Getting Hair Extensions For The First Time: Everything You Need To Know

Getting hair extensions for the first time can be very intimidating. A lot of people are excited, scared, or confused because they don’t really know where to start and what to expect from it. It is true that it could be overwhelming because of the many options to choose from, but in this article, we’ll help you understand everything you need to know about hair extensions and how to take care of them. Then hopefully, help you decide what type of hair extensions you’ll be getting yourself for the very first time. 

Hair Extensions 101 - Everything You Need To Know

If you want to change up your look for a special occasion or just in the mood for it, like wanting longer hair, or adding some curls, then hair extensions are the answer. The real reason why hair extensions are very popular, especially to a lot of celebrities, is that it makes your hair look healthier, adds length, volume, fullness, and as well as some depth to your hair. If you want to get spicy and use different hair colors for style, you can surely go for it.

Synthetic hair extensions are very affordable and that is their main selling point. They are usually made from nylon, polyester or acrylic, that’s designed to look and feel like human hair. Synthetic hair appears more shiny than natural hair, and not as soft as it looks. You can’t wash or style with heat synthetic hair because it could melt or lose shape, which will be unusable. 

Speaking of quality, real human hair extensions are always going to be better than synthetic ones. With human hair extensions, others won’t even notice that you’re wearing them. That’s because human hair extensions can be styled to your liking and can be colored matching your hair, which will make it blend perfectly with your natural hair. 

Different Types of Hair Extensions

With hair extensions, there are a lot of options you can choose from. It really depends on what style you’re looking for, if you’re looking for short-term or long-term extensions, your natural hair, and your budget. Choosing on your own could be difficult, so we highly recommend that you talk to your hairdresser to find the best suitable option for your hair. 

There are definitely pros and cons for all hair extensions, but it really depends on its quality, the way you use it, and how you store and maintain them to stay in good condition for a long time. 

1. Clip-in Hair Extensions

Clip-in hair extensions are hair wefts that are clipped into your natural hair. They come in a strand of contoured pieces, where clips are attached to a base with fabric or silicone. Clip-in hair extensions are one of the most popular extensions because of how easy, quick, and safe it is to use. 

Clip-In Hair Extensions Video

They are the least permanent style of extensions, and if you’re wanting to change your look temporarily, then clip-ins are the right choice for you. It only takes a few minutes to wear, and unlike other extensions, it does zero damage to your hair because it doesn’t involve any chemicals, heat, or any other method. All you need to do is simply clip the pieces on your hair to your liking, and then easily remove them afterwards. Easy and done.

They are low maintenance and affordable ranging from $100 to $500. You can wear them from about 15 to 20 times before needing to wash them. They also have a very long life span that lasts you anywhere from 3 to 6 months, up to a year, depending on how you often wear them, and how you take care of them.

2. Tape-In Hair Extensions

Tape-in hair extensions are adhesive strips placed and aligned with the roots of your hair using heated glue. A piece of your natural hair is placed between two pieces of extensions, and are all glued together at the root.

Tape-In Hair Extensions Video

This hair extension makes it seem invisible and blends perfectly with your natural hair because of how the extensions lay completely flat on your head. When getting tape-ins, it is best to let a hairdresser install it for you, rather than doing it on your own to avoid any hair damage. It usually takes around 40 minutes to an hour for the entire process of installation, and is considered one of the easiest to maintain and quickest installation of all the semi-permanent hair extensions. 

You need to wash and style them carefully to best care for them. You can still use shampoo, condition, and style your hair, as long as you don’t use alcohol-infused hair products so that it doesn’t remove or dissolve the glue. You wouldn’t want your tape-ins to slip off at any time. When removing your tape-ins, you can use alcohol-based products or slippery oil for a seamless removal of your extensions without ripping any of your hair. 

Since tape-ins are usually difficult for beginners to install, it could cost a bit higher and start at around $200+. They could last from around 6 to 8 weeks before needing to remove, depending on how you maintain them. 

Sew-In Hair Extensions

3. Sew-In Hair Extensions

Sew-in hair extensions, also known as weave or braided extensions, are the most popular extension. First, your hair is going to be braided into cornrows horizontally from ear to ear. Then your hairdresser will sew the weft into the braids using needles and threads.

Sew-in hair extensions, also known as weave or braided extensions, are the most popular extension. First, your hair is going to be braided into cornrows horizontally from ear to ear. Then your hairdresser will sew the weft into the braids using needles and threads. 

The installation of the extension could usually take two or more hours, depending on the expertise of your hairdresser. Because of the tight braiding, this could be uncomfortable and add tension on your scalp, which could cause hair loss. That's why this type of extension is recommended for people with thick hair. 

Sew-in extensions could cost around $250+ because it is difficult and technical to install. With the time, braiding, and sewing, experienced hairdressers are the ones applying it, which is why it is somewhat costly. 

This type of extension is considered as one of the most permanent and long-lasting because it is secured, and you won't have to worry about it slipping off. You could enjoy this for around 6 to 8 weeks before needing to remove them.

To take care of your weaves, you need to wash and use conditioning products that moisturize them, like deep condition and protein products, to minimize damage and keep your hair healthy. When removing your weaves, make sure to visit your hairdresser again.

4. Micro Bead Extensions

Micro Bead Extensions uses tiny beads and pliers to clamp the weft to your hair. The tiny wefts are attached to small sections of your hair using beads, which are tightened to hold in place using pliers.

The beads are usually matching the color of your natural hair to make them blend with the extension and look seamless. This extension does not include any heat or glue, but it could still be damaging to the hair if not installed properly by a professional. The bead could be tightened too much, cause pressure, and could pull the hair at the roots, which could lead to hair being pulled out. 

This method takes around 2 to 4 hours to install, and could cost around $300 to $500. This extension could last for around 3 to 4 months more before needing to be removed or reapplied because your natural hair grows and the beads move away from your scalp. To keep them in shape, make sure to be careful when washing, brushing, and styling your hair. 

Fusion Hair Extensions

5. Fusion Hair Extensions

Fusion Hair Extensions, also known as keratin bonds or pre-bonded extensions, are strands of hair that have keratin on top. A heated clamp is used to fuse the keratin bond to the hair to keep them in place.

Unlike other hair extensions that use glue, fusion hair extensions are less damaging as you think because hair is made up of 95% keratin. But it can still be damaging to your hair and scalp if installed incorrectly, so make sure that a professional is installing it.

Installing it could take around 3 to 6 hours depending on the number of strands. It also takes the same amount of time when removing them. The removal process of fusion hair extensions takes a while because it involves using a special formulated bond remover and gently sliding the extension off so that it doesn’t damage your natural hair. 

Fusion hair extensions can cost around $300 to $500, and can last from 3 to 5 months, depending on how you treat them and how fast your hair grows. To care for them, don’t wash your hair for 72 hours to let the bond set. After that, you can wash your hair every few days. Be careful when styling or using heated tools.

Wigs & Hair Pieces

6. Wigs and Hair Pieces

Wigs are a covering for the head made of real or artificial hair, which acts as a replacement for your own hair. There are wigs that are called "lace fronts" or "nettings". Wigs are used for many different reasons, such as hair loss, balding, or if you just want to change up your look for a special occasion. 

Hair pieces are a form of hair extensions which consists of buns, ponytail clippings, or hair ties. It can help you switch up your look by adding volume and length to your hair just like other extensions. 

Wigs and hair pieces could cost around $70 to $300 dollars, depending on the quality or if it is made of real human hair or synthetic hair. Both of these are quick and temporary methods of styling your hair, and could last around a year, depending on how you take care of them. You need to be careful when washing them because hair is attached to some sort of plastic.

Hair Extensions Are Investments

Now that you know the different types of hair extensions, you need to understand that hair extensions are an investment. First things first, extensions can be costly if you really want to look good, naturally glossy, and if you want it to be long-lasting. Good quality extensions don’t come cheap. Quality is very important when getting hair extensions, which is why we recommend extensions made of real human hair rather than synthetic ones. The better quality they are, the better you look.

Taking Care of Your Hair Extensions Is Important

Just like our natural hair, looking after your first hair extension is a must. You need to put a little bit more effort than just your normal hair routine. Hair extensions absorb more water because they are more porous than natural hair, which is why they take longer to dry than usual. Asking your hairdresser on how to wash your hair and what products to use will help maintain your extensions. It will be time-consuming, but it will definitely be worth it to keep its quality and longevity.

Your Hair Extensions Should Feel Comfortable

Getting your hair extensions for the first time can be a strange feeling. It could feel weird because it feels heavy and you suddenly have a lot more hair, but this is normal for a first timer. It takes a few days to get used to. After getting extensions, you shouldn’t be feeling any pain or discomfort. If you feel like your scalp is getting pulled, or any discomfort, consult your hairdresser and let them know about it. 

Your Hair Extensions Should Look Natural

Not only should your extensions feel comfortable, but they should also look natural on you. Your extensions should match and blend well with your natural hair, to a point where people don’t even notice you have extensions on. Matching color and texture is also very important for proper blending. Once cleverly positioned, your hair will appear naturally healthier, thick, and more volume. 

Protecting Your Natural Hair

Hair extensions can be damaging to your natural hair if applied incorrectly, or if you’re using cheap products. It is important to ensure that your hair is protected when getting extensions by visiting a professional hairdresser and by using good quality products. Consult your hairdresser about the ins and outs of your extension to take care of your natural hair as well. If your extensions look great on you and they feel extremely comfortable, then you know that your hair is protected.

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