Hair extensions have a come a long way. There are now better-quality and very natural-looking options on the market and improved application methods. It’s time you gave them a second chance. Extensions can be one of your hair’s biggest assets, allowing you to rock a variety of different hairstyles without having to commit to a certain look for too long.
To find out everything you need to know before investing in a set of faux strands, from the different varieties, how to look after them and how much you can expect to pay, we spoke to two hair experts: hairstylist, owner of Valonz salon and Cloud Nine Ambassador, Renya Xydis, and Hair Director and co-founder of MOB HAIR, Tarryn Cherniayeff.
#1 / The different types of hair extensions
According to Xydis, there are various types of hair extensions, however, the most popular include “clip-in, sew-in, micro-link, glue-in and tape extensions.”
“Clip-in hair extensions are the easiest to apply and the least damaging, as they simply clip in to your natural hair. Sew-in extensions are applied by braiding natural hair into a cornrow before sewing the hair extensions into the cornrow,” explains Xydis. She adds that sew-in extensions are one of the most seamless and permanent extension styles.
“Glue-in (extensions glued to natural hair) and micro-link (looping the extensions through the natural hair, clamping them with a hot tool and metal rings) are the most damaging on hair. However, they can both be reused if cared for,” Xydis explains.
Lastly, Cherniayeff says tape extensions “are attached to the hair using discreet double-sided tape, like a sandwich: Imagine one extension is the bottom piece of the bread, your hair is the filling and the top extension is the top piece of bread.”
#2 / How to know what type of hair extensions to choose
Xydis and Cherniayeff both stress that it’s essential that you chat to your hairdresser before committing to any type of extensions. Cherniayeff says doing so will enable you to factor in your lifestyle, budget and your natural hair to see what is going to work best for you, as choosing the wrong ones can have negative effects. “For instance, if you’re a low-maintenance person and you’re not willing to set aside time to take care of your extensions, you may find yourself with matted roots and unmanageable hair.”
An in-depth discussion with your hairdresser will also enable you to choose the right color, address any concerns you may have and learn which products are best for styling and caring for hair extensions.
#3 / Can you have hair extensions with balayage?
If you’ve always avoided hair extensions because you thought you’d never be able to get them to match your ombré or balayage hair colour, we have good news for you.
Both Cherniayeff and Xydis agree that those with multiple colors and tones throughout their hair will be able to find extensions that match and look natural. By combining a “mixture of dark and light extensions, you’re actually able to create a balayage effect on its own,” says Cherniayeff.
However, if you’ve recently jumped aboard the ombré or balayage trend or have changed your hair color completely and want to get your existing extensions to match your new shade, then you might run into a bit of trouble. “Some salons will color them for you, however, you should expect the results to vary. This is because some extensions have been put through certain processes to get to the color they are currently at, which means they may not ‘take’ to the color you are trying to add to it. In which case, sometimes considering new extensions may be your best option,” advises Cherniayeff.
#4 / Choosing between synthetic or human extensions
While synthetic hair extensions (made from various blended synthetic fibres) might seem more appealing because they are significantly cheaper, extensions made from human hair are generally the best way to go.
“Synthetic extensions can be stiff and don’t often blend into hair as easily. Alternatively, human hair blends effortlessly into natural hair and can be dyed (when possible) to match natural hair,” says Xydis.
#5 / How to look after hair extensions
“Every brand of extensions has their own after-care routine, which you should be fully aware of prior to purchase. But in general, opt for sulphate-free shampoos, avoid applying conditioner to your roots and treat the hair as if it’s your own i.e. weekly treatments etc.,” says Cherniayeff.
Xydis recommends not brushing your hair when it’s wet as it may excessively tug your extensions. She also suggests avoiding “oil-based hair products and over-styling with hot tools for micro-link and glue-in extensions. Clip-in hair extensions are very low maintenance; however, they should be washed after every 20 uses or so, but more frequently if you use a lot of product on your hair. They can then be brushed, shampooed and conditioned as normal and then air-dried.”
#6 / How often you should replace hair extensions
“Synthetic extensions last for a few months on average, whereas human hair extensions can last upwards of one year if they are well taken care of,” says Xydis. As for how often you will need to get your hair extensions re-applied, she advises, “Glue and tape extensions last around four to eight weeks, sew-in extensions should be replaced every six to eight weeks and micro-link extensions last up to four months, but will need repositioning every two or three months as your hair grows.”
#7 / Who should avoid hair extensions?
Unfortunately, they’re aren’t for everybody. “If your hair is overly damaged, thin or brittle, it’s best to stay away from extensions that require glue or heat application,” says Xydis. “Those with fine hair should also avoid micro-links as the bonds may be visible,” she adds. Cherniayeff’s tip is to steer clear of extensions (excluding clip-ins) if you’re prone to scalp conditions.
The long and the short of hair extensions is that they can vastly improve your hair style and overall confidence and are absolutely worth the time, effort and money. You’ll love your hair extensions and wished you had gotten them sooner.
Blog Article Originally Posted beautycrew.com
18 thoughts on “Hair Extensions: Everything you need to know”
First off thanks a lot for this detailed guide on hair extensions. And I must say this will really very helpful for many women’s like me.
Great Sabrina! Our goal is to educate our clients on the latest hair trends and increase their confidence in trying new things.
My girlfriend has been thinking about getting hair extensions for a while now. I do like how you mentioned that there are different types. I really didn’t know but I do remember her telling me that she is wanting to get the clip-in style. I’ll just have to find that style and then see what exact one that she wants.
In the sixties and seventies in the UK we all wore these real hair “bumps” that sat at the top/back of our head to match our own hair. They gave us lift and longer hair styles and were wonderful. I have not been able to find them or seen any available. Do you know if they still make them. These had a small comb and you could clip them in but were not permanent or semi-permanent. Many thanks.
These hair pieces are still available, and are in fact popular. Many people still wear them and you’d never know. Contact a Dellaria Hair Extension specialist to special order. Thank you Anita!
Thanks for explaining that we should be fully aware of the unique care routine for the extensions before we buy them. I’ve been thinking about getting hair extensions so I could have more freedom to play with my style and appearance. I’m glad I read your article because I feel a lot more prepared to buy the right hair extensions!
I liked that you said that hair extensions can be made to match the color of your hair. I would imagine that this would allow your extensions to look very natural. I would be sure to consider getting hair extensions in order to add volume since they will look natural.
Has anybody tried the clip-in hair extensions?
Once, I had long and beautiful hair. But unfortunately I had to chop it off for some reason. Seriously living with short hair is quite difficult, lol. So, I decided to go for clip-in hair extension. I haven’t tried them before, please help me by sharing your experience with clip-in extension.
It really helped when you said it’s better to talk to your hairdresser to choose the best hair extensions for you. My little sister’s birthday is coming up, and I’m thinking about what to get her. Lately, she’s into makeup and changing her hairstyle every five minutes. I asked my mother about it, and she told me I could get hair extensions for her since my mom’s heard my sister’s dying to get some. After reading your piece, I think it’ll be better to ask my sister which ones she likes before trying to guess which would look better on her. I appreciate your information about hair extension tips
You didn’t mention what typical costs would be
My hair is so thin and fine that when its wet you can see my scalp. Ive thought about extensions but wonder if I have enough hair to cover them and after reading this I’m wondering if i should get extensions or not. I know I want them for volume. If I’m not a good candidate for them can you suggest something else that might help to make my hair fuller’? Any advice would be extremely appreciated. Thank you
I have thin hair too and have had extensions for the last 15 years or so purely to give my hair body. I re-do them with fresh extensions very 4/5 months. Use a really good quality hair, I find SHE are great. I have tried other brands and lengths but they are terrible and knot and Rasta easily. I swim most days and so my hair is frequently washed and suffers some less than ideal treatment. The only downside is that they are ‘addictive’ in that I keep saying I should go without….but can never bring myself to try!
What about people with natural curly or wavy hair? What options are there?
I’ve a patch with hair sew into it but have very itchy scalp now anyone help
I have thin less-than 5″ hair. Since my Extensions, my hair has grown! But, I feel that I’ve also have had to force myself to change my “appearance”. You see, my top Weft is noticeable , especially on a windy day and it is embarrassing for me. Also, the edges of my Sects have begun to “curl” away from my scalp or are left “crooked” because the anchor have slipped and/or fallen out. I have been wearing bandanas, scarves and bendy clips to hold my Wefts in. 😔
I have gone in less than 5 weeks, 4 weeks and soon-ro-be 3 Weeks to get my Wefts secured/moved. It’s getting pricey for me!!!😭
How can I prolong my salon visits?!?
Will my gray roots show as they grow with clip in extension?
Will my gray hair show as it grows out with clip in extensions?
Yes, My hair is thin, I often use clip-in blonde balayage color.