If you are looking to see which kind of hair extensions suit you best, it’s recommended to do some research first. There are different types of hair extensions currently in the market. These include clip-ins, tape ins, weaves, pre-bonded, fusion, and micro-link extensions. Before getting to know the different types of hair extension application methods, the first thing you need to know, is that they come in two types, real human hair and synthetic hair and knowing the difference between both can be a deciding factor for your purchase.
How hair extensions are made
Human hair extensions are made from real, human hair from top to bottom, collected from a donor, and usually from a person with long and healthy hair. Synthetic hair, on the other hand, is made from various synthetic, blended fibers, and contains no human hair. These fibers are usually very fine, plastic fibers that are manufactured to imitate real human hair
Look and Feel
Both real and synthetic extensions come in many styles, colors, and different forms of application. The quality of synthetic fibers can vary, but they are generally stiff and move differently from human hair, so they won’t blend as well with your natural hair. They sometimes have a wiry or coarse feel to the touch. On the other hand, real hair extensions look and feel real, and therefore blends more naturally with your hair.
Coloring and Styling
Human hair extensions can be treated just like your own natural hair. You can straighten, curl, blow dry, color them, and apply hair products. With synthetic hair, you cannot color the hair as most dyes contain ammonia or bleach, which would destroy the synthetic hair. Also, you cannot style synthetic hair the same way as your real hair because heat can damage them so curling irons, straighteners and blow dryers are a no go, as they will melt or severely damage the hair. Other factors such as the sun, friction, or harsh chemical products can also damage synthetic hair extensions.
Quality and How Long Extensions Last
Synthetic hair is of course cheaper than real hair, and with that comes a trade-off. Because they’re made from synthetic fibers, they do not last as long as human hair as they can easily be damaged if not taken care of properly. In general, synthetic hair extensions last for a few months, whereas human hair extensions can last longer, upwards of one year if they are well taken care of. Human hair can be treated and styled just like your own hair and will look and feel the most natural. It will blend easily with your hair and last much longer than synthetic hair. Although they are a cheaper option, synthetic hair does not look as natural, cannot be styled with heating tools and do not last as long as real hair.
Clip-in Hair Extensions
They come in a strand of contoured pieces, attached at the base with either fabric or silicone. Clips are attached to this base and come ready to use. All you have to do is clip the pieces to your natural hair all on your own! Each clip snaps open and closes with ease, hence why they are called “Clip-ins.”
Probably the easiest hair extension to apply, they are the least permanent style of extensions because you can quickly remove them and put them back on whenever you want. Clip-ins are also the least damaging because they don’t involve any chemicals, heat, pressure, or other installations, they simply clip unto your hair with ease so there is zero damage to your natural hair.
Tape-In Hair Extensions
Tape-ins are pre-taped and then taped/glued together on either side of your own hair. Typically, a hair stylist would apply tape-ins for you because you need to align them with the roots, and they are applied with a heated tool that heats up the glue. Additionally, you would need to have them removed (with glue remover) and then reinstalled. Naturally, when you apply heat to your roots and any adhesive product such as tape or glue, this can damage your hair.
Sew-In Hair Extensions/Weave
Weave hair is applied by braiding the natural hair into cornrows first, then using a needle and thread to sew the weave into the braid or cornrow. Weave hair extensions are predominantly used for people with thicker hair because of the way they are applied. Generally speaking, the weave application is a very long process (usually several hours.) The tight application method often puts a strain on the scalp and can feel very heavy or uncomfortable, which is also why it doesn’t work well with thin or lighter hair.
This kind of hair extension application is highly technical and difficult, consultation of a professional hair stylist is highly recommended. Sew-ins are also the most permanent, unlike clip-ins, the hair is literally sewn into your own hair and cannot come off.
Fusion and Pre-Bonded Hair Extensions
Fusion hair extensions (also known as bonding or pre-bonded) are fused to natural hair using different adhesives such as glue. Applying pre-bonded hair extensions take approximately 3-4 hours to apply and are also applied by a hairdresser. Fusion extensions might not be suitable for all clients as this type of application is very damaging to your natural hair, so your hairdresser may even advise against this method. The application involves a machine that looks like a hot glue gun, which essentially glues the hair to individual strands of the natural hair.
Microlink Hair Extensions
Microlink hair extensions are also known as micro bead hair extensions or micro loop hair extensions. These are applied by attaching tiny wefts of hair to small sections of the natural hair with a small silicone-lined bead. Then, a special tool is used to secure the bead to the hair and tightened to hold it in place. Although this method does not use heat or glue, if not installed correctly by a professional, microlink hair extensions can be damaging on the hair.
The perfect fit
Everyone’s hair is different, and out of the several hair extension products on the market today, they will fit each person differently. With adequate research and careful consideration, you can be sure to select the right hair extension product for you.
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