A Guide To Hair Extensions
Long, luscious locks are always in style, but not everyone has hair that grows to great lengths. The great news is, you don’t have to be genetically blessed to have long, beautiful hair. Many turn to hair extensions for a little extra help in the hair department. But there’s so many types to choose from – how do you know what hair extensions are best for your hair type? We’ll tell you which hair extensions will work best for you and how to maintain them so you can keep your new and improved mane as long as possible.
Fusion or Bonded Hair Extensions
Best for: Medium to thick hair
With fusion hair extensions, individual strands of human hair are fused or bonded to your hair using a special glue or keratin (the same protein that your hair is made from). With proper care, fusion hair extensions can last for a long time. However, you must avoid applying oils, conditioners, and other hair products to the bonded area as these can dissolve the bond. The extensions cannot be reused, so you’ll have to purchase new hair every time you have them redone. Fusion hair extensions can take up to 8 hours to be applied, but they last the longest out of any type of hair extension.
Tape-In Hair Extensions
Best for: Fine, thin hair
Tape-in hair extensions are wefts of hair attached to sections of your own hair using a double- or single-sided tape. This is a great option for those with fine or thin hair, as the tape is virtually undetectable. Avoid silicone or oil-based products at the root of the hair to prevent the tape from slipping. The extensions can be reused, and application is very short (around one hour).
Weave or Sew-In Extensions
Best for: Coarse, curly, or thick hair
A weave first requires that sections of hair are braided in cornrows from ear to ear. Then wefts of hair are sewn into the braids using a needle and thread. No heat or glue is required for this application, and hair can be reused. However, you’ll have to visit the salon every 4 weeks or so to have the braids tightened. Avoid over-styling to prevent the braids from loosening in between appointments. This type of hair extension is not for everyone, as the extensions are heavy and can pull out or damage fine hair.
Micro-bead/Micro-Ring Hair Extensions
Best for: Medium to thick hair
Micro-bead hair extensions are similar to fusion hair extensions in that single strand hair extensions are attached to small sections of your natural hair. However, micro bead extensions are clamped to your hair instead of glued. No heat or chemicals are required. This type of hair extension is not suitable for very fine or thin hair as the bonds can be seen through the hair. Like fusion hair extensions, you should avoid oil and silicone hair products at the roots to prevent the beads from slipping.
Best for: Medium density hair
Clip-in extensions are wefts of hair with pressure sensitive clips that latch onto your current hair. They can be tricky to apply, but once you get the hang of them they can be a fun way to change your look. Clip-In Extensions are a great temporary fix for events or special occasions, but they must be removed before going to bed to prevent damage to your natural hair. Many people experiment with clip-in extensions to see if extensions are right for them before moving on to more permanent solutions.
Hair Extension Tips
- Hair extensions are heavy, and could put stress on your hair which can lead to breakage. When selecting hair extensions, it’s important to match density. If you have fine hair, always purchase lightweight extensions to prevent hair damage and loss. If you have thick hair, you will want to purchase heavier extensions that will blend with your hair texture.
- Always follow maintenance instructions from your hairdresser. If your stylist tells you that your extensions must be replaced after two months, plan on having them replaced in two months. Hair extensions left in too long can cause breakage, hair loss, and traction alopecia.
- Depending on how you style your hair, the spot where your hair extension is connected to your hair may be visible.