You feel like no matter what care products you use; your hair remains flat. You want to have amazing volume and color, but alas, your genes just haven’t blessed you. That’s what hair extensions are for.
Many different types of hair extensions can add an interesting splash to any style. The best part? You can treat most extensions like your regular hair.
You can use product on them, braid them, and even dye them. We will tell you that not all extensions are made equally.
One type might work a little better for you than another. Check out this guide to learn about the different types of hair extensions so you can have the beautiful long locks that you’ve always dreamed of.
Human Hair Extensions
Most hair extensions are made with either human hair or synthetic fibers. Since the human hair ones are the real deal, they look and feel much like your actual gorgeous locks. This means they blend in a little better than synthetic extensions.
You can straighten, curl, and style your human extensions the same way you would your actual hair. As far as longevity is concerned, you can have your human hair extensions for up to a year before you have to toss them as long as you take care of them.
Synthetic extensions are woven from fine plastic fibers that mimic the look of actual hair. Unlike human hair, you can’t use regular products on these extensions.
You won’t be able to curl them or expose them to heat. If you try to dye the strands, you’ll ruin them due to the chemicals in the dye. They feel a little stiffer than regular hair so, they don’t blend in quite as well.
As you can imagine, these extensions are a lot cheaper than the human hair ones. The trade-off is that they will only last you a couple of months.
Clip-in Hair Extensions
As the name suggests, clip-in hair extensions have clips at the base of the hair. You can take them in and out as you please in about 15 minutes.
Since they’re the least permanent option available, you can learn how to put them in yourself right at home. They don’t produce any oils, so you won’t have to shampoo and condition them too much. The only time you need to clean them is when the product build-up gets to be a bit much.
You can curl and straighten these extensions as long as you use some kind of heat protectant spray first and you’re working with real human hair.
Tape-in Hair Extensions
These hair extension types are a little more permanent than the clip-in ones. They’re considered semi-permanent and are a lot more involved. This means you can’t put them in at home.
The stylist will secure them to your hair using heat and adhesive glue. They’re applied to large chunks of your regular hair, so they pose less of a threat than other permanent extensions.
It will take the stylist about an hour to get them in. Once they’re there, you’ll have to be careful about the way you wash your hair. If you use conditioner or any oil-based products, it can cause the tape to lose its adhesive.
If you have human hair extensions, you can curl and straighten them, but only the ends. You don’t want to get too close to the tape, or you’ll melt it. We recommend using the low heat setting when you blow-dry.
Sew-in Hair Extensions
Before the stylist applies the sew-in extensions, they have to braid your natural hair into cornrows. From there, they use a needle and thread to weave the extension through the cornrow.
The process is a little more intensive than described. It can take several hours to finish the job. Many would argue that these are the best hair extensions because they’re permanent, and since they’re literally sewn into your natural locks, they blend in well.
If you go with this option, you’ll need to moisturize your scalp often. Once a week is the standard recommendation. Conditioning products are a must.
This will keep the damage to your natural hair to an absolute minimum. Don’t wear your sew-in hair extensions for more than a few months. If you do, it will start to affect the way your natural hair grows.
Fusion and Pre-Bonded
Most stylists advise against these extensions because they can be pretty damaging to your natural hair. The hairdresser uses a hot glue gun-like machine to bond the extensions to individual strands of hair.
They aren’t suitable for everyone because the chemicals found in the glue can cause hair breakage and scalp irritation. They do create a pretty seamless look, though. You can treat it the same exact way you would your natural hair.
After a while, they will shift out of place as your natural hair grows. When this happens, you’ll have to visit the hairdresser again so they can reposition them.
Microlink Hair Extensions
Microlink extensions are a little safer than the pre-bonded ones as long as you let a professional handle the job. The hairdresser secures the extension by connecting it to individual natural hairs using a small bead.
If they tighten the bead too much, it will damage your hairs and pull them out when you have the extensions taken out. You can wash and style your hair as you would normally after your salon visit. Like with the pre-bonded extensions, they will shift out of place over time.
Understanding the Different Types of Hair Extensions
Are you thinking about getting hair extensions to add a little bit of visual interest to your natural locks? They’re a great solution depending on what types of hair extensions you use.
They aren’t created equal. One type may work for you a little better than others. Choosing the wrong ones will end with disaster. Always talk to your stylist before you proceed.
Once the extensions are in, you’re going to need to learn how to keep them looking great. Check out our blog for all the latest styling tips and tricks.