Have you ever noticed how our favorite film stars surprise us with their new hairstyles on every magazine cover? Whether it’s vibrant colors, styles, or the length of their hair, it keeps changing with each new movie. Don’t you wish at times, that you could do the same? With the help of hair extensions, you can also acquire any style and transform your hair within hours or maybe even minutes, depending on the style.
You don’t have to be a celebrity to get that amazing length, volume & texture, a splash of color, or even incorporate a fringe-look to your hair. It’s the magic of hair extensions that can help create any style instantly. Extensions are a great option when you want to look your best just before a wedding, a grand function or just to follow the latest trend.
What Are Hair Extensions?
Let’s Examine What Hair Extensions Actually Are
Also known as weaves, hair extensions are a type of natural or synthetic hair that is closely attached to your scalp. It adds length and volume or for that matter color to your natural hair. Hair extensions come in different varieties and qualities depending on the price. Some may last for a year and some may be more long-lasting. If selected properly, hair extensions can match the color and texture of hair in a way that it’s difficult to distinguish from your original hair.
Through care and maintenance, they can help you get the desired length and style that you always dreamt of.
So, What’s the Key to Looking Great?
Choosing the right extensions that suit your hair and personality is the key to looking fashionable and irresistible. Before you decide on getting hair extensions, keep in mind some of the following points.
Synthetic or Natural Hair?
First and foremost, you should know that all hair extensions are available under two categories; synthetic and natural. Synthetic hair is less expensive than the latter, but natural human hair has many benefits. Though a little pricier, human hair extensions are actually low maintenance and can be washed after wearing 8 to 10 times. You can brush and condition your hair and leave it open to dry just like your normal hair. Natural hair can be styled easily too, whether you like curls, straightened, or colored. Natural hair extensions do offer a lot of freedom as far as styling is concerned.
Synthetic hair can look unnatural at times (due to the heavy gloss) and cannot be styled using heat or color. They also tangle easily.
Types of Hair Extensions
Clip-on hair extensions are available in a variety of colors and styles. They are easy to apply and take five to seven minutes to attach correctly. Compared to other methods, they are very affordable. They do not damage your original hair, and you can take them out whenever you feel uncomfortable. The clip-on extensions need to be removed before going to bed. It’s not recommended to swim with these on, and sometimes there is hair breakage while taking them off.
These are long-lasting hair extensions that are added to natural hair with metal rings or keratin tubing. The method is to attach them with a small ring or tube, which is then clamped onto your real hair. Since no adhesives or solvents are used, there is minimum damage. But they can be difficult to remove, and you can’t do it very often.
Bonding or gluing is a type of weaving technique and usually involves longer hair strands. This method does not take too much time, but extensions attached through this procedure do not last long.
Fusion Hair Extensions
Hot fusion involves braiding extensions into natural hair and bonding them together with a wax adhesive. This is quite popular since you can wash your hair every week, use gels and mousse, etc. This lasts almost 6 months.
Cold fusion can last 6-12 months, good quality human hair is used, and they are reusable.
The downside is, that this is one of the most expensive and time-consuming methods.
Small sections of your natural hair are braided tightly to the scalp in cornrows, and the weft is then sewn into the braid with a needle and thread. This doesn’t involve too much maintenance cost, but the process is long.
This is a relatively new method where the extensions are applied with either double-sided or single-sided polyurethane tape. It barely takes 30-60 minutes to apply, no heat or glue is required, and the hair extensions are reusable, making them cost-effective. They can last 6-8 weeks if properly maintained.
Some care and precautions need to be taken to ensure the hair extensions are not damaged and will last as long as possible.
- Use a special brush available in beauty stores to comb your extensions.
- Before going to bed, braid your hair into one large loose braid at the back of the neck.
- After waking up every morning, undo the braid and comb through your hair; starting at the ends and working your way up to the hair roots.
- Do not use harsh shampoos and rinse under cold water to avoid tangles.
- Never massage your scalp while shampooing.
- After rinsing thoroughly, apply conditioner and comb your hair, starting with the ends. Leave the hair open to air-dry.
- Avoid excessive usage of gels, mousse, hairspray, and other styling aids. Try opting for alcohol-free products.
Hair Extensions Do’s and Don’ts:
- Make sure you’re selecting a hair color that matches your natural hair, otherwise it might look very fake. In order to match accurately, match it with the end of your hair and not just the roots.
- Selecting extensions that match the weight of your original hair is very important. If you have thick hair then go for thick extensions and if you have fine hair then go for fine extensions.
- Be very sure whether your lifestyle and daily routine will let you manage your hair extensions properly. You need to put in some extra effort and care like brushing and styling every morning, detangling and making braids at night, washing at frequent intervals, etc.