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Methods of hair extension

Our love affair with hair extensions continues to grow, but going longer can be a big step and quite a commitment. Getting the result that you want depends on the type of hair extension and the system used to apply them. But how do you figure out which extension method is right for you?

Non committal hair extensions can give you a temporary look for a special evening or event. However, frequent use of these clip-in hair extensions can lead to them getting ratty. The quality of clip-in hair also differs widely, so it’s best to choose real hair over synthetic hair as these types are much more durable when it comes to washing and styling. If you are using your clips-ins frequently perhaps it’s time to look at a more permanent option. Read more about our clip-in hair extensions here.

Our opinion: durability is dependent on frequency of use.

Glue in/Keratin bond/pre bond

These extensions are attached to your hair using little keratin bonds at the tip of the extension; they are then fused with a hot tool. Pre bonded hair is one of the most popular methods and do look great, but does need significant maintenance and regular appointments with your specialist to get the most out of them.

Keratin bond connections do not work well with conditioners, oils or heated appliances as these weaken the bond which could lead to the extensions falling out earlier than they should. Only the lengths should be conditioned, and if you’re blow drying then dry the lengths first, after the lengths are dry try tipping your head upside down to blow dry your natural hair. This way you can avoid heating the bonds.

Our opinion: Keratin bonds last on average around three months, however if you look after them you could get four or five months out of them.

Sewn in/Weave

Sewn in hair extensions are better designed for coarse, curly or thick hair as the extensions can be quite heavy. These extensions are applied by being sewn into a tight, braided section of natural hair.

It’s advised that regular visits are made to the professional that fitted them to ensure that the area that’s been sewn into is in good condition and hasn’t become loose.

Our opinion: very dependent on the quality and whether the natural hair can handle the weight of the extensions.

Tape extensions

Tape has had a pretty bad reputation of late with people using the words damaging and matting. This is not the case; if tape extensions are of good quality, properly applied and maintained then they can look amazing.

Tape extensions are applied by your own hair sandwiched between two strips of tape and clamping around the strands. The tape extensions are designed to be wide rather than skinny bonds to avoid them looking stringy after a few washes, and they have been known to last for a considerable period of time given the right maintenance. Click here to see more about tape hair extensions.

Our opinion: these have been known to last up to six months without a huge maintenance job. They can get tangled as your hair starts to grow, but your hair extension professional will be able to help with this.

Micro bead/micro ring extension

This is another hugely popular method which is pretty much damage free as there is no heat, glue, tape or sewing.

A single strand micro bead extension is applied to natural hair by clamping the tiny bead at the tip of the extension. The connections are durable and best of all you are able to cover the entire head of hair from root to tip with conditioner!

These are probably the best option if you want to dye your hair or tend to use lots of product or heat styling appliances. See our nano ring extensions available here.

Our opinion: these can last up to three to four months.

Hair type - Remy hair

When it comes to choosing which hair type you want, Remy hair is considered to be the best hair available as its structure resembles our real hair with the cuticle intact. Remy hair can also be called cuticle hair, unprocessed hair or even virgin hair.

Remy hair is not a hair manufacturer or a brand of hair extensions, it’s simply a name used to describe hair that has come from a donor with the cuticle intact and with all the hair aligned in the natural growth pattern. Remy hair comes from many different origins, with some of the best known to come from Russia and Europe.

Hair type - Non-Remy hair

Non-Remy hair is processed with silicon and the cuticle is removed so this hair type has a tendency to tangle, dry out and matt much quicker. Remy hair is better at blending in with natural hair, so if you want your extensions to last longer and require less maintenance then Remy hair would be the choice for you.

Avoid Damage

The weight of extensions can put additional stress on the roots so you need to match your natural hair’s weight and density to avoid unnecessary tension. If you have fine hair then the extensions you need should have a lighter density and weight to them. Placement is also important; extensions should be placed where the hair is strongest which means avoiding the hairline or the back of the neck where the hair tends to be the most fragile.

Before you rush into getting your mermaid hair it’s important to have a consultation with a qualified technician, be informed of your options and find out which method would be right for you.

Caring for your extensions is about using common sense. These extensions are attached to your head using a bond of some type and this weighs your hair down, so don’t pull them when brushing or washing, and avoid weighing them down further by using too much conditioner or products. Read our article - looking after your hair extensions to help you.