So, you’ve ordered your hair and you can’t wait until it arrives. You’re managing your excitement along with a little anxiety thinking about your upcoming transition! Being prepared is one small thing that can help give you a little peace of mind as you wait!
The great news is that the list is short to begin with! There are just a few items that are pretty important to you and your hair as you get started!
- MANNEQUIN HEAD-you can get a pretty one or just a plain Jane styrofoam head, but, having one will make life with your new hair so much easier! Be sure to get one you can pin to.
- MANNEQUIN STAND or counter clamp-the mannequin sits atop this stand and keep the head stable for you to work with the hair. The counter clamp is the easiest to store and use, but there are tripod versions available too! Check your local beauty supply store or amazon for these items!
- PINS-you’ll need some pins to secure your hair to the mannequin. There are t-pins that are great for this. I personally prefer to use long ball point pins (found at a fabric store) since they are a thinner pin and less likely to leave a hole in the lace-although sometimes the pins can leave a small hole anyhow.
- A GOOD flat iron-with a flat iron you get what you pay for-really. You can expect to have to do some styling to your new hair. It is human hair and needs care and styling just like your own hair does. A good flat iron will give you smooth results when styling and will keep your hair safer than a cheap version. My personal favorite is the Paul Mitchell Ion 1.25-it’s an excellent tool and is a great price for a professional tool at about $120.
- HEAT PROTECT-When you flat iron you MUST use a product to protect the hair from the high heat-sometimes up to 400 degrees! Paul Mitchell “Hot Off the Press” is my favorite. Light, doesn’t leave residue or buildup and has great smoothing qualities as well!
- BLOW DRY SPRAY-I’ll tell you to limit the amount of blowdrying you do, but for when you do-or for a great overall thermal protect product pick up Kenra “Blow Dry Spray”. Spray this on the hair when it’s wet even if you are going to airdry since you may run the blow dryer over it at some point in your styling.
- SOFT HOLD HAIRSPRAY-Joico makes a wonderful light hold hairspray that is good for curling hair and also for a light hold spray post-styling.
- SHAMPOO & CONDITIONER-pick a good professional line shampoo and conditioner that you like-if you find one with low or no sulfates, even better, but not a must! NO leave-in conditioners as they can cause a whole lot of buildup! Try Paul Mitchell, Redken, Joico, Kenra or Purology!
- ALCOHOL-no…..not for self medicating through your transition, but to do your unit removal-of course, a glass of wine may also be helpful during this process! 91% alcohol can be found at your local pharmacy and will remove your adhesives that you are bonding with. A little olive oil may also be used to remove stubborn, stuck on adhesives.
The items listed are a few key items to get started! As you go, you may find a product here and there that you want to try and so you pick it up-feel free to do that! You may also introduce things like scalp protect, adjustabond, or knot sealers-but wait until you get rolling to decide which might be needed! Other optional purchases are a silk or satin pillow case to reduce friction at night, and a microfiber towel for washing your unit-although I think your regular sheets and towels do just fine too!
If you haven’t already, you will also need to try out some adhesives and do a patch test on your skin to make sure you have chosen the one that is right for you! You can talk with Amber about what your ideal attachment is and she can recommend a few for you to try!