Hair extensions are celebrities' best kept secret. Nthato Mashishi, Motions celebrity hair stylist, gives you the lowdown on everything you need to know about extensions.
How do I choose the right hair extensions?
"Firstly, do your homework by checking reputable retailers. Bear in mind that good extensions are pricey. Ask shop staff or your stylist for assistance – they can explain the differences between the types of extensions. My personal preference for ethnic hair is Remy Indian hair: it is very manageable and is close to ethnic hair colour and texture. It has lots of body and bounce, whether worn curly or blow-dried. The added bonus is that it is reusable and long-lasting."
How do I have my extensions put in?
"For the best results, use reputable salons and hair stylists. The first method is weaving the extensions in. They plait your natural hair and they sew it to the plaits, eg like Bonang Matheba has. The second method is called bonding, and the extensions are glued directly to the scalp. Thirdly, you get micro-bonding, where strands of the hair extensions are glued one-by-one to your natural hair using special glue and a machine. Jackie Mofokeng used to wear it during her Miss SA days. Lastly, there are lace wigs, which, when put in correctly by a qualified stylist, look amazing. My advice is to have one custom-made to suit your face and head shape and size. Iman wears it amazingly well."
What is the proper way to care for my extensions?
"Try to wash your extensions once a week. Motions have a wonderful treatment that's mild enough for hair extensions. The Motions CPR shampoo and deep-penetrating conditioner are ideal, as they are very light and made from natural resources. This can be followed by the use of the Motions 3-in-1 Oil Spray for a healthy shine and necessary moisture."
How long can extensions last?
"A good weave (if well maintained) can last for up to two months. A good micro lasts 3-5 months."
How do I remove my extensions?
"It is advisable to visit your stylist to ensure that the extensions are correctly removed. Removing a weave is a process of undoing the plaits. The bonding can be removed by using Motions Oil Sheen Spray. Apply it to each line directly to the scalp and then leave it for 5-10 minutes and gently remove. Removing micro-bonding can be a delicate process since it's attached to your own natural hair, so rather leave this to the experts."