All posts in the hair category

How to apply Micro-link extensions (Without a hook!!)

Published May 23, 2016 by Stylist&Reviewer

This post contains affiliate links. I do not earn anything if you click on them. They are for informational purposes only, and I have no monetary gain from this product.
The extensions featured in this tutorial are by #grizzly and can be bought on amazon here.



Recently, a whole lot has changed in my family’s daily schedule, and what I mean by that, is our schedule went to hell. 6 months ago, I was in school full time, my husband was a Corpsman in the military, and both my children were thriving within the schedule of educational daycare 5 days a week. “What happened” is a WHOLE other blog post….Hell, it’s a whole other blog.
But, The reason I mention all of that is because I am now searching for things to do one-on-one with my daughter, Ameliah. She is a smart kid, and the lack of structure and learning opportunities in our ‘new’ daily life has her up to no good. I mean, this kid is so bored that she’s started stealing, throwing fits, regressing terribly. Instead of continuing to pull my hair out with frustration over what to do, I decided to ADD hair instead.

I know, I’m sounding crazy, but bear with me here.

Ameliah Thrives on one-on-one attention. She is eager to please, and has a love of girly things which I attribute to my bringing her In to the salon when I was a student, to receive services. She was the only 4 year old with hot-pink highlights, different braids every day, and full mani-pedi’s.

So, when I had the chance to ‘review’ a set of faux feather extensions, I decided that it would be a great one-on-one activity for her and I. Then, Thinking a little further, I thought, ‘hey, Why don’t I go ahead and make a tutorial, maybe my whole 1 subscriber will see it and learn something! (One day my witty nature will win me blog fame….a girl can hope Open-mouthed smile ha-ha!)

So, Here are some step-by step directions to apply micro-link extensions. Remember, this method is used for pretty much any kind of MLE, not just ‘faux feather’ kinds, it’s just the placement and amount that would differ.



Supplies Needed

1) extensions to be used. (We chose pink to match mama’s hair.

2) Shears/Scissors.

3) the hook that (hopefully) comes with the set. OR if you’re like me and lost it, then a thin piece of wire or thread.

4) a comb and clip. (I used a rat-tail comb because you want to be able to make a ‘clean’ parting.)

5) needle-nose pliers

6) Links in the color of your choice.



Step 1) Cleanly section the hair. In Ameliah’s case, I chose to go further down then I would for others, due to her baby-fine hair. Your sectioning can really be anywhere, as long as you take in to account that the metal link will be pushed flat, and therefore may poke out easily. it’s VERY important to make a clean parting here, because (speaking from experience) if you have 1 hair in that ‘strand’ that is misplaced, it will pull and drive you insane. you want to make sure that the only hairs that you include in the ‘strand’ are ones that are meant to be there.




2) choose a small strand/section of hair, no wider than 1/8th of an inch. Too much hair will make it impossible to thread through the link. Too little hair will result in breakage because it won’t be a strong enough foundation for the extension and metal link. Notice the line across my fingers in this photograph….that is the small wire that I chose to use to demonstrate alternatives to using a hook for micro link extensions.


3A) If you are using a hook, then thread the link down the hook, then place the hair strand through the catch on the hook.
3B) if you are NOT using a hook, then simply lay the hair strand over the wire, then bring both ends of the wire up to meet in the middle, and pop the link over both wire ends.


4) Once you’ve pulled the link back off the hook (or wire) you should be left with the hair strand threaded cleanly through the link. At this point, you simply line the hardened tip of the extension through the link.

***USEFUL TIP! I don’t think that I have EVER left a tip long. I always trim mine. Actually I usually cut about half of the hardened tip off. This is because if it’s too long, it’ll stick out at a weird angle, as well as poke you in the head. Not super comfortable!)



4)….(Yes, I’ve done step 4 twice, because it’s really important, LINE UP YOUR TIPS!) Here is an example of my dirty nails…ew! how closely you should line up the tip with the link. Remember…pokey in head=ouchie.


Once you have them lined up just right, use a pair of needle-nose pliers to squeeze that link closed. Yep…it’s that easy!

6) Trim the extensions to length, and enjoy!

Here is a video of me applying these same extensions to a client of mine.

A word to the wise about micro-link extension techniques….

Please remember that this technique of extension can damage hair if the hair is too thin or fragile. I put these in to my daughters hair and then removed them to avoid damage. Her hair is baby-fine and the weight of the metal link plus extension would of caused hair breakage if left in for an extended period of time, But, the model included in my video is continuing to wear them because her hair is thicker and can handle the micro-links. Use your discretion when deciding how to wear them.




Want to know how I know I’ve ‘created a monster’ by bringing Ameliah in to the salon at 4 years old onwards? She took one look and said, ‘mama, they are nice….But I can’t see them enough, I’d like foils please.’ Yup, she’ll be hell on wheels to my wallet in a few years!!

And one more time….The extensions featured in this tutorial can be purchased on amazon here although there is no monetary gain to me if you click or purchase.


Can Sweet’N Low really help with hair color allergies?!?

Published March 28, 2016 by Stylist&Reviewer

Disclaimer: This was an experiment I chose to do while in cosmetology school a few years ago. I took the risk knowing the possible outcome, however I will not be held accountable for any possible reaction you may have IF you decide to try this at home. This is my own experience, and I do not guarantee any results.


I’m a hair stylist, who specializes in color, who is allergic to haircolor. Yep, awesome career choice, right?

I found out about my unfortunate allergy when I was about 19 years old, and on kick of coloring my hair black and bright pink. Surprisingly, it was a decent look on me. The red, oozing sores that would appear all over my scalp after coloring? Not such a hot look.

Ever since then, I had been experimenting with different techniques, products, and methods in an effort to allow me to color my hair without feeling like I had applied fire ants to my scalp afterwards…

One day, I was at a clients home when she mentioned adding Splenda to the haircolor, asking if i’d ever heard of doing it. (Just a note, Splenda was NOT used in the experiment.)

……’Splenda? No……I havent.’

*pause, with color brush still in hand, dripping with dye-lifter.*

‘Hold on….’

Then, like any world-class professional, I dug out my phone, and began to furiously google this new idea. I wanted to hear more about this possible allergy solution! Client’s out-come be damned! (Just kidding. I was 95% sure that the extra time wouldn’t affect her hair. Luckily it didn’t.)

After some searching, I found some articles that stated that Sweet’N Low had been reported to reduce haircolor reactions. So, like any completely insane passionate stylist would, I decided to test this theory.

The next day, I walked in to school and asked some instructors if they had ever heard of this theory. Even Mrs A hadn’t.

Sidenote: Mrs A was an old-school instructor who was all about those wacky old theories, such as using cigarette ashes in hair color. One time, I burned myself really quite seriously on a 450 degree curling iron. It started to blister almost immediately. She saw it and insisted I slather mustard all over it. Yes, mustard. The kind that you put on a sandwich. I sat in the back room for 30 minutes, re-applying the mustard over and over. To this day, I’m not sure if the small amount of relief it gave was proportionate to the huge amount of ‘crazy’ that I looked. 

So, instead of give up, I googled more. I happened to find this article which explains the science behind it…

Cream of tartar, AKA potassium bitartrate, is one of the ingredients in Sweet’N Low. It has a low pH buffer, while saccharin [another main ingredient in it] also has an acidic pH. Because of these properties, it is believed that the addition of artificial sweeteners helps neutralize some of the ammonia used in hair color and mitigate irritation.

satisfied that all of those big words HAD to mean something, I ran on to the clinic floor to beg someone for their left-over haircolor. Luckily, someone had just finished applying and was happy to give me their left-overs. in the back room, I mixed up the concoction that I was hoping would change my life!



as you can see, I mixed one packet in with a small amount. I’d guess the ratio to be about 9 parts haircolor to 1 part sweetener.

I applied it behind one ear (one of the two traditional places for a patch test to observe possible allergies) and applied haircolor without Sweet’n Low to the other ear.

Here is a look at the results… (sorry about the crappy camera work. I didn’t plan to blog this one day!)



Personally, I think the results speak for themselves.

Once again, try this at your own risk, but if you’re feeling risky and frisky, then let me know what YOUR results are!

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