As one who gets quickly bored with one hair look, I am crazy for hair extensions! They allow me to change my style easily and effortlessly on a whim. And while Chris Rock’s crazy stereotypical and lame “Good Hair” tried to make extensions and weaves a “Black Girl thing”, they are actually just as popular in every ethnic group. I, in fact, only know a handful of women that are not wearing them. Tony Lugos is my go-to spot for custom blended hair and I highly recommend it. There are dozens of shades with textures to suit every hair type. You get a perfect match whether you are weaving, braiding, or clipping in pieces, while you wait. (This Tony Lugos is not to be confused with the Lugo’s on First Avenue and in Brooklyn, where the folks are rude, the place a mess, and the hair is subpar and often shorter than stated. They once sold me hair that was only 12″ and claimed it was 16″, when I complained they pulled out a piece of string as a supposed measurement!)
The service at Tony Lugos (151 33rd St and Madison) is awesome. The premises are spotless and the staff is always a blast. Best of all, the hair is high quality and can be reused time and time again. The last time I was there they even hipped me to a new innovation – sew-in clips that allow you to add pieces without the commitment of a full weave. So if you take your weave out, you can simply add clips and have wig style pieces to use whenever you want.
Since so many of us are rocking extensions, I decided to have a chat with Sherell Lugos, the co-owner of Tony Lugos, about hair extension trends, how-tos, and proper maintainance.
TGATP: Weaves have come a long way since those Diana Ross/Chaka Khan Rufus era big hair-don’ts. What is the biggest change you have seen in the market?
Sherell: Women are more conservative, as far as, not putting too much hair extension on their heads. It’s more about going for a more natural, can’t-tell-it’s-a-weave look.
TGATP: Who is the average Tony Lugos customer?
Sherell: We service every nationality that needs hair extensions. From the Jewish women, who needs to get custom blended extensions for a wig, Russian girls, Latino, Asians. Women from all ethnicities and walks of Life come to Tony Lugos for hair extensions.
TGATP: What advice would you give women who decide to rock extensions?
Sherell: It’s about enhancing your looks and getting a perfect custom-blended match that goes with your texture and features, not trying to look like everyone else. Most importantly, pick a functional easy quick style something that you can put in a ponytail. Don’t try to look like the celebrity on TV that has a hair stylist on hand that does their hair daily so that it looks perfect everyday. Also, pick a texture that can be maintained well so you get longevity out of your extension and more bang for your buck.
TGATP: There are tons of different techniques for weaving. Can you discuss your favorites and tell us which is best for each type of hair?
Sherell: One of the best techniques that was the first, and will always be the best, is the traditional sewn in weave. It’s long lasting and healthy and when done the proper way by a professional, it works for all hair types.
TGATP: What are the biggest mistakes women make in sporting and maintaining their weaves?
Sherell: Where do I start? There are so many. The first is being cheap and thinking that they don’t need to have a professional do their hair extensions and have a girlfriend do it in their kitchen. I call those “kitchen weaves.”
Making sure their stylist has lots of experience in working with Human hair extensions. When you go to a salon to have your hair done, some stylist are about making money and not caring about you, the client. You are paying for a service. Be sure you’re getting the full service.
Thirdly, going to a stylist that works with only package hair and has no experience with human hair. It’s like taking your BMW to be serviced by the guy that fixes cars at the side of the street.
Then not going to the salon for a weekly wash and set or, at least, doing it yourself weekly is another common mistake. It’s human hair you must keep it clean. It’s so important to maintain the extensions. Using the wrong products on certain textures damages’ the extensions.
And finally, keeping the extensions in too long. It’s not good having the extensions in so long that they damage your own hair. Having them taken out and treating your own hair is so so important.
TGATP: How are weaves best maintained?
You have to maintain it, like you would your own hair. Washing, wrapping, pin curling, and putting on a scarf, so the hair keeps moist.
TGATP: What is the trend for weaves this Spring/Summer?
Sherell: My clients tend to like to go for whatever Kim Kardashian or Beyonce are rocking. In the spring and summer, women tend to go for more carefree styles. While in the fall, a lot of women go for the straighter textures. and warmer colors.
TGATP: Tell us about the new clip-on extension concept that is all the rage.
Sherell: I love clip-ons. They work for almost everyone and all ages because they’re so easy! You just save so much time in having to go to a salon and sit there for hours. You put them in, and bang, you get volume and length right away. You just remove when you go to bed. Maintain your clip-ons the say way as a sewn in weave. And getting custom made ones are the best. You can have short ones for work and long ones for going out. So much fun.
TGATP: What stars have the best weaves and who would you love to do a Tony Lugos makeover on?
Sherell: Like fashion, some of them are a hit and some miss. LOL But no names please!
As far as a makeover, bring me that girl that has money and just gets it wrong all the time because she wants her hair texture to be a cross between Kim Kardashian’s waves, Erica Badu’s Afro, and Beyonce’s curls. She needs my help!
TGATP: Any other tips for our readers?
Sherell: For Spring, it’s all about longer lengths. So try our 18″ 22″ 24″ 26″ 28″ in Remi, Body Wavy, or Straight. When you are investing in good hair extension, you have to be committed, so your style always looks good. Please take care of your extensions.