A Guide to Microlink Hair Extensions

At 27, I’ve probably tried just about every form of hair extension out there. I wore sewn-in weaves all through high school and into my early 20s, throwing in the towel when I got tired of putting so much strain on my hair and scalp from the cornrows that lived underneath. Then there was the time I wore crochet extensions once as a teenager, but wasn’t happy with the bulky look of the finish. Clip-ins were handy when I just wanted to add a bit of length and body to my hair, although my constant fear of it falling out in public made it a very short-lived styling option for me.

All this to say that, these days, there are tons of options available to people who want to wear extensions, and each style has its own set of pros and cons. Microlinks, for example, are gaining popularity as a low-tension alternative to sewn-in weaves while offering more permanence than clip-and-stick extensions.

If you’ve considered microlink extensions but still have a few questions about what they are and how they’re fitted, we spoke to LeAna McKnight, hairstylist and founder of SL Raw Virgin Hair, about all it takes. know about microlink extensions before making an appointment.

What are microlink hair extensions?

Microlinks are meant to be a more natural alternative to sew-in and crochet extensions, and they can outlast tape-ins with proper maintenance. Essentially, these are small silicone or metal beads that are used to attach tiny individual hair extensions to small sections of your natural hair.

“A microlink installation consists of a pre-tipped I-tip keratin hair strand weighing 0.7g to 1g which is attached using a special clamping tool to a small group of your own strand of hair, combined using a cylindrical copper or aluminum micro bead,” says McKnight.

During the installation process — which McKnight says can take four to six hours — you can expect your hair to be parted into small sections by your stylist, who will then apply beads to the root of each section. Actual extensions, which feature several individual strands tied together at the tip, can be installed using the aforementioned method mentioned by McKnight, although another popular way to add extensions is to sew weave hair into the hair above. above the pearls.

The main difference between microlinks and other styles like sew-in and crochet extensions is that they don’t require the hair to be braided into cornrows first, which means they put less strain on the scalp. .

“Microlinks are the safest hair extension installation you can get, especially if you love healthy hair,” says McKnight. “This installation is completely comfortable, does not cause any strain and the service does not require any harsh chemicals.”

They are also easier to blend with your own hair, as your natural hair is still left out for the most part.

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How long do microlinks last?

How long you keep your hair extensions always depends on what you’re comfortable with, but in general you shouldn’t plan on keeping your microbonds installed for more than five months.

“On average, a microlink installation can be expected to last three to five months with proper hair care maintenance and adequate hair growth,” says McKnight.

How much do microlinks cost?

As with most hairstyles, the amount you should expect to spend on installing a microlink extension largely depends on a variety of things, including the personal price set by the hairstylist you entrust the work, but we’ll let you know now that they don’t come cheap. Stylists can charge between $400 and $1,000 just to install them, and extensions aren’t always included in the price.

Additionally, you will need to consider the amount of maintenance needed to keep your extensions looking fresh, as your hairstylist will likely recommend that you schedule regular follow-up appointments with them so they can tighten the beads and clean your hair properly. .

Who can get microlinks?

Microlinks are suitable for almost anyone, as long as your natural hair is at least four inches long.

“Anyone who suffers from scalp sensitivity when receiving braids but likes to wear hair extensions can consider microlinks as an alternative,” says McKnight. “Especially those looking to get more length, density, color dimension, or fill in those unwanted spaces that may have been the result of poor trimming or stress.”

That said, this isn’t a protective style, so if you don’t wash or condition your hair regularly – or if it’s damaged or prone to breakage – this may not be the style for you. .

“Although microlinks can be done on all hair types, I would suggest that your hair is in fairly decent condition,” McKnight continues. “If you have a lot of split ends, it can be difficult for your hairdresser to camouflage. I also wouldn’t suggest anyone suffering from excessive hair loss have microlinks, as the weight of the extensions can cause more damage. “

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Can I get microlinks with my hair texture?

As mentioned earlier, just about anyone can get microlink extensions, and your hair doesn’t have to have a certain texture for you to be a good candidate. Since they are meant to be blended with your natural hair, you need to install hair that matches your natural texture.

“Choosing the right hair type is important because it will help blend your real hair with your I-tip hair extensions, making it easier to maintain when installing any hair texture you have. used to managing on a day-to-day basis,” McKnight says. “Choosing the right hair type will save you a lot of styling time in the long run.”

If you’re not sure what type of hair to install, McKnight suggests booking a consultation with your stylist before committing to an appointment.

What is the best way to take care of microlinks?

The first thing you need to prepare for post-installation is to make trips to see your stylist every few weeks, as they will likely need to tighten beads, wash and moisturize your hair, or correct any beads that may be starting to slip. In the meantime, McKnight recommends brushing your hair regularly and shampooing weekly.

“Wash your hair once a week, but be sure to avoid conditioners and oils on the scalp to prevent the bonds from slipping,” she says. “It’s best to preserve your hair at night by using a satin or silk bonnet or scarf.”

McKnight warns that not tying hair up at night could potentially cause excessive tangling and pulling.

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David R. Brewer