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Haircutting Practice Heads Basics (2)

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       Once harvested, the hair is either sorted, washed and sanitized, or processed for uniformity and sanitized according to the quality grade of the end product. It’s this quality grading that determines the end cost and suitability of the manikin for different uses.
 
       For manikins of high quality, the hair is going to be kept as natural as possible, and will be considered “virgin hair” in its finished form. This means that the hair will not have been exposed to any chemical processing of color or texture. These manikins are ideal for advanced students who are ready to work with high-end color and perming techniques.
 
hair cutting dummy head        The next step down in quality is those manikins that are human hair, and are only processed to create a more uniform color result. The hair is bleached to a uniform lightness level. These manikins are suited for use in the same ways as the premium quality manikins (i.e. perming), but the student needs to be aware that the hair has been colored/bleached before when performing additional color services.
 
       The standard-quality manikin is commonly a manikin type made from human hair that is processed for uniform texture, but which may also be processed for uniform color as well. These are great for haircutting and styling practice as well as color practice (understanding that they may be previously colored) but not for practice with texture chemicals such as perm solutions. Very often the chemicals used in adjusting the texture of manikin hair during the preparation of the manikin are incompatible with perm solutions and will result in serious damage to the hair. It could even result in the complete disintegration of the hair and the ruin of the manikin.
 
       Other “standard-quality” manikins may include some human hair combined with animal or synthetic hair, or be made of animal hair, or a combination of animal and synthetic fibers. These are generally not going to be suitable for use with chemical texture processes like perms and straightening, but can be used for color services practice. And such manikins are always useful for practicing some styling techniques and haircutting. {Note: even standard-quality manikins can be used to practice perm-wrapping techniques. You simply should avoid applying any perming solutions to them.}
 
       Typically on the lowest end of the “standard-quality” spectrum of manikins is the manikin made entirely of synthetic fibers. These manikins are generally only suited to use in haircutting practice. Some may be used with very low-heat styling techniques, but they cannot be used to practice with heated styling appliances, color services or perming and straightening, as they do not respond to chemical penetration and will easily melt under the extreme heat of styling tools.
 
Buying a Manikin
 
       Manikins are produced by many different beauty education supply companies. Some of the most prevalent makers and distributors include companies like Burmax, Celebrity, and Pivot Point. These companies offer manikins under specific “product names” which denote a specific look and hair type or length. The name of the product is also an indicator of the manikin’s specific “face” creating an identity by which to indicate a specific manikin. The names can include Burmax’s “Whitney” (mid-length, ethnic type hair), “Debra” (mid-length, European type hair) or “Victoria” (longer length European type hair); or Celebrity’s “Dionne” (mid-length Afro type hair), “Erica” (mid-length Naturally curly type hair) or “Evan” (budget Male human hair).
 
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