We have all gone through the struggle of trying to get our hair look voluminous while in a ponytail! And other than learning to use hairpins deftly, twisting your hair, or (worse) backcombing, it would be better to get hair extensions to instantly solve to all your long hair issues. Want waist-length hair? Beach summer waves? Yep! hair extensions are the way to go.
But do not rush to the nearest beauty salon without doing in-depth research on the topic – you do not want to do something wrong and end up with dodgy hair extensions or glue-damaged leftovers. And if you’re not a seasoned pro, you may get bamboozled at the terminology that your stylist will throw around.
The Types of Hair Extensions You Can Get:
1. Temporary Hair Extensions
Temporary hair extensions are placed using methods such as clip-in pieces, wefts, and weaves, and are meant to be taken out each day or week. From clip-hair extensions to weaves, these methods can add length and layers to your hair in a flash. But because weaves need to a lot of hair be concealed, they are particularly good for people with thick locks.
Clip-in hair extensions, on the other hand, are very versatile. While tape-ins can be being seen if your hair grows out, clip-in extensions are completely undetectable and can be attached in various positions to give your ponytail or braids additional length and thickness.
This type of extensions needs to be washed after every 15 wears. Simply brush, shampoo and condition the hair just as you would for your own. If possible, avoid blow-drying them but instead let them dry out.
2. Semi-Permanent Hair Extensions
The most common semi-permanent hair extensions include sew-in weave and tape-in pieces. This type of extension lasts around 6-8 weeks.
The tape-in pieces are smaller than the clip-ins sections and can be almost completely undetectable even when your hair is worn up. These semi-permanent extensions are quick and easy to fit in because they require no hot tools for bonding. In fact, the tape is so strong that it can sustain washing, blowouts, work out and swimming. On top of that, they are affordable because they not only last for up to 8 weeks, but they can also be reapplied at least three times.
Although it can be washed, you still have to be careful when using conditioners and other types of hair products. If you do not use the recommended shampoo or conditioner, you might find that the tape will come loose and that the hair is simply sliding off.
3. Permanent Hair Extensions
Permanent hair extensions can be worn continuously for several months. The method of application involves strand-by-strand attachment and can only be done efficiently by a trained hairstylist. Examples of permanent hair extensions include micro links and pre-bonded hair extensions.
Micro link, also known as micro bead and loop hair extensions, are hair extensions that are applied by looping the extensions through natural hair and clamping it down. Even if it can last for 5 – 6 months, this application of this type of hair extension can burn and break your hair.
You will face the same problem with pre-bonded, or fusion, hair extensions. Bonded to natural hair via adhesives such as glue and keratin, it can be a very messy process. And although the most discreet, it can cause the most damage to the hair because of the glue products used.
As long as the extension is of good quality, taking care of them will be basically the same as taking care of normal hair. You can even use the same products you would normally use. Just make sure you go to the beauty salon every 2–3 months for re-positioning.
Is There a Difference Between Synthetic and Natural Hair Extensions?
Obviously, yes. Because synthetic hair is unnaturally shiny and light, it will not convincingly pass as natural hair and will be more difficult to style.
So, the better alternative is definitely 100% human hair. However, you may end up with extensions that do not quite look like your natural hair if you choose to skimp on the price. Invest in the highest quality hair you can afford if you want the extensions to last longer.
Mistakes to Avoid
Even if the extensions you picked are human hair and are expensive, they might not be good quality hair. Sourced from China and India, certain types of hair undergo several stages of bleaching and dying for them to turn into a specific shade of hair. Hence, these types of extensions tend to be weak and very damaged.
Additionally, just like your natural hair, hair extensions require constant care. This will involve using the recommended hair products to shampoo, condition and treat your hair, and scheduling regular appointments with your extensionist. If you want your hair to look and feel beautiful and also get your maximum wear time out of them, you will need to take care of your extensions as you would your own hair.