Are you considering hair extensions for the first time and finding the whole decision making process daunting as there is so much choice out there. Added to that all the professional hair terminology requires nothing less than a PHD in curl patterns and hair types to fathom.
Finding the right extension application method will depend on budget, preference, and hair type. There are a few main factors to consider before you begin:
# Do you want human or synthetic hair
# How long do you want your hair extensions to stay in for
# How you want you added hair to be applied or attached
# How much will your budget allow you to spend
# Is your hair long enough or robust enough for hair extensions
Human Hair Vs Synthetic Hair
When it comes to purchasing hair, you get what you pay for. Price will vary greatly based on quality of the hair, as well as the desired quantity for thickness and length. Virgin - never-before-processed- Remy human hair is the highest quality. The hair cuticle is preserved, instead of stripped, and all the hairs run in the same direction, maintaining that natural soft, silky texture. You can expect to pay up £700 for top quality virgin hair however it will last a very long time in excess of two years making the long investment worth while. This hair can be coloured, bleched highlighted and curled to your desired results.
Synthetic hair is much cheaper but wont blend or style the way human hair does. It can’t always withstand heat styling and tangles easily. It can be a great way to try out extra length without the commitment. Often best considered for short term removable added hair such as clip ins, pony tails, or wigs that.
This is a blend of Human Hair and other hair. The hair is much cheaper than Remi; On packaging it may be referred to as Remi hair. It should be marginally cheaper than Real Remi Virgin Hair but still fell like good quality. It contains a mix of human hair with animal or synthetic fibre. The advantages to this hair type that it keeps well for a long period of time, giving improved style control. It can be tonged without tangling; soft to the touch and a cheaper alternative to Remi hair.
These hair extensions are entirely synthetic; heat resistant and can be styled using heated appliances. It is a cheaper option to Remi or blended hair extensions, easy to look after and lasts well. They often come with a curl pattern already set in them which makes this hair a great choice for special events or occasions where you wish to temporarily add volume and length to your hairstyle.
Hair Type & Origin
There are so many hair origins now available on the market, its difficult to keep up. Below is a non exhaustive list:
Brazilian | Peruvian | Russian | Indian | Mongolian | Eurasian
As trends come around you are most likely to pay top dollar for the latest hair trend. In my opinion you will need to chose the hair origin that is best suited to your texture of hair. Indian hair is more course and better suited to courser hair types, Peruvian has a nice mix of soft and course texture so suited to most hair types. Russian blends are very silky and shiny, you will probably find your single bonded extensions are made of Russian hair. Its always worth asking your stylist and going in salon to touch and feel the hair, asking where it is sourced before you commit to ordering.
Textures of hair vary from very straight to extremely curly. The exact names of curl patterns vary by brand, and the possibilities of curl patterns especially with synthetic hair are endless, but some examples of packaged textures include:
# Straight - Straight and smooth, East Asian like hair.
# Yaki - Straight, usually mimicking the texture of relaxed Afro-Caribbean hair.
# Deep Wave - My personal favourite as it matches my kinky spiral curl perfectly.
# Loose Deep Wave or Romance Wave - Looser version of the deep wave, softer, more romantic curls.
# Kinky Curly - Very tight curl, natural afro like texture, great if you wish for lots of curls and voluminous texture.
# Wet and Wavy - Can be packaged as Spanish Wave or Indian Wave . Usually human hair is used, and is either naturally curly or permanently waved to appear so. Characterized as having soft, natural-looking curls that revert to a curly state when wet.
# Different methods of applying extensions
Tape-in hair extension last on hair from four to eight weeks and the hair can be gently combed and washed while wearing the extensions. In addition, the extensions need to be treated with specialized shampoos, conditioners and styling products to keep them in top condition. The extensions can be easily taken off by applying glue remover or heat and can be easily installed with the tape extension application method.
This technique is the least permanent and can be very effective . The hair weft has small clips sewn onto them. Usually a set of clip-in extensions averages eight strips of human hair in varying widths from two inches to eight inches. Starting at the nape of the neck, the hair is sectioned neatly, then the weft is placed onto this section with the clips open and facing the scalp. Each clip is snapped into place. Clip-ins can be worn for an entire day; however, they must be removed before sleeping. Some people wear clip-ins only for special occasions and other functions, while others wear them daily. This shows the versatility of this type of hair extension.
Micro rings & Nano Micro Rings
Micro rings or micro loop hair extensions use small metal rings lined with silicone with the extension hair attached. They are fixed to small sections of natural hair and tightened using a special tool that clamps the loop around the natural hair.
The micro loops are designed to be small enough so that they are not visible in normal use. They need repositioning every 2–3 months as the natural hair grows and the micro rings move away from the scalp. They do not use heat or adhesives. Micro nano rings are the latest in ring application methods, they are smaller and virtually non detectable.
Bonding and sealing extensions
Bonding is a method of weaving that lasts for a shorter period of time in comparison to sew-in weaving. It involves the application of hair glue to a section of wefted hair then onto a person's natural hair; special hair adhesives are used in bonding to prevent damage to one's natural hair. This technique is commonly used and does not cause damage to the hair unless taken out without proper directions from a professional. It is advised that weave bonding be installed for up to 3 weeks because the glue begins to loosen up and lessens the attractiveness of the hair. there are many different bonding methods with advances in the hair extension technology you can make informed choices for the best method of application that will cause no damage to your hair.
The fusion method delivers one of the most versatile and most natural-looking weaves on the market. This involves a machine to attach human hair extensions to individual strands of one's natural hair of about 1/8 to 1/4 inch squared sections for a truly authentic look. Another option for fusion attachments is using hair which is pre-tipped with a keratin adhesive. A heat clamp is then used to melt the adhesive to attach the extension hair to the natural hair. Fusion weave allows washing hair frequently and the use of regular hair products such as hair gels.They need repositioning every 2–3 months as the natural hair grows. there are many fusion methods available, with advances in hair extension technology you can now chose methods that are non damaging to the hair when applied by qualified and skilled technicians.
Netting is a technique which involves braiding natural tresses under a thin, breathable net that serves as a flat surface onto which stylists can weave extensions. This method requires the use of hair net or cap to be placed over the person's hair that has been braided. Netting provides more flexibility than track placement because the stylist is not limited to sewing extensions to a braid. With netting there is the option of sewing the hair wefts onto the net or gluing. This technique can be used where hair is fragile or thin, Netting can be used to protect the hair and create fullness or completely disguise where total hair loss has been experienced.
Section of a lace front used to close a weave also called a lace or closure
The most recent development in weave extensions are lace fronts. Lace fronts are made from a nylon mesh material formed into a cap that is then hand-ventilated by knotting single strands of hair into the tiny openings of the cap, giving the hair a more natural and authentic continuity than typical extensions.It has few variation including straight, wavy and curly Furthermore, the extension units can be woven in or attached to a person's hairline with special adhesives. To ensure a proper fit, head measurements are taken into account with this type of weave. A lace frontal is best placed by a professional since more advanced weaving and hair extensions are used. This method is commonly used by women around the world because it makes it possible to have access to a certain part of their scalp and at the same time giving a natural and attractive look.
This is one of the most commonly used methods as it is quite fast and lasts considerably longer than the other techniques. However, it does not allow for use of regular hair maintenance. Tracking involves the braiding of a person's natural hair. In order to prevent the hair from being bumpy or uneven, the hair is sewn horizontally or vertically across the head from one side to the other starting from the bottom. The braided hair is then sewn down and the hair weft extensions are sewn onto the braids. A weave can consist of a few tracks, or the whole head can be braided for a full head weave. With a full head weave, the braids are sewn down or covered with a net. Extensions are then sewn to the braids.
Finding the right extension method will depend on budget, preference, and hair type. While fusion and tape-in extensions can be used on just about any hair texture, sew in weaves are best suited for curly, kinky hair. “Weaving extensions are best for Afro hair, which has enough texture to hold the cornrow braid. Fusion extensions tend to be the most expensive and have the most time-consuming application process (up to three hours); they also last the longest (three to four months) but cannot be re used so often the most pricy. The tape-in application process is much faster (about an hour) and more affordable, but requires more frequent maintenance (every six to eight weeks). “The same tape-in extensions can be removed and reapplied. Micro rings or nano micro rings are a great method of application as they are reusable, no glue or heat is involved and therefore they do not cause damage to the hair.