A while back I got certified in I-tip extensions because I wanted a way to add quick and easy pops of color for guests without having to use chemicals. One of my very dearest clients and I would even dare to say, a friend, had reached out to me about doing a full head of extensions (you can read about that here). It would be fair to say that we both learned a lot from that process about what worked well and what could work better. She was able to provide me a lot of wonderful and detailed feedback along the way which led me to getting certified in the One Step Weft extensions. Halfway through that class I decided that this was the next step in our extension journey and I think we’re both glad for that.
Now, I pride myself not only in being good at what I do but also in being able to admit where I have more learning to do. I always do my best to be up front about things that didn’t work out right because of something I did, and when I’m new to a service and trying it out. It’s important to me to be able to learn from my mistakes and acknowledge that I am only human, so on this journey you’ll get to see all of that.
Removal of previous extensions
Given that this was the first time with a full head installation of I-tip extensions for both of us, we chose to err on the side of caution for how soon to come in for maintenance and scheduled the removal and reinstallation for 8 weeks after the first installation. Based on my own experience with the peekaboos I had installed on myself, we both knew to expect some matting just above where the bead had been installed. Below you’ll see what they looked like after 8 weeks, coming in with hair washed the night before.
Removal was pretty straightforward. Open a row of beads, remove bead and extension, comb out the mats, move on to the next row. The main reason for the mats is that the hair that would naturally shed during that 8 weeks isn’t able to go anywhere, and ends up tangled in itself and the surrounding hair. Curious as to how much hair you might normally shed naturally during 8 weeks?
Prepping for the installation
I think the very first thing that happened once all the extensions were out was a very thorough full head scratch. I mean, 8 weeks of working around beads limits how much scalp scratching one can do. At the bowl I shampooed thoroughly to remove any buildup from the hair and the scalp, and to help with the itching I did a Molecular Mender treatment from Leaf+Flower. It helps to soothe the scalp as well as repair the existing hair. Feedback from her was that the itching went away almost immediately, and we were both blown away by how her natural hair felt after rinsing. This is something I will absolutely be building into my offered extension services.
Below you’ll see our prepped canvas right before flat ironing. This color is 8 weeks old. At the first appointment I did some highlights to break up the line of regrowth and applied the color she had used previously. * weeks later, it’s still looking pretty darn good.
Working with the wefts blew us both away. The installation itself is leagues faster than the individual pieces (of course), and she found them to be much more comfortable as well. On her first installation I had added micro tip extensions in with the standard I-tip, and chose to leave those out of this second installation after listening to her feedback on the visual benefits vs the physical drawbacks. I did want to allow her some of the freedom of movement of the I-tip extensions, as well as the dimensional color that they could provide, so the installation was one pack of One Step Wefts colored violet, followed by 2 or 3 rows of individual I-tip extensions. Below you can see both installed back to back, as well as where her natural hair is falling.
The learning moment
As mentioned earlier, there was definitely a learning moment involved. The day after the installation, I got a message that there had been a total slip on one of the beads and a few others were definitely feeling looser. Big uh-oh moment. Something that neither of us had considered before installation was where the arms of her glasses were going to sit. That combined with what I’m going to assume was me failing to ensure that there was enough hair in that particular bead, as well as the beads that slipped, led to that section of weft totally removing itself as pictured below.
We got together to correct this a few days later. The fix was essentially to remove and reinstall the sections that didn’t have enough hair in the beads to hold everything in place, and adjust where they were applied in a few spots.
A few weeks later
I reached out a few weeks after this to see how everything was holding up with the extensions and how she was feeling post treatment, and this is what she had to say:
“Everything is going pretty well. I have noticed the beads on the edges of the wefts have slipped more than the ones in the center. With the exception of the largest weft. I think the slipping of that one is my fault though from when I clip my hair up to blow dry or whatever. I don’t think it will come out before my appointment so I’m not super concerned about it.
As for the treatment, my results may be a bit skewed because I had a very hard time rinsing the Leaf and Flower conditioner out. So my scalp was irritated from that I think. Otherwise, everything seems good!”
Overall I’d call this a success!
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