Loose Falls: The Basics

Loose Falls: The Basics

Posted by Sarah on Oct 10th 2007

Ponyfalls - Click on the link for Quinnster's instructions on how to make ponyfalls. They're listed under the header that says "Ponyfalls - quick method, takes about 5 minutes to make." Ponyfalls are quick and easy to make, as you can see from the instructions. The down-side is that they can be difficult to install correctly if you're a beginner.

Examples of ponyfalls:

 

Pinchbraiding - Click on the link for Quinnster's instructions on how to make pinchbraided falls. They're listed under the header that says "Hairpieces - longer method, takes about an hour to make." Pinchbraided loose falls solve the problem of ponyfalls' difficult installation because they're made by the same principle that other hairpieces, such as dread falls, are mounted. However, pinchbraided falls are much more time-consuming, and finishing the braid can be a problem. The most common methods are glue and rubberbands; both are visible on the completed piece, along with the inch of braiding. Trying to make the base short enough to be unnoticeable without sacrificing the security of the sections of hair is a difficult balance to strike, and if you do finish your falls and have visible base braids, you'll have to find a way to hide them. A hair tie or a piece of the fall wrapped around the base can help with this problem.

Chelseagirl's method - Click on the link for Chelseagirl's tutorial explaining how to make loose falls on clips. This method produces the most natural looking loose falls, by far. They're also great for anyone who has trouble with elastic- or lace-mounted falls, and for those with thin or short hair that cannot support those types of mountings. They offer excellent coverage and eliminate the problem of hiding the ever-conspicuous bun. The down-sides to this method are that it is labor-intensive, wefted hair can sometimes be difficult to find in the same range of colors and lengths as synthetic, the specific type of clips needed aren't available as readily as regular rubberbands, and because of the structure of the clips, you hair either needs to be the same length or shorter than the length of the falls themselves.

Examples of Chelseagirl's falls:

How to Care for Loose Falls
Unless your loose falls are exceptionally short, they will tangle very easily. Unfortunately, the tangles are unavoidable just as they are with the hair growing out of your head. At some point, you just have to brush it!

When brushing loose falls or extensions, take care to work from the bottom up. Gently work through knots and tangles and *never* forget that fake hair is a lot easier to pull loose than real hair. Its a good idea to firmly grip the base (or just below the base) or a fall or hairpiece when brushing it to ensure that you don't pull chunks of hair out of it.

Spray-on detanglers are your best friend when you're brushing a pair of loose falls; however, use them as sparingly as possible to avoid build-up on the hair.

As with any falls or extensions, the goal with loose falls is to wash them as little as possible. If you do need to wash them, here's how:
- mix a tub of warm water with a bit of diluted shampoo.
- swish the loose falls through the mixture.
- rinse THOROUGHLY in a tub of clean water.
- let your falls dry on a flat surface (hanging them up may stretch or break the rubberbands, lace, clips, etc that they are mounted on due to the weight of the water). Absolutely do not brush, wear, or otherwise touch your falls until they are COMPLETELY dry. Failure to heed this warning will lead to more tangles than you want to imagine, and the damage may be irreparable if it is too severe.

Types of Hair
Yaky/yaki is a somewhat smooth texture of hair with very slight crimping to make it appear and feel thicker; it is meant to mimic Asian hair. When buying bulk yaky for loose falls, make sure there is a clear picture of the product that you are ordering. Some yaky is exceptionally kinky like jumbo braid and won't work for loose falls; its also not made from kanekalon, so if you do accidentally end up with it, you won't be able to dread it either. Most synthetic yaky hair is NOT suitable for extensions; human hair with a yaky texture, however, can be use for extensions. Yaky hair generally costs $2-4 per bag.

Example of yaky falls:

Toyokalon, yaky pony, body wave, and other similar names apply to a type of bulk hair that has a loose curl at the end of it. It isn't a crimpy as yaky so it doesn't look as full or thick; it also feels softer, and is oftentimes shinier than yaky. It is slightly higher quality than yaky, but it is not suitable for loose extensions. Toyokalon hair generally will run $4-5 per bag.

Example of toyokalon falls:


Kanekalon silky straight is higher quality than both yaky and toyokalon, and it can be used for a wider range of styles than those fibers. Kanekalon reacts to wet heat (like steam or boiling water) and thus can be styled to look like toyokalon by curling the ends, or turned into silky curls by curling the entire length of the hair. Kanekalon also generally comes in a much wider range of colors; neon or unnatural colors and blonde shades are much easier to come by in this fiber than in the other two. Kanekalon hair can be used for loose extensions as well as falls, however it is by no means the best hair to use for loose extensions. The texture of kanekalon of completely straight and smooth, and is meant to mimic the look of European hair. Most kanekalon silky straight costs $4-5 per bag.

Its also important to note that while you can straighten kanekalon jumbo braid to look like kanekalon silky straight, it will not end up as soft as the silky and may not be as durable. I don't recommend using straightened kanekalon jumbo braid for anything more than streaks or accents.

As you may have guessed by the structure of this listing, monofibre is the next highest quality on the fake hair food chain. Monofibre is one of the best types of synthetic hair to use for loose extensions, and its great for falls as well. Like kanekalon silky straight, monofibre is often completely smooth and straight -- however, you can also find monofibre in various loose curls and waves depending on the vendor. Thanks to companies like Plastikhaar, monofibre is available in perhaps the widest range of synthetic hair colors on the market. Because of the superb quality of monofibre, pricing per bag generally falls from $10 to $20.

Examples of curly monofibre from Plastikhaar:


Note: images are both from Plastikhaar!

Because most falls tend to be made from synthetic hair, our discussion of human hair will be relatively brief. Basically, with human hair, you get what you pay for. Many beauty supply stores carry packages of human hair weft for about $10, but these wefts are low quality and are usually yaky texture. Medium quality human hair will cost anywhere from $30-50, and high quality hair for long-term extensions costs $80 and up. The most common lengths for human hair are 10-12", 12-14", and 14-16". Some vendors also offer human hair wefts 18-20", but length beyond that are *extremely* expensive. If you want a lot of length, I recommend going with monofibre instead if possible.

That all said, cheap human hair is still good for falls since falls don't take as much abuse. That $10 black weft from Sally's? Perfect for a pair of Chelsea Girl-style falls!