Quick Guide to Professional Hair Extensions Methods in 2020 - I-TIP

 It is a well-established fact that hairdressers from all walks of life and different territories are continuously in search of extra revenue-producing techniques and in our previous article we directed you to consider introducing hair extensions as one of our recommendations to achieving this.
So once you have completed your research and established a reliable source of a hair extension supplier thus making sure that they are well versed in all systems but in particular the two most popular systems currently which are I-tip and Tape.


Why I-tip?

The benefit of the I-tip is that these extensions are individuals, which once applied give a very natural and free-flowing result which if installed correctly are almost impossible to detect. Furthermore, the method of attachment is with a cylinder but making sure that the cylinder quality is on par with the rest of the system is a mistake.

For example, there are very few companies that can offer a quality made cylinder and with the inferior quality, you run the risk of the cylinder chipping and thus a loss of color which can be detected and will give a copper effect which your clients will find annoying and to be honest, it’s frustrating because while your installation might have been perfect, the discoloration of the cylinders is not entirely your fault but a disgruntled client is, so take the time to research for a quality cylinder supplier. Furthermore, cylinders of this nature can and often will damage the client’s hair and not be reusable, so please do your research on the cylinders as there are companies out there albeit very few, that have very high-grade cylinders which are generally an emulsion/combination of copper and aluminum which if coated correctly (three coatings of color is the minimum requirement to prevent discoloration and if this color is correctly baked onto the cylinder you will find very little if any chipping). And with this emulsion, the cylinder should be able to be used for a minimum of 2-3 touch-ups, this not only allows for an easier touch-up but dramatically cuts down your time as opposed to having to replace the cylinders at each service.


You will also find during your research that cylinders will come in different sizes and this gives you the opportunity to use different size I-tips where you would want to use a smaller cylinder to coincide with a smaller I-tip which are ideal for placement in temple areas, cranium areas and most importantly with clients that have fragile or thinning hair. The last thing you would want is to put an I-tip and cylinder, that is for regular density onto a client with more fragile hair, as this will increase the weight on her natural hair and can end with disastrous results, such as traction alopecia, wherein your client will suffer from bald patches as a result of the weight from the extensions being excessive and pulling out the natural hair.

So, therefore, irrespective of which system of extensions you and your guest decide to go with, it is always, and we mean ALWAYS vital that you have at least a 30-minute in-depth consultation with your client going over various methods and options using your professional skill set to give informative direction prior to choosing the system best suited for your guest. This will help prevent/circumvent any potential problems down the road. Always remember, that extensions can be as easy or as difficult as you choose them to be, but with the correct prep work and once you have established the “right” system for your client and if they get regular service i.e. timely adjustments they will enjoy years and years of uncomplicated benefits and so will you.

Another major advantage.

Another major advantage of a satisfied client is the number of referrals you will receive. It is a concern that if you have not chosen the right system for your guest it is highly unlikely that they will refer colleagues and friends to you if they are experiencing discomfort and not ideal results. So your motto should be “prep work is the groundwork” so if you have a solid foundation you will have solid results.

Watch some awesome transformations with I-tip and Tape DreamCatchers Hair Extensions.

Our advice with the I-Tip system

To ensure that the tipping of the I-tip system is durable enough to withstand multiple applications because if you have a supplier with great hair and the tips break down the hair will need to be replaced which again increases your cost and workload. There are some companies out there on the market that use polyurethane or rubberized tipping system and from our observation, this particular rubberized tipping system offers a number of benefits:


1. Longevity.

Longevity, this rubberized material allows for multiple applications and can be crimped repeatedly without the tip disintegrating. With the correct care, an estimated life expectancy of these tips should range anywhere between 12-18 months.

2. Rubberized nature.

Due to its rubberized nature, these tips will flatten out once crimped in the cylinder but the beneficial part to your guest is that this rubberized material is soft on her natural growing hair thus reducing damage and secondly it tends grip onto the hair and cylinder thus preventing the chance of slippage. The last thing you want is for a client to be coming back repeatedly with extensions coming out. A point worth mentioning is to ensure that you have the correct applicator to ensure the cylinder is firmly attached. If you have an applicator that has a very thin nose/tip or in some cases very wide ends you will have a number of issues such as, the cylinder can be too loose on the natural hair resulting in more extensions coming out or that they are applied with too much force thus making it very difficult to open for an adjustment, thus rendering the cylinder useless which will then need to be replaced. Finding the correct applicator is an advantage which will result in a smooth and easy install and adjustment. Our recommendation would be to apply 3 firm clamps, lower, mid and tip of the cylinder giving a uniform pressure to the cylinder which would be sufficient to prevent these extensions from falling out. Most of these applicators will be imported and always try to find one that is not too heavy, as you will be doing multiple clamps (considering an average head will have 5 bundles with 25 strands per bundle so a total of 125 extensions with 3 clamps each) and at the end of installation the last thing you need is for your forearm to have been overextended which can be tiring and painful.

3. Re-Tipping.

There are a few, very select companies that offer re-tipping which is always an advantage because again if the hair quality can be continuously used due to a premium grade, it would be foolhardy and expensive to throw these extensions into the trash and have to purchase and apply new ones simply because the tipping can’t be replaced. So be on the lookout for a company that offers this service. Generally, this should range anywhere between $1-1.75 per tip and while this might sound expensive it is far more cost-effective than re-purchasing a new head of hair. One note of caution is to enquire as to the time frame of this re-tipping, a good rule of thumb would be anywhere between 6-10 weeks. Taking into account that this tipping will probably be done at the source i.e. the original factory which more often than not will be abroad. An important point to consider at this juncture is what would your client use while these extensions are being re-tipped? A simple yet effective solution to this would be to suggest to your guest that they get a second head of extensions, which would be utilized while the re-tipping is being done. An added advantage would be to suggest getting a winter set of extensions as well as a summer set. As you will find most clients do a variation of colors between seasons, with summer being the lighter shades and winter being the darker palette. In fact, it’s a huge advantage to have two heads of hair and take into account that if you have access to a layout sheet that is printed on paper that you can layout the extensions in an accurate row by row placement, roll the sheet up and place in a zip lock bag. This will allow for easy retrieval and installation when the time is needed. 

    4. Not too close to the scalp.

    One of our favorite advantages of I-tips is that due to its reusable nature you have the added bonus of NOT having to place the extension too close to the scalp which is perfect for first-timers and those with sensitive scalps. With other systems such as k-tip and sew-ins, most technicians will try and get the application as close to the scalp as possible thus maximizing the life expectancy. However, this can and often does cause the client some discomfort for at least a week after the initial application but with I-tip and Tape due to their nature, we suggest that you give a generous spacing between the application site and the scalp (we recommend a quarter of an inch) this allows these systems to have some movement, in particular, the I-tip so that on initial installation there is very little if any discomfort and furthermore, it allows the clients hair some freedom, thus giving a natural-looking desired result.