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PHOTOGRAPHY BY LEAH FRIEL

The Key to Being Best-Tressed

LET’S FACE IT, WE ALL WANT TO KNOW THE SECRET BEHIND THE BIG, SEXY, beautiful hair of celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez and Beyoncé, to name a few. Well, the answer is simple-hair extensions. These luxurious locks can add instant length, volume, thickness or highlights to your hair in just a matter of hours.

Always wanting to personally experience the art of hair extensions, I threw myself into the capable hands of Thi Nguyen and Wendy Do, co-owners of W Salon at Ala Moana Center.

“Our salon and stylists are certified with Great Lengths and Hair Dreams hair extensions,” says Nguyen, who serves as artistic director. “Both are very popular and reputable brands in the industry.”

The whole process takes a matter of four hours at most to complete, with a free consultation regarding look, cost and maintenance held prior to the actual appointment.

“Hair extensions are becoming increasingly popular at our salon, especially since people are now realizing how many celebrities have them,” attests Do, who also works as general manager at the salon.

“W Salon sees about three to four extension clients per weeksome are first-timers and others are continual clients.”

The majority of hair extensions originate from India, but W Salon also utilizes special quality hair from across the globe that can be re-bonded and used time and time again. According to Nguyen, the bonds are comprised of high-quality materials such as Thermoplast or Keratin polymer, disregarding any usage of glue, silicone or wax.

“Customers will come in and have their hair washed and dried, and even flat ironed if needed,” Nguyen explains. “Then the hair extension is strategically placed strand by strand and then bonded with a hot tool to melt the bond into a gel-like substance, so that the stylist can then roll and mesh it into the client’s natural hair.

“At the end of the process, the stylist will cut and style the hair to blend and create the overall desired look,” he says. “The process should not be compared to soldering, welding, weaving or gluing.”

To keep up this glamorous look at home, stylists can provide clients with the proper care instructions and techniques, in addition to a specialty brush, shampoo and conditioner.

“Hair extensions can usually last for up to four months,” Nguyen says, adding, “It’s the perfect solution for those who have limp or thinning hair.