The only online publication for women in Greater Cincinnati
Beauty

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Breathe new life into your skin at this Mason-based skincare studio.

Marlena Zellam’s journey to becoming a business owner has been an exciting one. She finds it to be both empowering and rewarding. 

After many years in corporate America, Zellam’s work as an esthetician led her to launch SKIN By Marlena. 

Zellam’s interest in skincare first started when she was 25 years old. “A friend asked me to go with her for a consultation,” she says. “Having a few of my own skin concerns, I decided to do a consult as well. After seeing the changes in my skin and the results of the products that were recommended for my skin concerns, I was hooked.”

Today, at SKIN By Marlena, Zellam offers a variety of services including customized facials, microdermabrasion, dermaplaning, LED light therapy, microcurrent, and high frequency.

Marlena Zellam, owner of Skin By Marlena

“Our skin is our body’s largest organ, and it is the most neglected,” says Zellam. “Come see me, and I promise you will love my service, the products, and the lasting results.” 

Zellam puts heart into all of the services she offers, just as much heart as she has for each client who walks through the door. “I care deeply for all of my clients and believe they can feel that in my touch,” she adds. “My facials are not just facials. They are so much more about the power of touch.”

Clarity products are also available at SKIN By Marlena, to help you boost the services you receive from Zellam. 

“I would love for you to give me the opportunity to expose your beauty and make you feel even more beautiful than you already are,” she says.

SKIN By Marlena is located at 9313 Mason Montgomery Road, Studio 25, in Mason. You can learn more at www.skinbymarlena.com or by calling 513-834-4399.

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Grab your bride tribe and head to West Chester for a day of upscale, customizable services to prepare you for the big day. 

When you visit Simplicity Salon, you’ll find that the experience is fully customized to fit your personal needs. According to owner Angela Cash, the inspiration behind Simplicity Salon is just that—simplicity.  

“It’s our name and our motto,” she says. “From our decor to our service menu, we strive to keep beauty simple. Our products and services are upscale but the salon is simple, relaxed, and comfortable.”  

The small, casual atmosphere at Simplicity Salon has been around since 2009 when Cash went out on her own after she decided to become a licensed nail technician “just for fun” while she was in college. 

Services currently available at Simplicity Salon include hair, nails, pedicures, skin care, dermaplaning, facials, full-body waxing, lash extensions, and custom airbrush spray tans. The salon also has an in-house Brazilian waxing and spray tax expert.  

Cash says that what makes her salon unique is that the team offers many years of industry experience and a wide variety of services in a small, intimate space. 

“We use high-end, quality products and hand make all of our pedicure products,” she says. “They can be customized for each client’s aromatherapy preference.” 

Simplicity Salon also offers something for everyone – male or female. 

“We have created a space that offers something for the whole family and we specialize in maximizing our time with you,” she says. “All of our services are designed to be results-oriented and thorough but efficient.” 

Cash says to think about their efficiency in terms of getting a manicure or pedicure while your hair color processes. 

“In today’s world, not everyone wants to spend two hours on a manicure and pedicure so we offer express versions that get results in half the time,” she adds.

For brides in search of a salon to cater to their big day needs, Simplicity Salon offers custom-built packages to match the needs of every bride. 

Packages include everything needed to get prepared in the weeks prior to the big day. “We always recommend starting a couple weeks before so that we can be sure everything from deep conditioning treatments to hair color to manis and pedis and spray tans are scheduled on the perfect timeline,” says Cash. 

She says that the salon also enjoys hosting bride tribes for mani/pedi parties and spray tan parties before the big day as well.

“It’s so much easier to have a one-stop-shop for all of the bridal party beauty needs,” adds Cash. “We can also recommend a stylist and makeup artist for on-location services the day of the wedding. We are small enough to make special accommodations for each bride’s needs and when the whole bridal party comes in we make arrangements for them to have the salon to themselves.” 

Cash says that a new nail service was just added to the menu list at Simplicity Salon. They are Soft Gel Tips that feel like your own nails, only better, she says. “Made with lighter-than-air material, these tips are designed to move with the contour of the natural nail for a perfect sitting, strong, and more break-resistant design,” she adds.

Simplicity Salon is located at 7967 Cincinnati-Dayton Road in West Chester. You can learn more about the salon at www.simplicityhairandnails.com. They’re also on Facebook and Instagram

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Get a boost of self-confidence with the skincare and aesthetic services from this locally owned beauty studio.

At Kathy Jones Aesthetics, their philosophy is that beauty comes from happiness and self-confidence.

“We like to help with the self-confidence part of that formula,” says Practice Administrator Brandy Jones. “Our procedures focus on looking more youthful and radiant in a natural-looking way. We want to help our patients look like their best selves, not like someone else.”

Kathy Jones, the namesake behind Kathy Jones Aesthetics, is the name and face of this medical aesthetics office. She’s been a prominent fixture in the medical aesthetics industry for more than 20 years and offers non-surgical aesthetic procedures including skincare, injectables, and body sculpting at her practice.

Whether you’re prepping for your wedding or looking to freshen up your look, Kathy Jones Aesthetics offers a variety of services to help you look and feel your best. 

Those looking for wrinkle reduction can turn to Kathy Jones Aesthetics for botox, xeomin, dermal fillers, and ultherapy. Facial and body sculpting procedures available at the practice include Kybella and CoolSculpting. 

Jones says those looking for skin health focusing on prevention, maintenance, and correction can turn to peels, dermaplaning, microneedling, lamprobe, CryoPen, and a variety of skincare products to address all skincare concerns. 

Body procedures available at Kathy Jones Aesthetics include CoolSculpting, laser hair removal, and Sclerotherapy. Permanent makeup is also available including lip blush, eyebrow tattoo or microblading, and eyeliner tattoo. 

Jones says that what makes Kathy Jones Aesthetics unique is their focus on patient education and the personal, customized feel to their patient care.

“Every patient is different according to what their concerns are, what their expectations from a procedure might be, and what kind of knowledge and understanding they might already have when they come through our doors,” says Jones. “We listen to each patient and make recommendations tailored to their needs.”

Jones says to be on the lookout for new skincare products and new innovations in body sculpting to soon be available at Kathy Jones Aesthetics. 

There are two locations for Kathy Jones Aesthetics in Greater Cincinnati. The Oakley office is located at 3215 Madison Road in Cincinnati and the Northern Kentucky office is located at 120 W 5th Street in Covington.

You can find updates and specials on the Kathy Jones Aesthetics website, where you can also sign up for email newsletters. Jones says that they also post regular updates on Facebook and Instagram.

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Gain confidence and look beautiful with the permanent cosmetic services from this local microblading studio. 

Symmetry Microblading offers a variety of permanent cosmetic services.

Carlye Shumaker is the owner and artist behind Symmetry Microblading, a permanent cosmetic studio that focuses on the natural beauty of each client in order to create realistic results and a more confident person.  

“I wholeheartedly believe that a confident woman can accomplish anything,” says Shumaker. “Symmetry is a space for individuals to come and feel empowered, confident, and beautiful both inside and out.” 

Shumaker strives to make Symmetry Microblading a safe space, free of judgement. She also aims to build more confident people out of the clients she serves.  

The passion for Symmetry Microblading started when Shumaker was a child. “Creativity has always been an important aspect of my life since I was a child. Dancing around the house and painting or drawing are vivid memories of how I passed time growing up,” she says. “I’m also a School of Creative and Performing Arts graduate where I majored in both Visual Arts and Dance.” 

The love for creativity and visual arts continued after college where Shumaker worked different corporate jobs. However, she realized that while she was in corporate America, there was something missing.  

“I was constantly uninspired and unmotivated by the job itself,” she explains. “I stumbled across the idea of permanent cosmetics and hit the ground running.”  

And while the work is rewarding, she didn’t imagine the women she would meet along the way and how she would impact their lives in a positive way.  

“I have had the opportunity to meet cancer survivors and women with alopecia and trichotillomania that have trusted me to restore not just their eyebrows, but their confidence,” she says. “It is such a powerful and humbling honor, no matter a client’s story, to have women trust me with such a personal and important enhancement.”  

Current brow services available at Symmetry Microblading include: 

  • Microblading ($400) – hair-like strokes on the brow area allowing the cosmetic tattoo to blend seamlessly with the natural hair to create the illusion of a fuller brow. 
      
  • Blade and Shade ($475) – this is a combination of microblading while also adding shading to the brow area to create a more filled in effect.  

  • Brow Lamination ($60) – this is a perm for your unruly eyebrow hair! This service relaxes the brow hair to lay in a more uniform fashion to allow for easier styling. 

  • Henna Brows ($60) – bookable in March 2021, this service temporarily dyes both the skin and brow hair creating a sleek bold brow.  

  • Consultations ($30) – thinking about permanent cosmetics but want to talk it through first? Consultations are 30 minutes, and everything from shape, color, and aftercare can be discussed (available for Microblading/Blade and Shade only). 
Symmetry Microblading is currently running a special that includes your consultation fee as a credit toward services when they are booked during this initial meeting. 
 
Shumaker says that she has big plans for 2021. “I have goals of expanding my certifications and services to include powder brows and combo brows as well as removal services,” she adds.
 
Symmetry Microblading is located at 11310 Montgomery Road in My Salon Suites of Harper’s Pointe.
 
To learn more about Symmetry Microblading, visit www.symmetrymicroblading.com. You can also follow along to see works-in-progress on Instagram. 

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Upgrade your look with high-end, eco-friendly services from this Mason-based salon and spa.

If you’re looking for an upscale salon focusing on eco-friendly services and products, Kim Harper Salon & Spa is the place to go. 

“Kim Harper Salon & Spa specializes in natural, lived-in hair color,” says Tara Thal, salon director. “We carry eco-friendly, salon-exclusive product lines like Kevin Murphy and Davines. We also partner with local businesses to showcase their talent. Some of our favorite local businesses include Bardot Bow Gallery, Bea’s Flowers, Oath MD, and Grace Green Beauty.”  

The inspiration behind Kim Harper Salon & Spa comes from owner Kim Harper’s passion for creating a welcoming salon environment for both stylists and clients. 

“Kim is passionate about her profession and instills that passion in our stylists and estheticians by leading our advanced apprenticeship program as well as our continuing education program,” says Thal.  

Additionally, Thal herself was brought onto the team to bring in more than a decade of marketing experience to focus on the operations and marketing side of the business. 

Specific services available at Kim Harper Salon & Spa include color, cuts, tape-in or sew-in extensions, waxing, dermaplaning, eyelash extensions, and facials.  

Thal says that the upscale services available at Kim Harper Salon & Spa are what really help it to stand out. 

“We greet our clients by name, and our front desk is incomparable when it comes to hospitality and care,” she says. “Our employees truly enjoy their work, and there is a real team atmosphere that permeates everything we do. The clients can feel it, too, and it makes their experience so enjoyable. We have entire families and multiple generations that come to us for all of their hair and skin needs, which is so special to us.” 

Thal says to keep an eye out for new happenings at the salon, as they’re always evolving and adapting by adding new services or trying new products without straying too far from their core values and mission. 

Kim Harper Salon & Spa is located at 5150 Socialville Foster Road in Mason.  

To learn more, visit www.kimharpersalonandspa.com. You can also follow along on Instagram

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Specializing in eyelash extensions, microblading, brow sculpture, lash lifts and more, you can look and feel better after a visit at this upscale eyelash boutique in Crescent Springs.

Jamie Hils of The Lash Boutique wants to make women look and feel better. 

“We want to create effortless beauty for all of our clients,” she says.

The Lash Boutique is an upscale eyelash salon specializing in eyelash extensions, airbrush tanning, microblading, brow sculpture, lash lift and tint and more. 

“We are proud to be Kentucky’s first lash focused salon,” says Hils. “We are dedicated to giving you the highest standards and quality available in the beauty industry. We are also a Bella Lash Training Facility and offer Lash Certification.”

Hils first opened her doors in 2014 after spending years in the beauty industry and after having built up her lash clientele. 

“I am a licensed esthetician in both Ohio and Kentucky. I’m also a Certified Lash Educator for Bella Lash,” she says. “My beautiful clients, my ambitious team, and my loving friends and family are my heart and soul. My four children also motivate me to keep going.”

There are a variety of different lash styles available when you visit The Lash Boutique from very natural to very dramatic, and everything in between.

“Using only the best, long-lasting, medical-grade adhesives and lashes, we can customize a look that’s perfect for your lifestyle and suited for your eye shape,” she says. “We also offer lash lifts for those who may not be a good candidate for extensions.”

Lashes at The Lash Boutique range from $75 to $200 depending on the look you’re going for. Fill-ins range from $40-$65.

Hils says that what makes The Lash Boutique unique is that every appointment is like a super fun hangout with one of your best friends. Only, you walk away with amazing lashes,” she says. “We truly love our clients and the majority of them turn into our friends.” 

Hils says The Lash Boutique will soon offer new services including brown lamination, and on the training side of things, will be offering lash lift and tint certification. 

The Lash Boutique is located at 562 Buttermilk Pike, Suite D, in Crescent Springs, Kentucky, in the same plaza as Bonefish Grill.

To learn more about The Lash Boutique, visit www.lashboutiqueky.com. You can also stay up-to-date on Facebook and Instagram.

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After COVID-19 left her out of a job, a local creative launched a business focused on providing customers with luxury, handcrafted skincare products. Click to read more.

Boujee Bar Skincare uses high-quality ingredients to create relaxing, luxurious skin care products.

Havilah Asher has a passion for creating quality products that embody relaxation, luxury, and natural beautification, so launching her own skin care company only made sense. 

Asher is the founder behind Boujee Bar Skincare, a plant-based company that specializes in handcrafted luxe skin care products.

“We are passionate about self-care and make our products with the intention to not only moisturize the skin but to uplift the spirit as well,” says Asher. “Our offerings range from moisturizing soaps, silky butters, and revitalizing scrubs, which, combined, create an impactful skin care regimen.”

The inspiration behind Boujee Bar Skincare comes from a passion for researching quality ingredients that help users relax while enjoying luxurious, natural beauty products.

“Each collection, soap, scrub, and butter, revolves around an essential herb or highlighted essential oil blend,” says Asher. “Raw natural shea butter is one of our key ingredients because of its ability to lock, seal, and protect the skin. Our shea butter is sourced from West Africa where the grade is dense, making is perfect for moisturization. We also incorporate other rich oils such as black seed oil, jojoba, cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, and organic coconut. Our moisturizing soaps can take up to 4-6 weeks to make in order to get a pure bar. The cold press processes are important to achieve the company’s standard.”

Asher doesn’t skimp on the oils, she only uses oils that are infused with herbs and botanicals. 

Havilah Asher, Founder of Boujee Bar Skincare

“We grow our own lavender, rosemary, and mint,” says Asher. “The process can take anywhere between days, weeks, or months. Our scrubs go through a two-day process to create its luxurious, revitalizing feel.”

The scents from Boujee Bar Skincare are unique and vital to the brand. “We use the same technique in the perfume process to create our unique essential oil blends for our products,” she explains. “The goal is to create a natural, long-lasting scent with no alcohol. Each essential oil is selected based on its impact and fragrance potency. We try to make our products beautiful in every sense. We decorate our soaps with botanicals and use natural clays or powders for color.”

Asher says the reward is when people tell her how much they love the soaps and the improvements it has made on their skin. “When you find enjoyment in skincare or self-care, it becomes less of a routine and instead a sacred ritual,” she adds.

Asher herself is a Cincinnati native and a self-described “quintessential independent creative.” 

She says that she turned her own love and skincare regimen into something that she can share with others. 

Her history with soaping started two years ago while shew as working at a commercial firm. At a time when she was frequently coming home stressed out, she saw the impact it was having on her skin in addition to her issues with eczema and dryness. 

“Soaping allowed me to create my own stress relief,” she says. “It evolved into a passion for crafting, oils, and ingredients.”

Asher launchd her business just a month prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. “When I lost my job due to layoffs, I was secretly devastated,” she says. “That propelled me to finally create something for myself.”

And the hard work paid off. Today, Asher is the founder and CEO of her own company and finds joy in helping others find a skincare regimen that works for them.

When you shop Boujee Bar Skincare, you’ll find a variety of skin care products including soaps, butters, scrubs, gift sets, and body collections. Shipping is available online across the country and Saturday deliveries are available as well.

Asher says she’s looking forward to the year with Boujee Bar Skincare. She will showcase a featured collection each month to give customers the opportunity to look forward to trying something new. 

The month of January features the Polish Gold Collection. “This collection was designed to clean, smooth, and polish the skin,” says Asher. 

She’s also on the lookout for brand ambassadors who value natural, handcrafted, luxury items.

To learn more about Boujee Bar Skincare, visit https://boujeebarskincare.com/. You can also follow along on Facebook and Instagram

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One of Cincinnati’s very own has been named a top small business owner in the state. Learn more about her and how she’s adapting in a changing industry.

Nestled among the streets of Findlay Market in Over-the-Rhine is Spruce Nail Shop, a neighborhood nail salon specializing in manicures, pedicures, and skin care services.

The owner behind the shop is Molly Nagle, who also works in the nail salon as a nail tech and nail artist. Also behind the scenes of the business is a team of managers, front desk coordinators, nail technicians, nail artists, and estheticians. 

Spruce Nail Shop will celebrate its five year anniversary in February, thanks in large part to its unique concept of focusing on non-toxic products and services that are good for you.

“We carefully choose products that are free of toxic materials and we select our services based on research for what is best for your nail and skin health,” says Nagle. “The foundation of our business is based on having Good. Clean. Fun. – both for our clients and employees.”

The mission behind Spruce Nail Shop is to use the safest alternatives for polishes, products, and practices while creating one-of-a-kind manicures and nail art designs for every client who walks through the door.

Nagle knows that the beauty industry is constantly changing, and she embraces that evolution and change. “It’s so fun to follow trends you see in design, art, and fashion and incorporate them into our nail art designs,” she says. 

Those changes and adaptations have been especially difficult for many local businesses during COVID.

When COVID arrived, Nagle says that Spruce Nail Shop went back and worked from scratch during the lockdown to streamline as much as they could. 

“We reworked our booking system, purchased sneeze guards, face shields, and masks,” she says. “We created a separate entrance and exit, new protocols for check-in and check-out, new systems for our technicians, and so much more.” 

In addition to new safety protocols, Spruce Nail Shop has also had to adapt to a smaller capacity.

“We are running at 50% capacity, which has been a challenge, but, thankfully, we have our new space that is almost twice the size of our old one so we are able to socially distance much easier,” she says. “We keep getting creative and thinking of new ways to bring in revenue. Launching our online shop has been a huge help for us, and we are so thankful for the support we have received. Things are not easy, but our team has stayed so positive and encouraging, and that is truly what keeps me motivated.” 

Spruce Nail Shop is proudly women-owned and operating. In addition to the staff in the storefront, the product vendors at Spruce Nail Shop are also women-owned. 

More recently, Nagle was named as the top small, woman-owned business person of the year in Ohio, something that she says is humbling.

“I am so appreciative,” she says. “I often get caught up in working day-to-day and pushing Spruce, so it’s really nice to be able to take these moments to pause and look back on how much we have accomplished. There are so many incredible women-owned small businesses in Ohio, and I am so honored.” 

Nagle says that what keeps her motivated as a small business owner is her team and clients. 

“I am so proud of the team we have at Spruce,” she says. “The talent is unparalleled, but what I really love are the teachers. We hire a lot of techs straight out of nail school, and most have not done nail art before. We have a nail art educator and all techs work together and teach each other nail art. Seeing the growth in this skill set is one of my favorite things.”

Nagle says that Spruce Nail Shop is looking forward to a lot in the new year. “I know that we will be operating without current COVID standards for some time still, but I look forward to hopefully being able to bring back our Spruce Mobile and plan some more events and collaborations with other local businesses,” adds Nagle. 

To learn more about Spruce, visit https://sprucenailshop.com. You can also follow along on Instagram.

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A local photographer wants to help you appreciate and love your body by capturing images that show your true, natural beauty. Read on for all the picture perfect details.

Sara Ayers wants to inspire women to appreciate and love their bodies, and she’s doing just that, one session at a time, with Boho Boudoir.

Boho Boudoir is a luxury body empowerment boudoir studio helping to empower women.

“Boho Boudoir was created after years of making traditional portraits and seeing a consistent lack of self-love from so many female clients,” explains Ayers. “I knew this was my passion after photographing my first boudoir session and seeing the client leave with an entirely different attitude toward herself than when she arrived.”

Ayers is the founder and lead photographer of Boho Boudoir, and she finds everyday inspiration to do what she does by the growing strength and mutual respect of other women and those who identify as female.

“The sense of community from other local female creators has been an invaluable source of support and encouragement as I have continued to build my business,” she adds.  

At Boho Boudoir, Ayers makes sure that she takes time to consider all of the details to help make clients feel comfortable and at ease during sessions.

“It isn’t just about producing beautiful, high-quality images, it is about creating a positive space where our clients can appreciate themselves on a level they haven’t already, or truly celebrating themselves if they have,” she says.

Sessions from Boho Boudoir include a 2-hour portrait session, professional hair and makeup, a pre-shoot consultation, advice on wardrobe and styling, and industry professional editing and natural retouching of all final images. 

There are three luxury collections available for purchase from Boho Boudoir that include fine art albums, metal prints, digital files, and more.

Ayers says that she’s looking forward to expanding her services, as soon as it’s safe to do so. Those expansions include Chicago, Louisville, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, and Buffalo. 

To learn more about Boho Boudoir, visit www.bohostudiocincinnati.com/boudoir. You can also stay in touch on Facebook and via email.

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Hair extensions are a great option for those who want to have the long hair now (for one evening maybe), and not wait years when their short haircuts will grow out.

Hair extensions used to be the thing only celebrities had, but Instagram’s trends with ever-changing hair have promoted extensions among millions of people. It sounds great – get long hair without popping hair vitamins and waiting for our strands to grow. But only after you have bought the extension you discover other aspects like not so easy the attachment process and upkeep.

Extensions require high maintenance similar to natural strands, even more careful. Additionally, quality extensions come with a quite high price tag. Find out all there is to know about getting hair extensions, before considering buying one for yourself.

The Basics

Usually, hair must be at last 4 inches – long enough to braid or make a cornrow base for extensions to be applied.

The health of hair is also one of the most important factors. If the hair isn’t healthy, it must be treated before any extensions are applied to it. 

There are natural and synthetic hair extensions and it’s important to consider the differences between them. Natural hair extensions are usually made from human hair. Some less expensive hair extensions can be mixed with synthetic fibers or even animal hair. Fully synthetic hair is made from plastic fibers. It also could be processed for the desired texture. Such extensions have an unnatural feel and you can differ human and synthetic hair based on maintenance, texture, and price.

Hair Extension Applications

There are differences in how hair extensions are applied. 

Weave hair extensions – there are specific weave extensions. To apply them, you need to braid the natural hair into a cornrow and use a needle and cotton thread to attach the extra lengths.

Micro-link hair extensions (that are also known as micro-bead extensions) are applied by looping the extensions through natural hair and clamping it down with a pair of pliers and a metal bead.

Tape-in hair extensions are classified as semi-permanent extensions. They’re pre-taped on either side of a person’s own hair.

The pre-bonded extension is also known as fusion hair extension. They are attached to the natural hair using keratin or glue.

Clip in hair extension is considered as one of the least damaging to hair and very quick to apply because they are not attached to a braid. 

Net weaving extensions – another weaving technique that prevents additional stress on the hair. The net is sewn on the base of the cornrows, and the weave weft extensions are sewn to the net. 

Crochet extension is done using the same technique used to apply weft weaving, but the extensions are not sewn onto the braids, they are applied using a latch hook needle.

There is no one type of bond that is better than the other. The type of hair and method is going to determine by each person. For thin hair tape-in extensions are generally best when for coarse locks any other option would work.

Maintaining Hair Extensions

Typically it’s recommended to wait 2 days after hair extensions have been put in before washing. Before washing, detangled hair with a brush, from the ends to the roots. Regular shampoo won’t be a good choice, in this case, better to use a good quality shampoo and conditioner that was specifically created for use on natural and synthetic hair. Hair should also be gently dried and detangled. Avoid going to bed with wet hair.

 

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