What are hair falls? You’ve heard me mention them and seen pictures of me wearing them, from simple to completely over the top. Hair falls are simply hair pieces that you attach to your own hair, either by elastics, ties, or clips. Isn’t that just an extension? Well, yeah, I suppose. But when you hear a woman say she’s getting extensions, what do you think of? A trip to the salon, and either human hair or synthetic pieces being woven into or bonded to your own hair. Generally speaking, extensions are natural looking pieces that add length, fullness, and sometimes a bit of color to your own hair. When I think of falls, not only does my imagination run wild, but I think of pieces that I can easily do myself, without damaging my own hair.
I KICK SHINS has been creating custom pieces since 1999, and selling them since 2001. Proprietress Sarah offers several types to choose from, straight loose falls, silky curls, dreads, braids & twists, and the ultimate in fun, Cyberlox. I’ve owned several of her creations over the years, and they’ve all been top notch. I'd like to thank Sarah for taking the time for this interview. Please note all photos courtesy I Kick Shins.
Toyokalon loose falls
Long silky curl falls
1) What drew you to create hair pieces?
When I was fourteen or so, I had my heart set on having waist-length braided extensions. I went online in search of a salon in my area that would do them and stumbled upon Quinnster's Hair Guide. I did my first two sets of braids on myself using the tutorials and the information on the forum, and picked up more skills from there.
2) Roughly how many hours per week do you spend on your business, between creating pieces, ordering supplies, all the little behind the scenes details that operating your own business takes?
I work around 60 hours a week in a normal week, and more like 70-80 right before Burning Man, Halloween, and Christmas.
3) Customers select the colors for their pieces, but do you have any favorites?
In general, I like doing anything rainbow. I've always based a lot of my business decisions on having the widest selection of colors possible, so getting to take advantage of that selection is always fun. My all-time favorite pieces to make are neon rainbow dreads where all of the colors are grouped together in order, like these:
I've done probably a dozen identical sets like that, but it never gets old.
4) What's the wildest/craziest/biggest piece you've ever created?
A customer ordered 150 double-ended dreads (which is really more like 300 because they're folded over) and 50 yards of cyberlox. I never saw the finished product, but he did say he was planning to wear them all together at the same time. I imagine it looking something like a mighty, neon-colored palm tree.
Cyberlox - imagine that guy wearing all of his at once!
5) What's your personal style?
I've recently taken to dressing like Nancy Botwin from Weeds: cut-off jeans and mini skirts, loose flowy tops, and either cowboy boots, combat boots, or flip-flops.
6) What inspires you?
This probably sounds silly, but food! Most of the pre-made extensions that I make are inspired by whatever food I'm craving--a set of lime green and red dreads in honor of Sonic's Cherry Limeade, purple and pink striped streaks in lieu of a mixed berry yogurt--you get the idea.
Sarah, I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s inspired by food. Makeup colors make me hungry!
7) I **love** the name I Kick Shins. Care to tell us how that came about, or is it a secret?
When I was in high school, me and my boyfriend at the time went to Ozzfest to meet up with some of his friends that I didn't really know that well. We went to the pay phones for some reason and while we were waiting in line, the boyfriend went to get a drink and left me with his friends. One of them noticed and said I should kick him in the shins for leaving me there. When he came back, I did, and a website was born ;)
Sarah is an active member of several online hair communities.
Hair Extensions Forum (username: ikickshins)
Fakehair at Livejournal.com (username: ikickshins)
Dread To Be Different (username: Leperqueen)
You can shop at her store, www.ikickshins.net, and also on Etsy at http://www.etsy.com/shop/leperqueen. I Kick Shins website is easy to navigate, offers color charts to help you decide which colors you want – although honestly, every time I look at them I end up wanting more! There’s lots of hair supplies as well as extras like rexlace, a wide variety of barrettes and clips, headbands, dread and pony beads, and a good selection of non-hair accessories like goggles (a must have!), false lashes, mini top hats, jewelry, and even a thrift shop for clothing.
Simply choose a base color for your fall, then add as many accent colors as you’d like. Toyokalon and Kanekalon color charts show your color choices. You can select short falls, long falls, extra full falls of either length, single pieces or pairs. Prices vary based on your choices, but are clearly posted on the site. (No hidden surprises after you order!) Processing time is displayed for each category, dread falls do take longer than others.
If you can’t decide exactly what you want, check out the Customer Gallery for some fantastic pictures of customers wearing their creations. But be forewarned, you’ll see many spectacular pieces you’ll need to own!
Thanks again to the always lovely Sarah for the interview and photos.