Building a Better Hair Extension
While Mother Nature created the most beautiful natural tresses, technology is hard at work recreating them in the form of hair extensions. Brett Butcher, national program director for Great Lengths USA recently outlined four points where technology helps Great Lengths USA produce a premium extension.
Sourcing. “While many extension companies source from India, Great Lengths doesn’t utilize brokers and actually has developed a system where it can guarantee traceability and ethicality of its source. Great Lengths hair is documented to the temples in India, where people of certain faith pilgrimage to donate hair in a religious tonsorial ceremony, which is why we can guarantee its quality,” he says.
The De-pigmentation/Pigmentation Process. “We don’t use any toxic chemicals, bleach or ammonia to lift the pigment from the hair,” say Butcher. “Instead, we employ a special osmosis process which takes several days to completely remove the color molecule, instead of shattering like a bleaching agent would. That way, we can pigment the hair one of our 50-plus colors and it will maintain its virgin-hair quality.”
Functionality of the Keratin Bond. In 1992, Great Lengths patented the keratin bond. “What’s really important is how that bond functions,” says Butcher. “When hair is wet, it expands, and when dry it contracts, and our keratin bond has the ability to expand and contract with it, making the extension gentle but also resilient. This means it won’t shed or come out until the technician removes it.”
Certification Process. Great Lengths only work with pass certain criteria and pass a Great Lengths certification process. “Our education program is three times longer than any other program and it is hands-on, but all our policies are put in place to protect the consumers and the professional hairdressers,” says Butcher. “For example, if someone has ordered from us in over a year, we’ll require that you retake the education, but it’s free of charge, because we’re serious about that protection.”