Hair extensions can have not-so-pretty side

Sylist says application, consultation is key to beautiful results

Some people are born with long, luxurious locks. Others turn to hair extensions, a hot new beauty trend that can sometimes have an ugly side.

Anna-Laura Block loves her hair extensions. They give her fine, blonde hair more volume and length.

"I've had no problems at all," Block said.

A lot of women use hair extensions with no problem.

But, as Randee Bank found out, the beauty trend left her with no-so-pretty results after time.

"I still have bald spots," she said. "The hair has not grown out."

Latesha Parks also had problems.

"I've worn them for about nine years," she said.

Now she has a spot where her hair won't grow any more.

When one of Dr. Orly Avitzur's patients with hair extensions complained of headaches she became concerned.

"Extensions add excess weight, pulling on the hair, which can lead to damage of the hair folicles," Avitzur, Consumer Reports' medical adviser, said.

"Application is super important," said Hector Diaz,  stylist and hair extensions expert at K. Charles and Co.

He said it's important to not apply extensions that are too heavy for the client's hair type.

Salons use a variety of ways to attach extensions to the person's natural hair, like adhesives, fusion and clips.

"It depends on the people involved and the consultation," Diaz said. "The consultation is super important when they come to get hair extensions because it is a commitment."

He advised people looking into hair extensions to go to a licensed professional who is certified in hair extensions.


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