Hair extensions: types, cost, maintenance and more

  • Hair extensions have a long list of benefits, including length and volume.
  • Clip-ins, tape-ins, micro-ties, and weave-ins are a few different types of hair extensions.
  • Before buying them, you will want to know the cost of hair extensions and how to take care of them.

Whether you have fine hair that you’re looking to bulk up, short hair that you want to lengthen, or you’re just in the mood to switch up your hairstyle without committing to a more permanent change, hair extensions are a great choice.

The subject of hair extensions is vast and complex. There are a variety of different types – like hand tied extensions, microlink hair extensions, tape in extensions, clip in hair extensions and halo hair extensions, to name a few – and each type has its own list of advantages and disadvantages. Besides cost, you’ll also want to know how to properly care for your hair extensions and how long they’ll last before you commit.

If you’re considering trying them for the first time, we’re sharing everything you need to know about hair extensions with help from four experts below.

Types of Hair Extensions

“There are many different hair types and application methods, so you can experiment until you find the perfect look for you at a price that suits your budget,” said Louise Bailey, Founder of Hair Extensions. London, at POPSUGAR. Before discussing the different types of application, let’s review the two main categories of hair extensions: real human hair extensions and synthetic hair extensions.

“Human hair extensions are exactly what they sound like – they’re made from top to bottom real human hair, collected from a donor,” says Julia Venturin, hair extension expert at Luxy Hair. “Remy hair means that all of the cuticles (the outer layer of the hair) are intact, going in the same direction at the time of collection. This allows for almost no tangling and ensures that the extensions stay smooth and silky throughout. throughout their lives.”

Synthetic hair extensions, on the other hand, are made of various synthetic fibers mixed together – not human hair. “These fibers are usually very fine plastic fibers that are made to mimic real human hair,” Venturin says.

Here we break down some of the most common types of extensions.

Clip-on extensions

Clips are perhaps the easiest and least time-consuming way to add length, thickness, and volume to your hair, and one of the best things about them is that you don’t even have to no need to consult a professional to have them installed.

“Good quality clips will look and feel natural, they’ll last for years, there’s no commitment, and you can adjust and style them yourself,” says Tatiana Karelina, owner of the Russian hairstyling company. Tatiana Karelina hair extensions.

These types of extensions clip onto your hair and come in handy when you want to change your hairstyle for a particular event or event and don’t want to commit to something more permanent. (You usually remove them after a day, but you can continue to reuse them long after.) Clips these days come in all sorts of lengths, textures, and colors, and you can usually buy them in packs.

Adhesive extensions

Tape-ins are considered semi-permanent extensions; they are similar to clips, except they can last longer and are stuck to your hair. They are also quite lightweight, so you don’t feel weighed down even if you’re wearing them with your head full.

“Adhesive strips are professionally applied and can last up to two months before needing maintenance,” says Bailey. “Hair is reusable with this method.”

Microlink Extensions

Microlinks — also called microrings or microbeads — are a popular alternative to sewn-in weaves and tape-in ​​extensions. These are normally attached to strands of hair using small tubes or rings, and are said to be safer than other types of extensions as they do not damage hair and leather scalp by imposing too much weight or stress on them. They also don’t require the use of glue or adhesive, making them much less noticeable in your hair.

One downside, depending on how you look at it, is that getting a full head of microlink hair extensions can take anywhere from one to five hours, but they can last up to two to three months.

Sewing weaves

Installing a weave is a process that requires a bit more work. They’re usually installed by a hairstylist who braids the hair in a specific pattern – either what’s called a beehive or straight-backed cornrows – before sewing bundles or “ways” down to the braids. This can usually take two to six hours, depending on how many bundles you install (two or three is a good amount) and how quick your stylist is.

Weaves can last anywhere from six to 10 weeks, although it is important for wearers to ensure that they always take care of their hair that lies beneath the weave.

Keratin Bond/pre-bonded extensions

The bonds are fused to the hair using keratin and a heat gun. This process can take a few hours because, like microlinks, each extension is connected to your natural hair individually until the desired look is achieved. These are not permanent, but they last up to four or five months, depending on the personal interview.

Do hair extensions damage your natural hair?

Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation about hair extensions, including that they will damage your natural hair. In fact, this notion is mostly wrong. Bailey explains that when professionally applied and maintained properly, damage is not likely. “If you’re considering getting hair extensions, it’s important to do your research and consult with a hair extension expert to make sure they’re right for you and that the right hair type and product is being used” , she says.

How to Care for Hair Extensions

Hair extensions require special care. The better you take care of it, the more you will benefit from it. The number one rule of handling hair extensions is to be gentle. “Brush them gently with a soft-bristle brush and avoid using harsh chemicals or too much heat,” says Bailey. Venturin adds, “The more you wash and heat your extensions, the shorter their lifespan will be, so try to keep washing and product use to a minimum.”

Non-synthetic extensions can and should be washed like the hair on your head. This helps prevent product, dirt and oil buildup on the hair. “Use a mild shampoo and conditioner, keeping conditioners away from attachment points,” says Bailey. However, just like you don’t want to over-wash your own hair, try to avoid over-washing your extensions. “Unlike your own hair, which receives natural moisture from the oils in your scalp, hair extensions don’t have a natural source of moisture,” says Venturin. “Therefore, keeping them hydrated is key to keeping them shiny and in good condition.”

cost of hair extensions

Due to the many types of hair extensions available in the market, the cost of extensions varies depending on the type of hair you choose, as well as the person installing them. “High-quality hand-tied hair extensions will look more natural and last longer than synthetic extensions, but require a higher purchase and installation cost,” says Brynn Reed, Senior Extension Specialist at Mirror Mirror Salon.

Quality extensions made from human hair, such as clip-ins, typically range from $100 to $350, while more “permanent” and long-lasting professionally installed extensions can cost anywhere from $350 to over $2,000. . Synthetic hair extensions, on the other hand, are much cheaper.

Things to keep in mind when getting hair extensions

Extensions have many benefits, but you need to consider your current hair routine to determine if they’re right for you. “Extensions are not a wash-and-go style,” says Reed. “They should be blow-dried. Leaving extensions wet for long periods of time causes wefts to break and shortens the life of your extensions. If you commit to extensions, you are committing to blowing.”

Also, the haircut you have matters. Extensions are capable of adding volume and length to your existing style, but for the end result to look seamless, you’ll want to avoid any blunt style haircut. “It makes the work much harder to blend,” says Bailey.

Additional reporting by Danielle Jackson

David R. Brewer