Not everyone is born with the ability to grow long, luscious locks. For those who lack growth or volume, hair extensions are available. They can be found in numerous colors, textures, and styles to enable you to create a personalized look at any time.
How Different Types of Hair Extensions Work
How do hair extensions work exactly? Well, that depends on what type you choose. There are four main types of them that can help you achieve a natural look. These include:
Tape-in hair extensions are one of the newer options on the market. These thin tape wefts usually span 1 inch wide and feature pre-taped ends that are inserted between sections of hair. What makes tape-ins so popular is that they require no chemicals or tools, are reusable, and can be applied to the entire head with no damage. Depending on the quality of the product, tape-ins can last up to three months on average. The process to insert these extensions typically takes less than one hour to complete.
Tape-ins are one of the least expensive options among semi-permanent hair extensions. Due to the structure of the tape wefts, they take less time to apply than other extension options and the ongoing maintenance is fairly low. Tape-in extensions tend to be less damaging to your natural hair and do not pull like many other types of extensions do. They are also not very heavy which can make for a more comfortable hairstyle. Most types of tape-in extensions can be reused for up to one year and are generally good for up to three or four applications.
Clip-in hair extensions are a popular option for those who want a do-it-yourself option. The clips on the extensions open and close onto the roots of your existing hair and will stay put discreetly. With practice, it takes just a few minutes to insert clip-in extensions and they can be removed just as fast. They can be found in various colors to match your natural shade. Many people also use clip-ins as a way to achieve highlights, lowlights, and added volume.
Clip-ins are typically made with real human hair or fake synthetic hair, depending on where you get them. Although synthetic extensions are cheaper and do not frizz like real hair, it cannot be heat styled as it can melt under direct heat. Many people are often drawn to real human hair extensions as they provide a more natural look and shine. High-quality human hair extensions consist of human hair that has never been chemically treated or colored. However, this is also the most expensive option.
3. Hot Fusion
Also referred to as pre-bonded extensions, hot fusion hair extensions is a traditional extension option that has recently become one of the most popular options on the market. These extensions are applied differently than tape-in and clip-on extensions and generally last longer. Hot Fusion extensions are actually fitted using a heat gun that melts a keratin bond onto a small section of the natural hair. Once the keratin is melted, the material is rolled between the fingers to fuse the extensions onto the hair.
There are numerous advantages to using hot fusion hair extensions. First, they are an effective way to add length and volume to your hair in a natural way. These extensions can be matched to your natural color or you can use them to add highlights or lowlights. They generally last between 4 and 6 months when proper care is taken. These extensions typically do not require much maintenance besides the occasional ‘top up’ appointment.
Another option to consider if you are interested in getting extensions are called weft hair extensions, also known as ‘machine weft’. Instead of small sections of hair that are taped, clipped, or glued onto the hair, a weft is one long piece made up of extensions sewn together. The sections are then cut up into smaller pieces to fit each person’s head.
Wefts are sewn into braids by a professional hairdresser to get a natural look. Several rows of extensions can be added until the preferred volume is reached. Another method involved tying individual strands by hand to create a secure weft. This type of extension tends to be strong but thinner. The end result also sits closer to the head which can make the extensions appear more natural.
Choosing the Right Hair Extensions
If you are new to luxury hair extensions, it can be difficult to determine which type is best for you. Talk to your hairdresser about your expectations about the length, volume, color, and overall look you want to achieve, as well as other aspects that could impact your decision, such as your budget. Remember that extensions are just temporary and if you are unsatisfied with your final look, you can always change it later.