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When it comes to fusion hair extensions, the results should always be beautiful. The road you take to get there, though, is not always the same. You have your choice of colors, lengths, textures, and - of course - application methods. So when it comes down to I-tipped or U-tipped fusion hair extensions, how do you choose? Which is better for you?
Heat or No Heat?
For starters, it's important to think about heat application, and how comfortable you are with heat on or near your hair. U-tipped fusion extensions can only be applied using a heating tool to melt the keratin. And while these tools only use a fraction of the heat created by normal curling and flat irons (and they are only near the hair for a few seconds at a time), you may have fragile or damaged hair that you'd like to keep as far away from heat as possible.
Additionally, hot fusion requires clean, product-free hair...and that means no leave-in conditioners, an absolute no-no for many kinkier hair types. In that case, I-tipped hair may be your best choice.
On the other hand, I-tipped hair is typically cold-fused to your natural locks, a process which has its own advantages and disadvantages. Typical I-tipped hair extensions are attached to your hair using a Micro-Ring process that involves pulling your hair through a small metal loop in the extension base. This loop is usually made of copper or aluminum, which is not recommended for women going through radiation or chemotherapy, and can cut into your hair's cuticles, causing damage. Pulling curly or coarse hair through these rings can also lead to tangling, snarling, and extremely tough removal, so Micro Rings may not be the way to go for women with "springier" hair types.
Of course, I-tipped hair extensions from Perfect Locks are tipped with a keratin sealant that can be fused to your own hair without heat or metal rings, if you so desire. This method may be a better choice for women with Type 3 or 4 hair, which "holds" a bit better, but may also lead to slippage for women with naturally finer, silkier tresses. You want the firmest, most lasting hold you can get, without damaging your own hair in the long run.
Which is Right for You?
So what's the best choice for you? Well, it all comes down to your particular needs and goals, as well as your natural hair type. If you have curly, coarse, or kinky tresses that tend to frizz or tangle easily, cold-fused keratin I-tips are probably your best bet. On the other hand, women with straighter strands can probably stand hot-fused U-tips (or I-tips with Micro Rings) better. As always, consult with your stylist, and remember, the choice is yours - you know your own hair better than anyone, and it's your hairstyle!