Believe it or not, hair extensions date all the way back to Cleopatra’s time. We have proof that in 3400 BC, Egyptians created extensions that were made of sheep wool or human hair. They dyed them and then sewed them on or put them together in wigs. Coming to more modern times, in the 1700s women and men in Europe and America started to wear powdered wigs. Nowadays, extensions have become a cool trend all over the world. For this reason, today we will have a look at a hair extension guide and see what’s it all about.

Types of Hair Extensions

Naturally, there are different types of hair extensions. They vary in length, the manner of attaching to the natural hair, lasting time, care requirements, etc. Let’s have a look at the main types you will find on the market.

Bonded Extensions

Also known as keratin bonds, these extensions are fused to natural hair with the help of a keratin-based polymer which is activated by heat. Let’s see some bonded hair extensions pros and cons and other details about them.

  • Lifetime: They can last up to 5 months.
  • Cost: The price for these extensions can surpass $1,000 and even reach $4,000.
  • Length: Suitable for great lengths.
  • Pros:
    • 100% real hair – which means you can color it, blow dry it, curl it, etc;
    • Natural – they’re basically real hair, so they won’t damage your scalp or hair;
    • A natural look – they blend in perfectly with real hair.
  • Cons:
    • Sensitive at the roots – they have a small bead of glue there, so you can’t use a flat iron too close to it, nor brush it too hard;
    • High maintenance – visit the stylist every 2 weeks to see if they grow properly;
    • Not reusable;
    • Putting them on lasts at least 3 hours;
    • The small glue beads at the roots can feel weird.

Sew In Hair Extensions

These are also called a weave because the stylist initially cornrows part of your hair. Then, they know how to sew in hair extensions to the cornrows so that it looks seamless. However, this may be the most painful type presented in our hair extension guide. Here you have some details and a couple of sew in hair extensions pros and cons.

  • Lifetime: 6 – 8 weeks.
  • Cost: around $1,000.
  • Pros:
    • Made of real hair, so they have a natural look;
    • Less damage;
    • Versatile – remove them whenever you want, cut them short or dye them.
  • Cons:
    • Usually, they are itchy and very uncomfortable. Some say it might take a long while to get used to them, while others claim they hurt because the braids need to be tight;
    • A short lifespan;
    • Bacteria growth – the real hair encourages it if you don’t wash it regularly and properly.

Tape-In Extensions

Two images side by side showing tape in extensions

Source: krissstyles

Just as the name says, this type relies on extensions made of natural hair that gets taped to your actual hair. The wefts (strips of hair) are taped to the roots and are adequate for blonde or fine hair. Some even say they are the best hair extensions for short thin hair. But before deciding on them, have a look at the tape in hair extensions pros and cons.

  • Lifetime: 6 – 8 weeks.
  • Cost: around $690, reaching even $900.
  • Pros:
    • Convince you to grow your hair or not;
    • Made of natural hair;
    • Resistant to hair straightener or curling iron;
    • Some say they’re the least damaging hair extensions you can get.
  • Cons:
    • Not that cheap;
    • Requires time for styling;
    • At night, you should keep it in a ponytail to make sure it doesn’t tangle;
    • They are invasive, so you have limited hairstyles options.

Micro Link Hair Extensions

Also called microbead, micro loop or links hair extensions, this type is vastly popular because it’s simple to put in. They have a tiny loop at the end of the strand which is used for pulling the natural hair through. They may be the simplest option you find in our hair extension guide. See other micro link hair extensions pros and cons below.

  • Lifetime: 2 – 4 months.
  • Cost: from $320 to $1,100 for a full head.
  • Pros:
    • Don’t require any extra products;
    • Treat and dye as with any natural hair;
    • A natural look;
    • Easy styling;
    • You don’t have to change them often.
  • Cons:
    • If they’re not attached properly, they can damage your hair;
    • You can’t do it at home, by yourself;
    • Hard to sleep with them in;
    • The scalp can feel itchy and painful, especially if the links are too close to the scalp;
    • You can’t take them out on your own.

Clip-In Extensions

Two photos showing a clip in hair extension applied to blonde hair

Source: tomhairworks

Are you impatiently waiting for your hair to grow so you can enjoy the best hairstyles around? Not anymore! Clip in hair extensions are a great choice if you want longer or thicker hair. They are basically hairpieces that have tiny combs which the stylist attaches to the roots. You can either get them in a small set or a long swath surrounding your head. Check the pros and cons of clip in hair extensions:

  • Lifetime: Until you go to bed or longer.
  • Cost: from $30 to $1,500, depending on the hair type and its length.
  • Pros:
    • You don’t need to go to a stylist;
    • They can be held in for months, but you need to take special care of them;
    • Easy styling;
    • Resemble natural hair.
  • Cons:
    • Cheap ones can be damaging;
    • Can lead to hair loss if you don’t put them in properly;
    • Fall out easily;
    • They are visible.

What About Extension Quality?

Next in our hair extension guide, we are talking about the old battle: synthetic hair extensions vs human hair extensions. Let’s go over some details of each of these options so that you can choose the best one for you.

Human vs synthetic hair side by side

Source: Pinterest

Human Hair Extensions

Some say that this is the best type of hair extensions you could choose. Obviously, human hair can be 5-7 times more expensive than its counterpart. However, people love it because they can heat-style it and color it as they wish. The highest quality human hair that you can find is the virgin Remy hair. Briefly, this means it was never treated with chemicals so it’s uncolored and unprocessed. For this reason, it offers the most natural look you can get.

Synthetic Hair Extensions

These are cheaper than the human hair ones and keep their shape better. They will never frizz, but can have an artificial shine. Even though some can stand up to 350 degrees of heat, you may run the risk of it melting if you heat-style it. When it comes to how long do hair extensions last in your hair, the type of hair doesn’t really matter. What is important is the way in which they attach to the hair.

Why Should You Use Extensions?

For Volume

One of the reasons you may be reading this hair extension guide is that you want more volume. In this case, a stylist will apply extensions that have the same length as your hair. Basically, they will tease the hair, use hairspray on it and then clip the extension.

For Length

Perhaps the most popular reason for getting an extension is the length. Maybe you cut your hair short and now regret it or you just want to skip a couple of months of waiting. In any case, here it’s important to match the texture and the color of your hair. A professional stylist will mix various shades to make these extensions have a more natural look. It’s better to use only human hair (ideally, you should go for virgin Remy hair).

For Color

You will find in our hair extension guide plenty of types that can help you make a radical change. You can choose a bright color, such as hot pink, cobalt, etc. Usually, stylists use for it skinny wefts, which they place on the side of the head. In this way, you can have a brightly colored strand visible all the time.

For Bangs

Maybe you want to have bangs for a night or for a couple of months. If you waited for it to grow naturally, you would waste a lot of time. As such, it’s better to ask for help from a specialist and have some bangs extensions clipped on. You should never try to do them yourself if you want a great result.

For Ponytail

This is perhaps the easiest way to get long hair in our entire hair extension guide. Just use a ponytail weft with secure combs at the base. Pull the hair into a ponytail and insert the comb into its top, between the scalp and the elastic. Wrap the weft around the ponytail and secure. This hairstyle can be used on a casual occasion or made elegant with some simple tricks.

Step by step guide on applying ponytail extensions

Source: Pinterest

Summing It Up

All in all, this hair extension guide offers you all the information you need to decide on one type of hair extensions. Some are best for thick hair, while others are used only for the fine one. Remember that it’s important to match your color and don’t skimp on the cost if you don’t want a cheap look. After all, you don’t want your hair to be handled by someone who’s not a professional, right?

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