We all expected that Balayage colors would appear in the hair extensions market for quite some time. Some argue that the Balayage color pattern was first introduced as three tone (TTP, TTF) colors in hair extensions around 2004, before hair salons reintroduced it as what it is now. Balayage’s debut was obvious and met with excitement. Harlem 125, the New Jigu company, expected a positive response from the public, but they never anticipated to be sold out as soon as its line hit the market.
“For mass production we began developing the coloring method during Spring of the last year. Since it has to be bleached by hand with some irregularity, developing a production method was quite a challenge. After about 10 months of research and development, we introduced our first four balayage colored hair extensions to our popular Red collection. The initial response was overwhelming.” says the president of Harlem 125, Joon Kim.
Seeing balayage colors in hair extensions was expected, but contrary to our expectation that it would be first applied to high-end Remi grades of human hair, we were surprised when Harlem 125 began by applying it to their more economic grade of hair, The Red. When we asked the reason, Joon Kim explained, “Up until recently, the consumer demand was concentrated in economic grades of bundle hair. Moving away from the bundle hair and moving back to the color trends, we thought the consumers will respond faster to the more affordable grade of hair.”
His prediction turned out to be right. When the selected beauty stores presented four new balayage colors to the popular brand of hair extensions, The Red, it took off much faster than most retailers expected. It is fair to say the year 2017 will be the year of balayage hair extensions.
The four new colors The Red introduced are Balayage Topaz (BaTop), Balayage Garnet (BarGar), Balayage Sapphire (BaSap), and a shade similar to the 2017 Pantone Color Greenery, Balayage Emerald (BaEme).
In general, balayage colors look best in long hair styles, and the designers at Harlem 125 focused on 14 to 18 inch lengths of hair. But the beauty consultants at beauty stores saw the additional potential for the balayage colors to be worn in shorter styles. With their strong demand, Harlem 125 decided to apply its balayage colors to 10 and 12 inch lengths of hair.
According to Harlem 125’s designers, mass production of balayage color hair extensions are still challenging. Unlike the two-tone ombre colors that can be evenly bleached by dipping hair into the bleaching solution, the balayage colors must be bleached and colored as if you are bleaching a person’s natural hair. It requires a lot of manpower to mass produce the hair.
Still, at the price range of about $20 (in 10 inch length), The Red balayage hair extensions passed the BBIM Institute’s standard human hair extension test. The bone straight hair swelled up slightly after taking it out of the pack and became more natural looking after exposing it to humidity. The color fade was at a minimum after a warm water shampoo. The condition of the hair stood quite well after two sets of shampoo procedures in the laboratory environment. When a small amount of serum was applied and the hair was flat ironed, it showed minimal damage, close to new condition. We curled the hair after applying heat protectant with a light spray of spritz, before and after the shampoo. The curl was formed easily and maintained well at room temperature and humidity without losing its shape. The quality of hair was excellent when considering the price.
Harlem 125 had made a huge hit with their 27 piece short weaving hair extensions in the past. We all witnessed the impact it created in the beauty industry. Based on their history, it is safe to say the Harlem 125 has made another big hit with their new balayage color hair extensions. [hair tested and written by Travis Johng and Jenny Rogers]