The Role Of Hair Extensions In The Beauty & Fashion Industry
by BRENDA L. / JUN 6, 2023
Reading Time: 6 Minutes
The beauty aspect of the dream factory – aka the media and fashion industry – has always been subject of discussion. From rumours about plastic surgery to the magical power of professional make-up, celebrities all around the world have always been known for their striking beauty on top of their unique talents. Hair, in particular, not only serves as a canvas for self-expression but it is at all respects an essential element in crafting unforgettable looks. Think of the gorgeous red locks of Scarlet Witch in the Marvel multiverse, or the iconic platinum blonde that defined the characters of Marylin Monroe. Would Rogue from the X-Men be the same without her iconic money piece? Would you recognise Wednesday Addams without her famous double plaits?
Whilst natural hair has its allure, wigs and hair extensions have played an important role in the entertainment world since ages. From the curated looks in kabuki theatre of feudal Japan to the funky and vibrant hair looks of modern Drag Queen shows, hair emerged as a transformative tool, to revolutionise our perception of a character on screen, and of a celebrity on the red carpet. Everywhere we look – from magazines to social media, music videos and cinema, hair plays an essential role in influencing beauty standards, allowing self-expression and communicating powerful, impacting messages.
The Purpose Of Hair Extensions
Hair extensions are often considered a vanity item, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. The history of hair extensions starts as a cultural expression in African regions such as Ancient Egypt, where they were attached with beeswax and often coloured in deep black, blue, gold and even red. Wigs and extensions were often used not only as a fashion statement, but to express one’s social status. You can read more about this in our dedicated blog: The Hidden History of Hair Extensions & Wigs. But what are the purposes of this accessory exactly? Let’s see them together.
Versatility And Creativity
Hair doesn’t grow back as quickly as eyebrows do, unfortunately – therefore, to recover from a big chop you’d have to arm yourself with lots of patience and good hair products. This can be quite limiting for those who have to often switch their looks up – either for professional reasons, such as actors, singers and performers, or to express their own creativity and style. Wigs and hair extensions enable people to achieve a wide range of hairstyles in a short amount of time, providing flexibility and adaptability. Whilst some people prefer permanent solutions to achieve long-term hair transformations whilst they wait to grow their hair out, many others enjoy the freedom of clip in hair extensions to change looks for a special occasion (such as weddings, parties, and events).
An example of creative work with hair extensions and wigs is one of the most iconic looks of Kim Kardashian, wrapped in platinum blonde tresses.
Instant Length And Volume
One of the primary purposes of hair extensions is to add length and volume to natural hair. In the modern world, fashion evolves and mutates quite quickly – making jaw-grazing bobs super trendy over summer, and Rapunzel-like tresses the new obsession over winter. This is impossible to keep up with when wearing natural hair, and this is why hair extensions are becoming more and more popular by the day – providing their users with all the beauty and versatility of vertiginous length and newly-found volume whenever they need it. Who doesn’t love an instant transformation?
A striking example of a short to long transformation would be Millie Bobby-Brown, that went from a short bob to long, glamorous beach waves overnight.
Colour And Style Experimentation
What about colouring? Bleach and hair dye can be quite taxing on our tresses, especially if we like to try out new looks quite often. Hair extensions provide a solution for this, too. By adding some strategically placed hair extensions in different colours, you can easily achieve a sun-kissed balayage for the summer or add a streak of funky colour to your mane for a festival look. Trying out different shades, adding highlights and more has never been easier! Moreover, Remy hair extensions can be styled just like your own hair, allowing you to express yourself with braids, curls, and more.
Need an example? Christina Aguilera’s Y2K looks are characterised by high-contrast chunks of colour in her mane.
Are Hair Extensions Beneficial to the Beauty Industry?
Well, it would be a lie if I said that the beauty industry doesn’t gain any benefit from the usage of hair extensions. The market itself is in constant expansion, with new hair extensions-specific products popping on the shelves of retailers and salon professionals every day. From sulfate-free colour reviving shampoos to glossifying masks, the hair extensions world has officially made room for itself and its demanding customers. Let’s see them more in detail:
Expanding Services And Offerings
Hair extensions had a major impact on the growth and diversification of the beauty industry, giving life to new careers in the hair care and hair styling branches. Salons and private stylists alike can expand their services by incorporating hair extension installations, maintenance, and extensions-specific styling into their own repertoire – or even specialise in this particular branch to work specifically with this type of products!
Boosting Confidence And Self Esteem
Hair extensions aren’t just a beauty accessory: in fact, they also play a crucial role in restoring confidence and self esteem in those that are struggling with their own hair health and beauty because of stress, medical conditions, or unfavourable genetics. Hair loss, thinning hair, and pregnancy-related hormonal changes (to name a few) can now be tackled with the aid of human hair extensions – making people all over the world feel empowered, confident, and able to finally express themselves to the fullest.
How Have Hair Extensions Affected the Beauty Industry?
The impact of hair extensions in the beauty industry is massive, and the fall of gate-keeping such information (as it used to happen) has finally opened the door to many, many individuals struggling with personal image and self esteem. With hair stylists and salon professionals becoming more and more knowledgeable about the truth behind hair extensions, and celebrities and influencers becoming more and more honest about their beauty secrets, hair extensions transformations are becoming an achievable goal for everyone – allowing self-expression, creativity and daring hair experiments in the homes of millions of people – massively contributing to the changes of beauty standards and the normalisation of sudden creative transformations.
Hair extensions play an important role in media and fashion, empowering expression, and redefining beauty standards. Providing incredible transformations, versatility, and a relatively cheap cost, they make the perfect hair accessory to change your looks to experiment with your own image and try different things with your hair – achieving numerous, glamorous styles whenever you’d like.