Picture this: the perfect color blend, a touch of volume, a ripple of cascading, beachy waves. It’s likely those long, full, and luscious heads of hair you are seeing all over your Instagram feed are sew-in extensions. This isn’t just the norm in the professional beauty world—your clients are seeing the same on their feeds.

Besides for obvious aesthetic reasons, a simple removal, and how many times the hair can be reused over the course of year, what makes weft extensions even more appealing is their ability to be customized. We asked three Hotheads experts their favorite ways to customize.

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Custom Coloring
“I always love creating balayage in people’s hair that their natural ends can’t handle it, so I’ll create it,” says Danielle Marro, Hotheads master educator.

Marro always uses more than one color in her weft applications because of the seamless, blended finish it results in. She says you can think of color placement with this method the same way you build color placement like you would with foils or balayage. Typically, this means ordering two or three colors per head.

Both Hotheads Hand Tied and Machine Wefts are available in 21 of its most popular shades, which includes natural hues and color melts.

Using two or three colors per head, she’ll keep the top row the same color, and make the row at the nape of the head her playground. Here is an example of a color “formula” she has used on a guest with three rows:

  • Nape: Two Colormelts™ wefts back to back
  • Mid: Two Colormelts™ and a Naturals
  • Crown: solid color to match roots or base color

An added bonus on this method is that wefts can be custom colored up to the thread, and there are no adhesives or tapes to avoid. Marro says prior to installation, she may root smudge or add lowlights to a weft if needed. So, if your guest wants a vibrant pop of pink, for example, don’t hesitate to color a 60A pale blonde weft and include it in the application!

Chemically Treat
Weft extensions can be customized according to the texture of guests’ natural hair. Yes, that means they can be permed for your curly girls. This goes back to the fact they are held together by thread, not adhesives or glues.

“This method is versatile,” says Natalie Ruzgis, Hotheads master educator. “You don’t have to shy away from textured hair for guests to comfortably wear this method. Ruzgis suggests perming the wefts before installing them.

Similarly, for guest who chemically straighten their natural hair or live in humid climates and want to fight frizz, wefts can be serviced with a keratin treatment pre or post installation.

Density
Sew-in applications consist of multiple rows of wefts; each row consists of multiple wefts. Like with any type of extension, it is crucial to match density to density. When working with fine hair, it’s important to limit the number of wefts per row, says Kristen Colon, Hotheads lead artist and educator.

If someone’s hair is fine-medium, you can get away with two rows. Medium to coarse hair could allow between two and four wefts per row, with two or three horizontal rows on the head. The rows consist of machine wefts, hand-tied wefts or a combination of the two, depending on the guest’s natural hair. For example, on fine hair, you will use more hand tied than machine weft, as a machine weft can be between two and three times thicker than hand tied.

Once she determines the number of rows the guest’s natural hair warrants, 80% of the time, Colon’s applications use a combination of machine and hand-tied wefts. “I usually use a combination of hand-tied and machine wefts on the back of the head, and hand-tied at the crown,” Colon says.

Hybrid Application

Mixing application methods warrants the ultimate custom extension service. “I think with finer hair, you need to do a hybrid application that includes another method on the sides that are less dense, where it would pull or cause damage,” Colon says. “Tape-ins and fusions would be good for the sides.”

Ruzgis will add a few Hotheads Ultimates tape-ins near the front hair line where the wefts might not be able to reach for a more even, fuller finish. In addition to filling in space, Ultimates also give the option to add a face-framing highlight effect to the overall color look.

Learn more about Hotheads wefts and education.