: A feature in some wigs.

Real Talk: Wigs with a monofilament cap have a thin, breathable fabric that mimics the look of a natural scalp. This feature adds comfort and a more natural appearance.

Density Distribution

What this is about: How the hair is distributed in a wig or extension.

Real Talk: Density distribution refers to whether the hair is evenly distributed or has more concentration in specific areas.

Closure Wig

What this is about: A wig with a closure piece.

Real Talk: Closure wigs come with a closure piece that covers the crown of the head. This eliminates the need for leave-out, giving a seamless and natural appearance.

Cornrows

What this is about: A braiding technique.

Real Talk: Cornrows are a traditional braiding style where hair is braided close to the scalp in rows. This technique is often used as a base for attaching extensions or creating intricate patterns.

Lace Closure

What this is about: A smaller piece than a frontal.

Real Talk: Lace closures are smaller than frontals and cover a smaller portion of the head. They are often used to close a weave or wig, providing a natural-looking part.

Tightening

What this is about: Maintenance for certain types of extensions.

Real Talk: Tightening involves repositioning and securing extensions that may have loosened over time. It's a crucial step in maintaining the longevity and neatness of certain extension methods.

Feathered Ends

What this is about: Refers to the way the hair strands taper at the ends.

Real Talk: Feathered ends give a softer and more natural look. The strands gradually thin out towards the tips, resembling the natural texture of human hair.

Blending

What this is about: Making extensions match natural hair seamlessly.

Real Talk: Blending is the art of making extensions seamlessly integrate with your natural hair. It involves matching textures, lengths, and colors for a cohesive and natural appearance.

Cuticle Alignment

What this is about: A term related to the outer layer of hair strands.

Real Talk: Cuticle alignment means the hair strands are arranged in the same direction, minimizing tangling and creating a smoother, more natural flow.

Silk Base

What this is about: An alternative to lace in certain wigs.

Real Talk: Wigs with a silk base feature a layer of silk fabric at the top instead of lace. This provides a more realistic appearance, especially for those with sensitive scalps.

Knots

What this is about: Tiny points where hair is attached to a wig or lace.

Real Talk: Knots are where individual strands are tied to the base of a wig or lace. Bleaching these knots can make them less visible, creating a more natural look.

Bohemian Curl

What this is about: A specific type of curly hair.

Real Talk: Bohemian curl extensions feature a loose, free-spirited curl pattern. They are ideal for those who want a carefree and textured look.

Bulk Density

What this is about: Refers to the amount of hair in bulk extensions.

Real Talk: Bulk density indicates how much hair is in a bundle of loose strands. It's an important consideration when creating custom extensions or braids.

By adding these terms to your beauty toolkit, you're now armed with an even deeper understanding of hair extensions. Regardless if you're exploring new styles or advising others on their hair journey, this guide empowers you to do the hair talk with confidence. Remember, the beauty of extensions lies not just in the words but in the versatility they bring to your unique style.

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Priyanka Swamy, Founder of Perfect Locks LLC

Priyanka Swamy

Author and Founder of Perfect Locks LLC

Priyanka Swamy, the visionary founder of Perfect Locks LLC, is a passionate advocate for empowering women and promoting cultural diversity. With an unwavering commitment to ethical sourcing and quality craftsmanship, she redefined the hair extension market and created a supportive community that celebrates individuality. Priyanka's dedication to sustainability and social responsibility continues to inspire positive change within the industry. Her journey with Perfect Locks remains an inspiration, unlocking the true potential and confidence of countless individuals worldwide. Connect with Priyanka on Instagram and LinkedIn.

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