Gone are the days when you have to wait for your shorter hair to grow out to enjoy longer-length styles. Also, gone are the days when hair extensions looked like an obvious addition to your natural hair. Since hair extensions continue to rise in popularity, the installation methods have become more refined, making them appear natural and flawless.
With many options to choose from, you may be wondering what type of hair extension is best for you. Or maybe this is your first-time considering hair extensions. Let’s do a little exploring. You’ll first want to determine whether you want your hair extensions to be more permanent or temporary. Hair extensions can always come out, so they are never truly permanent. However, if you’re looking to add some layers for a fancy event, you’ll want to consider more temporary options. But if you’re aiming for a more dramatic change to your look with minimal maintenance, a more permanent option may be for you. Keep in mind that your extensions will need to be adjusted as your hair grows, depending on how they are fastened.
Next, you’ll need to decide if you want human hair extensions, which are smooth, silky, and blend really well into natural hair, or synthetic hair extensions that can be more cost-effective while mimicking the texture and shine of human hair.
Then, it is time to decide exactly what type of hair extension you want.
Types of Hair Extensions
Weft Hair Extensions – You may consider weft hair extensions if you have medium or thick hair. Wefts add length to thick hair while lying flat and comfortably against your head. This installation method requires no heat or glue and is not only long-lasting but also reusable! Wefts are sewn into your hair, usually under your natural hair. Depending on your extension length, the entire process can take up to an hour and a half.
Weft hair extensions last 3 to 6 months but need to be moved up every 6 to 8 weeks, depending on how fast your natural hair growth cycle is. These extensions are also tangle-free and, once applied, can save you time when getting your hair ready for any occasion.
Clip-In Hair Extensions – These extensions are fast and easy to install and remove. They come in wefts but make installation a snap, literally! These extensions are very safe, and you do not need to make a special appointment at the salon to have them installed whenever you want to wear them out on the town. However, your stylist would be happy to help you insert them for the first time!
All you need to do is lift up your hair and snap the extensions in as close as possible to the roots. Return your hair to its starting position and enjoy your extensions on the go. A popular clip-in hair extension is the clip-in ponytail. This is a section of hair that closely matches the texture and shade of your own hair. It can be clipped into a shorter ponytail to give you more mane to work with.
Clip-in hair extensions are considered more temporary than the other types of extensions. Typically, you have to remove at night after wearing it and restyle it again the next day upon reapplication. If you take good care of them, they’ll last for years! You just need to reapply with each use.
Tape-In Hair Extensions – Tape-in hair extensions are easy to apply and remove without damaging your hair. The extension fits snuggly against the scalp and is taped in place with a quality adhesive, such as specialized medical tape, under your natural hair. The process can take up to two hours, depending on how many extensions you apply.
Tape-In hair extensions can last up to 6 months with maintenance appointments to account for adjusting placement due to natural hair growth. They are suitable for fine or thin hair and are nearly invisible at the root.
These are just three of the more popular types of hair extensions out there. You can also find beaded hair extensions, keratin bond extensions, wigs, and more. If you’re looking for extensions you don’t have to wear 24/7, clip-in extensions are the right choice for you. But if you don’t want to put extra time and effort into your hair daily, you may want to try tape-in or sew-in wefts. It all comes down to desired look and convenience.
Caring for Your Hair Extensions
With the exception of clip-in extensions, you’ll probably want to make your new extensions last as long as possible. When washing your hair extensions, you will want to use a very gentle touch and avoid pulling, vigorous scrubbing, or snagging. Use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner with little to no chemicals and is sulfate-free. The gentler you are with your hair extensions, the longer their lifespan.
When styling your hair extensions, be careful not to use too much product that can weigh the extensions down. Too much weight can pull the extensions from their set point. Be careful with heat as well. You don’t want to get too blow dry or flat iron happy with your extensions if you want them to last.
Making the Choice that is Best for You
If you are considering getting hair extensions but unsure where to start, the best thing you can do is consult your stylist. Consider your height, face shape, current hair length, and overall haircare goals. Your stylist can recommend the type of hair extension that compliments your natural hair in transformative ways.
The ZaZa Salon and Day Spa team has years of hair extension experience and would be happy to discuss options with you so you can put your best face forward. Hair extensions are fun and can really make a dramatic change to your appearance without too much fuss.