Creating Volume and Thickness Using Hair Extensions

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There’s no getting around the fact that full, voluminous hair will always be in style. It’s a classic choice that’s closely linked to images of health and youth, and it’s having a particular moment now with mermaid-y waves, Victoria’s Secret-like blowouts, and shaggy boy band hair. It’s no wonder, then, that hair extensions are becoming more popular than ever, giving clients the means to turn their existing hair into a full-on mane. Babe’s core extension methods—Fusion, I-Tip, Tape-In, and, most recently, Flat-Tip—are helping women and men around the country achieve the hair of their dreams.

But that’s not all that we’ve been up to. As with any art form, material products are only part of the story. We at Babe have also been developing new techniques for using those products, so we can achieve volume and thickness in new and innovative ways. Take our Micro Bond technique, which involves cutting down a Fusion extension into a series of smaller strands: where once you could only add thickness to the bottom and sides of the head (or the “base,” if you will), Micro Bonds allow you to add dimension to the crown and hairline, giving you greater thickness at the roots and a slew of new possibilities. Just think about it—in a full-head installation, you can only add enough extensions to recreate the thickness at the top of the head at the ends of the hair. This makes for the most natural look. But if you can add thickness directly to the top of the head using inconspicuous Micro Bonds, you can expand your volume threshold for the ends as well, transforming thin hair into a bodacious ‘do. Of course, we don’t recommend adding more hair extensions than the natural hair can comfortably hold. The same 1:1 rule—where the natural hair section equals the hair extension thickness—applies to these cases. But it’s nice to have the room to roam!

Pair the Micro Bonding technique with our traditional methods for the most comprehensive and customizable installation ever, and achieve unprecedented volume in the process! To learn more about Micro Bonding and all the hair possibilities that come with it, visit our Everything But Length Portal today!

 

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Hair Extensions are for Everyone!

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We love hair extensions because they give us options. There’s no need to wait for a bad haircut to grow out, or to resign ourselves to lifeless hair because that’s what we were born with. Your look is something you can control, and it’s absolutely liberating. We’re not just talking about adding length and volume here, either—hair extensions are increasingly being used to alter color, add texture, and even mask damaged hair. Babe is committed to extending hair extension options to everyone, regardless of their current hair situation and intended extension goals. That’s why we came out with Tape-In, Single Sided Tape, Single Clip-Ins, Instant Hair, and our newest development: the Micro Bonding technique. Using this technique, by customizing fusion bonds, we’re evolving hair extensions to address an even wider range of issues beyond missing length or volume—and appealing to a wider audience in the process.

Is your hair thinning with age, or shedding due to weight loss or a major life transition? Extensions may be for you! Our Single Sided Tape extensions and Fusion extensions using our Micro Bonding technique can fill in the gaps without placing any unnecessary stress on your thin hair.

Do you suffer from balding or patchy hair? Our Micro Bonding extension technique can re-introduce hair to exposed areas of scalp without any noticeable bonds or attachments in sight!

Do you want to experiment with your short hairstyle? It’s easy to change things up with Micro Bonds and achieve anything from a color streak to a rattail and beyond.

Highlights, lowlights, a splash of color, and much, much more are all achievable with any of our varied hair extension methods. We even have temporary options for one-time events or people looking to sample a new style before committing. Whatever your desire and whatever your demographic, hair extensions can be a simple and accessible solution. Remember, hair extensions aren’t just for young, fashionable women looking for Rapunzel hair—they’re for anyone and everyone looking for options with their hair.

To learn more about our hair extensions and what they can do for you, visit our Everything But Length Portal, where we feature specific solutions for:
– plumping mid-lengths and ends
– adding length at the front and sides
– filling in aging, thinning hair
– thickening fine hair
– bringing excitement to boring style
– achieving longer, fuller hair from a mid-length base.

And, as always, if you have questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below!

 

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Micro Bonding with Fusion Extensions – Amazing Before & Afters!

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Last week we talked in-depth about our groundbreaking new installation technique: Micro Bonding. Micro Bonding involves cutting a single Fusion extension into a series of smaller Micro Bonds which can be installed on smaller sections of the client’s hair, promising less weight, greater precision, and more flexibility than ever before, and even enabling you to install in the crown area and hairline! This week, though, we’re going to show you just what you can achieve with these tiny little Fusion bonds. Because a picture’s worth a thousand words, right?

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Angie used Micro Bonds to fix her mid-length and ends, and to bring excitement to a boring style.

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Glen used Micro Bonds to fill in his aging, thinning hair.

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Kalee used Micro Bonds to grow out a short hairstyle and add excitement to her ‘do.

You can see more jaw-dropping Micro Bond before & afters at our Everything But Length Portal, and enroll in our new Online Education course to learn how to recreate the transformations yourself! The possibilities are endless, and we’re excited to see what you’ll create.

 

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Using Extensions Above the Crown of the Head

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What? You can use extensions above the crown of the head? What about bond visibility and all that stuff we used to say about not going above the horseshoe area during installation? Good news: when it comes to the Fusion method, you can “break the rule!” We have a new hair extension technique here at Babe called “Micro Bonding,” and it allows you to customize your Fusion extensions so they can go where they’ve never gone before—above the crown and hairline areas of your client’s head! Here’s how it works:

First:
Cut the top half of the keratin bond off of the Fusion extension using our newest tool, the Fusion Cutter!

Next:
Turn the hair extension strand into a number of distinct Micro Bonds by snipping vertically through the keratin bond. Don’t cut all the way through the bond, but rather right up to the very edge, peeling the remaining piece apart with your fingers (that way you leave the hair itself intact!). The number of Micro Bonds you make from a single Fusion extension is up to you, but make sure to size the Micro Bonds to match the density of the hair sections they will be applied to.

Then:
Trim the keratin of each Micro Bond so that the bond is tapered (with the narrowest part on top, where the root will be once the extension is installed, and the widest part on bottom, where the bond connects to the extension hair).

Just like that, one Fusion extension is now a set of Micro Bonds that can be installed on smaller sections of your client’s hair! Smaller sections means greater precision, better resulting movement, and a lighter feeling suited to finer-haired clients. It could also mean using fewer packs of hair when working on more detail-oriented tasks, such as adding volume. And since these Micro Bonds are so tiny, they’re basically inconspicuous once installed, and can therefore be used to perform delicate work in more visible places on the scalp. We’ve already seen great Before & After photos where Micro Bonds were used to cover bald spots, add length and fullness to short or thinning hair, fill out empty sections around the hairline, and even create a man-bun! The possibilities are pretty much endless (you can start offering hair extension services to men and women with short haircuts now!).

To learn more about this new technique and explore all these new and exciting options, visit our Everything But Length Portal, check out our Micro Bonding video, and enroll in our Micro Bonding Online Education course! You can pick up Fusion extensions and a pair of Fusion Cutters—uniquely designed to cut fusion bonds neatly, accurately, and safely—at your local distributor.

 

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Using Single Sided Tape on Fine or Thin Hair

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“Are hair extensions for me?” You’ve heard your clients ask this question. Perhaps we’re a little biased here at Babe, but “absolutely!” is our perennial response. Whether your clients want a quick fix of length and color or an all-over hair transformation, hair extensions and their various installation methods can bring visions to reality.

Hair comes in all shapes and sizes though, and some clients remain skeptical. “I have thin/fine hair. Are extensions still for me?” these concerned clients may ask. It’s certainly a valid question. Hair extensions do require proper installation and upkeep to achieve their intended effect, and it’s crucial for clients to understand their specific hair type before beginning. But our answer is still an unmitigated: Yes! Yes! Yes! With Babe’s Single Sided Tape that is. Here’s why using Single Sided Tape with Tape-In Extensions is perfect for clients with thin or fine hair, and how this revolutionary product is changing the extensions game for women of all hair types…

Half the Wefts = Half the Weight
One of the predominant hair extensions stumbling blocks for those with fine or thin hair is the weight, strain, and discomfort that the hair extensions can potentially place on the hair and scalp. When the client’s individual strands of hair are thinner and the follicles more sparse, Babe’s Tape-In Extensions are preferred over fusion or beaded methods because they’re lighter overall. Still, even traditional Tape-In Extensions can be too heavy for thin-haired clients. This is exactly where Single Sided Tape comes into play. In a nutshell, Single Sided Tape is a gentle solution for thin-haired clients because they use half as many wefts as traditional Tape-In extensions, and, as a result, place half as much weight and strain on the hair. While traditional Tape-In Extensions work by “sandwiching” the client’s hair between two wefts of extensions and then taping them together, Single Sided Tape allows you to achieve that effect using only one weft of hair extensions and a corresponding piece of adhesive on the other side. End result? It creates the same volumizing visual effect as traditional Tape-In Extensions with half the distributed weight overall.

Single Sided Tape-Ins Bring New Opportunities
Beauty, and the opportunity to transform oneself, shouldn’t have an exclusive “door policy.” It’s for everyone! With that in mind, Single Sided Tape creates hair extensions avenues which many clients haven’t previously considered possible. With its weightless alternative to traditional extension methods and premium Babe quality, Single Sided Tape allows women with thin or fine hair to experience the same volumizing effects of Tape-In Extensions without the weight and strain that’s kept them out of the running in the past.

To learn more about Single Sided Tape, as well as other hair extension techniques that make all kinds of hair transformations available to every client, visit our new Everything But Length Portal!

Shop Tape-In Extensions Now

 

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Fine Hair vs. Thin Hair

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When you first hear them, the terms “fine” and “thin” hair may sound interchangeable. Stylists and clients alike have a number of “go-to” terms to describe the spectrum of hair types and lengths they encounter. Still, knowing what these terms actually mean can help you best suggest an upkeep regimen for your clients (or tighten the screws on your own) and help dispel hair myths and misinformation. Here’s a quick guide for identifying the characteristic differences between fine and thin hair (because they are not inherently the same!) and helping your clients determine for themselves.

We’re really talking about Density…
For our purposes, hair is characterized in two ways: the thickness of the individual strands and how dense (closely packed together) each of the individual follicles are. When a client has thin hair, it technically means that they have fewer hair follicles packed close together. Terms like “sparse” or “low density” may be more technically accurate and better help describe what they actually mean in these cases. While styling a thin-haired client, you may notice that you see a lot more of their scalp (while working) than someone with thick hair. It is possible for clients with thin hair to also have fine hair, but the two aren’t necessarily related.

Individual Thickness
When a client has fine hair, they’re technically referring to the individual thickness or diameter of each strand. A visual spot test for fine hair is the strand comparison: if a client’s hair strand appears to be the same thickness as a sewing thread then they have coarse hair. If it appears to be thinner than this, or has “wispy” characteristics, then it is fine. Some suggest gathering the hair into a ponytail and measuring its circumference, fine hair being that which is less than 2 inches in circumference. Clients with fine hair may complain that the fineness of their hair makes it difficult to manage and style.

Can Clients have both Thin and Fine Hair?
It’s absolutely possible for clients to have a combination of hair that’s both thin and fine, and in these cases, gentle styling techniques and regular maintenance come highly encouraged. Particular attention should be paid towards braiding or styles which pull the hair away from the scalp as they may be harder on thin or fine-haired clients than those with medium or coarse hair. Babe offers a special Tape-In application alternative for thin and/or fine-haired clients seeking hair extensions, which involves using Single Sided Tape to lighten the overall load of the Tape-In hair extensions (more on that next week!).

To summarize: “Fine” hair refers to the thickness or diameter of the individual strand of hair. The opposite of fine hair is coarse hair. “Thin” hair refers to the overall density of the hair follicles across the scalp. The opposite of thin hair is thick hair. It is possible for clients to have fine and thick hair, or coarse and thin hair. On occasion, your client may have both fine and thick hair. These clients will benefit from the use of our Single Sided Tape method, or from alternative installation techniques designed to target thinning. For more information on the hair extension options available to thin and/or fine-haired clients, visit the Everything But Length Portal.

Helping clients determine how to categorize their hair is the first step towards solid hair health and maintenance on an individual and global level. Not only are you assisting their beauty transformation at the salon but empowering them with the knowledge and information they need to keep it up once they’re on their own.

 

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The Benefits of Tape

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Babe Tape-In hair extensions are a consistently popular choice among stylists and clients alike. They’re quick, easy, flexible, and a good fit for both experienced hair extension wearers and newcomers. But what is it about this method that really sets it apart? Unsurprisingly, it’s all about that tape.

One-of-a-kind adhesive.
Babe’s Tape-In tape is a latex-free medical adhesive that is durable enough to last through hair care and styling procedures, yet safe enough to wear for months on end. This tape allows for totally damage-free installations, involving no heat, crimping, or strain on the client’s hair. It’s also skin-safe, causing no irritation even to the most sensitive of users.

Easy to un-install.
Though it’s beyond difficult to remove this adhesive with your hands alone, Tape-In tape responds quickly and easily to our Tape-In Bond Remover. An oil-based formula, this remover is gentle on the client’s hair, yet effective at weakening the adhesive bond for a smooth de-installation.

Versatile enough for any hair type.
A key distinction of Babe’s Tape-In method is that it’s an ideal choice for fine or thin-haired women. Unlike Fusion and I-Tip extensions, Tape-In hair requires no additional bonds or tools to install. There is no additional weight from beads or keratin bonds—just the nearly weightless tape already present on the weft. Furthermore, each weft is wider than a typical Fusion or I-Tip strand, since the extension hair is dispersed along the width of the tape strip. This means that, when applied to the client’s hair, the weight of the extension is spread across a wider surface area, placing less stress on individual hairs. There’s even an alternative Tape-In installation strategy in which the section of hair is sandwiched between a Tape-In extension weft and a piece of Single Sided Tape (instead of two Tape-In wefts) to further reduce the weight being added to the client’s head. The result is a full-looking head of hair that feels as natural as possible.

Flat, smooth, comfortable.
Tape-In tape, and the extensions that accompany them, are unprecedentedly flat. This allows for the extensions to lay flush against the client’s head, hugging their contours and resting easily in-between their natural layers. They also install quickly and gently, with nothing more than a touch of pressure to smooth the tape down. Tape-In extensions are comfortable to wear, whether to work or to bed, and are easy to care for using Babe’s aftercare tools. Your client won’t even notice that they’re there—until they look in the mirror.

Know a client who has personally experienced the benefits of tape? Tell us their story in the comments below! And don’t forget to take advantage of our special September-October Tape-In promotion! 10% off 14” Tape-Ins; 1 Single Sided Tape pack free with purchase of 3 Replacement Tape packs.

 

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Replacement Tape vs. Single Sided Tape

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Babe Tape-In specialists know that each style of Babe Tape-In tapes are designed specifically for one job, and are not interchangeable. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Babe’s Tape-In method and its corresponding tools, Babe offers two varieties of tape products that assist in Tape-In installation and re-installation: Single Sided Tape and Replacement Tape. It’s important to stock up on both of these products for complete Tape-In preparation, as one alone simply will not cut it. Here’s why:

Single Sided Tape is used for custom Tape-In installation, serving as a replacement for one of the two Tape-In wefts used in an ordinary installation. It’s a one-sided tape strip perfectly aligned in shape and size to our Tape-In weft, and is applied to the reverse side of a hair section to seal the Tape-In bond. Ideally, Single Sided tape is used during installations on finer-haired clients (video here). Single Sided Tape allows for a lighter-than-normal Tape-In application with less weight on the client’s natural hair, since only one Tape-In weft is being used per hair section (instead of two).

Replacement Tape is used for Tape-In re-installation. It’s a double-sided tape strip that is also perfectly aligned in shape and size to our Tape-In weft. Replacement Tape is used to replace the old adhesive on used Tape-In extensions. After the extensions are removed from the hair, the old adhesive is removed, and the Tape-In weft is cleaned and dried, the Replacement Tape strip can be applied to allow for reuse of the same hair extensions.

If you were to try to use Single Sided Tape instead of Replacement Tape during the re-installation process, your Tape-In weft would not stick to the client’s hair. You might try to roll the Single Sided Tape into a loop, as one does with scotch tape to use it as double-sided tape, but the resulting bond would be insecure, bulky, and would likely cause matting and damage to the client’s hair. Glueing two Single Sided Tape strips together to form double-sided tape is also a bad idea. Beyond compromising the effectiveness of the existing adhesive and risking matting from excess glue, the two Single Sided Tape strips would not stay together, as generic glue is insufficient to bind the plastic backings together.

Alternatively, if you were to try to use Replacement Tape instead of Single Sided tape in the Tape-In installation process, you would certainly cause matting in the client’s hair. Even if you were to seal one side of the Replacement Tape with ordinary tape to limit the excess stickiness, the material would not stand up to the client’s maintenance regimen, as other varieties of tapes and plastics are not designed to be washed, blow dried, or styled. Deterioration and hair damage would be inevitable.

All in all, you can’t interchange Single Sided Tape and Replacement Tape. Doing so would be ineffective, tedious, potentially damaging, and really wasteful—especially when you can easily purchase both for a modest price. And to make it even easier, right now Babe is offering a special September-October promotion for Babe Tape-In users: buy 3 packs of Replacement Tape and get 1 pack of Single Sided Tape, FREE! And that’s in addition to 10% off 14” Tape-Ins! Visit your local Babe distributor to take advantage of the offer now.

Have comments, questions, or suggestions? Leave them in the space below, and we’ll get back to you ASAP!

 

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The Truth About Fine Hair

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As stylists, we know that hair comes in all colors, lengths, textures, and thicknesses. Most of us have experience working on straight strands, curls, thick manes, and thin tresses alike, for anything from a standard trim to a wild dye job. And we realize that, in general, anything that can be done to one hair type can be applied to another with little-to-no difficulty. Sure, the tactics that you use to get the job done may differ, but there’s nothing stopping you from employing the service itself, so long as the client has healthy hair to work with. Hair extensions, however, can be a bit different. Not only do we advise against installing on very short hair (with few exceptions), but we also warn against installing certain types or lengths of hair extensions on exceptionally fine hair. In that sense, it’s not exactly an equal playing field. However, most of us know that it is still possible to install hair extensions on fine hair, given a couple of hacks and extra tools. But do your clients know that?

The next time you’re in a situation where you need to explain the hair extension options available to your fine-haired client, be sure to offer up these little truth bombs:

Fine hair is not the same as thin hair.
This one can be a bit confusing to some clients, who may not distinguish between hair volume and individual hair thickness. Basically, it’s possible to have a lush, full head of hair made up of many fine hairs, or a thin spread of hair made up of a few thick hairs, because the number of hairs on your head is not directly aligned with the thickness of each individual hair. Thin hair, where there are few enough hairs on the head that you can essentially see through to the scalp, can be indicative of scalp problems, which should always be resolved prior to installing extensions. Fine hair is pretty normal, and it just means that your individual hairs are less thick than the average strand of hair. If your client needs additional information, feel free to show them this video.

Fine hair can be pretty strong, as long as you take care of it.
The average hair strand can hold about 100 grams, according to scientists at L’Oréal Research. That’s roughly the weight of a bar of soap, or a small apple (by some estimates). Fine hair, though weaker than the average strand, can still carry quite a bit of weight. We found a video that features a finer-than-average strand of hair that could handle 62 grams of pennies and tape all on its own. Think of what a full head of hair could carry, if only the scalp could support it! So long as the hair is well-hydrated and well-treated, it should be strong and elastic enough to handle most hair extensions like a champ.

If your scalp is healthy, there’s nothing to worry about.
Again, the scalp is usually the culprit behind fine-hair and thin-hair troubles. If your client feels discomfort when too much pressure is applied to the hair, they feel it in their scalp, not the hair itself. Problems with hair strength or elasticity can be spotted when there’s excessive hair breakage, and they can be treated with hair-boosting supplements, like biotin and fish oil pills. Also, problems with hair strength can be countered by selecting the appropriate extension method (more on this below). Scalp health, however, should always be verified prior to hair extension installation, because a modified method and/or supplements may not be enough to address the problem. A healthy scalp is free of build-up, unburdened by clogged pores or inflammation, and actively growing and shedding hair at a normal rate. If your client’s scalp is healthy, everything else should be perfectly manageable.

The Tape-In method was specifically designed for finer hair types.
In an effort to make our hair extensions accessible to everyone, we introduced a cutting-edge extension method that distributes the weight of the extension hair across a wider section of the client’s natural hair. This method, called the Tape-In method, effectively reduces the strain on individual hairs, making it the most comfortable and sought-after extension type in our arsenal. Tape-In hair extensions are a great option for anyone, but they’re an especially great fit for finer-haired clients who tend to favor the lighter hold.

For extra-fine hair, there’s always Single Sided Tape.
Here at Babe, we’re always looking for ways to improve upon our existing offerings. That’s why we took our Tape-In efforts a step further by introducing Single Sided Tape—a product that allows you to replace the second Tape-In weft needed in a Tape-In installation section with a single piece of tape. This little hack basically halves the weight of your typical Tape-In ensemble, guaranteeing a nearly weightless new look! Show your client what Single Sided Tape looks like in action! If this doesn’t convince them to bite the bullet, nothing will.

We are currently featuring a special Tape-In promotion from now until the end of October! When you buy 3 Replacement Tapes at your local distributor, you can get 1 Single Sided Tape free of charge! Find your local distributor right here, and be sure to take advantage of this deal while it lasts!

Have comments or questions for us? Feel free to leave them in the space below! We’ll get back to you with our response ASAP.

 

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Flat-Tip, I-Tip—What’s the Difference?

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Last week we talked about how easy it is to master Flat-Tip with existing I-Tip resources. But that kind of begs the question: what exactly is the difference between Flat-Tip and I-Tip? Even though both of these methods are installed with the same general tactics and tools, they ultimately achieve somewhat different end results, and you can benefit from knowing those differences when it comes time to match your client with their ideal method. So let’s dive into the details.

Flat-Tip is a hybrid method.
While I-Tip is one of our classic, core three hair extension methods (alongside Fusion and Tape-In), Flat-Tip is a mix of two of those methods. Flat-Tip exists at the intersection of I-Tip and Tape-In, bearing the aglet-like tip of an I-Tip strand with the hair extension spread of a Tape-In weft. This is critical, because strands and wefts have totally different feels to them. So the fact that Flat-Tip is both a strand and a weft means that it boasts the advantages of both types—namely, the chemical-free installation and 360 degree movement of a strand, plus the flat comfort and greater hair distribution of a weft.

I-Tip is all strand.
While I-Tip and Flat-Tip share the traits of chemical-free installation and 360 degree movement, unlike Flat-Tip, I-Tip does not lay against the hair in flat strips. This means that the hair in I-Tip extensions does not spread as much as the hair in Flat-Tip extensions, and cannot achieve quite the same level of overall lightness (otherwise you risk the extensions looking stringy!). On the flip side, though, this also means that you can achieve slightly more volume with I-Tip extensions, since they do not lay flat against the hair and can be placed closer together.

Their installation is not exactly the same.
As we mentioned in that last point, Flat-Tip and I-Tip installation will differ with regard to extension placement, in that Flat-Tip extensions should be positioned at a slightly greater distance from each other than I-Tip extensions. Again, this is because of the weft-like nature of Flat-Tip extensions, which spreads the hair from an extension strand to a wider surface area. While this difference may seem pretty minimal, it can actually have a big effect on your installation process, since you’ll have to pay attention not only to the spacing of the beads, but also to the spacing of the weft part of the Flat-Tip extensions, making sure they don’t overlap any of the other extensions.

They provide different types of flexibility to the client.
Both I-Tip and Flat-Tip allow for easy, natural hair movement thanks to their strand-by-strand installation, but they provide slightly different kinds of flexibility with different kinds of movements. I-Tip lends itself well to flexible hair styling—like up-dos, side buns, and high ponytails—since the cylindrical I-Tip strand blends perfectly into the circular shape of the natural hair section. Flat-Tip extensions can be worn in all the same styles as I-Tip extensions, of course, but you may have to take extra care to ensure that the corners of the Flat-Tip weft don’t poke out of the hairdo, depending on how you’re styling it. Flat-Tip, however, blends seamlessly into loose hair, not just in terms of appearance, but also in terms of experience. The weft part of the extension rests flat against the client’s scalp, mirroring the smoothness of the natural hair.

Both I-Tip and Flat-Tip are wonderful choices for almost any client, but they aren’t exactly alike! Do you use either of these methods in your salon? Tell us your experience in the comments below! And don’t forget to take advantage of our July-August promotion—10% off all Flat-Tip hair! Available until August 31, 2016 at your local distributor.

 

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