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Hair extensions are the quickest, the easiest way to get thicker, fuller, and longer hair. There are many different types and styles of hair extensions to choose from, and which kind is right for you depends on multiple factors like the length and texture of your natural hair, your budget, and your desired outcome. Whether you've been wearing extensions for years, or are a newcomer, we put together the ultimate guide to choosing, buying, and taking care of your hair extensions.
Hair extensions are artificial sections of hair that are attached and integrated into natural hair to add volume, length, and fullness to natural human hair.
There are many different ways to add extensions to your hair. Extensions can be temporarily clipped into your natural hair, taped in with a special hair-safe glue, bonded to your natural hair with keratin, or suspended from a thin wire that rests on the crown of your head. When styled, hair extensions look like naturally full, voluminous hair.
Almost anyone can wear hair extensions, including women, men, and kids. Some types of hair extensions may be more suitable for certain individuals and others depending on hair texture and the desired length and hairstyle.
It's a common misconception that if you have short hair you cannot wear hair extensions. However, your hair does need to be a minimum 4 to 6 inches long to ensure the extensions can be securely attached to your hair and to allow your natural hair to obscure the extension attachments.
If you have curly hair, you can still wear extensions. Curly hair extensions can be made by perming or steaming hair around a rod to create the curl. You can also curl your hair extensions with a curling iron. If your extensions are synthetic, use extremely low heat or foam rollers instead.
Even the highest quality hair extensions will not last forever. How long your extensions last depends on the type of attachment. Fusion extensions last the longest and only need to be replaced every 3 to 4 months, followed by hand-tied extensions, which can last between 2 and 3 months. Tape in hair needs to be replaced the most frequently. They need to be removed or replaced every 4 to 6 weeks or so.
Pro Tip: Using the best quality hair care products can help increase the lifespan of your hair extensions. Remember to always use sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners to avoid stripping the hair of its natural oils.
Improper placement of hair extensions can cause her loss. This is called traction alopecia, which is the result of the constant tension on the roots of the hair, causing the hair to be pulled out repeatedly until the hair follicle has become too damaged to continue producing hair. This is why it's so important to have hair extensions done by professionals who have had adequate training on how to install different types of extensions on different types of hair.
On average, hair extensions can cost a few hundred dollars. You typically will not be able to get a full head of quality hair extensions under $200, and the highest price for professionally installed tape-in or keratin extensions is around $3,000. If having them professionally installed, be sure to ask for the stylist's portfolio to see their past work.
How natural your hair extensions look depends on a wide variety of factors, including the attachment method, type of hair, whether it is real or synthetic, and the color, length, and texture of your natural hair. Overall, extensions made from human hair tend to look and feel more natural than synthetic hair extensions.
Although extensions can be styled, how they are styled and with what tools depends on the type of hair extension you have and which kind of hair it is made from. Human hair extensions tolerate heat much better than synthetic, which may melt at higher temperatures. Can I color my hair extensions? Extensions made from Remy human hair may be bleached or dyed.
You can buy hair extensions online, at your local beauty store, or from a professional stylist. The site we recommend is www.perfectlocks.com.
Below, explore the different types of hair extensions that are currently available on the market.
Ready-to-wear hair extensions are a fast and easy way to get the gorgeous, full head of hair that you want quickly and easily. Ready-to-wear extensions also tend to be more affordable than professionally installed salon extensions. Here are some classic hair extensions you can try.
Professionally installed hair extensions are more expensive than wigs or clip-ins, but they last much longer and are much more durable. Furthermore, they must be installed by a trained professional to avoid damage to your natural hair. Below are some of the most popular types of professional hair extensions. Below, we discussed the most popular professionally installed hair extensions available and the pros and cons of each.
Machine wefts are sew-in hair extensions are wefts of natural human hair that are attached to the hair by strategically placing anchors within the client's hair and sewing the human hair wefts into the hair with a needle and thread.
Hand-tied hair extension wefts are woven by hand, which results in the thinnest, flattest weft available on the market. These extensions are ideal for thin or fine hair. However, note that hand-tied hair extensions must be tied to the desired length since they will start to unravel when they are cut after being tied.
Tape-in hair extensions are thin, wide sections of hair that are attached to a client's natural hair with medical-grade glue. Hair must be clean and dry in order for the tape to properly stick, and they must be installed precisely because the tape generally cannot be adjusted after it is placed. No chemicals or special tools are required for the installation of tape-in hair extensions. The weft lays flat against the scalp so they are highly undetectable.
Fusion hair extensions are attached to tiny sections of the natural hair with a keratin bond, which must be heated and rolled in between the stylist's fingers. This type of extension can be messy if it is not properly done by a hair professional.
Before deciding on a set of hair extensions to purchase, make sure that you've selected extensions that match your hair color, and texture, and have the appropriate attachment style for the type of hair you have and the style you are wanting to achieve.
We have a hair color chart and length guide that can help you determine which extensions will look best with your hair. If you're still unsure, our team of extension experts are more than happy to help you select the perfect set of extensions for your needs! Simply give us a call or send us an email, and we'll be happy to assist you.
Halo hair extensions or hand-tied wefts are ideal for thin or fine hair. We've created an in-depth guide to choosing the perfect hair extensions if you have thin hair, read it here.
Remy human hair extensions are ideal for thick hair because the wefts are sewn with each hair strand facing the same way, which gives a shiny, natural-looking finish. Products like wefts and lace clip-in hair extensions will be the best for achieving thickness and volume.
Tape-in extensions are lightweight and lay flat to the head, making them ideal for short hair. Fusion hair extensions and seamless extensions of the clip-in variety will be your best bet. They are also lightweight and will not cause any damage to the scalp.
Hair extensions can be purchased in multiple textures and curl patterns, including straight, wavy, curly, or textured hair extensions. Look at the way your hair naturally falls when it is wet. If it is straight, curly, or wavy when towel-dried, this is your hair's natural texture. You should choose an extension texture that matches your own curl pattern.
Choose hair extensions that match the color of the ends of your hair, not the roots, and that match the natural undertones of your hair too. You should also make sure that the color of your hair extensions compliments the undertones of your complexion. Color matching can be a bit intimidating but if you stick within your general shade range, you will be safe.
View our hair color chart to match your hair perfectly with human hair extensions. There are several primary colors that blend with most hair shades, so it's easy!
You can swim with hair extensions, provided you take several steps to care for your hair after getting out of the water. Wash any salt or chemicals out of your extensions as soon as possible and dry them quickly so they do not stay wet for any period of time.
You can exercise with your hair extensions, but it's important to take a few precautions so your extensions don't get damaged. Wear your hair up in a bun or braid to keep it out of the way and prevent it from getting soaked with sweat. After exercising, be sure to wash your hair and extensions as soon as possible to remove any sweat or salt water.
How you brush or comb your hair extensions depends on the type of extensions you have and the texture of the hair. Wide combs are better for curly hair while brushes with flexible bristles are best for straight and fine hair.
You should always choose hair extensions that are two to four inches shorter than your current hair length. This will allow you to style your hair in an updo or ponytail without the extensions being visible. Reference our hair length guide if you're still unsure how to choose the right length.
Synthetic hair extensions are typically made from nylon or acrylic, which feels dry and rough compared to human hair. They usually have full shine and look beautiful at first glance, however, looks can be quite deceiving as synthetic hair can matte, tangle, and melt very easily! Human hair has natural moisture inside the follicle, making it feel silkier.
The best human hair for extensions is ethically sourced from India. It has a naturally thick, soft texture that withstands chemical processing and resists breakage.
Human hair extensions generally cost between $300 and $500 for clip-ins or tape-ins, and keratin bonded extensions or sew-in extensions may cost significantly more for stylist labor. If you're looking into more professional options and/or a wig, costs can range from $1,000 to upwards of $3,000. We would advise you to consult with your hairstylist regarding installation costs.
More affordable hair extensions are of the clip-in variety, and can be found online for less than $100 to $400. Pricing depends on the quality of hair, length, quality of hair, and where you purchase them. However, these are not typically recommended for those with thin or fine hair, as they can be heavy and cause strain on the scalp.
The term "virgin" hair refers to hair that has never been chemically processed. Virgin hair is the highest quality hair available for extensions but tends to be more expensive than human hair extensions that have been bleached, colored, permed, or chemically straightened. This hair is of superior quality and you'll notice a difference with the inherent strength and resilience.
Remy hair refers to human hair that has been sourced in a manner that leaves the cuticle intact instead of stripped. This ensures the cuticles face the same direction and offers the most natural appearance. Keep in mind that not all Remy human hair is created equal! There are many different types of Remy human hair on the market, so make sure you do your research before making a purchase.
Non-Remy hair is stripped of its cuticle and as a result, is more prone to tangling and matting. It's also usually over-processed and dry, making your extensions look less healthy and shiny.
Single-drawn hair extensions have shorter lengths mixed in with the longer lengths, while double-drawn hair extensions are all the same length. Double-drawn hair is fuller and thicker than single drawn, but it's also more expensive.
Hair extensions that are ethically sourced are obtained from women in Indian villages who lovingly cut their hair and give their locks to an incarnation of their god Vishnu. The hair is collected and then sold. The revenue from these sales goes back into the temples and their communities, which helps pay for medical care, education, and nutrition for children and people in need.
Unethically sourced hair extensions often aren't 100% real human hair. They may be mixed with synthetic hair or hair that has been obtained from animals. It may also be made from fallen hair, which is hair obtained from hair brushes and salon floors. Cheap hair extensions that are labeled human hair or Remy hair are likely to be unethically sourced.
Proper care of your hair extensions can help them to last longer and look more natural when you wear them. Here are several tips for the maintenance and styling of your hair extensions.
You should wash and dry your extensions with specially formulated shampoo and conditioner to prolong the longevity of your extensions. If you have clip-in or halo extensions, these can be washed and dried much less frequently than extensions that have been installed into your natural hair.
Your hair extensions should be neatly folded in a dedicated storage box that can be kept dry and out of extreme temperatures. Never put your hair extensions away while they are still damp, as this can cause mold and bacterial overgrowth.
It's important to be aware that styling your extensions frequently can reduce their overall lifespan. Ideally, you should style clip-in and halo extensions off of your head so styling doesn't pull on your natural hair. Style your extensions as little as possible to keep them in good condition for longer.
You can use a small amount of hair product on your extensions to help style them and control flyaways. However, remember that the more product you use, the more frequently you will have to wash your extensions, which reduces their lifespan.
You can sleep in tape-in and keratin bonded extensions since they cannot be removed at night time like clip-in and halo extensions. Use a silk pillowcase to help reduce tension on your scalp and breakage and consider wrapping your hair up in a scarf or tell to further protect your strands from tossing and turning at night.
Curly hair extensions require special care to maintain their shape and minimize frizz. Use a wide tooth comb or your fingers to detangle curly hair extensions when they are wet. Do not brush dry curly hair, as this can cause breakage. If you're looking for more tips on how to manage curly hair, we've put together a curly hair care guide for all of our beloved curly girl community.
Contrary to popular belief, you can wear hair extensions during exercise. When possible, keep your extensions put up away from excess sweat. If you use halo or clip-in extensions, consider removing these prior to your workout.
Hair extensions of any style, color, and texture can be a great way to give you full, lustrous hair that makes you look and feel great about yourself. Browse our hair extension options today or let us match you to your perfect hair extension.