Episode 16: Hair Extensions w/ The Chicago Extension Twins

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Dr. Shah:

So we have a Daria and Daretta, um, next to each other. How are you guys doing today? Good. How are you? Amazing. Amazing. Okay, so I'm going to give you guys a proper introduction. So, uh, so just in case our audience doesn't know, uh, Dari and Aretta are the owners of the Chicago extension twins, hair salon, but beyond that, they are, in my opinion, uh, they are the, um, at least the best in the area, if not the best in the world at hair extensions. So we're gonna pick their minds about everything, about hair extensions. They've been doing hair extensions for about, uh, between the two of them, about 27 years. Um, and really just not just something they do for, for work. It's something that they're super passionate about. Um, and it's the art of hair, extensions and hair fusions, tapings micro Lincoln stations. So we're going to learn all about that for our audience, and I'm going to be coming from this from a different perspective. I'm more from the hair transplant perspective, the medical part. Um, but we'll just kinda talk about hair extensions, what they are. Does that sound good? Sounds


Speaker 2:

Great.


Dr. Shah:

All right. Well, thank you so much for joining, uh, joining me and joining our audience today. Um, and I don't know who to talk to yourself. Just kind of throw a question out there and you guys get used to that. Just kind of figure out who's going to talk about what, so just for our audience to know what our hair extensions and who needs them,


Speaker 2:

Everyone could use them. They're not just for length. Um, a lot of women have long hair, but it's very sparse at the ends. So they don't need necessarily, uh, as much as someone with a full head. So anyone that wants to just even make their hair fuller. Uh, but then there's also the girls that want to look like Kim Kardashians. So we have it all across the board. Our clientele is usually between 14 to 80 years old.


Dr. Shah:

And the goal of hair extensions is this just to make your hair longer, is it to make your hair fuller? Um, is it to change your color? Like what can you do with hair extensions?


Speaker 2:

You can do all the above. Um, we can make your hair fuller. We can take the long hair that's thin and make it super full. We can add different colors. We can make it look on Bray without paying to have it done on break. Um, there's a lot you can do. We can add highlights if you don't feel like bleaching your hair. Um, I usually, I, I only call her own roots and then I put in different color extensions, and every time I want to change it, so.


Dr. Shah:

Okay. And so, uh, how, how common do you guys see hair loss? Um, you know, from a different perspective, I'm assuming what percentage of your audience is male? What percentage your audience is? Female?


Speaker 2:

99.9% is female. Yeah. Okay. You'll have a male client or transitioning.


Dr. Shah:

Um, and, um, a question for us is, you know, we see a lot of men with hair loss, but we also see a lot of women. I think it's one of those things that women don't feel as comfortable talking about. Um, what percentage of women are you seeing with hair loss and what are their ages and what are some of the main concerns you see from women coming in?


Speaker 2:

Uh, a lot. Yeah, but I would say that, um, you know, hair loss, uh, has become more common with stress with over styling, with over-medicating. Um, you know, people just don't have great hair anymore. Um, so I Ramona what women that just had a baby, they usually lose a lot of hair or illness like cancer and stuff like that. So it's, it's pretty common.


Dr. Shah:

Um, and, and I think that, I, I think from my talking to my wife is she thinks that women go through so many different phases of their hair. It's like the, before child hair, um, the after child hair, she calls it the pre-med applause, the during menopause, the post-menopause. And if you haven't lost your hair as a woman at one of those points, you're going to have some issues with hair and hair thinning. Is that


Speaker 2:

100% correct? Yeah, we've kind of, uh, you know, we're going through it ourselves sometimes, you know, especially during the high stress, uh, times in our lives last lot, getting older, doesn't help. Yeah.


Dr. Shah:

Um, you, you know, as kind of, as a preventative measure, what are some of the over styling tips you see, um, that people can do to kind of prevent better hair from being damaged? What are some of the things that you recommend that they avoid


Speaker 2:

Flat out ironing every day? That's the big one. Yeah. I have clients that re flat eye on their hair every single day. Um, even though they probably don't need it. Um, and yeah, curling, curling, and also a lot of these, um, curling irons and flat irons now come with a, um, a temperature control. They don't need it on the hottest setting and yet they have it on the hottest setting. So they're completely just destroying their hair. You know, those are the clients that when they come in for consultations, they'll say, I don't know why my hair never grows. And that's the what first question that I say, well, do you flat iron or curl your hair very often? And usually the answer is yes. And I tell them, it's not that it's not growing. It's just breaking.


Dr. Shah:

Is there a limit for some people's hair that you see that they can only grow their hair, certain extent people can only grow their hair to their ears or their shoulders. Um, have you noticed that for some of your clients that no matter what they do it just, they're not going to have that, you know, the back of the, um, you know, halfway down in the back of their head here.


Speaker 2:

Yeah. Yeah. But it's usually because of the over styling and it's constantly breaking. It's not for usually any other over coloring over processing power chair. Yeah. We tie lights and then curling it on top of it. So,


Dr. Shah:

Yeah. But some of those just, it's kind of part of a maintenance for some people. Right. But it's just kind of, Um, cool. Um, and then, um, so if someone puts hair extensions in, um, uh, by the way, are there any ethnicities that, that don't, that you guys treat like pretty much every ethnicity across the border that fair,


Speaker 2:

Uh, all different kinds of clients. Yeah. And Africa, African-American Asian all across the board. There are different brands that we would use for different textures of hair though. Yeah. Different methods to,


Dr. Shah:

Is there a type of, um, getting into the hair extension itself? Is there a type of prized hair? Well, from what I've heard, I'm half Indian. So I've heard that they prized Indian Virgin hair as the most prized here in the world. Is that true?


Speaker 2:

Yes. That's. It has to be the, um, Virgin hair. And, um, one of the companies we use, they are very strict with it being Virgin hair. So there was one time, a few years ago they discovered, uh, one batch had HANA in it. So they had to destroy that whole lot. So because of that, they were back ordered on certain colors for two months, it happened to be all the blondes. It happened to be around June when all these women were getting married.


Dr. Shah:

And to clarify for the audience, Virgin here means the hair's never been treated. Not that the women are virgins, like they're correct. I had that wrong. I thought it was before women had kids that their hair was different than after like


Speaker 2:

Companies have different processing techniques. So certain companies, their processing techniques are so gentle and it takes them such a long, generally Indian hair is very dark. You don't see a lot of naturally blonde Indian women or men walking around. So, uh, the processing to get that to, from that dark color to the lightest shade of blonde, um, can take 30 days for some companies that have a very gentle process versus some other companies it's very quick, but it's much more damaging to the hair when they processed it. And you can tell when you look at the quality of the hair,


Dr. Shah:

Okay. So, um, once you actually do the hair extensions, how, how do you attack the hair extensions, uh, in place,


Speaker 2:

But we have different methods. So we do a micro link method, which is a metal cylinder where the hair gets weaved through. And the extension piece looks like a shoelace and it gets put in there. And then the, uh, the metal gets clamped shut. The cylinder gets clamped shut, and that's meant to be moved up every two months. Um, the people that are good for that, people that have very curly, thick, coarse hair. Um, and then we have taped ones where the hair is, uh, taped on. That's usually the section's about one inch wide. Um, those are also meant to be maintained every two months where they're moved up and then we have fusion, which is our favorite method where the hair, um, the bond looks like a grain of rice. And once it's fused onto your own hair, looks like a little grain of rice. It's very, uh, undetectable. The bonds are the same color as the hair. And, you know, I like to wear my hair in a high pony. You can brush it a certain way and you won't even be able to see it. And it's a set it and forget it. There's no maintenance involved. Yeah. So those are the last four to five months. Yeah.


Dr. Shah:

So you can brush your hair. Normally you can go in the pool, all these things with it.


Speaker 2:

Yeah. In fact, that's critical key to maintaining extensions is brushing. The most damage can come from people that are taking proper care of their hair and brushing it really well. You need to brush it directly over the bond area, no matter what type of extension is, you want to get those baby hairs, you want to make sure that nothing is kind of stuck in there. So, yeah, we've had some clients that have severe matting from, uh, not crushing severe like dreadlocks.


Dr. Shah:

Um, and, um, once the hairs are positioned, how long does it take to put hair extensions in for someone I'm sure it varies from client to client, but what's your times,


Speaker 2:

The average time for just the install is about, uh, two to three hours. Um, we do have clients that take an unusual amount of time only. I only have like two clients that take me because it's a removal, shampoo, blow dry, and the redo. It takes me about six hours. Wow.


Dr. Shah:

That's amazing. Um,


Speaker 2:

That's like a whole huge head of hair, like six bundles. The most, most people don't get that much hair. So,


Dr. Shah:

Um, and so, um, when you have the hair extensions in place, um, can they, um, damage the hair, um, your existing hairs and it does it depend on what technique and how you do it?


Speaker 2:

Uh, yeah. Um, and it's also how people take care of it. Um, you know, we tell people if they're ever having any issues of them getting a tiny, it just starts from a tiny little, not of them not taking care of it. And then it can grow exponentially so quickly. So we always tell clients, if there's anything you can do to help maintain it, come on it and we'll do it for you. Um, otherwise you're gonna have a disaster on your hand, but if clients are taking care of it properly, um, the way we tell them to they shouldn't have any issues, I've been wearing them for 17 years, 17, 18 years.


Dr. Shah:

Oh, wow. Both of your hair looks beautiful. Both have to place


Speaker 2:

Customers. Yeah.


Dr. Shah:

Um, so, so you have the hair extensions in place then after four to five months, when should someone come back for like more extensions, do they get a touch up? Like how does that work?


Speaker 2:

Um, for the, for the, um, the hair that's reusable, like the tape, the tape ends and the microbeads, every two months, every eight weeks, you should come in and then there's maintenance involved, um, with the fusion, if you're not having any issues with tangling, uh, four months for fine hair, maybe people can get to five months. I usually keep mine in for five months at a time. So, and then we remove it all for fusion and, uh, get a new batch of hair and then, uh, installed.


Dr. Shah:

Is it easier the second time you do it around once you, once you see someone coming in or is it the same, same process?


Speaker 2:

We're very meticulous in our application. And that is, um, a huge thing with a complaint from clients that come from other salons is if the work is sloppy going in, it's going to cause them nothing but problems from day one. So we're really, really meticulous about our application. It's very neat. It's very clean, you know? Uh, so, so that in turn helps with a lot of issues with possible tangling.


Dr. Shah:

Yeah. That makes sense to if you're going to do it, do it right. Especially if you're investing in your hair just to do it the right way. Um, and then, um, uh, can you tell, uh, like certain celebrities, if we play that little game of who has hair extensions, who does it? You're probably gonna say everyone has hair extensions, but can you tell, um, certain people who have hair extensions right away just looking at them?


Speaker 2:

Yes. The majority of the time. Yeah. My husband's actually pretty good at, with it too. My boyfriend's gotten pretty good at it too. He'll ask me for watching Housewives. Does she have it, does she have it to have it? The answer is 99%. Yes. Yeah. Occasionally there'll be a couple people that I've seen on TV where I'm like, wow, if she, if she doesn't, she's got an amazing head of hair, you don't see that very often.


Dr. Shah:

That's pretty rare. And, but I think the problem with, um, with that is it's so many people think that this is normal and natural, and it's obviously it's desirable because it looks so much better. Otherwise people wouldn't do it. It just looks healthy, vibrant, youthful. Uh, but some women are like, oh my God, how come I don't have hair like this? And it's because they don't know the trick. Right,


Speaker 2:

Right. Exactly. But I feel like, um, just when we were starting out, it wasn't as mainstream as it is now, uh, to have people that are 14 that want it, like for Christmas as a Christmas gift, um, to people that are 80 that want it, you know, to add some fullness because they were like a hair topper and they just want to hold it on the bottom. You know, it's, it's honestly, it's something that everybody can, it's much more mainstream than it ever has.


Dr. Shah:

Um, so if I name mentioned a celebrity name, uh, tell me if, um, you think they have hair extensions or not, and we'll just kind of a little bit around this, doing that. Okay. So I'll do an easy one. Kim Kardashians. It's like, you guys didn't even hesitate. It was just like you rolled your eyes up. Like yes.


Speaker 2:

Um, to pedestrian family is very big on wigs. They get very expensive, beautiful $5,000 wigs. Yeah. So they're big on wigs too.


Dr. Shah:

Um, and wigs versus hair extensions, obviously a hair extension to me seems like it would be much more natural. It's undetectable. It just kind of took it's part of you. A wig is it's going to have to come up at the end of the day. Right. And you're going to sweat through it. It just doesn't look quite, quite, quite as elegant, I think. Right,


Speaker 2:

Right.


Dr. Shah:

Um, how about, um, uh, Jennifer Aniston? She gets compliments a lot on her hair. Do you think it's real or not real?


Speaker 2:

She actually, she did, uh, when she was on friends and it was really long and straight, she did have extensions, but she still, where she like it wrecked her hair. And so one of my clients actually just, just about a week ago, she pulled up an old photo of Jennifer Anniston in, in, uh, when she commented about how it wrecked her hair. This was like years and years ago, she was so young and it was way too heavy and it just didn't look natural. It did. So my thing is, it was probably applied wrong. W two different for her hair, texture, her hair, um, density, because the object is you want to match the density of the client's hair with the extensions you want to, you want it to blend and look seamless versus giving someone that has very fine hair, a full, thick head of hair. That's not going to look right and be too heavy on for them. Cause breakage or versus someone who has really thick hair and you don't put enough in. And it looks kind of like a mullet, you know, so, but she has in general, she has gray hair, so she doesn't even need them,


Dr. Shah:

But probably


Speaker 2:

Maybe first.


Dr. Shah:

Um, okay. Um, is there anyone who has hair extensions out there that, um, you're like, okay, this person has hair extensions, this celebrity and, um, uh, people get, she gets compliments in their hairs who who's the most desired look from, uh, your clients?


Speaker 2:

I would say Kim Kardashians. I would say Kim Kardashian. Yeah.


Dr. Shah:

Well, they seem to have the realm kind of like one of the Kardashians. Right. But Kim, for sure,


Speaker 2:

Every morning they wake up, they have many probably doing their hair and makeup for them. Um, I would say the least would be Brittany Spears. She's got too much money to walk around like that. She looks like a train wreck. Her hair looks terrible all the time. So,


Dr. Shah:

And you think it happened when she shaved her head from that episode? Or you think it's just kind of other stuff?


Speaker 2:

Um, probably a little of other stuff too, but I think it did start when she shaved her head and then got extensions too quickly after, you know, the hair has to be a forge as long, at least a part to blend. And she did it too soon. And then you could see everything and then it was just a disaster from that point forward. I would also add Jen, uh, Jennifer Lopez, like whoever does her hair, it just always looks amazing. She looks like a rock star every single time. Sometimes it's short. Sometimes it's long. Sometimes she's got this great ponytail, so it's all extensions, but it looks amazing. Yeah.


Dr. Shah:

You can never tell. I mean, for someone like, okay, so, and then roughly, uh, what, what do hair extensions cost for, for someone coming and saying everything's going to be all all across the board. Um, but, um,


Speaker 2:

For fullness it could be $350. Um, cause you just want to fill that in. If you're doing a full, like length and a fullness, then it could go up to about $2,500. But very few people have that much hair. So I would say on average between three 50 and 1500 ish.


Dr. Shah:

And then, um, it's like you dream it, you can build it with hair extensions that, right. So if you wanted to have your hair from like, if I wanted my hair and then my hair looks a little crazy, so I was in the oral there, but if I wanted to have my hair go down, like down to here, I could do it. Right?


Speaker 2:

Yes, yes.


Dr. Shah:

Like that, but it's all, uh, if my hair doesn't grow long enough, I'm going to have to go a, I'm trying to do a man butts. If it doesn't grow long enough, I'm going to have to be a hair extension down. Right. But again, not that many men yet. Do you think men don't come in because of looks haircut styles or just kind of, they're not aware of this as an option?


Speaker 2:

Well, Daria had a client that was getting married and he wanted to wear a man button on his wedding day. So he got extensions because his, his boyfriend had naturally long hair and was going to wear a man button. So he interned wanted a man bun as well. So I did his extension. So


Dr. Shah:

I'm sure it looks amazing, right?


Speaker 2:

Yeah. Yeah. It's difficult because there's probably as long as yours, right?


Dr. Shah:

No, I'm just thrilled that it's, it's surprisingly hard to do a man bun. So my hair right now is like down to here. I still can't quite do a man bun. And again, me and my twenties, I could grow here so fast. But now that I'm like in my late forties, you know, um, unfortunately even all the vitamins and things I do, it's still really hard to grow your hair long. It takes, it takes me a while. So yeah,


Speaker 2:

But don't, don't, don't stop now. You've to come so far,


Dr. Shah:

Let's say. We'll see. Okay. And then, um, talking about this, any misconceptions about hair extension, some, someone who comes in, they come up with a preconceived notion about hair extensions,


Speaker 2:

Um, that everyone can have them. I would say, uh, you know, when, um, who was that actress? Jennifer Lawrence, when Jennifer Lawrence cut her hair super short, everyone thought that they would look like Jennifer Lawrence, if they cut their hair super short. And I mean, we would have like six consultations per day. And, uh, you know, all these girls would leave crying hysterically because their, their hair was like two inches long. And I'm like, all right, come back. And like six months and we'll talk, you know, and, and long hair has always been for summer, no matter what people were going to have to keep that in mind, long hair was always in for summer. So, uh, maybe not everyone's suitable for a short haircut and then your hair has to be at least four inches long. And, um, keep that in mind when you cut it all off. But, but the other misconception is that it's only made for women who want really long remade hair. You know, that's not what hair it's. Most of our clients just they're okay with the length of their own hair. They just want it fuller. Like they, like it was when they were younger. So it is a more youthful look in your hair.


Dr. Shah:

If you go to a, a beauty store, it's amazing how many products are all about volume? You never see, you know, it's like aisle after aisle is about make my hair thicker, make my hair thicker. But the question is just only so much you can actually do with, um, you know, conditioners shampoo at some point, if you really want your hair to look, um, you know, movie star ask, and both of you guys have movie star S care, you're going to have to do something, um, you know, kind of a little bit more, um, you know, uh, appropriate. Yeah. Okay. So, um, hair restoration versus hair extensions. Let's talk about that a little bit because we do some hair restoration. You guys do, um, hair extensions, um, uh, your thoughts on that. Um,


Speaker 2:

I feel like we'll be sending a lot more clients to you for it because you know, women are very, self-conscious about, um, their parts, their parts, and, you know, side part center parts, you know, they can't wear a center part anymore because they're Harris to find, uh, the extensions that we do are not really meant to go on the crown. So, and when women come in and they're looking for something more in the crown, that's where we would send it, them to you. Because another thing they're very self-conscious about is that they usually have a colleague in the backwards splits, and if they have dark hair, it almost looks like a bald spot, very, very self-conscious of that. So that they'd be a good candidate for something like Harris duration.


Dr. Shah:

And I think for me, it's, um, it's that balance act of, uh, there's a lot of women who rather than going through the process of hair restoration, if they take like, like you mentioned at the beginning, if they take great care of their hair and they do hair extensions, that's a great option for them. And women think about lashes all the time. And I think that hair extensions sometimes I'm sure they know about it. It's become much more in the, in the, uh, the, the limelight now with so many people doing it, uh, like the Kardashians and, um, you know, but that being said, uh, there's a lot of solutions to problems that don't necessarily mean something surgical that can be done and look amazing. And the benefit, I think of hair extensions versus hair transplantation with hair transplantation, we're rearranging the hair versus what you're doing is you're adding hair. So that's kind of a, it's a nice look. So there's some looks a lot of books that you guys can do that it's not medically or surgically possible, if that makes sense. So I think of them not as competing forces, but just kind of like, um, depending on what they're looking at, what their aim is. Um, and they kind of go hand in hand.


Speaker 2:

Yes. Correct. You might be coming to see you might be your clients.


Dr. Shah:

Uh, I don't think so. You guys have, um, you've mentioned earlier. I mean, you guys are super, super knowledgeable inherit. It's the classic, it's the Christmas tree pattern that we see for females that when they have that in their part, uh, they're great candidates for it. You guys don't have that. So, um,


Speaker 2:

Um, dry shampoo, that's pigmented, that's, that's an optical illusion. So


Dr. Shah:

That's another one. Uh, what strikes you do you?


Speaker 2:

Um, we like the, uh, Battista cause they make, um, all different colors and, uh, I think it's called your mother. Um, we're mothers. Uh, that one's a good one too.


Dr. Shah:

Your mother's in Battista and just for our audience. So using dry shampoo, um, what's the, I'm going to attach it here, but, uh, what's the best way of using dry shampoo? Is it a substitute for regular shampoo? Um, and that


Speaker 2:

One me, but I'm only the spray it on your roots or if you have, like, I'd been telling my clients that are, are self-conscious about that colic part to spray a little bit of a pigmented shampoo back there to cover it up. Love it. Yeah.


Dr. Shah:

Another tool, another 12 year old material, which is, which is there. Cool. Um, all right. Any, uh, any last thoughts on anything here? I think there's a question you guys had about, uh, patients who have hair transplant, surgeries, um, how long would they have to wait before they get extensions again? Um, and so, um, uh, I think it's really going to depend on the patients, the cool thing, the early part when here, um, uh, transplanted hairs come out is that they're pretty fragile, uh, because they've just been shocked into kind of coming back. So typically I'm going to have them wait, um, probably around a year, uh, before they can go back to hair extensions. Now, if they're doing the non transplanted hairs and they're pretty easy to tell if your is, or you know, that long it's easy, you can do those hairs without a problem. You can do that probably within a month. But if you're actually trying to, um, you know, put extensions on the transplanted hair, I'd wait a year or so. Um, and, um, because they're just not going to be, I don't think healthy enough yet to, to kind of, um, you know, kind of,


Speaker 2:

Yeah, and you don't want to gamble because it's such an expensive and a time costing procedure,


Dr. Shah:

But just like with anything with hair, it's always worth it. That's one thing I've learned about, uh, um, uh, this break with, uh, with COVID when people look at themselves, I think people truly feel their best when they look how they want to look. And they, and that tells me that then they feel like how they want to feel. And, um, there is a, I think there's a true correlation between those two together. And I think that they do so many things healthier for themselves, both physically, mentally, spiritually, when they're at their best. Um, with all those things.


Speaker 2:

Yes. Right. I mean, there was a skid on Saturday night live 20 years ago, you look fabulous. You look marvelous, you know, it's not how you look, it's, it's how you feel, how you look. And I think it does. You're right. If you, if you feel like you look good, then you probably feel better, you know?


Dr. Shah:

Well, um, I'm going to get a snapshot of your hair right now because you guys look amazing right now. I should do this right now. And then, uh, we will, um, here we go. Seriously. You guys look great. So, uh, thank you so much for joining me and educating, uh, everyone in the world on, uh, hair extensions. And if they want to find you, where is your, um, where's your salon? What's your, um, information?


Speaker 2:

Um, we are at 27, 24 north Lincoln, uh, in Chicago, suite nine. Uh, we are by appointment only phone number is three one two six two three four four nine. Oh.


Dr. Shah:

And then do you guys have a social media handle? I think you guys are Chicago extension twins on Instagram. Is that right? Are you the only twins who are doing extension that, you know, you must be?


Speaker 2:

Yeah.


Dr. Shah:

Awesome. Well, thanks for joining me today. I'll look forward to seeing you awesome.