I have quite a few friends with hair extensions and I’ve been wondering about them for years. Well, after some careful research, I took the plunge and had them done last Thursday! The results? I love them and wanted to share how great the experience was and why I chose to do them at Levato Salon with Ashley (the owner)! I’ll share a Q&A with Ashley and what to look for in extensions to make the right decisions. From what method, to type of hair, how are they done and how long they last, see below for all hair extension details you’ll need to know about!
Here’s my hair before:
I spoke with Ashley about fusion extensions vs tape ins and the information she gave me was so helpful:
Hair Extensions are a great way to add length, density, and color. For those with short hair, you can instantly have long, flowing locks. For women with thinning hair, or lacking length in the front, a few extensions can create length and density where it’s needed. And for people concerned with coloring their hair or wanting fun colors without the commitment, hair extensions are an easy way to try out something new.
I personally went with fusion bonded extensions due to maintenance, I love that they last between 4-6 months and didn’t want the upkeep of tape-ins.
Fusion bonded hair extensions can be used to add length, density, and color. Individual bonds of hair are applied to your existing hair using a heat tool. The bonds are made of keratin protein, the same thing natural hair is made of. Since the hair comes in individual bonds, you have the choice of adding as much (or as little) hair as you would like. Fusion bonded hair extensions last between 4-6 months, depending on hair growth and maintenance. Levato Salons uses 100% human remy hair; the best kind available.
Detailing out step by step, a consultation is key in making sure the color is matched, length is decided, and you get a good estimate for the cost. Depending on what you would like for length and fullness and texture of your own hair and # of bundles of hair needed, the cost can range from $600+. Tape-ins have hair that is reusable and need adjusting every 6-8 weeks. This is great for those of you that aren’t sure of the commitment. Fusions last for 3-6 months, but you can’t reuse the hair.
Ashley matched my hair color to three different colors and used a total of 5 bundles for my head. I have thick hair so more bundles were needed. You’ll see how perfectly it matched up in the end results. The tips of the hair are the parts that are bonded to your own hair and fused with a heat tool (does not damage hair and is not as hot as a typical curling iron).
Since I came in with dirty hair, she washed my hair (do not use conditioner) and gave me a quick blow dry before proceeding.
She sectioned off my hair and expertly fused the hair into small sections while matching my hair color so that it would lay exactly like my color.
Honestly, it was easy to be me, I just sat there and Ashley worked her magic. The whole process including consultation, fusion, and styling took 3 hours. This is amazingly fast, a few salons I spoke to in the interviewing process said it would take 5 hours!
After a little trim of the ends of the extensions, here is my hair straight!
The color matched exactly and it looked fantastic!
I had given Ashley a photo of someone who had a Victoria Secret wave, so with a 1.25″ barrel, she gave me incredible waves.
Didn’t she do amazing?! I hope to figure out how to perfect this myself.
I chose Ashley and Levato Salon due to her years and background in hair, plus I admire her success and was so honored to speak at her Boss Babes and Bubbly event earlier this year. Her salon is beautiful and her energy and dedication are felt. I truly loved the experience and highly recommend her to everyone! The drive to Hinsdale is not bad during the week and well worth it (30 minutes). Her price is competitive and less expensive than the ones I found in the city, but all in all, I trusted her and our consultation gave me excellent information for me to move forward with it.
I asked Ashley some key questions below about her salon and hair extensions that I found super helpful!
#1) Tell us a little about yourself and how you opened up Levato Salon?
I opened Levato Salon in September 2016 after doing hair for 6 years. As a little girl, I had always wanted to be a hairstylist. Once I decided to go to cosmetology school, my goal was to open my own salon. Levato is everything I’ve dreamed of and more- it’s a beautiful space with high ceilings, exposed brick, natural light, and modern finishes. It definitely has a city vibe and the quality of our work is comparable to the best salons downtown.
#2) What do you specialize in at the salon?
I specialize in color and bridal styling, specifically blondes and dimensional color.
#3) How did you get into doing extensions and how long have you been doing them?
I’ve been doing extensions since I’ve been a licensed stylist, I got certified in 2011. I had always been interested in getting them done and I love how they can instantly transform someone’s look.
#4) What are the key things to know about extensions?
Extensions are a great way to add thickness, fullness, and color. Most people just think getting extensions to make your hair long, but a lot of people get them in to “fill in” their existing hair. The two main types that we do at Levato are fusion bonds and tape-ins. For fusion bonded extensions, a fusion heat tool is used to apply individual strands to your existing hair. The bonds are made of keratin protein—the same substance natural hair is made of— resulting in no breakage when maintained properly. Since the hair comes in individual bonds, you have the option of adding as much (or as little) hair as you would like.
Most of my extensions clients have 1-2 packs of hair (25-50 strands of fusion extensions). If you want extensions for length, you will most likely need 3-5 (75-125 strands) packs of hair. We added 5 packs of hair to give Jen a dramatic new look and since she has thick hair to begin with, more extensions are necessary to blend.
#5) The #1 worry is damage on the hair in getting extensions, does fusion or tape in extensions cause long-term damage?
Yes, extensions CAN cause damage. But, if they are applied by a certified professional and maintained properly at home, there shouldn’t be any breakage or damage. I’ve had both types in my hair and have clients that have been getting extensions for YEARS. If you take care of them, your real hair won’t be compromised.
#6) Can you dye the extensions?
Yes, we use 100% human remy hair, the best quality extension hair available. You can do anything to the extension hair that you would do to your normal hair. Extensions take color differently than your real hair (due to body heat, texture, and original color), so it’s best to match your color beforehand, but you can color the hair if needed.
#7) Fusion vs tape ins, which do you prefer?
I like both for different reasons; fusion bonds are a little more permanent. They stay in for 3-6 months and you can add hair specifically to where you want to see more thickness. Tape-in’s are nice because you can re-use the hair, but you have to come back to get them “adjusted” every 6-8 weeks (depending on hair growth.) It’s really just a personal preference, both kinds can look amazing. I have clients who swear by fusions and then I have some that love tape-ins. If you’ve never had extensions before, tape-in’s are a nice way to try them out without the commitment of fusions.
#8) What type of hair should hair extensions be? Which do you use?
The best quality hair extensions are 100% indian remy hair. “Remy” hair means that the cuticle is kept in tact and goes in the same directly as it grows. This type of hair will last the longest, be the least frizzy, and look the most natural. All of the extensions we use at Levato are 100% human remy indian hair.
#9) Your favorite part of your job?
The best part of my job is definitely the people. My clients and #salonsquad make this job not feel like work at all. I love getting to be creative and it’s even better that I get to do it surrounded by so many amazing people.
#10) What trends are happening in hair this year?
BANGS! BANGS! BANGS! I love cutting bangs and there are so many variations out right now. Strong, blunt lines are also in- bobs, lobs, and even long haircuts are all about thick, blunt ends. As for color, balayage is here to stay. Blended, rooty looks are in for brunettes and blondes.
Thank you Ashley/Levato Salon for partnering with me to showcase hair extensions. I’m in love and I’ll do an update when they are removed or redone to give you guys an update on my hair health.