Fine-hair genes, styling damage, trauma, hormones: there are a host of reasons why a girl's hair might not be as long and luxuriant as she wants on her wedding day. Luckily though, hair extensions are a quick and easy way to achieve the tresses of one's dreams. I've never tried extensions myself (I just grew my hair out for my own wedding day updo), but Veronica Gomes wears and works with them all the time. Gomes, a Vancouver-based hairstylist, boasts 12 years of experience and launched an eponymous line of hair extensions last fall featuring 11 shades (including 2 different shades of black, one warmer and one darker), 3 lengths, and 2 quality levels, so it's safe to say she's an extension guru and I learned a lot from this interview. Brides-to-be who are looking for more length or volume, take note!
Can you tell readers a bit about your background as a hairstylist?
I have always had a passion for hair styling since I was young and became a stylist 12 years ago. I know every woman gets a confidence boost when they have their hair done and I love knowing my work can make women feel more empowered.
Why did you decide to develop your hair extensions line?
In 2007 my sister Maria, who is also my business partner, started to lose her hair after she gave birth to her daughter due to changing hormones post-pregnancy. Shortly after this, I decided to educate myself on hair extensions to find the best solution for my sister’s hair loss. That was what really sparked my passion to help women feel their best.
What was the development process like and how long did it take?
I have been working with different brands of extensions for nearly 10 years now, and through research and experience I found that I had enough resources to create my own. It took a couple years to piece everything together, but I was able to develop a versatile line of 100% Remy Virgin Human Hair which is ethically sourced, available in a variety of clip-ins, tape-ins, nano links and weft hair.
What should brides look for in quality hair extensions?
Brides should be looking for extensions made out of real human hair; the overall look and movement of real human hair is more natural, plus the feel and texture are smoother and softer. Although real human hair tends to be pricier, it ends up being more durable and lasts longer. The best part of real human hair is that you can change it to your own preferred style. Unlike synthetic hair, you can use hot tools and styling products to change real hair to any style dreamed of for the big day.
What can a bride expect when doing a hair trial with extensions?
When doing a hair trial with extensions, a bride can expect to have thicker and longer hair for her desired wedding hairstyle. It is a small step that results in a big confidence boost, making women feel positive about the way they look. Hair extensions are a great tool to use to create volume in hair for those full-bodied hairstyles that brides often want to achieve.
Should brides go for different kinds of extensions depending on whether they're wearing their hair up or down?
The type of extension does not make a difference whether the hair is up or down. I recommend brides use clip-in extensions for a temporary, easy-to-apply and take-out style, especially if it is their first time trying extensions out. They can add color and length this way without making a permanent decision for the special day.
How do you take care of and store extensions properly?
When washing hair extensions, be sure to use sulphate-free products to extend the life of the hair. Avoid bunching and scrubbing the hair extensions, as this will create tangles. Use a soft bristle hair brush to gently detangle the hair and dry completely. Applying oil to the hair before using hot tools will help protect it. Lastly, if you are storing clip-in hair extensions, keep them in a bag in a dry place.
Okay, last question: When was the last time you wore extensions, and what was it for?
I have been wearing hair extensions for years and my sister has as well. I am currently wearing tape-in hair extensions around my hairline to frame my face and create more fullness in the layers around my face. I find that a few strands go a long way and they make it so much easier for me to style my hair!
Veronica Gomes hair extensions are sold online and at Gomes's South Granville studio. Prices start at $145 USD.