RANA - The evolution of hair extensions

Some of you might have missed me snapping and Instagram-ing about it, but I got “permanent” hair extensions a few days ago. And I promised to answer ALL your questions about them and give you the facts on what I’m thinking, how things are different with them, and how I’m getting used to them.

In a nutshell, I LOVE them! Personally, they work great for me and I absolutely appreciate the extra they’ve given me. Plus, styling my hair has been so much fun.

RANA, because

Thinking about getting hair extensions? Long, loose waves are still ruling the runways. And the good news is that we don't have to be genetically blessed to get them. RANA is THE hair specialist in the field of hair extensions with more than 15 years of experience, keeping up with the best trends and products. They only use 100% natural and real human hair from India with the highest quality. With 7 different hair extension systems and a mega stock for all hair types and colors, they're helping clients transform, literally, in a day.

You get all the tips and tricks how to keep your extensions in the best condition. Hair extensions are different from ordinary hairdressing, and that is why many salons cannot apply good hair extensions. It is always best to entrust extensions work to a studio specializing in them, such as RANA Hair Extensions.

RANA Hair Extensions regularly supported photo shoots for fashion shows and catalogs for major department store brands and they're the official sponsor of Miss Belgium.

The 7 extension systems:

These are the kind I currently have and they are similar to the micro beads except that the tips of the hair are attached by using a small keratin bond that is heated and applied to (or melted onto) your hair.

These are individual strands of hair attached to your own hair by way of tiny microbeads. There’s no heat or glue used to fasten them.

 I’m not too familiar with this system, but I know it’s one long piece of extension attached with little microbeads.

 I had these in the past,  it’s one long piece of extension sewn into a little braid they make in your hair. 

I think this is a new of permanent extensions and can look really great when applied well! I can’t say from experience though.

These are wefts of hair that are attached to a small clip or row of clips, which open and close with a snap or click. Ideal if you only want extensions for a special occasion.

This is a bit similar as clip-ins but instead of the small clips it has an invisible wire.

Why did you get invisilocks over the other types?

I figured it might be helpful to explain why I chose invisilocks over the other options out there. As the name says, they are the most invisible type you can choose. Because I do a lot of sports I often have to get my hair up. Then the invisilocks are the best solution.

My personal experience

I’ll say that they really feel like real hair. My hair is naturally on the oily side, so in comparison to my natural hair, the extensions feel somewhat dryer. But personally, I really like that! I’ve found that it curls easier than my natural hair and since it’s mixed in with my natural hair, it sort of helps my hair keep a good curl by adding a little more texture.

My hair just feels a little heavier (obviously since I now have more hair up in there!). I also want to mention that they really irritated me at first and bothered my scalp a little bit, but they warned me of that.  I’m not sure if this was just my personal experience, but my scalp sort of itches, but my hair has grown a tiny bit, so now it’s perfect.  They don’t bother me at all.

When I came home my boyfriend immediately loved it! Before the treatment, he was not a big fan of hair extensions but when he saw the result he was really enthusiastic about it. People who know me off course see that my hair is suddenly longer, but other people don't see the difference with my real hair and the extensions, they flow nicely into my natural hair.

How long will it take to add extensions to my own hair?

That depends on the individual – how much they want to place and what final look they want to achieve. RANA will fully advise you of timings and costs when you have your initial free consultation, also to discuss which technique would be a good fit for you and talk about the final look and test which colors are the best fit. Because I have a lot of hair I needed almost 200 extensions, this was a 5-hour treatment and I'm already having trouble sitting down! But when it was finished the result was amazing.

Can you style your hair the same way or is it difficult?

I can perfectly wear my hair in a high ponytail or a topknot. It feels a bit heavier but with a good hair straightener it stays perfectly and because I chose the invisilocks you'll never see the keratin bonds. At night I sleep with a braid to avoid unnecessarily hair knots. 

Every time I washed my natural hair I used a Silvershampoo from L'oreal and a Silverspray because my hair is getting yellow by the sun. So when I washed my extensions for the first time I used the Rana Care Silky Shampoo and my Silvershampoo followed by the Magestic Mask of RANA Care. Afterward, I put my Silverspay on and I blow dry it but the blond, almost white extensions became gray/blue because of the Silver products. Normally u can use them on your extensions but I think L'oreal is too aggressive for them or the combination of the Silver shampoo and the spray is too much. The extensions were really dry, I couldn't do anything with it anymore. I went back to RANA, they washed it again and put a mask on it, fortunately, they could fix it!

So it's really important to use the RANA Care products to protect your extension if you want to keep your beautiful long hair.

Won't all those extensions be too heavy for my own hair underneath?

If they are applied correctly there should be no problem whatsoever. A RANA technician will balance the weight perfectly, taking a section of your hair and adding an extension of equal weight, resulting in a completely balanced natural look. It is surprising how quickly you get used to having a gloriously full head of hair.

Do I need to buy expensive shampoos and conditioners?

No! RANA developed a product line that is specifically designed for hair extensions and helps keep it in great condition. The RANA Care product line comprises 90% of organic matter, which means that there are much less soap and other chemicals. It contains a lot of keratin and guarana (these are hair-own substances) which gives the hair a lot of nutrition and a beautiful shine. This protects the hair from harmful effects from the outside even when the sun shines.

The shampoo is also free of sulfate and has a delicious smell. The hair care products do not affect the keratin bonds of the extensions, using wrong products can cause them to shred and crumble.

Will Extensions damage my hair?

This is a commonly asked question. When extensions are applied properly there is virtually no reason why they would damage your hair, and to this end, thousands of women have used extensions to grow their own hair to the desired length with no adverse effects whatsoever. However, that is not to say everybody's hair is suitable for extensions. At RANA they take the safety of your hair very seriously and take every reasonable precaution to ascertain the suitability of your hair before commencing with the extensions. This includes a free consultation, as well as complimentary check up appointments while you are wearing the extensions. Everybody experiences normal hair shedding, don't worry, this is entirely natural. You will notice on your hairbrush, whether you wear extensions or not, that you shed between 70 to 100 hairs a day - adding up to around 3 000 hairs a month or 36 000 a year. It seems a lot but on average we have at least 100 000 to 150 000 hairs on our heads alone, so this rate of growth and renewal is entirely normal.

After a week

I'm wearing my extensions for a week now! They flow nicely into my natural hair and the itchy feeling on my head is totally gone. It only lasts for 3 days so that's worth it for beautiful long hair. I'm only using the RANA Care products now, the Silky Shampoo and Conditioner Complex and a protection spray before styling. Twice a week I use the Magestic Mask for extra care and every morning I put some extra oil on the lengths. I always brush my hair with a Tangle Teezer, that's the best way to avoid hair knots or remove them. My extensions are still smooth and shiny.

For those of you who live in Antwerp, and are serious about getting hair extensions, just call RANA Hair Extensions to set up an appointment (03 303 7837) and tell them I sent you and that I said hello! HERE is their Instagram account too if you want to see more of their work!