Everything You Ever Wanted To Learn about Hair Extensions

I do know pixies are all the fad right now, but in my eyes, they do not hold a candle to long, loose waves (exhibits A, B, and C: Blake Lively, Sofia Vergara, and any of the Victoria’s Secret angels). And you don’t must be genetically blessed to get them. A lot of the most sought-after heads of hair get help from extensions. To learn more concerning the often daunting array of fantasy-hair options, I spoke with hairstylists Adel Chabbi and Sarah Conner, who demystified the methods, the maintenance, and more. Welcome to Hair Extensions 101.

The top Methods

4pcs Malaysian Body Wave Weave With 1pc Lace Closure Human Hair Bundles With ClosureFusion (or Bonded) Hair Extensions (like Great Lengths). Individual keratin-tipped strands are fused to your natural hair using heat.

Tape-in Hair Extensions (like HotHeads). Wefts of hair are attached to small sections of your natural hair using double-sided tape.

Weave (or Sew-in) Hair Extensions. Your natural hair is braided in rows from ear to ear and wefts of hair are woven (with thread) onto the braids.

The Rundown

Finding the correct extension method will rely upon budget, preference, and hair type. While fusion and tape-in extensions can be utilized on nearly any hair texture, weaves are best suited for curly, kinky hair. “Weaving extensions are best for African-American hair, which has enough strength and texture to carry the cornrow braid,” says Chabbi. Fusion extensions are typically probably the most expensive ($500 to $4,000) and have the most time-consuming application process (up to a few hours); in addition they last the longest (three to four months). The tape-in application process is much faster (about an hour) and more affordable ($300 to $2,000), but requires more frequent maintenance (every six to eight weeks). “The identical tape-in extensions may be removed and reapplied, though,” says Conner. “You don’t have to purchase new hair each time.” The identical goes for weave-in extensions, which last about three months, might be applied in an hour or two, and are the most affordable option of the bunch ($100 to $1,000). (Fusion extensions are a one-shot deal; once removed, you can’t use them again.)

Human Versus Synthetic Hair

With regards to purchasing hair, you get what you pay for. Price will vary greatly based on quality of the hair, in addition to the specified quantity (for thickness) and length. Virgin (never-before-processed) Remy human hair is the best quality and runs upwards of several hundred dollars per bunch (and some heads may require more than one). “The hair cuticle is preserved, instead of stripped, and all of the hairs run in the identical direction, maintaining that natural soft, silky texture,” says Conner. Synthetic hair is much cheaper ($50 to $100) but will not blend or style the way in which human hair does. “It can’t always withstand heat styling and tangles easily,” says Chabbi. It may be an excellent approach to check out extra length or bangs without an enormous commitment, though.

What to Search for

“It’s important to match the color and texture of the hair extensions with that of your natural hair,” says Conner. Touch the hair first. “If it feels dry, it’ll tangle more easily,” advises Chabbi. And avoid hair with excessive shine: Shiny hair is coated with silicone, which will wear off quickly and result in tangles and dulling. As in your stylist, experience is a must. “Improper application or removal is when damage can occur,” says Chabbi. And Conner recommends looking for somebody with a colorist background: “If the color match is off, your extensions will be very obvious,” she says.

How to chop and magnificence

Good extensions should be entirely undetectable—blending your natural hair with the extension is critical. The best way to do this? A terrific cut. “After the extensions are in, your hair needs to be cut dry, with layers that blend the 2 hair types,” says Chabbi. You may color extensions darker (no bleaching!), but it’s best to decide on a shade near your natural color to avoid overprocessing. Or you possibly can mix and match various shades for a more natural-looking blend. As for at-home styling, extensions should allow you to scrub and wear.


Extension hair ought to be cared for identical to your natural hair: gently. “Be extra careful with wet hair,” says Chabbi, who advises drying hair completely along with your fingers before using a brush to style. Avoid tugging or yanking on the extensions while brushing. Instead, hold hair at the foundation, and begin detangling starting at the ends. You should use your entire favorite hair products, but keep oils away from the roots in order to stop the bond, tape, or weave from slipping. “At bedtime, put your hair in a loose braid so it doesn’t get matted or tangled whilst you sleep,” recommends Conner.

The Damage

“The weight of extensions can put additional stress on the roots, so it’s important to match hair density to avoid unnecessary tension on natural hair,” says Conner. In other words, you probably have fine hair, your extensions ought to be a lighter density; those who have thicker, more coarse strands should search for hair with medium density. Placement can be essential. “Extensions must be placed where hair is strongest,” says Chabbi.

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