Hair extensions allow people to drastically change their look by changing the length, volume, and even texture of their hair. Before calling the salon, it is important to know what you are looking for when it comes to extensions. Finding the right hair extensions will depend on a number of factors including the type of hair you have, your budget, and your overall preferences and style. There are many different types of hair extensions from fusion extensions to clip in extensions that can be purchased and put in at home. To learn more about the seemingly countless options for hair extensions, including methods, maintenance, and more, continue reading.
Most Popular Hair Extension Methods
Weave Hair Extension
With a weave, or sew in hair extensions, your hair is braided tightly in rows from ear to ear. Wefts, or pieces of hair, are then woven with threads into the braids. Weave extensions tend to be best for kinky, curly hair as it will have enough texture to hold the tight braids needed to attach the extensions. Weave extensions will last on average about three months and can be reused.
Bonded Hair Extension
Also known as fusion hair extensions, bonded extensions are keratin tipped, individual strands, that are fused, or attached to the hair using heat. Bonded extensions are oftentimes the most expensive option and require a fairly time-consuming process to have them applied (sometimes upwards of three hours depending on the length of hair). While fusion extensions tend to be the most expensive, they also tend to last the longest, at around three to four months. Once fusion extensions are removed, they cannot be reused.
Tape In Hair Extension
Tape in hair extensions are exactly as they sound. They are small wefts of hair that are attached to your natural hair in sections, using double sided tape. The application process for tape in extensions is fairly quick however they do require more maintenance than other types of extensions. Tape in extensions will likely need to be maintained every six to eight weeks but they can be reused, unlike fusion extensions.
Synthetic Versus Human Hair Extensions
Prices tend to vary greatly with hair extensions, with the price being based on the quality of the hair. There are both human hair and synthetic extensions. Human hair that has never been processed will be the most expensive, coming in at several hundred dollars per bunch (many people will need more than one bunch). Synthetic extensions are much cheaper than human hair but will not style and blend the same way that human hair would. Synthetic hair does not always hold up well to heat from styling tools and tends to tangle easily. Synthetic hair is great for trying out a new style while those looking for longer term extensions will probably do best with human hair. There are however some really good synthetic extension options.
Caring For Extensions
Extensions should be cared for just like your real hair. They should be treated gently, especially when wet. When brushing hair, care should be taken to avoid tugging on the extensions. Hair products can be used but oily products should be kept away from roots in order to keep the extension from slipping. When ready for bed, it is best to put hair in a loose braid so it does not tangle during sleep. You want your extensions to blend naturally with your real hair and the best way to achieve this is with a good haircut. Extensions should be applied prior to a haircut so that they can be layered and blended into your natural hair.
Issues You May Encounter with Extensions
In addition to cost and maintenance, hair extensions have a tendency to put stress on your natural hair roots. To avoid tension on natural hair roots, it is important to match the density of your extensions to your real hair. You also want to make sure that your stylist is placing the extensions where hair is the strongest. Extensions should be avoided along the hairline or back of the neck, where hair can be much more fragile. The best way to decide whether you want to spend the money on extensions is to try out a less expensive type. Clip-in extensions can be purchased at many stores and are a great way to try out a look before making a decision. Check out the related resources below to read more about hair extensions.