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The Hair Industry's Best Kept Secrets

Updated: Jan 5, 2023

At Sierra and Sage Hair Extensions, we pride ourselves on quality customer service, we promise to exceed your expectations and put stylists at the forefront. As stylists, clients and business owners are our priority, we strive for full transparency of where and how extensions are created. We sat down with CEO, founder and educator, Melissa, to debunk all myths surrounding extension production and the process of how S&S delivers the best quality extension on the market.

Here is what Melissa has to share with you:

1. What is the donation process of hair extensions?

It depends on the company you are working with, but at S&S it is important to us to collect hair ethically. Typically young women in underdeveloped countries will grow their hair out and then donate it. They are paid fairly for their hair and in their country the amount of money they earn is often enough to feed their families for a year. A lot of companies prefer to collect children's hair as it is generally healthier and cheaper- however at S&S, we refuse children donors because we feel it is unethical to cut the hair of a child who is not old enough to give consent. There are also several countries in which shaving or cutting a woman's hair off is a spiritual ritual that brings them closer to their God.

2. Why is purchasing “remy” extensions the best option on the market?

Remy hair is considered the highest quality of hair extensions.

To collect remy hair- the hair is general put in a ponytail and then cut so that the hair is collected with the cuticle of the hair laying in the same position. Versus shaving it and then collecting it off the floor- the cuticle would not be all in the same position causing tangling.

3. What is the difference between human hair extensions, synthetic extensions and 100% human hair?

Human Hair Extensions means it contains Human Hair- but may be mixed with synthetic hair or animal hair. The most common type of animal hair mixed into human hair is Yak hair. Synthetic hair is completely man made- generally made from different silicones/plastics. It can sometimes be mixed with human hair or animal hair. 100% human hair means the hair extension is comprised of all human hair with no synthetic of animal fibers.

4. Is there ever a possibility of purchasing animal hair extensions as “remy” extensions?

I would like to say no- but anything is possible. A company can easily print 100% human hair extensions or remy hair on their packaging but that doesn’t necessarily make it true. That’s why it’s important to purchase from a reputable brand and stick to brands that you know and enjoy working with.

5. How are extensions colored in production?

Extensions go through major chemical processes. Our extensions specifically are first and foremost tested for quality after collection. Only the highest quality hair is put through the chemical process to ensure it can handle it. Then, it is processed to remove all of the hair's natural pigment. Most donated hair is naturally dark so depending on the desired color will determine the processing needed. Once the natural pigment is removed, it moves on to reconditioning- this ensures the hair is still in good condition. Some brands use an acid bath to remove the pigments- at S&S we don’t. It’s much too harsh on the hair. After reconditioning it moves into re-pigmentation. This is how we create our custom blended colors. However, extensions are NOT colored with hair color. They are actually colored with textile dyes- much like our clothing or furniture. After re-pigmentation and drying- the hair goes through reconditioning once more. Then it heads to Quality Control- to ensure one last time that it meets our quality standards. From there- it is then processed as the type of extension we want it to be (tape-in, hand tied, seamless, etc) and then it is packaged for sale and added to our inventory.

6. Why is processing extensions with silicone bad?

Silicone is just another word for plastic. Hair that is processed with silicone has a protective coating around the hair fiber. This generally makes it feel super soft & shiny. However it doesn’t allow moisture or product to penetrate into the hair cuticle. This causes buildup on the outer layer of hair which causes tangling and matting.

7. How long does it usually take to produce extensions?

From the time of donation to being shipped off to you, it takes an average of 4-5 months. A lot goes into extensions, a lot more than we realize. It is truly a scientific art!

Finding a reputable company to purchase hair extensions from is not only important to supply quality for your client but to purchase ethically. It is important to do your research and to be knowledgeable as a hairstylist of where you are purchasing hair extensions from. At Sierra & Sage, we promise high quality products with full transparency. We know the struggle of finding brands that are reputable but also put stylists at the forefront- that’s why we created the S&S brand.



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