Hair Extensions: The Long and Short of it

Hair-Extensions

Are hair extensions for you? Get the 411 from this Spa Girl who took the plunge!

I love my mother, but unfortunately I inherited her thin hair. I’ve dreamed of long, flowing locks for years but like many of you, hesitated to get real hair extensions and opted for clip-ins to create the volume and length I wanted. The process of clipping in extensions and styling them every morning was a daunting process, which I was totally over. I was ready to upgrade!

So where do you go for quality hair extensions? Who do you trust? Do extensions ruin your hair? Is it worth it? Yes, those questions plagued me too. Read on for my own personal experience with hair extensions!

How I Chose

After an extensive amount of research I decided on DreamCatchers Hair Extensions for two reasons. First, DreamCatchers uses quality hair with a two-year warranty. The quality of the hair used for your extensions is vitally important. I’ve seen a lot of bad weaves and I refuse to be a victim of bad hair extensions. Good hair extensions should blend with your natural hair and no one should be able to tell you are wearing them.

Second, the creator of DreamCatchers is a hair loss expert and created extensions that are not damaging to thin hair. If you have thin hair, extensions that are bonded, glued or taped to your tresses can be incredibly damaging because the extensions are too heavy causing your hair to be ripped out from the root. OUCH!

DreamCatchers use a “micro-cylinder” technology that is permanent, reusable and non-damaging. Done!

Where I Went

I decided to go to Primp and Blow in Scottsdale to get my hair extensions. The stylists at Primp and Blow are trained and certified “DreamTeam” DreamCatchers technicians so I was confident that I was in capable hands. Plus, I’ve been going to them regularly over the past several months and simply adore the staff there. The friendly vibe and the extra touches like complimentary refreshments and digital magazines make it an easy place to hang out for a few hours.

First Things First

The first step is selecting the style and color of your hair extensions. This isn’t as easy as it sounds but thankfully I had my stylist, Bri, to guide me through the process. In the past, I have only seen straight hair extensions but DreamCatchers come in a variety of textures, from pin straight to Shirley Temple curly. I have naturally curly hair (that I straighten and then re-curl with a curling iron – go figure) and I was able to get extensions with a texture that matches mine. This is important because if I decide to let my hair dry naturally, it will blend with the naturally curly extensions instead of my hair being a curly mess on top of straight hair.

After I picked the texture that matched my hair, I had to decide on a color. DreamCatchers has every color imaginable ranging from hot pink to deep ebony. Bri helped me pick two colors that blended naturally with my hair — a deep brown and some lighter brunette highlights woven in for depth.

The Process

When the big day finally came, I arrived at the salon with clean, dry hair and an overly enthusiastic attitude and a good book in hand. You don’t want to have hair extensions applied to dirty hair. If oil gets under the micro-cylinder that binds your hair to the extension, it can slip out.

Additionally, patience is key. The application process can take up to three hours (with trimming, shampoo and style). Be ready to relax, bring something to keep yourself entertained and make sure that you are not in a hurry. The one thing you do not want to do is rush your stylist.

Bri got to work right away by separating the hair extensions and sectioning off my hair. Starting from the bottom and working her way up, she began to weave the extension through the micro-cylinder and in to my hair. During the three-hour process, several clients asked to feel my hair and inquired about the hair extensions. I had a great conversation with Bri (about boys, celebrities and her audition for “The Voice”) and before I knew it, she was done with the application and ready to trim. Bri methodically trimmed the extensions to blend my natural hair.

The Results

Confident and ready to take my new hair for a test drive, Bri washed and styled my hair. Not only did the extensions blend perfectly with my natural hair, it gave me a renewed sense of confidence. Clipping in hair extension was incredibly time-consuming and it never felt as though I had long hair; it just felt like something was sitting on top of my head. The DreamCatchers Hair Extensions are virtually weightless and they look and feel like my natural hair. I met my girlfriends for drinks after I left Primp and Blow, and the natural look of the hair extensions blew them away.

The First 24

The first 24 hours with my new hair was fantastic. I enjoyed washing and styling it. One thing I wasn’t prepared for was how long it took to blow dry my hair. Before the extensions, it would take me five minutes to dry my hair. It took about 15 minutes to blow it dry with the extensions. I definitely had to readjust my morning routine.

Another thing I never expected was the confidence I gained from having the hair extensions. I literally feel like an entirely new girl. While expensive ($1,500), with a two-year warranty and the experts at Primp and Blow on my side, they were worth every penny. I will never go back to clip-in hair extensions.

Follow-up

I have to go back in four to six weeks to have the micro-cylinders moved up. As your hair grows, the cylinders will move away from the base of the hair. It’s vitally important that you visit your stylist every four to six weeks so that the cylinders are released safely and then slid up the hair shaft and properly re-crimped in place. Do not try this at home!

Hairapy

Caring for your new hair extensions is easy as long as you maintain them properly from the beginning. Your stylist should provide you with a list of instructions as mine did. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Make sure you ease any tangling that may happen with your fingers. Knotting can develop, which may cause damage to your extensions and your natural hair.
  • When conditioning and applying products in your hair, stay away from the roots. If oil gets under the cylinders, it may cause the extension to slip out.
  • Do NOT color your hair extensions. This was the one thing that Bri made very clear. If you want to color your hair, have the stylist who applied the extensions take them out first. Coloring the extensions can permanently damage them.
  • Do NOT cut the hair extensions. If you need to have your hair trimmed, go back to the stylist who put them in. Hairdressers not familiar with DreamCatchers may damage the extensions using incorrect technique or cut the extensions too short.
  • Take extra care when brushing your hair. Don’t pull too hard because this may rip the extension from the micro-cylinder.

Further Reading

Here are a few fun and helpful resources on hair extensions.

Got a question for me about my adventure in hair extensions? Ask away!

Comments

  1. Hello
    Do you still have these in your hair

  2. I would love to hear more of your story. I am just researching them as well. Thank you so much.

  3. Emily Couch says:

    Hi Mich,

    I still have the Dream Catcher Hair Extensions. I really love them. They are very easy to style and easy to get adjusted! Let me know if you have any more questions.

    Happy Spaaahing!

    Emily

  4. Today when we look around the hair extension world we get to hear very exotic terms like brazilian hair, indian hair, chinese hair, peruvian hair, cambodian hair, malaysian, russian hair, eurasian hair etc. Are these hair really from these origins??

  5. Hello! I just got my I-tip extensions and they feel like way too much in my hair…My before pic looks eerily similar to yours in terms of hair color, length and thickness. He put in 250 extensions in my head and it feels waayyyy too thick and massive. I love your after pic! How many extensions did they put in? Thanks!

  6. Taylor says:

    I’m looking into these extentions but my concern is what happens when they come out. From what I have read and see, they are pinched in so when they come out do they pull out your natural hair? So far this does seem like the best way to go for hair extension but it still worries me.

  7. How easy is it to put your hair in a ponytail with these extensions? I’ve had extensions in the past with the tabs, but ponytails were only possible very low and were soo uncomfortable.

    • Spa Girl says:

      Easy! These extensions don’t pull your hair and actually make your ponytail look fuller.

  8. Heather says:

    Just got dream catchers a week ago several have come out:( with some of my hair.

    • Spa Girl says:

      Urgh, sorry to hear that Heather! Did you have them done here in the Scottsdale, AZ area?

  9. I’ve worn Dreamcatchers for a couple of years. They completely damaged my hair. My hair dresser called the company several times to get advice on what to do. They broke my hair off. I know the extensions caused this because the only hair damaged on my head is the lower hair they were attached to. I’ve taken them out to give my hair a break and let it grow back out. I don’t have bald spots just short chin length hair now vs the shoulder length I had when I started. My extensions did not come with a 2 year warranty. So that might not be everywhere. My hair dresser went thru the Dreamcatchers certification. From what I understand you can’t even order them unless you are certified. Don’t get me wrong I loved my long hair. But I paid a price for it.

  10. extensionchic says:

    I just looked at the picture of the installation, I just wanted to advise to be careful, I am an educator and trained with Diana (the owner/founder) and the amount of hair in each of your cylinders is at least double of what you should have. The sections are too wide and this will cause the extension to pull your hair out at the root. I have been doing them for 5 years and I love the way they make people look and have worn them myself several times. Recently I am noticing that the tips are not lasting near as long as they used to. Several clients are needing re-tips within the 2nd or 3rd adjustment and this should not be normal. I do love out of all the brands I am certified in that these require much less than the other brands to create a full look with no weight line and not having to have 500 pieces in!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Dream catchers hair extensions are beautiful.BUT All they do is fall out! !! The bead doesn’t match the hair- so embarrassing. You can’t wear hair up or in a ponytail because beads show. A very low ponytail kindof works but you nay still see the beads.

  12. Could someone tell me what they are paying for a bundle of 25 dream catcher extensions? I feel like my stylist is over charging me but I wanted to make sure first

  13. Sarah says:

    I have been wearing dream catchers for 2 years,I also wear my hair in a pony tail everyday. Your stylist is doing something wrong if your extensions are coming out. Also putting conditioner near your roots will not cause your extensions to slip out, it may cause them to break up at the tips due to oxidation which is unavoidable. You do need to buy new hair about every 6 months to keep it looking nice.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Hi. I finally found a place that I can share my 2 year experience with!! I have very fine blonde hair. I am caucasian. I researched (or so I thought) different types of hair extensions. I opted to go with the sew in extensions due to cost and what I thought would be less damage to my hair. Needless to say, Not the right choice. I lost most of my hair that was in the weave, at the root. Track alopecia. So, to help me through, my new stylist suggested Dreamcatchers to get me through until my hair grew back. I can honestly say that I agree with everything on this post, however, my suggestion to anyone wanting extensions SKIP IT. There is damage to your hair no matter what. I have had the dreamcatchers come out at the base with my hair attached. You will lose your hair no matter what. Dreamcatchers will twist your hair and become DREADED. Your hair will become like dreadlocks and when the stylist goes to comb it out or do an adjustment, YOU WILL LOSE YOUR HAIR. I deeply regret trying extensions of any kind and so does my bank account.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sounds like they weren’t installed properly. That makes a HUGE difference!!! Go to a stylist who has been doing them for years or call DreamCatchers to suggest a stylist for you. That’s what I did 3 years ago and I still have the same set. I had a few friends that had the problem you were having but they weren’t taking care of them. Make sure you speak to your stylist about the proper maintenance. Anything can damage your hair if you don’t take care of them right. I love DreamCatchers and what it’s done for my look. Nobody even knows I have them in.

  15. Julie says:

    i have wore hair extensions for 15 years. the glue in’s, expensive. Now days when they grow out we re-use the hair and clip them in. My hair is so thin and when i have the extensions in i have much more confidence, its also so easy to do your hair, or put it up in a beautiful ponytail or on top of your head. I worry though about the day i cant have them or am too old for them, because every time I take my extensions out for a new bundle it is such a big difference in the mirror it hurts. I feel ugly. So my work is to live in the now, enjoy when i can and I always figure things out especially when it comes to looking good enough for my expectations. Yes my expectations are high. I am 53, but I feel much younger. Also why not feel the best you can while on earth. I have been told “you will be much better in your head the day you can accept your hair” or “your too old for extensions”, my grama hates them on me. But isn’t it funny that the people that tell you these things have short hair? Anyway just writing this made me feel better. I could die tomorrow and guess what I felt pretty up until the last day!!! I am sitting here with no extensions. I take them out myself, with the solution and tools to save money and time with the hairdresser. Hair follicles do come out with each extension removal, I have not visible bald spots, but i do hope that the day I quit wearing them I can be in total acceptance of my hair i was born with. Or I will just go get a wig right, 95 and wearing a wig, so what!!

Got a comment? Share your thoughts!