Varieties of Hair Extensions
Hair Extensions Can Instantly Add Length and Fullness
If you want long, gorgeous tresses, you can get beautiful hair easily with hair extensions.
A favorite styling option for top celebrities and other women around the world, Hair extensions allow you to add both length and thickness to your hair. You don't need to wait for your hair to grow out. If you have never had hair extensions before, use this guide to learn a little more about the different types of hair extensions available.
Type of hair used in hair extensions
Hair extensions can be made from human hair, synthetic hair or a mix of both.
Human hair. The hair extensions that look the most realistic are obviously those made of human hair. Human hair extensions come from a variety of sources and are of varying quality. European hair is thin and regarded as the most popular type used in human hair extensions. Asian hair can be used in hair extensions; however, it is often too thick, so it is sometimes lightened and thinned using an acid bath, which damages the hair, making it lower in quality. Indian hair is similar structurally to European hair and can be of a very high quality. Natural human hair is the best choice if you want a full head of extensions, because it can be treated like your own hair. It is more durable than synthetic hair.
Synthetic hair Created from man-made fiber, synthetic hair looks very similar to human hair. This type of hair is less expensive than human hair and can be found in an array of colors. Oftentimes salons use a mix of synthetic and human hair, but this is not advised, since each needs a different type of care. Although synthetic hair extensions can be cheaper than their natural counterparts, maintenance may be more expensive. Synthetic hair tends to matt and can be burned with styling tools. If you are adding a full head of extensions, stick with human hair. For pieces, synthetic hair is a good choice.
Types of hair extensions
Hair extensions can be permanent (reusable for a long period of time), semipermanent (worn constantly for two to three months) or temporary (such as clip-ins).
While you can apply semi permanent and permanent hair extensions at home, it's best to go to a professional because attachment is not easy. Ask around for referrals to find a reputable salon in your area for hair extensions.
Hair extension attachment methods
There are a variety of different ways to attach hair extensions. The following are some of the most popular methods:
Weaves - Weaves are tiny sections of your own hair that are braided very close to the scalp. Then human or synthetic hair is sewn into the braided base. This type of hair extension is not recommended for thin hair, because the attachment will be detectable through the hair. Weaves can also be very heavy on your scalp, causing an uncomfortable tightening. Weave extensions generally last two to three months and then need replacing.
Bonding - With bonding, hair extensions are attached to a latex plug that is glued to your own hair. This method is much faster than weaving, making it also less expensive. The biggest problem with bonding is the removal. Oil and heat are used to dissolve the glue, which can be very messy, and the removal takes a long time. If not removed properly, the latex plug can pull out your own hair along with it.
Metal tubing - With this method, a very small metal tube is clamped onto the real hair to attach the hair extension. This type of extension can be hard to remove and can sometimes break off the real hair. Metal tubing attachment is most suitable for thick hair.
Fusion - Many consider fusion the best attachment method for hair extensions. A professional-grade glue must be used to withstand heated styling tools and chemical treatments. With fusion, 25-50 strands of human hair extensions at a time are glued to your straight hair using a plastic template that protects the scalp. This process is long and tedious, but the results are beautiful. Before attaching fusion extensions, wash your hair but do not condition it. When it's time to remove the extensions, a product is applied that turns the glue to a powder, which is easily washed out.
Before investing hundreds or thousands of dollars into hair extensions, be sure to speak to several professionals. Ask plenty of questions and get quotes on the entire process. Make certain you get some kind of guarantee, as well. If your extensions fall out or are painful, they will need to be redone. If they are not installed correctly, they can cause hair loss. New ways of applying hair extensions are coming out all the time. As more and more methods come to light, hair extensions will become more durable and realistic looking.
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