No longer do you have to wait years for your hair to grow out to have a long style. You can go and get long hair right now using extensions. According to Julien Guyonnet, Creative Director at Antenna salon in London, hair extensions are perfect for transforming short hair to long hair, adding volume to thinning hair, growing out layers, a bad haircut and even adding highlights and lowlights without any chemical processing.
Julien Guyonnet explains that most people want the best style available in the fastest time possible. Everyone is in such a rush so they have to be practical. In reality, hair extensions are the only way to have long and healthy looking hair. To achieve that kind of thickness isn’t available in any other way.
What are hair extensions?
Extensions involve attaching human or synthetic man-made hair near the root to create a natural-looks like it grew out of your head—look. The extensions can be attached in 2-4 hours and will last anywhere from 3-6 months at which time they need to be removed and/or replaced depending on the method used.
There are many different extension methods to choose from these days. The hair can be attached strand by strand or in wefts (tiny little curtains attached together at the top). Some of the many attachment methods available today use keratin based adhesives, glues, heat seal, tiny locs and even string. And if you’re not ready to permanently attach something, you can always try clip-in hair extensions that are easily removable.
The Facts of Monofibre® Hair Extensions
Julien Guyonnet uses the Monofibre® hair extension method that was invented by Simon Forbes of Dome Cosmetics over 20 years ago. This method uses man-made Monofibre® instead of human hair. It is so silky and smooth that you can’t even tell it’s not real.
The Monofibre® is attached near the root using a gentle heat that creates a heat seal between the extension hair and the natural human hair. The natural hair needs to be at least 3-inches/ ~8 cm. long to attach the extensions. It is suitable for all hair types as there are no glues or bonding materials used in the application.
Julien Guyonnet has attached Monofibre® hair extensions to clients that want a new look with longer and/or thicker hair and even clients suffering from all forms of hair loss due to cancer and certain treatments.
Hair loss clients usually have fine or brittle hair that can be further damaged if heavy human hair extensions are attached. The extra weight of the human hair can pull out the natural hair causing severe damage and even permanent hair loss. Monofibre® weighs about 1/3 of the weight of human hair and puts less stress on the natural hair.
The extensions can take between 2-3 hours to attach, depending on the requirements of the clients. A partial transformation would take roughly 1 hour and volumising would take between 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Monofibre® comes in many different colors and 2 different textures, classic and wave. The classic texture works on poker straight and semi-straight hair while the wave texture suits all curly hair types.
Monofibre® extensions can last up to 3 months at which time the extensions are completely removed and replaced with new hair. The hair can be removed and replaced during the same appointment so that a continual look is maintained. Most salons offer a tidy-up service to keep the style looking immaculate in between replacements. The costs for extensions can vary from salon to salon, but are much cheaper than human hair extensions. At Antenna Salon, Monofibre® extensions are very affordable. Prices start from £195/~$347 US.
Advantages of Monofibre®
The Monofibre® extension method has many advantages over methods using human hair, Julien Guyonnet explains. Monofibre is much lighter in weight and shinier in texture than human hair. And unlike human hair that has a mind of its own, the fibre holds a style until you take it out. Fibre is also non-porous, so it doesn’t absorb any hair care products in any way. He adds, “Because of its versatility, Monofibre® extensions can be manipulated into Avant-Garde styles such as dreadlocks, braids, etc.”
Julien Guyonnet continues, “I have tried using human hair for extensions and found it really an awful experience. I didn’t like using the glue and solvents. Actually, I felt quite ill through it all.” He feels that Monofibre® extensions are the safest method for natural hair and the most interesting since one can blend the hair with a variety of colors. The sky is the limit when it comes to creativity.
Another big advantage of Monofibre® extensions is the training and education that a stylist must go through in order to be qualified to do hair extensions Julien Guyonnet came to London over 9 years ago to learn everything about Monofibre® extensions from Antenna Salon.
He started out his career by training in France for 3 years at a Hairdressing Institute followed by 2 years work experience in Parisian salons on the Champs Elysées. He trained as an assistant using Monofibre® extensions for 6 months.
After completing the Dome Academy 4 day foundation course he became a qualified stylist in Monofibre® extensions. A year after that he became a senior stylist at Antenna and was doing 10 extension clients per week. Two years later he became the Creative Director at Antenna Salon in London.
Celebrities Wearing Monofibre® Extensions
Monofibre® extensions have become even more popular as many celebrities, such as Vanessa Feltz, Peaches Geldof and Tara Palmer-Tomkinson are wearing them. Julien Guyonnet attached 12-in./~30 cm. extensions to Peaches Geldof’s medium length bright blonde hair. He also added some lowlights for a more subtle effect. She has been wearing Monofibre® extensions for about a year.
When asked why she wanted to get extensions, she says, “I wanted extensions because I thought it was a really fun, sexy look. I was making a documentary at the time and doing TV work, so I wanted to look glamorous! I’ve always loved long hair so it seemed the perfect way to do it as my hair just wasn’t growing fast enough.”
When she first got the extensions Peaches Geldof was bleaching her shoulder-length hair bright blonde. Because of all the bleaching, her hair was not in very good condition and she was concerned about further damage from extensions.
Peaches Geldof made the decision to go with Monofibre® extensions for several reasons. First, they are more ethical than human hair. She did not like the idea of having someone else’s locks glued to hers. Second, the extensions are much lighter in weight and attached in a way that would not cause further damage to her already-damaged hair. And third, she could continue coloring her hair and not worry about damaging the extensions since they are non-porous and will not absorb anything.
Peaches Geldof mentions that one down-side of getting extensions is the up-keep. She returns to Antenna Salon for a tidy-up every month. The extensions last around three months before they need to be removed and replaced. She adds, “No matter how you look at it, having long hair is expensive and time-consuming. Whether you are getting extensions, regular blow-dries, color or highlights, you will need to invest time and money for the best results. I feel that extensions are well-worth the time and money. I was able to get a glamorous look in just a few hours, instead of a few years.”
The daily hair styling routine is fairly uncomplicated. Peaches Geldof takes us through a typical day– “When I have the extensions in, I usually wash my hair with products designed for extensions, such as Antenna’s aftercare products from Dome Cosmetics. I then follow with a deep-conditioning serum or masque as my hair gets quite dry. I spray my hair with a heat-protection spray and blow-dry my real hair, and the extensions which are already straight.”
Many other Antenna extension clients have nothing but good things to say about Monofibre® extensions. Charmaine Rose, Extreme Makeover 2005 contestant says, “My hair has never looked better than when I started wearing Monofibre® hair extensions. They are much easier to maintain than I imagined. I feel and look much more feminine and I highly recommend, when in London, booking an appointment at Antenna!”
More about Dome Cosmetics
Founder Simon Forbes invented Monofibre® extensions over 20 years ago by fitting two things together. He picked up old implements and introduced new technology and knowledge to these instruments to find that they can be incredible things.
Simon Forbes says, “If you’re going to be a hairdresser you’re lumped with the human head. You’re stuck like an artist with the same medium which is hair. That was the starting point for Monofibre®. It is very versatile and doesn’t have a mind of its own.”
The Monofibre® is designed in England and manufactured in China. It has a proprietary element that results in the highest quality acrylic fibre. The hair provides a soft silky feel that is incomparable to other inferior quality fibres on the market today. Monofibre® gives length and volume, as well as color and texture and so in itself it transcends fashion. The extensions are for anyone, including those suffering from hair loss. There are no side effects in the short or long term.
Simon Forbes adds, “What I’ve never been really able to understand is how someone can wear second-hair (human) on their head. I mean it’s the last thing I’d want to do is wear somebody else’s hair. If the hair is coming from people who have had some terrible misfortune in their lives,…then to stick it on a woman’s head with glue (who probably has a £2000 Chanel Hand bag hanging from her shoulder )…there’s something very immoral in that.”
Simon Forbes recommends the use of the Dome Aftercare product range to keep the extensions in pristine condition. The range consists of Frequent Use Shampoo, Intense Conditioning Treatment, Daily Care Mist and a soft bristle Dome brush. An aftercare leaflet is also included to give you top tips on how to maintain your Monofibre® extensions
Simon Forbes sees a continuing growth of extensions as a service. It is a source of revenue for salons that potentially outperforms any other service within the industry. Dome Cosmetics continues to train and certify hundreds of stylists every year in Monofibre® extensions.