With how much bobs have been majorly trending this year, you may not have even realized that on the complete opposite end of the hair spectrum, another trend has been gaining some serious traction: extremely long hair. And when we say long hair, we mean Rapunzel-like length—as in surreally long hair that, in some cases, literally sweeps the floor.
Ultra-long hair is in and apparently here to stay, according to some of our favorite celebrities. We’ve already seen numerous stars taking their already long locks to the extreme—we’re talking to the butt and beyond (the limit truly does not exist). At the most recent Met Gala, incredibly long hair ruled the red carpet thanks to the likes of Gigi Hadid, Ice Spice, Emma Chamberlain, and Blackpink’s Jennie Kim, who all opted to show off some extra inches with their hairstyles. And, not even a few weeks ago, Nicki Minaj showed up to the Barbie movie premiere in Los Angeles sporting blonde ankle-grazing strands that looked absolutely flawless.
So, why is extra-long hair more popular than ever? Well, it’s because extreme length is very much a status symbol. “Extra long hair screams effortless chic with a twist of luxury,” celebrity hairstylist Danielle Keasling explains. “Hair is your greatest accessory and long, healthy hair is like a Cartier love bracelet these days.”
The good news is that extra-long hair is not just reserved for celebrities and absolutely anyone can participate in this trend. After all, it’s not like these stars actually achieved their mega-long locks by growing their hair overnight—they simply used hair extensions.
As so many people are now turning to extensions to let down their longer-than-life hair, we reached out to Keasling to get all the details on how stylists can tap into this growing trend with their clients. Considering that she’s not only a hair extensions specialist but also the Executive Artistic Director of Great Lengths Hair Extensions, you’ll definitely want to take her word. Keep scrolling for her tips, tricks, and helpful recommendations.
How to Achieve Extreme Length Via Hair Extensions
When it comes to using hair extensions to create incredibly long hair, there are a few important things for stylists to consider. First of all, you want to be sure that you are using high-quality extensions.
“One of my biggest pieces of advice is to make sure you are getting what you pay for,” Keasling says. “Do your research and make sure that if you order 22” long extensions that you’re actually getting 22” long extensions and not 18 solid inches with 4” of thinned out density. I see this all of the time and it makes me crazy!”
According to Keasling, this exact issue is why she decided to partner with Great Lengths in the first place. “The hair is double drawn and is the same density from the attachment point all the way through the ends,” she explains. “Clients that are used to wearing other brands always think I put in longer than their 22” length and I almost can’t convince them otherwise. They swear it’s longer because their previous 22” set was actually falling way short!”
Another thing to consider is using extensions that are made from Remi hair. With Remi hair, all the hair cuticles are aligned in the same direction, from root to tip. “When the cuticle is all aligned the same way, you will get minimal tangling,” she says. “Other factors that contribute to tangles are the way the hair is colored, the type of hair, and where it’s sourced, as well as the at-home maintenance the client is using on their locks.”
The last thing to consider is that you want to make sure to have a good hair extension holder on hand to increase your speed. “Staying organized while doing your application tremendously increases your speed,” Keasling says. “I am obsessed with the Blu Smart Tools Extensions Cart. It holds all of my hair as well as my extension machine.”
As far as a suggested technique, Keasling says, “For super long looks, I am particularly loyal to a strand-by-strand method for the most natural movement and feel. Strand-by-strand application allows you to really get in there and custom lay your color for the best possible blend out there. When lengthening to extremes, you really need to pay special attention to your color blend and make sure to use many multiple colors for the perfect end results.”
She adds, “If I really need to bulk things up, (especially in the middle back where we want to really create that perimeter) I opt for a hybrid application and utilize my tapes in addition to my strand-by-strand. The tapes can really pack in a great amount of hair where you ended to establish that weight. Most lines allow you to place a single tape-in with a safety band backing and for more density, sandwich two tapes together.”
When it comes to styling XXL hair extensions, you have a lot of options. However, you can’t really ever go wrong with adding some texture on long hair, in the form of bombshell-worthy curls and loose waves. Keasling personally recommends a long barrel curling iron like Bio Ionic’s new 1.25” Graphene MX Long Barrel Curling Iron. “It cuts styling time in half!” she says. “The longer barrel can handle more hair in each section and it’s incredible for hair extensions.”
How Much Should Extra-Long Hair Extension Services Cost?
If you have clients that are hoping to achieve extra-long hair via extensions, they should know that it won’t come cheap. In fact, they should be prepared to pay twice as much as they would for the installation of regular-length extensions. According to Keasling, “Extra-long hair can literally double your price of service so make sure to provide a quote to your clients so they know what to expect.”
As for what’s influencing this price hike? One word: Covid-19. “Covid made a very large impact on hair donors and it hasn’t quite bounced back yet so it’s harder to find abundant amounts of extra-long hair,” she explains. “This ‘supply and demand’ issue increases cost for companies and therefore is passed along to the stylist and consumer.”
How to Maintain Extra-Long Hair Extensions
As far as hair extensions go, extra-long hair extensions will require a lot more maintenance. Keasling shares that your clients should plan for much longer drying times. “ When you have a lot of hair, it’s definitely a lot to care for, but the good news is usually my extension clients can go a lot longer in between shampoos.” To extend their time between washes, she suggests that extensions clients invest in dry shampoo products as well as a good, deep treatment such as Matrix’s Food for Soft Rich Hydrating Treatment Mask.
Last but not least, Keasling says that it’s important that your clients not be afraid to brush their extensions. “The more you brush your extensions, the better off you are!” she explains. “And when I mean brush, I mean, get down all the way to the scalp with a special hair extension brush and brush your bonds! It’s so important and helps keep your natural hair from developing tiny dreads.”
For more of Keasling’s extension tips and tricks, be sure to follow @danielle.keasling on Instagram.