Add-on braids, extensions, ponytails hair-raising trend

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
| Thursday, May 9, 2013, 7:41 p.m.

Adding a clip-in braid, strands of extensions or a ponytail is a hair-raising trend.

“These pieces are really, really big right now,” says Lauren Borowski, stylist at Izzazu Salon, Spa & Serata, Downtown. “You can take them in and out, so you can wear them whenever you want. It's not such a big commitment. And it gives you the opportunity to add what we call accessories to your hair and change up your style.”

Adding to hair helps fashion your look, Borowski says.

“You change your clothes with the season; you should change your hair with the seasons, too,” says Izzazu stylist Meg Frattare. “We can help you create a new look. Whatever the clients ask for, we help them achieve that look. It's fun, and it gives us additional opportunities to be creative.”

Frattare often customizes the clip-in extensions for clients. She takes real hair and creates the length, color and texture.

Adding those custom hairpieces can cost $200 or more, Frattare says. Clients can also purchase premade pieces for $150 and up. Pieces can be sized to fit.

These pieces are perfect for women with thinner hair or those whose hair is short and want more length, as well as for those with longer locks who want more fullness.

Pieces come in real and synthetic. The advantage to real hair is it can be dyed and treated with curling irons and a straightener. Synthetic is less heat-resistant, but some can be styled with a low-grade curling or flat iron, and it won't wilt in the humidity. There are special shampoos for keeping the hair clean.

Stylists creatively layer the pieces or entwine them into a person's hair so they look natural.

Hillary Evans of Green Tree wears clip-in extensions every day. She purchased hers at Hair Day on the South Side.

“I love the fact that I can take them out when I sleep and then put them back in,” she says. “And, it makes doing my hair pretty easy in the mornings.”

Another option is a wiglet, which is worn on the crown of the head to help with thinning hair or to give fullness. They can blend in so well, it's hard to tell they're removable.

“Faux fringe is one of today's hottest looks and is very easy to attach because it features four pressure sensitive clips,” says Laurence Bate, vice-president of operations at HairUWear, the company that manufacturers Raquel Welch wigs. “It's the perfect way to get the latest trend in hair — cute, face-framing bangs without commitment.”

Bate recommends going to a professional stylist who can help choose what's best for the shape of your face and your lifestyle.

Izear Winfrey often consults with clients about what would work best. As artistic director at Studio Booth in the East End, he enjoys helping customers achieve a look for a special occasion or for everyday wear.

“There are so many choices in hairpieces today,” he says. “And it's temporary, so you can easily take it out. ... With only a few pieces, you can really change a look.”

Anthony Azzolina, marketing director for Stephen Szabo Salon in Peters, says the style extends to feathers, some of them in wild colors and patterns such as those from the company Quill Clips.

“It is a fun trend because it's not a total change,” Azzolina says. “It's perfect for an upcoming event. And you can add the pieces as much or as little as you want. Braids are super in right now.”

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at or 412-320-7889.

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