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How hair extensions are sources, treated and graded

Author: Diane Shawe M.Ed RRP. ÂŁ16.99 Pre-printed publication copy Jan 2014


Diane Shawe has asserted her right to be identified as the author of this work. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanically, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission from the copyright owners.

© 2013 by Diane Shawe

How hair extensions are sourced, treated and graded Table of content © 2013 BY DIANE SHAWE

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LEGAL NOTICE - DISCLAIMER

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INTRODUCTION TO THE GROWTH AND POPULARITY OF HAIR EXTENSIONS

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HAIR EXTENSION INDUSTRY

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MANUFACTURERS: CHINA INDIA: DISTRIBUTORS: INDIA USA: SOUTH AFRICA

7 7 8 9 10 10 11

RETAILERS:

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AMERICAN RETAIL OUTLOOK UK AND EUROPE RETAIL OUTLOOK CHINA RETAIL OUTLOOK CUSTOMER SEGMENTATION UK USA: CHINA:

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HAIR EXTENSIONS MARKET ANALYSIS

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MARKET SEGMENTS

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MARKET DEMOGRAPHICS

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MARKET NEEDS

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MARKET TRENDS & GROWTH

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EXPLORING THE PRODUCTION, CHALLENGES AND CONDITION OF HAIR EXTENSIONS

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EFFECTS OF THE SWELLING OF HAIR QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR SUPPLIERS: INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS

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COLLECTION AND SORTING OF HAIR

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 REMY HAIR  NON-REMY HAIR MOISTURE, WHY IT MATTERS MOISTURE = STRENGTH THE ROLE OF CONDITIONERS THE FIRST QUESTION ALL NEW CUSTOMERS ASK IS WHERE DID THE HAIR COME FROM?

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DIFFERENT HAIR ORIGINS

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CHINESE HAIR CAUCASIAN HAIR INDIAN HAIR EUROPEAN HAIR CUTICLE HAIR NON-CUTICLE HAIR VIRGIN HAIR PROCESSED HAIR

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COMMON USE: ALL TYPES OF WIGS, HAIRPIECES AND EXTENSIONS.

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SINGLE DRAWN HAIR

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COMMON USE: MEDIUM TO HIGH QUALITY HAIRPIECES, WIGS AND HAIR EXTENSIONS. 29 DOUBLE DRAWN HAIR

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COMMON USE: FROM NON-REMY HAIR: LOW COST, OFF THE SHELF HAIRPIECES AND WIGS.

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REMY HAIR NON REMY HAIR

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COMMON USE: MEDIUM TO LOW PRICED HAIRPIECES, WIGS AND EXTENSIONS. ADVANTAGES: LOW COST. THE REASONS FACTORIES IN THE ORIENT PREFER TO BUY THIS TYPE OF HAIR ARE FOR TWO REASONS: 1) IT IS MUCH CHEAPER THAN REMY HAIR, 2) YOU CAN BLEACH AND DYE SEVERAL KILOS OF HAIR IN ONE BATCH WITHOUT WORRYING ABOUT MATTING DURING CIRCULATION, THEREBY LOWERING THE MANUFACTURING COSTS SIGNIFICANTLY. 30 CAUCASIAN: RUSSIAN HAIR ASIAN: CHINESE AND INDIAN HAIR

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DO SHORTER SERVICE PLANS LEAD TO POORER HAIR QUALITY?

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TENSILE PROPERTIES

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SYNTHEHIC HAIR AND TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

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PROCESSESSING SYNTHETIC HAIR

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MAKING YOUR OWN WEFTS OR WIGS

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FUTURE PROSPECTS: CONCLUSION:

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ABOUT ACADEMY OF VOCATIONAL & PROFESSIONAL TRAINING SCHOOL 42 HAIR EXTENSION TECHNIQUES

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LEGAL NOTICE - Disclaimer The Publisher has strived to be as accurate and complete as possible in the creation of this report, notwithstanding the fact that he does not warrant or represent at any time that the contents within are accurate due to the rapidly changing nature of the Internet. While all attempts have been made to verify information provided in this publication, the Publisher assumes no responsibility for errors, omissions, or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein. Any perceived slights of specific persons, peoples, or organizations are unintentional. In practical advice books, like anything else in life, there are no guarantees of income made. Readers are cautioned to rely on their own judgment about their individual circumstances and to seek professional advice accordingly. This book is not intended for use as a source of professional or legal, business, investment or financial advice. All readers are advised to seek services of competent professionals in Hair management and maintenance, legal, business, investment and finance fields. You are encouraged to print this book for easy reading.

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Introduction to the Growth and Popularity of Hair Extensions What do Faith Hill, Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, Nicole Kidman, Catherine ZetaJones, Kate Beckinsal, Hillary Duff, Debra Messing and BeyoncĂŠ Knowles have in common? (Besides being rich and famous!) They all have long hair styles that look fantastic! Some of them are just blessed with beautiful long hair, but others get a little help with virtually undetectable hair extensions. Hair extensions have become very popular in the last 15 years with many celebrities taking advantage of the instant volume and length. Hair extensions are not only for extending the hair. They can be used to thicken up thin hair and also for adding highlights and lowlights without any chemical processing to the clients real hair. Some women cannot leave home with their hair extensions and wear them continuously for years. Figure 1 Lady with long red hair extensions

What also surprised me was the vast amount of silent sufferers with medium to massive hair loss problems caused by stress, diet, medication or illness. These people often did not know what to do to ease their visible embarrassment which aided distress, low self-esteem, self-arm, depression and self-loathing because of how their hair looked. The fastest growing sector now is that in hair enhancement, which gives nonpermanent makeovers to help them present an acceptable face to society which will help them with getting into work, getting better and even getting into a relationship. There is a lot of good work being done by nonsurgical Hair Loss Hair Enhancement technicians around the world. Often there is a lot of dispersions cast on hair extensions, but the fact is, hair grows normally for Figure 2 Stress related Alopecia a lot of people, if it is cut off, it harms no one and can grow back. Because hair does not degrade easily, it can serve a valid and good

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purpose in helping lots of other sufferers overcome their distress by providing a worthy service. There are over 30 different hair extension methods used around the world, but recent advancement in technology leaves many technicians with many different new methods of hair extensions to choose from. There are methods designed to work with just about any type of hair and some methods can even improve the overall look of clients with over 70% hair loss. An inexperienced hair Extensionist can make poor choices that could result in damage to a client’s own hair. The wrong type of extensions, the wrong method of attachment, or a poor job of attachment can break off or cause matting or distress to the clients hair follicles, but often the greatest problem is cause with the type of hair that is purchased and we hear lots of conflicting and confusing concepts as to the grade of hair, how it was sourced and very little about the processing procedures and the impact it has on this hair even when used by professionals. This manual is designed to give you an overview of how the hair is sourced, treated and graded.

Hair extension Industry Human Hair Extensions have never been more popular and is estimated that the demand for hair extensions has exploded to an astonishing 40% in this year alone and that is only in the UK and Europe. Hair Extensions are the fastest growing service in the hair industry today and shows no sign of slowing down. It is estimated that the UK and European market for Hair Extensions is worth a staggering 30.7 billion per annum of which majority comes from training and merchandising courses. The growing Hair extension industry has paved way to one of the greatest opportunity for business expansion evidence is everywhere that marketers of this segment are dominating retail sales in inner city locations globally , increasing their marketing presence in magazines and beauty shows and targeting women of colour. It is apparent that these marketers are growing in their understanding of and merchandising to multicultural consumers with a sharply increased level of sophistication in their creative placed prominently on magazine back covers and advertising spreads. No doubt about it, their advertising in both trade and consumer publications is

Figure 3 Train to become a hair extension technician

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dominating the ethnic beauty business. http://www.bironline.com/reshare/012005/BIR0105_multicultural_report.htm High Street Hair Salons in London are on average charging from £395-£1,000 per install for a full head of human hair extension application. All the famous celebrities on TV are having hair extensions installed, and this popular trend is exploding this year, with magazine and media articles, before and after photos and hair extension news and latest install techniques. You only have to look at YOUTUBE to see how many people click on to the hair extension videos uploaded by members of the public. As this trend is growing, it is becoming more and more evident that people are seeking out training courses to become skilled at this new and growing hair enhancement and replacement opportunity, providing them not just with job satisfaction but premium income streams. Most students seek to pay between £500 for one day or up to £4,500 for five days training courses throughout the UK. Firstly driving the demand for hair extensions are time-constrained consumers who want quick, new looks and style options at a variety of price points. With even the highest-priced items selling, today’s fashion followers are clearly willing to pay more for quality hair goods. Manufacturers are obliging them with synthetic wigs and hairpieces that hold colour and styles longer and increasingly feel more like the real deal, mimicking the bounce, body, sheen and light reflection of human hair. Today’s hair goods also show off naturallooking, blended colours, even emulating grown-out roots and sun-kissed highlights. Figure 4 Integrated weave hair extensions

In addition, whether they’re made from synthetic fibre or human hair, fashion hairpieces are now so fast and easy to attach that wearers can take them on and off like a pair of earrings. Factor in the wide array of price points and there’s a wig, extension or hairpiece to fit almost every budget. Let us just spend a moment understanding the different components of this massive industry, this industry primarily makes up of four components they being The Manufacturer, Distributor, Retailers and the Final consumer.

Manufacturers: China: Human Hair exports has crossed over $150,000,000 in the previous year of 2007 of which China and Hong Kong together have taken 50% of the global exports in hair exports that is very indicative that hair industry is growing by the year.

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Leading exporters for Human Hair, Dressed, and Thinned, Bleached or otherwise worked for 2012 (UN Comrade Database) Table 1 Leading exporters for human hair 2012

Reporter Title China Austria Italy China, Hong Kong SAR United Kingdom Other reporters

Trade Value $52,664,431 $29,206,287 $27,801,100 $24,315,084 $6,927,686 $15,517,846 Total Export: $156,432,434

India: Human hair is mainly supplied by some of the largest charities that are run via temples. Over the course of a year, the temple auctions 90 tons of hair, providing revenue of around £3.7m which is then ploughed back into charitable causes, including a number of specialist hospitals. "The money from hair is significant but it isn't our main source of income," says the temple's executive officer, APVN Sarma. "Our primary source is donations but the income from hair is still very important." The temple has an annual budget of £90m, making it one of the richest religious institutions in India and also one of the country's largest charities. Part of the reason why Tirumala is so popular with devotees and donors is the temple's long tradition of welcoming all visitors regardless of caste and religion. It is one of the few major Hindu temples that allows non-Hindus to enter the inner sanctum that holds the deity. (www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/religious-offering-faith-hope--andwestern-vanity-428697.html

What started as a small export opportunity worth Raj Impex 25 to 50 lakh ($ 60,000 – $1,20,000) a year in the early 80s has now grown into a mammoth business, with nearly 40 exporters, including 10 big players, Figure 5 Hair extensions sorted for engaged in this field in India now, a manufacturer and distribution leading exporter and proprietor of Raj Impex (India), Chennai, Benjamin Cherian, told PTI. The Harvard educated Cherian said the export of human hair, especially long hair, is always a big business in right from 1960s till date and the demand is so much at the prices just going up so is the ©How hair extensions are sourced, treated and graded Diane Shawe M.Ed

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volumes of the exports. Now Indian human hair is exported in various colours like black and dark brown, grey, white and brown and is also classified as straight, curly, wavy and silky.

Recent Exports Human hair, dressed, thinned, bleached or otherwise worked (UN Comrade Database) Period 2006 2005 2004 2003

Trade Value $ 140,325,0695 $ 103,736,077 $72,200,401 $ 69,361,784

Table 2 Human hair exports 2003 - 2006

Distributors: The worldwide market for hair products, meanwhile, is valued at anywhere up to £2.5bn a year, with significant markets in South Africa, Brazil, the United States and Europe. The US market, valued by Mintel at £1bn, has grown by 13% over the past five years, and is the most developed, with about 40% of the global hair business. But the UK is seen as the next big grow. The hair extension category is heating up. The use of synthetic or human hair incorporated into a natural head of hair is telling its story in ad and editorial copy. There are now more than 100-plus companies targeting women of color with myriad colors, lengths and hair textures in the ever-expanding category of hair extensions. Manufacturers of chemical treatments, relaxers, and maintenance products are quietly complaining that ethnic consumer’ purchases of human and synthetic hair may be retarding growth of these traditional products. Secondly wigs come with cool, new display units. Streamlined ordering also makes Costly inventory a thing of the past. Other common store-support techniques include Websites with retail locators, co-op advertising and sales-boosting promotions. Increased competition has bolstered sophisticated marketing tactics, including the use of celebrity spokespersons and national media campaigns. As a result, fun, high-fashion hair goods are gaining shelf space, delivering higher margins and even acting as a primary draw. Women between the ages of 18 and 40 are the most likely to skip the catalogues and websites and look to beauty supply stores for hair goods. These women are also

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most likely to buy hair goods during March and April, so what better time than now to check out the options a company to offer them Thirdly hair extension has also given way to create a demand for the materials required for the hair extensions that include a myriad of products made of human or synthetic hair, varying in cost, quality and technical complexity. They add length, thickness, colour and texture, from straight to wavy to curly. They may be sold as individual sections of hair or wefts, which are like little curtains of hair stitched to a seam, and can be attached by special adhesives, metal clamps, beads, double-faced tape, thread, combs, clips or cheap glue. Bonded or fused extensions are the most expensive, as well as more refined, durable and likely to pass for the real thing. They are made of 100 percent human hair that women, usually from India -- but also from Italy, Spain, Eastern Europe and the Far East -- grow long to cut and sell. Customers buy bonded extensions by the bundle, which consists of a set of 50 extensions that come in lengths from 10 to 28 inches. A single extension comprises about 25 strands of hair. The main distinction among the high-end brands is the way the extensions are applied. Nearly all offer pre-bonded extensions, meaning there is a hard plastic substance at one end that will act as an adhesive once the stylist presses it to several strands of the client's own hair. They do so about an inch to an inch and a half from the scalp, with a pair of tongs that is heated (known as ''hot fusion'') or that generates heat by way of ultrasound (called ''cold fusion''). The adhesive may be made with artificial keratin (keratin is a primary protein in hair) or nylon. If the extensions are done well, the join, or point of attachment, will barely be visible and feel no bigger than a grain of rice. Leading Success stories in hair products distribution: India: What started as a small export opportunity worth Rs 25 to 50 lakh ($ 60,000 – $1,20,000) a year in the early 80s has now grown into a mammoth business, with nearly 40 exporters, including 10 big players, engaged in this field in India now, a leading exporter and proprietor of Raj Impex (India), Chennai, Benjamin Cherian, told PTI. The Harvard educated Cherian said the export of human hair, especially long hair, is always a big business in right from 1960s till date and the demand is so much at the prices just going up so is the volumes of the exports. USA: Hair extensions have been around for about a decade, and there are no published statistics to track the industry's growth. Great Lengths, one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of hair extension products, said that its sales to salons in the United States have increased 35 to 50 percent each year since 2000,

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and it is projecting that such sales will be as much as $30 million by the end of 2006. The company president, David Gold, estimated that 95 percent of its market is made up of women 30 to 70 years old. (New York Times published on 28th September by ELIZABETH HAYT).

South Africa: Discom continually focuses on differentiating its product offering from the Clicks brand, and has achieved this through an aggressive move into the African beauty and ethnic hair care markets. http://www.newclicks.co.za/IRDownloads/AnnualReport2003/com_sa_trading_bran ds-discom.asp

Sales Sales growth

R’000 %

2003 771 441 7.0

2002 720 895 12.1

Table 3 Sales African Beauty & Ethnic Hair care 2002 - 2003

Retailers: American Retail Outlook: American manufacturers are seeing sales increases from 30% to 50%, and suppliers estimate that the total U.S. market now stands between $1.5 billion and $5 billion at retail. Human-hair goods represent nearly 70% of that dollar value, but synthetics represent about 80% of unit sales. (www.beautystorebusiness.com , February 2013)

UK and Europe Retail outlook: Human Hair Extensions have never been more popular and is estimated that the demand for hair extensions has exploded to an astonishing 40% in this year alone and that is only in the UK and Europe. Hair Extensions are the fastest growing service in the hair industry today and shows no sign of Figure 6 Hair Salon delivering hair extensions to clients slowing down. It is estimated that the UK and European market for Hair Extensions is worth a staggering 30.7 billion per annum of which majority comes from training and merchandising courses. High Street Hair Salons in London are on average charging from £395-£1,000 per install for a full head of human hair extension application. All the famous celebrities on TV are having hair extensions installed, and this popular trend is exploding this year, with magazine and media articles, before and after photos and hair extension

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news and latest install techniques. You only have to look at YOUTUBE to see how many people click on to the hair extension videos uploaded by members of the public. China Retail outlook: China’s vast beauty market is growing fast. In 2010, cosmetics sales amounted to Rmb85 billion while the beauty services market was worth Rmb220 billion. The beauty market is projected to grow at a faster rate than the overall economy. For 12 out of the past 14 years, the growth rate of cosmetics sales in China has exceeded that of the overall economy, with the highest annual growth rate reaching 63%.The growth rate of cosmetics sales in China has exceeded that of the overall economy, with the highest annual growth rate reaching 63%.According to forecasts made by the Economist Intelligence Unit, China will become one of the world's fastest growing cosmetics markets and will expand at an average 10% a year over the next five years. International cosmetics giants such as L'Oreal of France, Proctor & Gamble and Estee Lauder of the US, and Shiseido of Japan have long recognized this potential market and established their footholds in the mainland. Their sales growth is much higher than that of China's overall sales and their market shares are continuing to increase. http://www.hktdc.com/econforum/tdc/tdc050801.htm Customer Segmentation: Traditionally, African-American women and medical patients were the primary consumers of hair goods, but product demand has crossed over to other market segments that are demanding today’s instant hair in all its forms. This is partially due to a push from celebrities like Paris Hilton and Lindsay. Adding to the business, volume or colour is acceptable for every ethnicity and age group, including baby boomers. Despite their higher disposable income level and growing desire to cover up fine or thinning hair, boomers had been virtually neglected by the hair goods business in favour of the youth market. But experts agree that this untapped segment will soon be seeing an increase in quality innovations. Given the diversity of women now in the market for hair goods, stores can choose any product, quality or price point they want, based on their customers’ needs and demographics. Merchants can also get support to move the goods. Special store programs include display and merchandising materials such as shelf-talkers, catalogues and instructional DVDs. Hairpieces have consumerfriendly packaging with easy instructions. Figure 7 Black British women spend six time more on hair products and hair extensions

UK: Black British women spend on average six times more than their white counterparts on their hair and more than half regularly visit a salon. Mintel market

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researchers found that while the average British woman spends £83.97 a year on beauty products, black women spend £117.44 - and that doesn't include trips to the hairdresser or spending on mainstream products not specific to Afro hair. All this adds up to a major business opportunity for hair and beauty companies. The UK market for hair care products designed specifically for black women was worth £36.5m in 2002, and accounted for 70% of overall beauty spending by black women. Recent estimates put the figure £10m higher. USA: Retail market segmentation in US is a hot but complex market that is presently worth over $6 billion and is projected to grow to $7 billion by 2005. Americans are more style-conscious than ever before; greying baby boomers -- of both sexes -- are trying a range of hair care products to help them look and feel younger. Generations X and Y are even more adventurous than their parents, as they condition, mousse, bleach and perm at will. A savvy marketing company can make a splash, if it chooses the right stance for its products.http://www.packagedfacts.com/Hair-Care-Products278691/. China: The female population aged between 15 and 64 in China currently exceeds 420 million, which is larger than the combined total of Europe, the US and Japan. As income levels continue to rise, mainland female consumers' demand for cosmetics and beauty services is bound to increase further. In view of the fast expanding mid-range market in the mainland, companies as well as individuals from Hong Kong can capitalize on the greater market access under CEPA to tap into this market. For 12 out of the past 14 years.

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Hair Extensions Market Analysis Market Segments This hair extension domestic and business population can be can be categorised into 5 different segments.

Table 4 5 growing segments in the hair & beauty sector

1) Non-Qualified Sector – These are people who want to learn to do hair extensions. They might come from the non-hair or beauty industry and might be totally unrelated to the industry for instance a consumer who want to become qualified. 2) Qualified Sector – These are mobile or established retail hair dressers, nail or beauty salon, who want to learn or add a new or nail extension technique to their portfolio. 3) Hair loss & Problem Sector – These are women and men between 25 - 50 years who need assistance with their long term hair problem 4) High end fashion Industry – Model industry, professional women and men wanting a makeover. 5) Business Opportunity Sector – Individuals looking for a business opportunity, who wants to set up in business, as trainers or replicating our hair extension services.

Figure 8 wefted hair extensions

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Table 5 Breakdown pie of market segment

For the most part, Academy of Vocational and Professional Training provides most of its training to the non-qualified segment of the market, although people from the other market segments have shown an interested in our other core products and services. Table 6 Hair extension Market segment growth forecast Market Segment Growth Forecasts 500 450 400 350 300 250 200 150 100 50 0 2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

Table 7 Popular reasons for hair extensions and enhancement

30 25

20 15

%

10 5

0

Thinning Enhance Fashion Problem hair

Hair Loss

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Market Demographics Understanding the following geographic, demographic, psychographic, and behaviour factors is important when marketing our training services to our target market. This information will give you a snap shot of who will be the likely students for hair extensions. Geographic’s  The immediate market for offering hair extension training is located in the United Kingdom.  Demographics Our market consists mainly of domestic and one to one business customers. Based on our 3 year experience and data, these are the demographics of our target market: Consumer  Female  All status  Age range of 25 to 50. Median age of 36  Educational level from GCSE, NVQ and higher  Income level from £20,000 - £70,000  Nonprofessional, Professional, house wife, divorced or single Business  Hair dressing, nail bars and beauty salons  Mobile, Single or chain outlets  Qualified staff  Annual revenue from +£30K

Psychographics The psychographics of our target market describe what makes our customers want to purchase our services.  To generate additional income for their business  Spending pattern of target market usually minimum £250 per month on selfimage, keep fit, cloths, beauty etc.  Emotional aspect of customer is one of personal gratification  Social status usually independent and decision maker  Motivation that they could add a new skill to their portfolio  Attitude to value high as they could see return in their initial investment  Our target market is not brand conscious, but they are interested in excellence and high standards.  Our target market usually perceives itself as both customer and student with a business opportunity to replicate our business model.  Professionalism, and good financial reward for their time after training  Natural look, comfort and non-detection for consumer

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  

Advertising is usually by email, or small adverts in selected magazines. They will also respond to postcards situated in specific outlets. My consumers perceive our services as necessary and growing. The flexibility to offer our service from their home, place of business or mobile is also very attractive.

Customer Requirements The following behaviours are typical of our target market.          

Researched the product and offering via the internet Looking for a variety of technique Business opportunity Ability to be trained even when they are unqualified Affordability Administration and paperwork must be informative Transparency Recognised certification Support and referral facility Accessibility to training centre Market Needs Based on our statistic gathered over the past two years, the target market finds the following benefits important. . 

Market need 1 – Supplying a choice of techniques for both training and application  Market need 2– Supply a choice of training kits to accommodate each technique  Market need 3– None branded to any product so client is not subjected to expensive product purchase agreements after training.  Market need 4– Prices are fair and manageable.  Market need 5– Assistance to get their services off the ground. Market need 5- Empower applicant to move towards their own business opportunity within the hair extension market.

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Market Trends & Growth The main trend in the hair extension industry is towards hair loss/thinning and Scalp problems. Has the economic situation depletes, we are seeing a new form of candidates research career opportunities in order to improve their income base.     

Trend 1 – More women taking control of their working pattern Trend 2 – More women wanting more financial flexibility when leaving 9-5 work to have children or looking after children Trend 3 – Women changing their career due to the growth of downsizing and overhead reductions. Trend 4 – Self-employed mobile hair, nail or beauty businesses adding new services to their portfolio in order to increase their revenue streams and attract a new customer base. Trend 5 – Make over programs have increased the confidence of women paying for temporary or permanent make over’s throughout the cosmetic world.

History has shown that with every expanding need comes a new "business opportunity" to change, expand or train in a new career, to deliver a new service that is in demand not just now, but growing every day. With this 'must have' accessory and 'image enhancer' the market needs more "qualified hair extensions technicians" who are trained in more than one technique. We have seen the growth of the Image Consultant, life Coaches Figure 9 Trend see self-employment growing in the mobile services sector and nail extensions technicians. Because of this growth in the hair, nail and cosmetic sector, AVPT has positioned itself to deliver its training services to professional training organisation and individuals who could benefit from expanding into this much needed, lucrative target market. With that said lets now take a look at how hair is sourced, treated and graded.

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Exploring the production, challenges and condition of hair extensions What you don’t know as a budding hair extension technician, consultant or trainer can be harmful to your clients and your business. The following is a summary of years of work and research with hair and some of what has been Figure 10 African, Caucasians and Asian hair types

noted throughout that time by other reports and blogs.

Effects of the swelling of Hair. Swelling is one of the most damaging conditions of the hair. It loses flexibility, natural bounce, elasticity, and strength and is much easier to break.   

The acidic-based permanents will swell the hair in a moderate 15%-25%. The alkali-based permanents will swell the hair in a whopping 300%! On our own normal hair there is a microscopic layer of natural oil. It keeps the hair’s moisture at the usual levels (10-11.5%), even though the relative humidity in the air (25-90%) is much higher. The layer of oil guards the hair from swelling. When chemically stripping the cuticles, the oily layer is stripped from the hair and it loses the natural protection. Swelling occurs on a regular basis and is one of the main reasons the hair is so vulnerable to breakage.

Normal moisture content of hair is 10%-11.5% (This depends on many variables, such as moisture in the air, type of hair, previous chemical treatment, diet and much more).  When moisture decreases, hair becomes strawlike (which is a subject for many jokes and is easy to identify such hairpieces even by nonprofessionals).  Moisture is one of the most important factors in determining the physical (strength and elasticity) and esthetical properties (bounce, flexibility, etc.). When hair is fully wet, the Figure 11 Normal Hair cuticle elasticity may increase in 25%, but the strength will increase up to 300%! One major reason for hair breakage is the combing forces applied. While shampooing, towel drying and conditioning the hair, one must stroke the hair in one direction.  During combing, the hair is stretched and will break when stretched 30%-35% more than its original length. After the hair is stretched 17%-20% longer than the original length, there will be irreversible damage and it cannot bounce back to its natural length. For non-cuticle hair, the numbers are much scarier.  The ammonium within semi-permanent dyes and similar products do not damage the hair as much as the peroxide, although the experts claim otherwise for their product’s safety campaign.

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Hair has a negative charge. Manufacturers design their shampoos to have a negative charge, as we do not want the shampoo to adhere or absorb onto the hair. Manufacturers design conditioners to have a positive charge, as we want the conditioner to adhere and absorb onto the hair without leaving deposits.  A responsible hair products manufacturer will measure the level of charge on the hair and will manipulate the products to match the charge of the hair and the charge of the product. Very few are so responsible for the entire cosmetic industry, let alone the hair replacement or hair extensions industry.  More importantly, do you know a company that is aware of the level of charge on non-cuticle hair?  Conditioners must reduce the friction between two strands of hair. For treating noncuticle hair, they must isolate one strand of hair without leaving deposits.  Conditioners do not permanently increase strength or elasticity. It is a common fib that we all take at face value. Temporarily, conditioners will deposit moisture and moisture will temporarily increase strength.  Regular shampoo must clean the surface of the cuticles, a tough protective layer consisting of 75%-80% protein.  Regular shampoos on non-cuticle hair act similar to peroxide on an open wound. The detergents burn and dry out the hair from the inside.  Shampoos for non-cuticle must clean the exposed layer usually found underneath the cuticles that are now stripped. The under layer (the “B” layer or exocuticle) is very delicate, which is why regular Figure 12 Human hair lace wig shampoos fail by cleaning too harshly.  The surfaces of cuticle and non-cuticle hair do not resemble each other and the difference between the two can be measured and must be measured in order to even begin discussing improving the issue of non-cuticle hair.  One cannot treat both surfaces with the same materials. We do not clean our desks (a smooth surface that resembles the non-cuticle hair’s surface) with the same cleaner used on our carpets (a scaled uneven surface that resembles the cuticle hair’s surface).  Usually, non-cuticle hair appears shinier than regular hair and leads us to believe that it is healthier. The reason is that the smooth and even surface reflects light at a higher concentration and therefore is brighter. Cuticle hair with its scaled uneven surface scatters the light in wider angle of reflection, appearing duller.

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR SUPPLIERS: If you want to get your money’s worth, you must be a bit more involved in the process of choosing and investing money in a product wet line. Since we are now in 2013 and have a great amount of information available to all of us through the Internet, I can guarantee that everything can be documented. Every proclamation that your vendor makes must be verified in writing. In order for you to minimise the risk of spending money on useless products, I have composed for you a list of questions to ask your supplier in order to achieve a better understanding of the nature of the product you are using or wish to use.

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Don’t be surprised by some of the answers; “We cannot disclose our formula”, “We completed the tests but head office has the documentation which is not available to customers” 1. What is the Surface Energy of non-cuticle hair (or the level of the charge)? 2. What is the Surface Tension of your shampoo (or the negative charge of the shampoo)? 3. What is the Surface tension of your conditioner (or its negative charge)? 4. Why apply regular shampoo on non-cuticle hair since it is supposed to clean a different surface (cuticles that have 75% protein)? 5. Why use regular conditioners that are supposed to stick to cuticles, while in hair replacement we have anything but cuticles? Request copies of any and all documents on tests and experiments concerning the products they claim will benefit the hair.

International Standards Creating a set of rigid international would help our industry deliver a consistently superior product (where would McDonalds be without common standards?). The focus would then swing from marketing tactics back to product development. For instance, if a batch of finished hair tested below accepted values for moisture-content, strength and elasticity, it would fail to meet minimum standards and would not be acceptable for resale. In order to give you hard data about hair characteristics, I am going to be giving you statistical information from time to time, but I will try to use normal averages. For example, if I tell you that the moisture content of non-cuticle hair is usually around 9.5%-10.0%, it does not mean that you will not be able to find non-cuticle hair with over 10.5% moisture content (a very good figure incidentally, even for normal hair). I just want to keep things simple. Most of the hair ventilated into custom-made hairpieces sold in the US is sourced through India. Much of it is collected from monasteries located throughout the country as stated in an earlier chapter. The largest and most famous monastery is in the south of India. Indian women donate their hair as an offering to their God as a sign of modesty. It is their understanding that it will be sold by the monks for a substantial sum of money that will be used to finance schools, hospitals and other publicly favoured facilities. But not all hair that finds its way onto the market is the same - and this is where we encounter our first problem. Figure 13 Global standards and Accreditations

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Collection and sorting of hair During the collecting and sorting of the donated hair it is divided into two groups: 

Figure 14 Remy hair cut and roots aligned and preserved during processing

Remy hair: Hair that has been cut and maintained with the roots aligned and bound together at the top of the bundle. These bundles are carefully preserved throughout the export process and arrive at the factory still intact. Non-Remy hair: Hair that does not have its roots aligned. It may have been collected off the floor, or there may be some other reason they were unable to keep the roots t

ogether and running in the same direction. This hair is sold at a much cheaper price than remy hair. Once the hair arrives at the factory, it is treated in a hydrochloric acid bath to remove the cuticle. A word of warning - hydrochloric acid is extremely hazardous. Please do not put yourself at risk by experimenting with this chemical! But back to the problem. It’s not the remy Figure 15 Non remy hair non hair; remy hair is relatively easy to process and the aligned and thrown into sacks for processing damage inflicted during de-cuticalization is slight. Nonremy hair is the villain. Non-remy hair requires a higher concentration of acid since the cuticle runs in both directions. This frequently results in hair with very low moisture content that appears dry and straw-like. Moisture is critical to good-looking hair. Human hair usually contains 10.5% - 11% moisture (measured in a controlled environment of ISO 40% - 63% moisture). Non-remy hair has trouble retaining this vital moisture. Unfortunately, the problems do not stop here. The de-cuticalization process itself is often conducted inefficiently. Some bundles of hair are only partially processed. Others are overtreated or under-treated, which contributes to tangling problems and limp or lifeless hair. Regrettably, a lot of this lower grade non-remy hair can find its way into “expensive” custom-made hairpieces. Your vendors usually have no way to tell whether the hair in the units they sell is remy, non-remy, or non-remy blended with remy hair. This doesn’t make things easy for them. We have to understand that non-cuticle human hair means hair that has been fundamentally damaged. I compare it to my hand losing its protective layer of skin. I know this sound brutal, but mechanically it’s similar. If your hand were damaged in this way, you would run to the hospital where they would apply bandages and oil-based ointments not just isolate the pain

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but to prevent chaffing that could cause additional damage. Well, the same logic applies to non-cuticle hair - except it will never heal. Just like the hospital, we try to isolate and protect the hair by applying special oil-based liquids such as conditioners that (should be) designed specifically for non-cuticle hair. If you use hair care products made for normal hair, you will be doing your client a major disservice. Regular conditioners are formulated to condition the cuticle layer, a very durable layer that is over 30% protein. Instead, you should be using a conditioner formulated for the under-layer without cuticle. This layer is made up of only 3% protein (10 times less!) and requires a more powerful lubricating system! But it doesn’t stop there. The lack of a protective cuticle layer has other consequences. It allows everything to be easily absorbed into the hair – and lets vital moisture out again. Non-remy hair dries at a much more rapid rate and quickly loses its lustre and body. Figure 16 Dry cuticle layer

You would never consider cleaning your favourite fine Italian silk shirt with same detergent you use to clean your old cast iron pot. And you would not clean your carpet with the same detergent you use to clean your garden furniture, and yet many people do precisely this when it comes to human hair. Let me repeat - cuticle and non-cuticle hair are different product types with different maintenance needs. Each one requires its own specialist product. Where did I gain these insights? The hard way. I have been working with hair extensions for over 20 years learning through trial and error at my own company in London where we train students in hair. The lack of simple analytical tools is a real handicap throughout the industry and makes it really hard for training providers and specialist technician access to valuable research and clinically researched data. It undermines our professional skills, limits our understanding of hair mechanisms and prevents us from sharing constructive information with your clients. Many times I have heard clients tell me that a vendor or importer has developed a new product for non-cuticle hair. For instance, Russian hair, Korean Hair etc…. But when I ask for documented proof, I am given the “proprietary information” speech and see nothing. It is disappointing to me that these businesses do not understand that by misleading their clients they hurt the entire industry. If the company had really done the research, they would proudly hand out the test documents. But, my guess is that there wasn’t any research and has more to do with rebranding to sell more hair. I think it reflects poorly on the whole industry that, so let me explain my personal philosophy. After more than 10 years of intensive research I came to realise that there are no easy solutions in our industry or readily available document information. Over the years, I have been exposed to many new ideas and products, and I have met all kinds of people who tried to convince me that they had the ultimate solution - and that it was as easy as 1-2-3. Well, they never worked scientifically! I know. I tested some of them and the feedback from clients was not complimentary in most cases!

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The future of this sector depends on Quality not marketing coming first. It should not be a short-term strategy and it is certainly not the cheapest! But over time, it’s the only sustainable way. Throughout our hair extension trainer’s course, we talk about the hair characteristics but I am going to go into more detail In this publication and start off by covering moisture and how it affects the hair’s appearance and the individual fibres’ strength.

Moisture, why it matters Simply put, moisture is the single most important factor in determining the way your client’s hair looks! When moisture drops below 10-10.2% (depending on the type of hair and the level of environmental humidity), hair will look like brittle straw as opposed to supple green grass. The critical moisture level is the difference between a freshly baked bread and one left on the counter for a few days. In the example of the straw or the stale slice of bread, if we apply Figure 17 Why moisture is important to the slightest pressure, they will break. The same clients hair extensions pressure on the fresh slice of bread or the green grass shows us how malleable these materials could be. Likewise, any pressure put on dry human hair, as opposed to well-moisturized hair, will result in breakage.

Moisture = Strength Here are some details I found to illustrate my point. An average strength properties reading for Indian non-cuticle hair with a diameter of 0.055mm would be 0.22 gn/m². An average result for the same type of hair from the same bundles, but completely soaked with tap water would be 0.66 gn/m². A normal value for such hair would be around 0.32 gn/m². (gn/m² stands for Giganewtons per square meter, which is a measure of pressure. For human hair, these figures explain the fibre’s strength – the amount of pressure it can withstand before breaking.) The important lesson here is that moisture - any type of moisture - will increase the strength of the hair by up to 300%! Every test I have conducted has shown me that plain water is as effective as any conditioner or leave-in moisturizer. For example, try wearing your jeans after washing them, while they are still soaking wet and feel the roughness of the fabric. This has to do with the swelling and increased strength of the fabric when wet. Until the water evaporates, the denim will be significantly stronger. The same goes for hair. All the stories

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written by marketing departments about conditioners that add strength and elasticity to hair are about as good as the stories your parents used to tell you to calm you before going to sleep – It’s all placebo effect.

The role of conditioners Conditioner will add strength, but only temporarily, just as water will. Now we are getting to one of the major trade-offs between conditioner and water. Water will evaporate much faster, but will not leave deposits that will weigh down your client’s hair. Conditioner will evaporate much more slowly and contribute to the strength of the hair for a longer time, but will leave deposits that may weigh down the hair. In hot desert climates it is extremely important to maintain the moisture of the hair, especially if the client spends any time in the sun. Just a few minutes of ultra-violet exposure on treated hair is enough to make a significant impact. In these conditions, a very light leavein conditioner is highly recommended. If the client is not inclined to buy more products, give or sell him a very small mist bottle (2 oz. will be sufficient) filled with water and have him mist his hair a few times a day. A lot of consumers have expressed concern about inconsistency, However, as an educational service… and perhaps a warning… I’d like to offer a brief primer on the advantages and disadvantages of each type of hair and explain the cost differences and the reasons for them. I’ll also answer the question, “As long as it feels good, looks good and doesn’t tangle, why I care where the hair originated? When I’m done, you too will appreciate the behind the scenes negotiating and control that is provided invisibly day in and day out by your current importer.

The first question all new customers ask is where did the hair come from? They want to know about the geography and so should you. I am going to classify human hair and describe the characteristics of each variety and summarise its pros and cons.

DIFFERENT HAIR ORIGINS · Origin: China, Eastern Europe, Russia and India · Grade: Cuticle, Non-Cuticle, Virgin, Processed, Single Drawn, Double Drawn, Remy and Non-Remy · Type: Caucasian, Asian

Chinese Hair (Aka Asian Hair): A thick and coarse fibre that is naturally straight and dark brown to black in colour. Advantages: High Quantity, Durability and Low Cost. It is the strongest human hair and is able to withstand multiple chemical and mechanical processes. It is easily mass-produced

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making it a low cost item. It is the most popular hair in the industry because it is comfortable to process at the manufacturing level and there is no shortage of supply. Ventilating a hairpiece does not require as much skill or care as with cuticle hair. Disadvantages: Poor Quality. Chinese hair requires extensive chemical processing to output hair that simulates European texture, colour and body. The majority of the hair is collected and processed as double drawn, non-remy hair that requires heavy-duty chemicals to remove cuticle layers. It is still at a high risk for severe tangling problems because the cuticles are large and the layers are dense. The thick strands reflect light differently and appear 3 times as large next to

Caucasian hair

.

Common Use: Inexpensive off-shelf wigs, hairpieces and machine made hair extensions. Indian Hair (aka Asian Hair, Italian Hair): A variety of fibre types from fine and straight, medium thick with body wave and curly to thick coarse hair. “Italian hair� is actually Indian hair that has been processed in Italy or Spain and then sold at premium prices. Advantages: High Quantity, Good Quality, Variety and Low Manufacturing Cost. Indian hair is popular to use for custom made hairpieces because it can be made to resemble European hair. Although prices for remy Indian hair increase every 2-3 months, it is still available in the less expensive non-remy form. Disadvantages: This hair is not often available to the wholesale and retail market. It is often diverted to wig making companies so therefore it is hard to get.

Indian hair Common Use: The remy hair is often produced as European or Italian hair for custom-made wigs and hair extensions. The non-remy hair is processed for custom-made hairpieces and less expensive wigs and machine and handmade hair extensions. Advantage: is that it comes in a full range of textures and body. Disadvantages: Low Quality and Higher Retail Cost. Indian hair still requires quite a lot of chemical processing to make it appear as European hair. And the efforts to maintain the integrity of remy hair and/or buy the best quality in India can increase prices closer to European hair. To reduce time and materials, many manufacturers choose to work with nonremy Indian hair, which must undergo the same processes as Chinese hair that results in a poorer quality. Indian hair is also known to have split ends; lice and most exporters handle the hair badly.

European Hair (Aka Russian Hair, Caucasian Hair): A fine to medium density fibre that is naturally straight to slight wave and available in a variety of natural colours, most commonly dark blonds to medium browns. The Virgin colours will often be streaked with lighter shades or the ends will be much lighter than the roots due to weathering. Common Use: High priced custom wigs, hairpieces and handmade hair extensions. Preferred hair type by production companies for the film industry

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Advantages: High Quality. True Caucasian hair, whether originating from Russia, Eastern Europe or even the United States, is the best quality for the European and American market. The fine textures and natural colours eliminate the need for extensive processing and can often be sold as is (virgin hair). It easily matches the density of Caucasian customers so the hairpiece or extension blends in with their own hair. Disadvantages: Low Quantity and High Cost. It has always been an availability problem and is becoming more difficult to source lengths longer than 15 inches and of a good quality. Limited availability makes the European hair a valuable item. The care that must be taken at the manufacturing level, as the fibre is fragile in comparison to Indian and Chinese hair, adds to the overall cost of working with European hair. Usually those that choose to work with this hair want it as close to its virgin state as possible, so much care and skill must be taken when ventilating a wig or hairpiece to keep the roots in one direction and properly trimmed to avoid tangles.

Cuticle Hair Cuticle Hair (aka Remy Hair, Virgin Hair): Cuticle hair can refer to all hair, no matter the origin. It defines the state of the fibre and quality. The cuticle layers have not been chemically altered and care must be taken to keep roots and tips from running opposite directions. Common Use: High priced custom wigs, hairpieces and handmade hair extensions. Can only be manufactured by factories that know how to work with cuticle hair Advantages: High Quality. Hair with cuticles usually has the feel and look of natural hair. It retains dye colours and perms better than processed hair and lasts longer through normal wear and tear because the cuticles act as a protective layer for the rest of the fibre. Disadvantages: High Cost and Tangles. Cuticle hair is considered a higher grade of hair and the time and care during production make it a more expensive hair. If not properly handled or cared for before and during the life of the hair replacement or extension, it is prone to tangle. (Although it costs the manufacturer more to process hair to non-cuticle, many have the opinion that cuticle hair is more expensive. They are confusing the cost of ventilating cuticle hair with the hair process cost. Non-cuticle hair is a more expensive hair but easier to ventilate. Cuticle hair is a less expensive hair but requires greater skill to ventilate.)

Non-Cuticle Hair Non-Cuticle Hair (aka Processed Hair): This hair type can also refer to all hair no matter the origin, including European. The cuticles have been chemically processed to remove the first few layers and fuse the remaining layers. The roots and tips can be mixed in opposite directions. Common Use: Low to medium priced hairpieces, machine-made extensions and wigs.

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Advantages: Low Hairpiece Manufacturing Cost and No Tangles. Less labour time when making hairpieces or wigs and less hair required per unit. If cuticle process is done correctly, this is a permanent process and used to prevent tangles even if the roots and tips are mixed in opposite directions. Disadvantages: High Hair Manufacturing Cost and Poor Quality. Unfortunately, this type of hair is usually mass-produced in large factories using harsh chemicals that greatly degrade the hair. Also the hair purchased for non-cuticle hair is usually non-remy hair. When the chemical process is applied poorly and the hair starts to tangle, it tangles severely. Dye colours and perms do not last and the overall damage to the hair creates a very short life for this type of hair.

Virgin Hair Virgin Hair (aka European Hair, Cuticle Hair): All hair types no matter the origin. Usually refers to European hair as Chinese and Indian hair is rarely sold in their original colours and textures. This is hair that has not been chemically altered at any time and care must be taken to keep roots and tips from running in opposite directions. Common Use: High priced custom wigs, hairpieces and handmade hair extensions. Advantages: High Availability and Low Hair Manufacturing Costs. When it is truly virgin hair, the manufacture has very little preparation to perform before selling it. The lack of chemical processing leaves the hair in a healthy and natural state resulting in a longer life for the finished unit. Disadvantages: Low Availability and High Cost. The dwindling availability of good virgin European hair, especially in lengths longer than 15� has made it an expensive commodity. There is still quite a bit of hair to find, but most of it is very old hair that has a musty odour and tangles very easily. Unfortunately, most Russian exporters are selling this type of hair.

Processed Hair Processed Hair (aka Non-Cuticle Hair, Non-Remy Hair, and Asian Hair): All hair types can be chemically processed (cuticles, colour, and texture). Usually the term processed refers to non-cuticle hair and its most common form is non-remy hair. If handled well by the hair manufacturer, processed hair can retain much of its original quality properties. Common Use: All types of wigs, hairpieces and extensions.

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Advantages: Variety. The hair manufacturer is able to chemically alter the cuticles, colour and texture of the hair to simulate European grade hair and offer multiple colour and textures to the customer. Disadvantages: High Manufacturing Costs and Low Quality. The hair manufacturer must apply multiple chemical processes to the hair. Each process lowers the quality of the hair and shortens the life of the finished piece.

Single Drawn Hair Single Drawn Hair (aka Cuticle Hair, Virgin Hair, Remy Hair): A bundle of hair, no matter its origin or grade that appears like a ponytail because all the short lengths of regrowth hair are kept in the bundle. Many a novice buyer thinks the shorter lengths are split ends. Different manufacturers sell bundles of hair in single drawn form, but sometimes split the percentage of short hair and sell at a higher rate. They may decide to take out perhaps 50% of the shortest lengths and leave the rest in the bundle. Common Use: Medium to high quality hairpieces, wigs and hair extensions. Advantages: High Availability, High Quality and Low Manufacturing Cost. Single Drawn Remy hair is much easier to process the cuticles than Double Drawn Non-Remy hair because it requires less chemicals and processing time. This leads to a higher quality type of hair. The shorter lengths make the bundles appear tapered, therefore more natural. (Many prefer this type of hair. For example, one famous actress insisted that her wig be made with single drawn hair because the shorter lengths give it the perfect look.) Disadvantages: High Manufacturing Cost. The ratio of short hairs to longer hair within a bundle is usually greater, which causes a high amount of loss and waste. The manufacturer must purchase higher quantities to account for the wastage.

Double Drawn Hair Double Drawn Hair (aka Non-Cuticle Hair, Processed Hair, Non-Remy Hair): A bundle of hair, no matter its origin or grade that is all one length. There are no shorter lengths of hair present, which creates a very smooth and polished look. Due to expense and availability with Remy hair, Non-Remy Processed hair is usually sold double drawn. The term refers to a mechanical process that draws out all the shorter lengths from a bundle, and then draws again to realign the top of the bundle.

Common Use: From Non-Remy hair: Low cost, off the shelf hairpieces and wigs.

Advantages: High Quality for Remy Hair, Low Cost and High Availability for Non-Remy Hair. One length creates a seamless silky curtain of hair that looks picture perfect. It gives the illusion of very healthy hair that has never suffered normal wear and tear. Disadvantages: High Cost and Low Availability for Remy Hair. Hair grows and breaks and regrows so that a natural head of hair contains several different lengths of hair. When a

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ponytail of hair is donated or sold, the bundle tapers down to a point. If the bundle is 18” in length and you draw out only the strands that are 18”, you are left with only a few strands of hair that represent maybe 10-15% of the bundle. The rest of the bundle contains the shorter regrowth hair. It would take 10 kilos of single drawn 18” hair to make 1 kilo of double drawn 18” hair. This makes it very expensive and undesirable for the manufacturer who is now left with 9 kilos of shorter hair. It is much more cost effective to offer double drawn non-remy hair, but the blunt one length look makes the hair appear synthetic.

Remy Hair Remy Hair (aka Cuticle Hair): Hair that was carefully bundled at the roots from the moment it is cut from donor and maintained throughout production – the cuticles run in same direction. This hair is usually processed to non-cuticle, but the root direction is maintained. Common Use: High Quality, custom-made hairpieces, wigs and hair extensions Advantages: Low Hair Manufacturing Cost, High Quality. The cuticles are not always removed for remy hair, therefore lowering productions costs and time. If the cuticles are processed, it is much easier than non-remy hair due to less chemicals and processing time. The reduced chemical processing reduces the level of damage that leads to a relatively higher percentage of moisture, as opposed to other types of chemically treated hair. This prevents the straw-like appearance that happens with processed non-remy hair within the first few months. Disadvantages: High Cost, Low Availability and High Hair Manufacturing Costs. For unknown reasons, the temples that collect the hair do not take care to keep the roots and ends sorted correctly; therefore the resource of non-remy is much more than remy hair. Remy hair with cuticles require smaller batches and careful processing during production to avoid matting and tangling the hair during bath circulations.

Non Remy Hair Non-Remy Hair (aka Non-Cuticle Hair, Processed Hair, Asian Hair): Hair that was cut and collected from the floor so that roots and ends are mixed. To solve the inevitable tangling, the cuticles must be chemically removed. Non-Remy hair is sold in Double Drawn form. Common Use: Medium to low priced hairpieces, wigs and extensions. Advantages: Low Cost. The reasons factories in the Orient prefer to buy this type of hair are for two reasons: 1) It is much cheaper than Remy hair, 2) you can bleach and dye several kilos of hair in one batch without worrying about matting during circulation, thereby lowering the manufacturing costs significantly.

Disadvantages: Low Quality. The hair must undergo heavy chemical processes to remove cuticles. As a result the hair becomes very dry over a short period of time. The proceeding bleaching and dyeing reduces the diameter of the hair, creates dry course hair that eventually splits and cracks along the fibre. The tips are already vulnerable naturally due to years of growth and weathering. In Non-Remy hair the tips are running both directions so the entire bundle suffers split ends and breakage. There is also uneven distribution of fibre

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thickness since some roots are at the top and some at the bottom of the bundle, which makes it resistant to combing.

Caucasian: Russian Hair. Very small resources in Poland and Romania.

Asian: Chinese and Indian Hair. Very small resources in Philippines, Vietnam and other small countries, but the quantities are so small that they are not really considered. I hope these notes will help you separate the fact from the fiction in hair selection and processing. The hair market is indeed evolving rapidly and it is important that we work with common standards and terminology. This is one man’s attempt to provide a simple road map; I hope you find it helpful.

Do Shorter Service Plans Lead To Poorer Hair Quality? Some three to four years ago, the hair industry introduced client service plans intended to help clients plan ahead both financially and cosmetically. At the time, most plans offered to replace hair systems about every six months in exchange for a monthly fee. Recently however, the replacement period has been getting shorter, and today, some plans offer three monthly or even monthly replacement options. It goes without saying, that these highturnover plans consume more hair, but does that hair have the same resilience and longevity of its predecessors? And does it matter? Clearly hair that is intended only to be worn for a short period cannot cost as much as hair which was expected to be permed, colour corrected, and thickened routinely over its 12 to 18 month life span. Cheaper hair is likely to be lower quality hair. So the question arises, is it better to rotate poorer quality hair more frequently or pay a little more for premium hair that will last longer? It is not only the issue of longevity. A poor quality product will always be a poor quality product. The client knows to tell the difference. It is important to analyse the benefits of frequent hair rotation versus the possible loss in hair quality before you make a recommendation to your client. Could it be that today's new service plans have your clients wearing hair that is no better than yesterday's hair systems after six months of wear? To understand the dilemma, you must to see it through the eyes of a hair factory manager. Hair factories have a choice of many different grades and sources of human hair. The highest grade is of European origin, usually from Eastern Europe. This is the most expensive hair available anywhere and the longer lengths are limited in supply.

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Next comes Indian hair, which in many respects, with the exception of colour, can resemble European hair. Finally there is a Chinese hair, known for its strength and affordability. Top quality European hair can cost up to 10 or 15 times as much as the cheapest Chinese hair. Expectedly, the price differences are most dramatic in the longer lengths. Price variations for short hair are much closer. However, when you multiply those price differentials by the number of systems manufactured, the impact becomes dramatic. But the cost of goods is not the only consideration. Factory managers also have to maintain close relationships with their overseas suppliers and the cost of travel, ongoing contact, and the business infrastructure necessary to accurately place and track regional orders can be considerable. So the search for economies is inevitable and you need to know where those savings are likely to happen – and who is going to be affected by them. A client who is replacing his hair system every 4 to 12 weeks is unlikely to receive exactly the same hair he got in the past. Professionals should be aware of those differences even if their client is not. If the client used to wear European or Indian hair, the first point of difference may be the diameter (denier) of their new hair. The hair that is most likely to be used in high-turnover system comes from China and has a thickness of 0.1 mm Figure 18 Maintaining your clients hair and up on average. As a result, it is not going to extensions have the same texture, lustre and manageability as European hair, or even Indian hair, even after decuticalisation. Furthermore, it is likely that the colour palette has had to be changed and this means removing much of the original, dark hair pigmentation and re-dyeing the hair, usually with a fabric die, to the desired shade. While most factories have perfected this technology, it is nonetheless an assault on the hair, and it becomes more vulnerable no matter how gentle the colour correction process may have been. But there is a bigger risk. In order to handle the increasing volume of hair orders, everaccelerating deadlines and the constant pressure to reduce costs, factories may seek operating economies, some of which may compromise hair quality. For example, small, undisciplined factories could extend the interval between changes in the acid baths during the removal of the hair cuticle. This may seem trivial, but there is a minimum concentration of active ingredients necessary to effectively remove the cuticle. Anything less will fail to soften the ragged cuticle edges. Anymore, and it would dissolve away the hair’s entire outer protective layer. When a factory tries to cut down on chemical ingredients, labour, or quality control procedures, the effects may not be seen until the hair system has been worn by its new owner for several weeks. If they are lucky, the poorer hair quality may not be noticed at all before the hair system is replaced. However, it only takes one or two dissatisfied clients and years of goodwill will go out the window!

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Is your average client likely to notice the difference in hair quality? Perhaps not. But what about that 5% who you have pampered with your highest quality and now won't settle for second-best? Where can you turn for a top quality hair system that you can integrate into your service plan? It is surprising that while most manufacturers offer all manner of design configurations and base types, few of them offer those same designs with a choice of hair quality. Perhaps this explains why so many retailers shop around, switching from one manufacturer to another on the recommendation of their friends as part of the ongoing experiment to find what’s hot this month! This is a waste of time and resources. Here are some suggestions to help you take the best possible care of your clients. Let’s start with education. The first priority is to instruct your clients to maintain their hair better. Teach them to use the right shampoos and conditioners. Unfortunately, in today's saturated market, it is difficult for most people to determine what products are actually beneficial to the hair and which ones are damaging. For example, SLS (sodium lauryl sulphate) is a harsh detergent which actually dries the hair, yet most shampoos contain SLS, sometimes in concentrations of up to 10% by volume.

Figure 19 Educating your client about their hair extensions

which

impact

the

hair's

Turning to conditioners, most of those sold to the public are not appropriate for the hair used in hair systems because of a marked difference in the surface energy of hair that no longer has its cuticle. Using the wrong conditioner will coat and weigh down the hair without delivering the expected benefits. Contrary to popular belief, the key function of a conditioner is to reduce friction between adjacent hairs, preventing the loss of vital hair cells, the generation of electricity both of longevity and manageability.

Moisture retention is a benefit that was added at a later stage in the development of conditioners as scientists came to understand the physics of hair growth. Even today's best conditioner can only retain moisture in top quality hair for 2 to 3 hours. Damaged hair, or over-processed hair may lose its moisture in half that time. However there are a few conditioners specifically formulated for processed hair, but without your advice, your clients are unlikely to be able to find them. If your client plans to buy a conditioner in his or her local drug store or supermarket, encourage them to select one that states on the label that it is for "Light blond hair" or for "Damaged hair”. The surface energy of light blonde hair at 36-38 mega neutrons

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approximates the surface energy of processed hair (42 mega neutrons). For comparison, the surface energy of regular, growing hair is 30-32 mega neutrons. A sophisticated (obsessional?) client might try calling his or her cosmetic company to request the surface energy range of the hair their shampoo or conditioner is designed to react with. Alternatively, they could request the surface tension of the shampoo or conditioner itself to determine its compatibility with their own hair type. Unfortunately most of the time, they will find that the manufacturer does not have this information and probably does not even understand the question. This reflects the fact that most research dollars today go into fragrance, colour and other cosmetic attributes, not the science of hair care. To the best of my knowledge, there are a couple of companies at this time that manufactures a line of shampoos and conditioners specifically for the type of hair used in today's hair replacement systems. As a matter of professional etiquette, I choose not to go into more details in this article, but I would be happy to answer questions from any professionals who would like to contact me privately or you could google them. The second, and perhaps most important, solution lies in your own hands. To satisfy that critical 5% or 10% of your customers who demand the very highest standards, you should ask your manufacturer or distributor to give you the option of ordering hair systems of differing hair quality. Obviously, European hair is not for everyone, but for those discriminating clients, it is a choice that you should be able to offer. The cost differential between a hair systems with short to medium length hair using Chinese hair versus European hair is likely to be only £45 to £60. Many of your clients might be happy to pay this small surcharge in order to look and feel their very best! We have to be honest here and to inform them that the £45-£60 difference is at a manufacturer level.

Tensile Properties In this article we will cover the issues of strength and elasticity. Test conducted by hair strength scientist. A strand of hair was mounted within the tensile strain instrument. They sprayed the hair strand with a leave-in conditioner liquid, the subject of promotion, and after a few seconds the numbers on the force gauge (the digital reader that defines the pressure applied on the hair for testing strength) began to increase. Such an increase suggests that the strand can now withhold more pressure therefore it is Figure 20 Strength and Elasticity of hair extensions stronger because of the leave-in conditioner. What they demonstrated is true and they presented the facts. What they left out of the demonstration is the other truth. You could spray the hair strand with water and

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obtain very similar if not identical results! It was a brutal misuse of information toward uneducated people in this specific area. It is my hope that the facts and stories I share with you will prevent you and your associates from being subject to the manipulations of information without asking more questions. Consumers evaluate the cosmetic properties of human hair according to combing ease, strength and elasticity. We translate these attributes into single fibre evaluations of friction and tensile properties. Human hair is an elastic substance that is subject to strain (deformation) and stress (recovery). The usual procedure for evaluating the strength and elasticity properties of human hair is via tensile strain/stress tests. A fibre of known length and diameter are stretched at a fixed rate and a fixed relative humidity and temperature on an automated instrument. The procedures for testing the strength and elasticity involves setting the temperature in the testing room to approximately 21 degrees Celsius (70 degrees Fahrenheit) and the humidity between 40%-63%. As already explained in one of my previous articles, the higher the humidity the stronger the hair will appear, which can guarantee results that do not represent reality. X length of hair will be mounted on clamps that will be zeroed, meaning we have to make sure that there is no tension or slack on the hair. Our software performs this for us. A motor that is attached to the tensile strain stand will move the clamps apart at a very *low speed. While activating the motor, we will simultaneously activate the software that will transfer the information, analyse the numbers and plot it onto a graph. After few minutes the strand of hair will break apart and the software will mark this exact point on the graph. The diameter of the strand must be measured prior to the test and entered for the software to generate corresponding strength and elasticity figures. In addition, the software will analyse the quality of bonds coming from 3 different regions of the hair. The performance of the tensile strain/stress tests basically mimics the act of combing the hair and imparts important information for the value minded cosmetic manufacturer. Tensile properties have shown to have little to do with the surface properties (cuticles), but the cortical properties where the stretching occurs. The cuticle does not contribute to the tensile properties, but can be damaged by excessive stretching as the scales lift and separate from the fibre. Cuticle damage is the first to occur. Much like stretching a rubber band that has printing on the surface. When you stretch it beyond the normal relaxation point, the ink will crack and eventually shed off the surface long before the rubber band will break. The cortex is a major part of the fibre mass. Within the cortex are micro fibrils that make up a large part of the cortical cells. And these consist of intermediate filaments and the matrix. During tensile strain testing, we strain the fibre to extend further into the post yield regions where a transformation occurs Figure 21 Why the cortex is a major part of the fibre mass

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in the intermediate filaments. This causes a loss of structure that is usually recovered on relaxation. Unfortunately, recovery occurs with normal healthy hair and not over-processed or non-cuticle hair. Both combing and friction are considered the most perilous factors when discussing the maintenance of human hair. While combing our hair, we apply a significant amount of force upon the hair fibres and it is stretched in various degrees. The force applied during combing also creates friction that results in cuticles breaking and detaching from the strand, which increases the hair’s vulnerability. Each time we run into a small tangle in our hair, we have to remember to be more patient. Essentially, when we apply combing and stretch our hair, the hair is supposed to bounce back. In scientific values, if we stretch the hair 5%-10% beyond its original length, the hair will usually perform a complete recovery and will bounce back to the Zero point. If we stretch the hair 14%-17% beyond its original length, the percentage of relaxation (the mechanism of bouncing back) will not recover to zero. And there is now irreversible damage, although, we may not feel it. Stretching the hair beyond 17% will cause irreversible damage that we will notice. The hair will snap back into a curl, almost like a snake recoiling. With non-cuticle hair, the percentage values are much less as the cortex has suffered massive chemical damage and many of the bonds have been broken and cannot withstand applications of high force. And the non-cuticle strand will not snap back when stretched beyond the recovery point. Usually it will either fracture or immediately break or the hair will lay lifeless because it didn’t even have the elasticity to stretch in 5%-10%. This is particular to processed hair extensions.

Figure 22 Cortex that has suffered massive chemical damage

What can you do to prevent further loss of tensile properties? Understand the limitations of the hair type you purchase and maintain it accordingly. Avoid excessive combing and styling, especially when the hair is wet. If the hair is tangled, use a warm conditioner bath to relax the hair. It will greatly reduce friction and allow you to slowly work out the tangles. Do not scrub wet hair with a towel, pat and gently squeeze to remove the excess moisture. If you have had no choice but to tackle a tangled dry wig with nothing but a brush and determination, wet it down when you are finished and let it air dry. As the water evaporates the fibres will have a greater chance to recover and reform as much as possible to its original structure. Allowing the hair time to recover is highly important.

SYNTHEHIC HAIR AND TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS The present invention relates to synthetic hair used for hair goods such as wigs, hairpieces and weavings and doll hair and a process for preparing the same. More specifically, the present invention relates to synthetic hair which is made of fibre prepared using an acrylic polymer comprising acrylonitrile, vinylidene chloride and a vinyl monomer containing a sulfonic acid group copolymerizable therewith and has favourable surface gloss, curl setting property and hair stylability (property of

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creating various hairstyles when made into a wig), excellent knot strength and is suitable for preparation of wigs and toupees, and a process for preparing the synthetic hair.

PROCESSESSING SYNTHETIC HAIR Qualities conventionally demanded in material for synthetic hair are curl shape, appearance such as gloss and colouring, hair care properties such as combing properties and stylability, dye-affinity, hackling properties, curl setting properties, process ability for machine sewing and hair implant to skin, volume, texture and flame retardant property. Of the material for synthetic hair which is currently available, in the case of material for synthetic hair (fibre) of polypropylene or polyester, flame retardant property is poor and in the case of material for synthetic hair using vinyl chloride or vinylidene chloride, dye-affinity and volume per weight unit are poor. As a typical material with the demanded properties, human hair and synthetic hair comprising acrylic fibre obtained by copolymerizing acrylonitrile and vinyl chloride is known. However, when human hair is used as a material, procuring the material and hair length is problems. Vinyl chloride which is a high pressure gas is industrially difficult to handle and widespread use of the acrylic polymer has been inhibited as preparing the acrylic copolymer is restricted in many ways in terms of equipment. Also, depending on the product, the acrylic fibre obtained by copolymerizing acrylonitrile and vinyl chloride is balanced in gloss, colouring and texture and is flame resistant. However, curl setting properties are faulty as the set per curl shape changes over time and improvement in stylability is desired as hairstyles which the stylability of current acrylic fibre cannot achieve are in demand. On the other hand, using vinylidene chloride instead of vinyl chloride has the advantages of few restrictions in manufacturing equipment, favourable polymerization properties and superior flame retardant property compared to vinyl chloride. When preparing by wet spinning fibre made of an acrylic copolymer obtained by copolymerizing at least 25% by weight of vinylidene chloride, organic solvent is often used as the solvent. However, when a good solvent is used, the spinning solution discharged through the spinneret coagulates by counter diffusion with the coagulation solution causing unevenness in the inner structure of the fibre as the fineness of the fibre increases and as a result, void tends to remain inside the fibre. Consequently, favourable gloss can only be obtained in the case of a fineness of less than 80 decitex. For example, fibre made of an acrylic copolymer obtained by copolymerizing vinylidene chloride suggests a process for preparing fibre in which densifying the

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fibre structure and improving gloss is attempted by adding water to the spinning solution. However, as the copolymer contains at least 80% by weight of acrylonitrile, flame retardant property is inferior. A process for preparing an acrylic fibre which comprises copolymerizing 0.1 to 10% by weight of a monomer in which a sulfonic acid group is introduced into an amide compound containing a vinyl group such as acrylic amide or meth acrylic amide. This process attempts to improve gloss in fibre of a thin fineness. However, favourable gloss is not obtained in fibre with a thick fineness which is suitable for hair material. Furthermore, fibre obtained by wet spinning an acrylic copolymer obtained by copolymerizing at least 25% by weight of vinylidene chloride has the disadvantage that processing tends to be difficult as knot strength is weak and breaking of the hair is frequent when implanting hair to prepare a wig or toupee, due to the fibre properties. This tendency is particularly noticeable in thick fineness. An example of a method for improving knot strength comprises the following steps. A tow obtained by conventional wet spinning is stretched in a hot water environment, passed through a heating roller and further stretched in a vapour zone filled with saturated vapour. Then, in the vapour zone filled with saturated vapour, using a heating roller having a winding speed slower than that of the previous zone, the tow is wound and passed through a cooling roll. However, by this method, fibre of a thick fineness with favourable gloss could not be obtained under the conditions in which knot strength was satisfactory. The reason for this is described below. Usually in wet spinning of fibre in which a good solvent is used, the fibre stretched in a hot water bath is devitrified by the void inside the fibre and so gloss is exhibited in the following step of the heating roller. However, later when the tow is relaxed in a dampened state under a saturated vapour environment, the void which has vanished reappear and consequently a decrease in gloss occurs. More specifically, as described above, the void within the fibre tends to remain as the fineness becomes thicker as unevenness in coagulation becomes noticeable and the number and size of the void tends to increase. The developed voids are mainly stretched out by stretching in a hot water bath and the diameter of the void area present perpendicular to the fibre axis become small. Furthermore, due to the shrinking force and collapsing effect by heating which occur from heating to dry, the number and size of the void seems to have decreased. However, in this method, because the tow is in a wet state when relaxing, the tow is plasticized by the influence of excess hot water on the fibre surface and activity of the polymer molecules are advanced, revealing again the voids within the fibre which were collapsed by heating. A decrease in gloss is thought to occur because diffused reflection due to these voids occurs inside the fibre.

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The synthetic fibre having as the main component acrylonitrile and vinylidene chloride, which is superior in flame retardant property and has few restrictions for preparing the copolymer, has the above technical problems. Therefore in reality quality in thick fibre of more than 30decitex could not be fulfilled. As a result, development of toupees and wigs, in which thick fibre is used, favourable gloss is demanded and at least a certain knot strength is required, was thought to be limited. That is, the object of the present invention is to provide synthetic hair made of fibre comprising an acrylic copolymer obtained by copolymerizing acrylonitrile and vinylidene chloride as the main components, which has favourable gloss which is a property desired in material for synthetic hair, knot strength improved to at least a certain strength and good processability for wigs and toupees. Furthermore, the present invention aims to provide synthetic hair which has good curl setting properties and high hair stylability as synthetic hair used in hair goods and enables planning of a wide variety of projects by using as material for synthetic hair in hair goods. Synthetic or blended hair has come a long way. With the increased demand for hair extensions, manufacturers are now exploring successfully ways to develop synthetic hair that is heat resistance, can maintain the original style without that over shinny fake look. I for one have seen some very good quality blended hair which is lighter and easier to use than real over processed hair. Watch that space.

Making your own wefts or wigs We get asked by many clients who want to go into training if they could learn to make their own wigs or wefts. There is certainly the tools and equipment to learn to do so, but in all honesty the time it would take you to truly design, prepare and make a system for clients willing to pay as far and few. However I think I should just cover this briefly as a sign posting option.

Figure 23 Hair Extension triple Weft making machine

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Figure 25 Perfectly machined single strand stitched weft

Figure 24 Hair extensions dying and drying machinery

Figure 26 Hair extension dying drum

Figure 27 Perfectly machined triple strand stiched weft

Future prospects: As people live longer and the ‘fake it’ sector grows, it is evident that the growing hair extension industry has paved a training niche opportunity for future trainers throughout the world. Up to date information is important to help clarify, demystify and consolidate proper practices.

Figure 28 Qualified Hair Extension trainer and Consultant

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Conclusion: Thus in conclusion it is evident that having all of the above components have a very clear competitive advantage to make the most of this growing multi billion industry. It is hard to find any constructive and in-depth research in the area surrounding the hair extension sector. But we hope with a little more time as we start to collect quantitative and qualitative data that a picture will start to emerge to assist would be specialist understand this sector a little more, be able to analyse and predict creditable trends to help support future hair extension trainers, consultants and technicians. If you are interested in becoming a specialist hair extension trainer, consultant or hair loss consultant, then visit our website www.expresstrainingcourses.com, go to workshops and scroll down to our hair extension section for more information.

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About Academy of Vocational & Professional Training School

The leading hair extension training school offering over 16 different techniques which have been fully globally accredited by the IAO so that the student can then practice around the world. Priding ourselves on our small one to one workshops we have developed a training portfolio that guarantees you will be able to successfully and professionally apply and remove hair extensions backed up with a certified certificate.

Hair Extension Techniques                 

Hair fusion (pre tips) 1 day Bulk hair fusion (glue gun) 1 day Micro ring track 1 day Hook and Latch (no glue, cornrow or thread) 1 day Integrated weave 2 day For clients with over 60% hair loss Full head weave Afro Hair 2 days New hair lace system 2 day Integrated Weave 2 day Trainer’s Boot camp ( 2 techniques) Dual Certificate for trainer (2day boot camp) 12 module course in 10 weeks (not Non-surgical) 1 week residential training course 12 Techniques Hair2Skin Hair Enhancement Specialist Lace Wig Making 1 Day Boot camp 2 techniques Visit our website for more information:

www.expresstrainingcourses.com Figure 29 Different hair extension techniques

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About the Author Diane Shawe, Author, Trainer, Consultant, Speaker and Business Entrepreneur As winner of European Black Business Women of the year in 2003 Founder & CEO of Academy of Vocational and Professional training Ltd, Diane has over 25 years experience in Management and Consultative work. She has been self employed for a combination of 15 years. Figure 30 Diane Shawe Author

Diane’ hair extension training school has personally trained over 750 students which includes individuals, consultants and hair dressing businesses to deliver a variety of hair extension techniques throughout the UK and Europe and Asia. Diane got involved in Hairdressing over 25 years ago and learnt a variety of hair extension techniques whilst modifying and developing others to suit the European market. Diane has worked with a variety of celebrities, models, photographers, SME's and corporate businesses. Prior to forming her own business, Diane worked in Advertising and Marketing, Head of Vocational Training, Business Development, Telecoms and Information Technology which she has found useful during the development of her own businesses.. She got involved in Hair extensions and training in 2003 when one day she was flying back from Paris and a lady sat next to her with awful hair extensions. During the conversation she discovered that the lady had paid 900 euro's and decided that when she got back to the UK, she would establish a hair extensions studio. This led to developing 16 different techniques, writing a book and working with ITV doing makeovers on burn victims and children who had been bullied. Diane has since expanded her business to include over 300 soft skills training courses to help people develop or improve a skill necessary to get a job, get promoted or start a business. Diane is the author or several books, Getting started in the hair extension business, 101 ways to raise emergency money, Dieting Dilemmas for parents with kids who want to diet, How to cyber kiss your business to success. You can visit Diane's blog website www.dianeshawe.com and the main website: www.academy-of-vocational-and-professional-training.com or personal website www.diane-shawe.co.uk ŠHow hair extensions are sourced, treated and graded Diane Shawe M.Ed

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Follow Diane Shawe on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and all the popular social media links

Figure 32 101 ways to raise emergency money

Figure 31 Getting started in the hair extension business

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The Hair Extension Bible How hair extensions are sourced by Diane Shawe edition Jan 2014