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Wigs and Hair Additions
Transcript of Wigs and Hair Additions
Why study wigs and hair additions?
Human versus synthetic hair
Why Study Wigs and Hair Additions?
HUMAN VERSUS SYNTHETIC HAIR
What is the fastest way to tell if a strand of hair is a synthetic product or real human hair? Pull the strand out of the wig or hairpiece and burn it with a match.
Human hair will burn slowly, giving off a distinctive odor. A strand of synthetic fiber will either ball up and melt, extinguishing itself or it will continue to flame and burn out very quickly. In either case, it will not give off an odor.
A wig can be defined as an artificial covering for the head consisting of a network of interwoven hair.
When a client wears a wig, the client's hair is completely concealed (100 percent).
If a hair addition does not fully cover the head it is either a hairpiece, which is a small wig used to cover the top or crown of the head, or a hair attachment of some sort.
explain the differences between human hair and synthetic hair
describe the two basic categories of wigs
describe several types of hairpieces and their uses
explain several different methods of attaching hair extensions
From the beginning of recorded history, wigs have played an important role in the world of fashion. In ancient Egypt they shaved their heads with bronze razors and wore heavy black wigs to protect themselves from the sun. Ancient Roman women wore wigs made from the prized blond hair of barbarians captured form the north.
In 18th century England, men wore wigs, called perukes, to indicate that they were in the army or navy, or engaged in the practice of law.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Human Hair
More realistic appearance
Same styling and maintenance requirements as natural hair.
Disadvantages of Synthetic Hair
Top of the line synthetics like Kanekalon simulate protein-rich hair.
Synthetic hair is a great value. Not only is it very realistic, but it is less expensive than human hair.
Most are cut according to the latest styles with cut color and style already set.
The colors are limitless.
The market has expanded to every consumer group, from baby boomers with fine and thinning hair to young trendsetters.
Hair extensions, additions and customized wigs can be some of the most lucrative services in the salon.
Each manufacturer has its own systems, but if you understand the fundamentals, you can easily work with any company on the market.
The skills you develop will open many doors, from working behind the scenes on Broadway to working with celebrities, working with cancer patients and the list goes on.
In today's fashion-conscious world, wigs and hair additions (a category that includes hairpieces and hair extensions) play an incredibly important role. Working with hair additions can be either a simple retail effort or a highly specialized field. Most clients buy wigs off-the-shelf or on the internet, and rarely have them custom fitted anymore, although there are some opportunities for stylist to cut, color and care for wigs.
Hair additions range from clip-on hairpieces that salons retail, such as ponytails, chignons, bangs and even extensions, to elaborately applied extensions in which addition strands are attached individually.
Each hair extension manufacturer has its own attachment method, and normally you must take the manufacturer's class to be allowed to purchase their extensions. Inventory can be a hefty investment. Even carrying clip-on extensions requires stocking a range of styles and colors.
The income that hair addition services represent ranges from a small amount for a clip-on ponytail or bang to thousands of dollars for human-hair extensions that are fusion bonded strand-by-strand to the client's hair.
This chapter gives you a simple, basic overview of the many alternatives available in the world of hair additions.
Human hair reacts to the climate the way that natural hair does.
The hair will break and split if mistreated.
Synthetic hair cannot be exposed to extreme heat.
Some times synthetic hair is so shiny that it may not look natural
Price often has a lot to do with how natural synthetic hair looks.
Quality and Cost
There are pros and cons for both human hair and synthetic hair. The bottom line in both cases is that you get what you pay for.
The more expensive wigs, hairpieces and extensions are those made of human hair. Pricing varies as follows:
European hair is at the top of the line. Virgin hair is the most costly: color-treated is second in cost.
Hair from India and Asia, the 2 regions that provide most of the human hair commercially available, are next in cost. Indian hair is usually wavy and sold in lengths from 12-16 inches. Asian hair is usually straight and comes in lengths from 12-28 inches long.
Human hair mixed with animal hair is next in expense. The animal hair may be angora, horse, yak or sheep. Yak hair is taken from the belly and is the purest of whites. Used often in theatrical or fashion settings.
Human hair mixed with synthetic hair finishes the list. Usually mixed half and half.
There are several important questions to ask when selecting a hair addition for the client:
Is it human hair, animal hair, a mix of both,synthetic or a synthetic blend?
Is it colored, or natural (virgin)?
If human hair, is it graded in terms of strength, elasticity and porosity?
Is the cuticle intact? Cuticle intact hair is more expensive, because the hair has been turned.
Turned hair, also known as Remi hair, is hair in which the root end of every single strand is sewn into the base
, so that the cuticles of all hair strands move in the same direction: down. Less tangling this way. Time consuming and tedious process which makes the cost of hair more expensive.
(the opposite of remi hair),
hair that has been shed from the head and gathered from a hairbrush
as opposed to being cut. Fallen hair is not turned, so the cuticles of the strands will move in different directions. This makes it tangle more easily.
See more on pages 543 & 544
Types of Wig
There are two basic categories of wigs: cap and cap-less.
Cap wigs are constructed with an elasticized, mesh-fiber base to which the hair is attached. They are made in several sizes and require special fitting. Cap wigs are most often hand-knotted. The front edge of a cap wig is made of a material that resembles the client's scalp, along with a lace extension and a wire support that is used at the temples for a snug fit. Hair is hand-tied under the net (under-knotted) to conceal the cap edge. The side and back edges contain wire supports, elastic and hooks for a secure fit. The also make latex molded cap wigs for clients with special needs. (prostheses) Cap wigs are best for people with extremely thin hair and for clients with no hair so their scalp will not show through.
Cap-less wigs, also known as caps, are machine-made from human or artificial hair. The hair is woven into wefts, which are long strips of hair with a threaded edge. These wefts are sewn to elastic strips in a circular pattern to fit the head shape.
Cap-less wigs are more popular than cap wigs as they are ready-to-wear and less expensive.
They are also healthier, because they allow the scalp to breathe and because they prevent excess perspiration.
Methods of Construction
Hand-tied wigs, also known as hand-knotted wigs, are made by inserting individual strands of hair into mesh foundations and knotting them with a needle.The hand-tied method most closely resembles actual human hair growth, with flexibility at the roots.
There is no definite direction to the hair, and it can be combed in almost any direction.
Semi-hand tied wigs are constructed with a combination of synthetic hair and hand-tied human hair.
Reasonably priced, they offer a natural look and good durability.
Machine-made wigs, the least expensive option, are made by feeding wefts through a sewing machine, then stitching them together to form the base and shape of the wig.
These wigs, because of how they are made, have the disadvantage of the wefting direction, which restricts styling options.An advantage to these wigs is their bounce-back quality; even after shampooing, the style returns.
Taking Wig Measurements
In recent years, working with wigs has become a specialty among salon professionals. Salons have become less and less likely to carry an inventory of wigs, or even to carry a wig catalog. However, it is advantageous to have a basic understanding of wigs.
Here is an overview:
The creation of a custom-made wig begins with taking the client's measurements. Use a soft tape measure,keeping it close to the head without pressure. Always keep a written record of measurements and forward a copy to dealer or manufacturer. Some will also require hair shade, quality of hair, length of hair and type of part and pattern. Higher end companies ask fro a sample of the client's hair.
If the wig is ready to wear, no measuring is needed because it can be adjusted by tightening or loosening the straps or the elastic in the nape of wig. Ready to wear wigs are more common today. But still, many wigs need to be adjusted to the head and custom styled or trimmed to suit the client.
Blocking the Wig
A block is a head-shaped form, usually made of canvas-covered cork or styrofoam, on which the wig is secured for fitting, coloring and sometimes styling. However, today most wigs are cut and finished while on the client
(using an elastic chin strap that attaches to the wig around the ear a
and then cleaned and stored on a drying rack.
Putting on the Wig
See more on page 546.
Cutting the Wig
When cutting a wig, generally your goal is to make the hair look more realistic. Natural hair has many lengths. Even when hair is cut to one length, internally there are various stages of hair growth. Hair that is one-month old and hair that is years-old exist on the head.
The stylist should try to achieve this natural look in the wig. The most effective way to do this is to taper the ends when cutting the wig.
When cutting and trimming wigs, you can follow the same basic methods of haircutting. You can also cut free-form on dry hair, which is done on a block(both wet and dry) and then the comb out and finishing is done on the client.
Some things to remember when cutting wigs:
The more solid the shape, the more unnatural the hair will look.
If you use free-form cutting, always work towards the weight.
Vertical sections create lightness.
Diagonal sections create a rounder beveled edge.
Horizontal sections build heavier weight.
Wet cutting is more controlled and technical.
Dry cutting is freer and more abstract. Which often results in a cut that looks more realistic.
Styling the Wig
An important thing to remember when styling a wig is to never lose sight of "The Big Picture". Work with the total person, not just the head, to make a more natural look. After finishing style have client stand up and walk around so that you can check for balance, proportion and natural look. Make corrections accordingly.
You will achieve the best styling results by following these guidelines:
When using heat on human hair, always set the styling to on low.
Remember, most of the hair you will be working with has been chemically treated.
Treat the hair gently; do not pull it or otherwise treat it carelessly.
Traditionally, brushes made with natural boar bristles are best for human hair. Keep in mind that the key with any brush or comb is to be gentle because hair can be easily damaged.
Use a block when coloring, perming setting and basic cut outlining.
Make it look natural. Areas that need to be the most convincing are the crown, part and hairline.
Follow the direction of the knotting and weave. Do not fight the direction.
Choose styling products for color treated hair or specialized products for wigs.
If the wig does not have a natural-looking hairline or a lace front, backcomb gently around the hairline to help soften the hairline.
Release the client's hair around the hairline and cut or blend it into the wig hair.
The best test to gauge how realistic the wig looks is to use a wind test. You can use your blow-dryer to gently blow air to observe how the hairline looks.
Do not plaster hair down with product. It is best to keep a natural look with natural looking imperfections.
Cleaning the Wig
Another part of taking care of wigs is cleaning them. Always follow the manufacturer's directions.
If shampooing is recommended, use a gentle shampoo, such as color treated or a shampoo made for wigs.
Avoid harsh shampoos with a sulfur base, such as dandruff shampoos.
If you are cleaning a wig made of human hair, you should also use a conditioner.
Coloring and Perming Wigs and Hair Additions
All synthetic haircolors used for wgs and hairpieces are standardized according to the 70 colors on the haircolor ring used by wig and hairpiece manufacturers.
They range from black to pale blond. The basic principles of haircoloring apply to wigs also.
Some of the important steps to coloring wigs are:
First check to see if the cuticle is intact. If the cuticle is absent the hair is very porous and will react to color in extreme manners.
Always strand test the hair prior to a full-color application.
Use semi-permanent, demi-permanent, glaze, rinse or color mousse products. You can use permanent haircolor on human hair wigs as long as the hair is not porous.
Hair does not come from just one head, it is mixed, so watch your timing. It can be very unpredictable.
If you need to curl the human hair wigs to the clients natural wave pattern, you need to know how the hair was colored. Never perm hair that has been colored with a metallic dye. Wigs must be done on a block not the client and additions can be done as they lie flat.
In 18th century France, women wore towering hairdos complete with extensions and various apparatuses such as springs to adjust the height. Some could reach 3 feet tall and had visual elements worked into them. Often untouched for weeks at a time, they sometimes attracted vermin. The moral of the story is that sometimes it is best not to get swept up in current trends or passing fashions. Always be aware of the strength of classic design and keep it simple, remembering less is more.
Hairpieces are an important area of hair additions. The sit on top of the client's head, covering a portion of it, or clip onto another area, such as the nape. Usually attached by temporary methods and are not worn during sleep, some like wiglets that conceal a thinning top, can also be attached with a braid-and-sew technique.
When adding hairpieces the client's hair can be prepared in a number of ways:
tied in a ponytail
tied in a bun
put in a french twist
added to a roller set comb-out
it can be blended with the hairpiece or used as a base for it
There are many different types of hairpieces including:
Integration hairpiece . This is a hairpiece that has opening in the base, through which the client's own hair is pulled to blend with the (natural or synthetic) hair of the hairpiece.
. Which is a small wig used to cover the top and crown of the head. May be attached in 2 ways; Temporarily with tape or clips and Semi-temporarily with tracks, adhesive or sewing.
Fashion hairpieces. Great salon product for special occasions or for use as fashion accessories. Including ponytails, chignons, cascades, streaks, bangs/half-wigs and clip in extensions. Usually temporarily attached.
Hair Extensions are hair additions that are secured to the base of the client's natural hair in order to add length, volume, texture or color.
Extensions can be human hair, synthetic hair or a combination of the two. They are made in either wefts or strands (small bundles): the latter are attached one-by-one and are usually pre-bonded or keratin-tipped. Unless they are clip-in extensions, they are applied with semi-permanent attachment methods.
Extensions represent an increasingly popular salon service, not only for people looking for something different but also for those who have naturally fine hair or who suffer from hair loss. Very popular with celebrities, who never seem to have thin hair and wo seem to magically grow their hair long overnight.
Manufacturers generally offer their own method of training in the attachment of hair extensions, but there are certain guidelines to keep in mind:
Decide whether you are adding length, thickness or both.
Know the final style you are striving for.
General Rule...stay 1" away from the hairline at the front, sides, nape and part.
See more on pages 553 & 554
There are many different ways to attach hair additions. The most important professional approaches to hair addition and extension services should be practiced--always in the following order:
Safety for the client's own hair
Comfort--no pulling or pinching, avoiding excess tension on the natural hair
Security--making certain the additions will not fall off.
Style and fashion.
Braid and Sew Method
In the braid-and-sew method, hair extensions are secured to client's own hair by sewing braids or a weft onto an on-the-scalp braid or cornrow, which is sometimes called a track.
You can add a fiber filler to hair braided at scalp to add additional grip and longer lasting braids.
The angle of the track determines how the hair will fall.
Tracks may be positioned horizontally, vertically, diagonally or along curved lines that follow the contours of the head. Also, this method may be used to attach hairpieces.
Partings are determined by the style chosen. Size of the sections will determine the amount of hair that will be added. Plan the tracks or braids so that the ends will be hidden. Best to position them 1" behind the hairline to ensure proper coverage.
When sewing on the extension, use only a blunt, custom-designed needle, either straight or curved.
This protects you, the client and will help avoid damage to the client's hair.
Extensions can be sewn to the track using a variety of stitches.
Overcast stitch. This simple, quick stitch can be used to secure the entire length of the weft to the track
. Always end track with a lock stitch for security.
Advantages of the braid-and-sew method include:
if done correctly, it is a very safe technique.
If too much tension is put on braid, the client's real hair can be damaged.
This technique is not appropriate for clients who have extremely damaged hair, baby-fine hair or clients who don't keep their scalps clean.
In the bonding methods of attaching hair extensions, hair wefts or single strands are attached with an adhesive or bonding agent.
For bonding, the natural hair should be at least 4" long. Bonded hair sits snugly on the head and is fast to apply. There is a certain degree of slippage. Usually last 2 - 4 weeks, depending on factors such as:
frequency of shampooing
oiliness or dryness of the scalp
quality of product used
This will require regular maintenance visits as often as every two weeks.
Working 1" away from the hairline will also keep the wefts from showing.
Bonded wefts are removed by dissolving the adhesive bond with oil r bond remover.
The same is done for single strand extensions also, this is called strand bonding.
Two advantages of bonding are that it can be offered at an affordable price and the service does not take much longer than the average haircut. Also the client may shampoo with the wefts in, as long as it is done gently. One drawback of bonding is that some clients may have an allergic reaction to the bonding adhesive. Always perform a patch test prior to application, especially when using latex-based adhesive. It is not appropriate for clients with severely damaged hair or those who do not have enough natural hair to hide wefts. Wefts cannot be exposed to oils or they will slide off. In general, wefts longer than 12" should not be used to avoid excessive heaviness and the possibility of pulling on the client's natural hair and scalp.
In the fusion bonding method of attaching extensions, extension hair is bonded to the client's own hair with a bonding material that is activated by the heat from a special tool.
While expensive and extremely time-consuming, will harmonize with the client's natural hair with no unattractive or uncomfortable attachment sites. The hair light and comfortable to wear the hair moves like real hair, and the hair is easy to maintain. Lasts up to 4 months. Removal is quick and painless. This method requires certification training.
One Advantage of fusion bonding is that the client's hair will dry more quickly than when bonding full wefts because there is less bulk. You can create depth and dimension or a highlighted affect with fusion bonding and also allows for styling versatility. Drawbacks include: the technique is time consuming and the pre-tipped extensions are expensive.
In linking, a hook is used to pick up a small amount of hair off a parting. A link is slid on close to the scalp with a special tool. Then an extension or special addition strand is inserted into the link. Once both hair is captured in the link, the link is pinched flat with pliers. Removed properly with pliers the extensions can be reused.
Natural hair should be at least 5" long. Advantages are styling versatility and the fact that the integrity of the natural hair can be maintained. Drawbacks are that this method is expensive and time consuming. Also metal links can oxidize (rust).
This method also requires special tools and training. In tube shrinking the client's hair and the addition strand are inserted into a tube, which is then heated to shrink it.
Use a logical placement pattern, pay attention to natural growth patterns and provide complete at home-care instructions. Clients will need to return for regular maintenance.
Retailing Hair Addition Products
Simple hairpieces are a great retail product for the salon. Fun, creative and fairly easy to attach and remove, they almost sell themselves. Retailing these can mean substantial additional income for you. Keep these guidelines in mind:
Identify needs of the client
Explain why it is worthwhile for client to make the investment
describe features and benefits of recommended products
Discuss product performance and cost
Choose high-quality hairpieces and extensions
Always believe and stand by your recommended products
Price services according to time spent, materials, expertise and what the local market will bear
Always stick with companies that stand by their products.
Working with hair additions can be one of the most exciting, challenging and lucrative areas in cosmetology. So remember practice, practice, practice. The more you do the better you will become.