Rise of the Machine (weft hair)
Modern hair extensions have come a long way in a very short space of time. Once the dirty little secret of celebrities and high net worth individuals, it is now openly talked about and readily available in salons, in stores and online.
There are many different types of hair to choose from as well as many different types of application. For the past 20 years the industry has been dominated by the keratin bonding method. Widely available in salons across the country, it has become known as the professional industry standard, often certified by the brands that produce the hair.
However, the tides are changing and the reign of the bonds seems to be weakening. Plagued by stories of excessive damage such as bald spots, hair thinning and difficult maintenance; up and coming hair extension brands are scrambling to offer customers ‘safer’ and more manageable methods of application.
I say safer with caution as the methods that have come around in the last few years such as micro or nano rings do little to combat the problem of bald spots and hair breakage. They simply eliminate the need for high-tech equipment and therefore the expensive start-up costs of machinery and compulsory training courses.
And as the ‘strand-by-strand’ methods fall out of favour with clients, it gives rise to the machine weft hair; the seemingly sub-standard hair that you buy from markets for those that cannot afford to go to an upmarket salon.
It’s certainly true that the majority of weft producing hair extension brands use processed hair as I’ve detailed in previous posts; but as new methods pave the way for a revolution, customers will inevitably demand better quality.
European Weaving and the more recent LA Weave are using the weft to replace what will perhaps one day be seen as a time-consuming and old-fashioned way of doing things. I predict that the next generation will have little time for a six-hour hair bonding appointment. And if it can’t be booked quickly via an app, they probably won’t even know it exists.
And of course the weft can be used for temporary solutions such as clip-ins which catapults the wearing of hair extensions out of the niche bracket and into the stratosphere. Suddenly it becomes more accessible, more acceptable and highly desirable.
Now for the difficult part. With changes on the horizon, each brand will offer up different versions of the same application until the front runners push the others out. Until there is one brand, with one quality and one consistent message that you can trust.
For now, the market is a free-for-all with no rules which can be incredibly confusing for the consumer. I spend much of my time educating people on everything from what to expect from each method to how to recognise processed hair. Even hair professionals working in the industry have gaps in their knowledge.
For now, Studioseven50 will pursue its goal to raise the bar on hair extensions and demystify the jargon. If my clients are well-informed about the industry, they are not only more inclined to use Studioseven50 products but are also all the more appreciative of everything we provide in our services. In short…we’re in it for the long game!