Long, thick, luscious locks, is what every girl dreams about at least once in their lifetime. Of course, we always want what we don’t have- especially when it comes to our hair. Up until now, hair extensions were only an option for those who had the $$$ to spend. Thankfully, brands have come out with more of a variety of affordable types of extensions.
Let’s start by breaking down each type of hair extension application:
Clip Ins: Clip ins are definitely a great starting point for those of you who want to test out the hair extension waters. Whether you want it for length, thickness, color, or all of the above- this application is the most affordable and quickest way to achieve your desired look.
Application: To apply: starting at the nape- part a horizontal line across and clip the rest of the hair up. Tease hair at the root and then find the weft of the hair that matches the width of the section you are clipping it into on the head. Clip right at the root. Continue this process up the head, matching the width of the hair extension weft with the width of your head. Once finished- curl, straighten, braid, or tie it up in a pony!
Tape Ins: Tape ins are the newest type of application for extensions and I have to say these are my favorite! While clip ins can be done at home by yourself, tape ins need to be applied by a professional. Tape ins come in little (about 1.5 in) strips that have a tape adhesive on them. The hair is placed right up at the root and can barely be felt at all. The great thing about tape ins, the hair can be reused. Once your hair grows out, the extensions grow out with it, so after about 2 months you will need to go in to get your hair retaped. All the stylist does is remove the old tape and place a new adhesive on the hair.
Maintenance: The more you wash your hair the faster the tape ins are going to slide. Try to wash hair once every 2 days. Use a sulfate free shampoo and conditioner. At night, pull hair into a low ponytail or braid to ensure that the hair doesn’t start to tangle and knot. For this type of application you will need to make an appointment for a consultation with the stylist to determine how much hair you’ll need and the correct color to order.
Fusion (Strand by Strand): Fusion hair extensions are the most timely and the most costly. They do however last up to 3-6 months and are definitely the most undetectable. Fusion is when the extension strands come with a keratin bond that is melted with a tool that looks similar to a clamp and then molded around the hair strand at the root. This type of application takes the longest and is definitely the most damaging to the hair. Hair can also not be reused with this type of application.
Maintenance: For fusion, follow all of the steps as tape ins (sulfate free shampoo and conditioner, washing hair less, and wearing hair in a low ponytail at night). It is very important to brush your hair because as the hair starts to grow out, this type of application can cause dreading in the hair. For removal, make sure to have a professional take them out. A special remover is applied and then the stylist will use a clamp to rebreak the bond.
Links/Microlinks/Beads: These are all also single strands applied to the hair. They are comparable in price to fusion, however you are able to reuse the hair. Using a clamp to secure the bead, this method doesn’t take quite as long as fusion, but is definitely longer than tape ins. Truly the only noticeable difference between this type of application and fusion is the beads/microlinks are able to be felt a little more on the head.
Maintenance: Please see above for fusion maintenance (same). To remove, see a professional. They will then add a new bead and reapply to the hair.
It is important to remember with all of these types that hair extensions are an investment. The more you follow the proper steps to maintaining your hair, the longer your hair extensions will last.
Now that you know all about hair extensions go get that #mermaidhair!
Follow @blohaute for hair extension hairstyle inspiration.