When working as a hair extension technician, from time to time you will come across a customer who is looking for an alternative to straight hair extensions, either because their own hair is curly, or they are looking for something a bit different.
The problem is, curly hair extensions or wavy hair extensions can be quite tricky to find in the exact colour, fitting type and length your client is after, and they are in fact not always the best option, even for those with naturally wavy or curly hair.
Here we look at the nature of straight, wavy and curly hair extensions to help understand which are best to purchase for your clients, as well as covering some of the known limitations with wavy or curly hair extensions.
Why Do Clients Ask For Wavy/Curly Hair Extensions
When working as a mobile hair extension technician or offering hair extensions in your salon, you may notice that some clients ask for wavy or curly hair extensions, even when their own hair is visibly straight. The reason for this is that for the majority of us, when our “straight” hair is left to dry naturally it will dry with a wave or natural kink, and this therefore causes concerns over whether fitting “straight” hair extensions is suitable.
Why Are Straight Hair Extensions Suitable For Those With Naturally Wavy Or Kinked Hair?
Fortunately, despite these concerns straight hair extensions are suitable for the majority of hair types, as just like natural hair “straight” hair extensions will also dry with a natural wave or kink. Although rarely listed in this way as it would be confusing, the majority of “straight” hair extensions are in fact “natural wave”, which means if left to air dry they will have a beautiful natural kink.
This is great news, as there are a number of benefits associated with hair extensions that dry in this way.
1. Firstly, as detailed above very few of us have hair that will dry dead straight, and therefore having hair extensions that dry in a similar way makes “straight” hair extensions suitable for the vast majority of clients.
2. Hair extensions that dry in this way offer added versatility when styling, as they typically have the ability to hold a curl due to their naturally kinked shape.
3. Due to the natural shape, this type of hair extension is able to offer more body when styling, making it easier to create volumous styles.
Are There Any Benefits When Opting For Curly Hair Extensions Instead Of Straight Hair Extensions
If you have a client who has defined curly hair (think Annalynne Mccord as pictures), then curly hair extensions may be the only option, however when the clients hair classifies anywhere between straight to wavy, opting for curly hair extensions will likely cause you more limitations than benefits.
Here we detail just some of the reasons why curly hair extensions can be difficult to work with:
1. Sourcing individuals who are willing to donate curly hair is far more challenging than sourcing straight hair, and therefore to achieve curls or waves in hair extensions these are put in artificially. It is very rare that you will come across curly hair extensions with are 100% natural with no perming.
2. For this reason, curly hair extensions are far more heavily processed than straight hair extensions, resulting in hair that naturally will not last as long, as is more prone to problems such as tangling and dryness.
3. As the hair extensions began as straight (natural wave) and have become curly through perming, any attempt to straighten or alter the shape will cause the curl to slowly lose its hold, so you will be limited to wearing the hair extensions curly at all times in order for them to last as long as possible.
4. The more and more you brush, blow dry and straighten the hair extensions, the looser the curls will become, and the more unmanageable you will find the hair to be.
5. Eventually, the curl will be lost all together, and the hair extensions will be left with a natural state of fizziness, which means you will need to either straighten them or curl them to achieve a clean look.
6. Due to the additional treatment the cost of curly hair extensions tends to be higher.
Straight Hair Extensions Are More Versatile Than Curly Hair Extensions
As outlined above, you will see that curly hair extensions are created artificially, whereas straight (natural wave) hair extensions are found naturally, and therefore will likely last significantly longer. By opting for straight hair extensions you will find you have much more versatility with your hair and your hair extensions, whereas curly hair extensions will lead you facing restrictions and issues with your hair from a very early stage.
Unless you have defined curls, what you will need to consider is that if you opt for “straight”, you will very easily be able to utilise the natural state of the hair extensions to create curls which will not compromise the quality of the hair, whereas by contrast when opting for curly hair extensions, every brush or attempt to change the state of the curls will cause the style to become less and less defined.
“Straight” hair extensions are without a doubt far more versatile than curly hair extensions, therefore before jumping into opting for artificially curled locks, it is well worth weighing up the pros and cons as detailed above to decide whether this really is the best option for you and your client.