Long, luscious locks are something we see gracing hair commercials, magazine advertisements and salons every day. Many of us look at them as “hair goals” and dream of having Rapunzel-like locks. For some, it may only take a few months to reach this, while for others it can be a longer waiting game. Luckily, we all can have what we want no matter the timeline thanks to hair extensions. Your long hair dreams can be turned into a reality right away without the waiting and responsibility. Learn the in’s and out’s of choosing, styling and caring for hair extensions with us!
Types of Hair Extensions
The most low-maintenance type of extension that you can commit to, without a long-term commitment, comes in the form of clip-in extensions. Their easy-to-apply function includes sensitive clips that snap on instantly when pressure is applied to where you want them to go. Unlike other permanent extensions, which can cause damage to your hair, clip-in extensions do no harm and are the most comfortable to wear throughout the day.
The art of merging your natural hair with extensions for a long length can happen with sew-in extensions, generally recognized as weaves. This method includes creating a track out of your natural hair with tight braids, being cornrows, and then weaving the extensions onto the braids with thread. It’s a method that can take hours of sitting in a salon chair to complete, but the results are always flawless and extremely secure.
#3: Micro Link
Seen as the most natural technique in the weaving world of extensions, micro linking involves color matched cylinder-like attachments added to each strand of your hair. The extension is pinched shut into the attachment that should be tightened every 3-4 weeks to keep up with your hair growth and the natural appearance you wish to have. It’s a cost effective way to having long hair for a time, especially if you choose high-quality extensions that can last months.
#4 Adhesive Tape-In
Tape-in extensions include wefts of extensions taped closely to your scalp with an adhesive strip to create a bonded look that is seamless and easy to manage. This process doesn’t take as long as other methods, maybe an hour and then some—which includes getting your extensions installed and having them removed next time you visit your salon. You do want to be careful with these extensions when they are wet though as the adhesive can be sensitive at this point. Remember to not tug on your hair when it’s damp to not loosen the tape, and you’ll be set.
Bonding extensions are a technique that can include several adhesives, however, keratin tipped strands are most commonly used, which are fused close to your scalp with a heat iron. These extensions can last longer than sew-in’s being 6 months or longer depending on how well you care for them.
How To Choose the Right Type
Choosing the best type of extension for your hair isn’t as tricky as it may seem. It simply comes down to quality, price and your natural hair type. We’ll be breaking down each aspect to help you purchase the perfect extensions.
Hair extension quality comes down to the decision of choosing either synthetic or human hair. Synthetic hair is on the lower end of the spectrum and the most affordable, however, keep in mind that heat cannot be used with this type and getting in the pool with these in is a definite no, no. Human hair is the obvious higher end choice that lasts much longer with the right care, and looks the most natural when mixed with your own hair. Now with human hair the range can go from Indian to Chinese, but if you are looking for the best of the best, you can find that with Remy hair. Remy human hair is usually tangle-free, the healthiest and maintains the natural direction and texture of how it was before having been cut.
The price of extensions varies and how much you pay is based on the quality that you wish to have and the technique used to apply. Clip-in extensions can vary in price from $100-$200, while bonded extensions with keratin can sometimes reach up to $1,400. Bonded extensions can definitely be the most expensive type as they do last the longest and the method can be tedious when fusing the extension with your natural hair.
Natural Hair Type
The color matching your natural hair is the next most important detail on your list when choosing an extension. If the color is off, it will be obvious that the longer pieces are not natural—of course in reality they aren’t, but we want to make the illusion as real as possible. Decide on the color by referencing the hues that appear from midshaft to ends of your locks. By doing so you’ll be creating a natural blend that’ll make it seem as if your hair has grown overnight. If you have naturally straight hair, any of these extensions will easily work for you, especially the clip-in’s. While if you have naturally wavy or curly hair, sew-in or bonded extensions are recommended as you can style these in different ways without them losing their oomph and texture quickly.
Hair Extension Care
Giving your extensions a lot of T.L.C is a definite must if you want them to last a long time and look utterly pristine. Check out our tips on how to maintain your extensions for as long as possible without running into tangles or tugs.
When using a shampoo and conditioner for your extensions it is important to be as gentle as possible with them as tugging or pulling can cause them to become loose and decrease their grip. With clip-in extensions you do not have to worry about this, since removing them when washing is recommended, because the metal part should never become wet. However, with the other extension types you want to choose a moisturizing and mild shampoo and conditioner combo. Focus the shampoo at your roots and massage gently with warm water; while with a conditioner you’ll want to focus on your ends to help keep them moisturized, which will extend the lifespan of your locks.
Style + Cut
A high-quality hair extension allows you to style and cut as you normally would with your natural hair. It is beneficial to keep in mind though that the gentler you are with extensions the longer they can last. Such as when it comes to brushing, you want to use a wide tooth comb that won’t yank on tangles, but instead smooth out your hair without causing any breakage. Overheating your extensions is also something to avoid, so hot tools like curling irons and straighteners shouldn’t be used all the time. When using them a heat protector can definitely go a long way to keep your extensions out of harm’s way.
Natural Hair Effects
The addition of extensions to your natural hair can add some weight on your shoulders—almost literally. The more hair you have the heavier it can obviously be, so you want to make sure that you are going with extensions that aren’t that dense. If you do choose the ones that are or place extensions at the base of your neck, instead of on the stronger areas of your hair like the middle, then your natural hair will begin to pull, creating more fallout when styling or removing.
We hope we’ve helped you find the perfect match on your long hair journey. Share your styles with us on Facebook and Instagram. We’d love to see what you can create.