If your natural hair isn’t long or you just want to switch up your hairstyle, hair extensions are your ticket to getting a gorgeous look.
Extensions have become a must-have for every woman whether your hair is African, Asian, or Caucasian. But just before you move straight ahead to getting a pack or more for yourself, there’s a lot you should know.
And that’s what we’ll cover in this piece.
You’ll learn all about hair extensions, including the types and drawbacks.
Let’s dive in.
What are Hair Extensions?
Otherwise known as artificial hair integrations, hair extensions are lengths of artificial hair attached to your natural hair to create a full, long hairstyle. They are usually clipped, braided, glued, or sewn on natural hair.
Types of Hair Extensions
Artificial hair integrations come in different colors, sizes, and lengths. Here are the most popular types:
1. Tape-in hair extensions
This extension is attached to either side of your natural hair using adhesive weft tape. Since they don’t require any heat during installation, they protect your hair from damage and allow it to grow out.
2. Attachment Extensions
These extensions are fine plastic fibers made to look like human hair. They are used to make attachment hairstyles. Once installed, your stylist will trim and massage the extension with hot water to give it a neat finish and prevent it from pressuring your scalp.
Attachment extensions are usually prepared before usage. That is, your hairdresser will cut it into three or more parts to suit the length you have in mind. Afterward, they’ll manually stretch it to increase the length so it’s not blunt or rough when attached to your hair.
Furthermore, there’s a type of attachment that doesn’t require cutting or stretching. They’re called pre-stretched extensions. You don’t have to draw or stretch them. They’ve already been stretched to their maximum length.
3. Crochet Extensions
This hair extension is also known as latch hook braiding. It’s a protective hairstyle you should try out if you haven’t already.
The extension doesn’t require any preparation. Your stylist will only have to braid your natural hair into cornrows and attach the artificial hair to the base of your cornrowed hair with the crochet pin.
4. Fusion or Pre-bonded Hair Extensions
This type of extension is usually attached to the individual strands of your natural hair with a heat gun to give a fuller look.
This bond used for this process is made from keratin. It’s a safe natural bonding agent that causes no damage to your hair.
Pre-bonded hair extensions can last up to three or four months since they’re fastened to the root of your natural hair.
5. Human Hair Extensions
Human hair weaves are also classified by their country of source. For instance, there’s Vietnamese human hair, Brazilian hair, Indian hair, etc.
These weaves are attached to the hair by either clipping, gluing, or sewing them into the natural hair to provide volume, If you choose the sewing method of installation, your stylist will have to braid your hair into cornrows before installing the weaves.
You can also wear them as wigs to protect your hair from manipulation.
6. Synthetic Weaves
This extension is similar to human hair weaves. The difference is that while one is made from real human hair, the other is made from synthetic fiber.
Both synthetic and human hair extensions involve the same installation process. However, human hair weaves are more durable.
We have a post that shows you the differences between synthetic and human hair weaves. Read it so you don’t waste your money on the wrong investment.
7. Clip-in hair extensions
Clip-in extensions are easy to use. As the name implies, the extension comes with clips you can easily attach to your hair.
They cause little or no damage to your hair and you can easily take them off whenever you want.
Clip-hair extensions last for as long as months or even a year. It just depends on how you maintain it.
8. African Thread Extensions
This artificial hair integration is made of rubber. It’s mostly used for creating thread hairstyles. It also comes in handy when you want to stretch your natural hair using the African threading technique.
This includes baby wool, Brazilian wool, Bobby wool, or yarn wool. You can use these extensions to make any type of African braids or thread hairstyles.
10. Faux Locs
If you don’t want to lock your hair and you don’t want to sit to install some braids, try faux locs hair extensions.
They’re commitment-free dreadlocks and are perfect if you want a low-maintenance way to switch up your look without damaging your hair
How Long Do Hair Extensions Last?
It depends on the type of extension you buy and how you maintain it.
If you go for attachment extensions, they can last for three to six weeks. They’re hardly reusable.
Human hair weaves can last for years so long as you take care of them and revamp them when due. Crochets are reusable and can last up to six weeks on first using.
The same applies to other types of artificial hair. While some last longer and are reusable, others aren’t. You’ll have to replace them after their first installation.
Will hair extensions damage my hair?
It all depends on how your hairstylist installs them. If, for instance, they braid your hair too tight or pull your edges, expect it to cause hair loss or alopecia.
What to do Before Installing Hair Extensions
Prep your hair. That’s what you should do.
Shampoo and condition your hair before installing any artificial attachment to it. Also, comb and moisturize with hair cream or oil.
Most importantly, talk to your stylist. Don’t buy any extension without seeking their guidance. It’s their field so they can easily tell between quality and fake products. They also know which is best for your hair, the coiffure you intend to achieve, and which would cause damage. And they’ll give you solid advice on how to care for the extensions so you get enough value for your money.