Published on October 29th, 2013 | by beauty international2
Which Type of Hair Extension is Best for You?
Hair extensions are a great way for anyone looking for a way to lengthen or add volume to their natural hair - not everyone with hair extensions ends up looking like a bedraggled Z-list celebrity! With the multitude of lengths, textures and colours available these days, modern hair extensions can be difficult for even an expert to notice, so long as you choose the right kind and have them applied correctly.
While hair extensions are a fun way to completely transform your hairstyle, it’s important to note that you need to make sure your hair is in good condition, and strong enough to hold extensions. If your natural hair is dry or brittle, hair extensions will only cause more damage. Extensions, especially ones made out of real human hair, can be very expensive, and they do need to be looked after: but for many people, the benefits of hair extensions outweigh the disadvantages. We’ve compiled this guide to the different types of hair extension so you can make a well-informed choice if you’re thinking about investing in some.
Human Hair vs. Synthetic Hair
Remy human hair is considered the best quality hair for extensions, since it retains the hair’s outer cuticle for smoother, shinier extensions that last longer than other kinds of human and synthetic hair and are less prone to tangling. Remy hair is labelled A, B or C according to its quality, which is reflected in its price.
Human hair extensions can easily be washed and styled at home using the same methods as you would with your own hair - but synthetic hair, though cheaper than human hair, can never be styled with heat tools, and should only be washed very occasionally with a mild shampoo.
Real human hair extensions are usually the best choice since they’re more adaptable, last longer and can look and feel completely natural; however synthetic extensions are probably best for beginners.
Clip In Hair Extensions
Clip in hair extensions are the best option for beginners to extensions, and those who want a quick and easy temporary solution. You can clip them in to your natural hair when and where you need them and remove them whenever you’re ready.
Some clip in extensions come in just one or two pieces: you simply snap them into place at the nape of the neck and a little higher up, and are perfect for beginners. Other clip in systems of eight or ten pieces are also available - these offer a wider variety of styling options, but take more practice to achieve a natural-looking effect.
Clip in extensions are the most affordable option since you can add them in yourself at home, and avoid expensive trips to the hair salon. They’re also easy to clip in and out of your hair, or move about if you put them in the wrong place. Once you’ve mastered how to apply them, they take just minutes to put in and transform your appearance. They’re also easier to maintain and with a bit of care can last longer than permanent extensions.
Permanent extensions are more expensive, generally costing between £300 and £1000 depending on the kind of hair and the technique used, and the salon you visit.
Hair Extensions Bonding
Bonding is an intricate method of applying hair extensions. Thin strands of the extensions are taken and bonded to your own natural hair with heat and glue. While bonding is a lengthy (taking up to six hours) and expensive procedure, it results in very natural-looking extensions since the strands of fake hair move with your real hair. Bonded extensions can last up to several months, although they do require regular trips to the salon to maintain them.
Weaving is a procedure which involves plaiting sections of your natural hair in cornrows close to the scalp, which acts as an anchor for the extensions. Wefts of fake hair are cut to size and sewn into the cornrows using a special technique, starting at the bottom and working upwards so that each weft covers the seam of the ones below it. While weaving is quicker than bonding, and arguably better for your hair since no heat or glue is applied, woven hair extensions can be heavy and uncomfortable to wear.
Micro rings are small rings made out of plastic and silicone, and since they are coloured to match your natural hair, are designed to be invisible. Small strands of the extensions are joined with small strands of your real hair and pulled together through a micro ring, which is then flattened. This process is repeated along each weft of fake hair; each weft is attached to your scalp by fitting several strands of both the extensions and your natural hair together.