A guide to hair extension training course methods
Here at Studio 58, we offer hair extension training courses for six different hair extension methods. These are the most popular hair extension methods currently available. However, it can be easy to get confused between the different options as there are so many methods and techniques, so this article aims to provide an overview of the different courses that we offer.
Firstly, there are two key categories of hair extensions. Strand-by-strand involves using individual strands of hair, whereas wefts involve using strips of hair which are either sewn together using a machine or hand tied. Studio58 offers three strand-by-strand methods (micro rings, nano rings and pre-bonded hot fusion) and three weft methods (tape hair extensions, micro ring weft and sew in braidless weft). We look at each of these six methods below.
Micro Rings Method
Although they have been around for a while now they remain one of the most popular hair extension methods. These are strand by strand hair extensions, so involve the use of individual strands of hair. A micro ring is a very small metal ring, similar to a bead, and is used to attach hair extensions to an individual’s own hair. Each hair extension is tipped with a keratin adhesive (known as an i-tip or stick tip).
The method involves using a special tool to pull a small section of the client’s natural hair through a micro ring, thus threading the micro ring on to the hair. The i-tip of the hair extension is then inserted into the micro ring. You then pull the ring up to approx 1cm from the scalp and use pliers to clamp the micro ring flat, fixing the micro ring hair extensions in place.
This method does not involve heat, melted keratin, glue or chemicals, and for that reason is often very popular with first time hair extension wearers.
The micro rings method is also very popular because it is quite quick and easy to carry out – with a professional full head fitting being completed in as little as 2 hours.
The extensions are also reusable (although the rings are not) and easy to remove, so you can easily reposition them when carrying out a maintenance appointment. All you have to do is open the ring back to an ‘O’ shape to release the stick tip.
A key advantage is that, fitted correctly by a professional, they are incredibly discrete.
Downsides to this method can be a lack of flexibility when it comes to choosing the thickness of the extensions or blending more than one colour together because the strands are pre-tipped and cannot be split and fused together as you can with pre bonded fusion.
Nano Ring Hair Extensions
Nano ring hair extensions have similarities to micro ring hair extensions, but with one major difference: they are a lot smaller.
Nano means one billionth, and whilst a nano ring is not one billionth the size of other ring systems, it is up to 90% smaller than standard ring systems, with a nano ring measuring at just 2.5mm.
For that reason, nano ring hair extensions have been described as “revolutionary” and “incredible”, and they are one of the most popular hair extension methods currently available.
This is because it is virtually invisible and makes hair look completely natural and makes hair look and feel completely natural. Because the rings are much smaller than micro rings they are often far more comfortable for the client, and even if you are wearing your hair up in a ponytail they are almost impossible to detect. It is therefore not surprising that something so tiny has been described as “the biggest innovation in hair extensions for years!”
With this method you have to use specially designed nano-tip hair extensions rather than the i-tip hair extensions used in the micro rings method. This is because the i-tip hair extensions are too large for the nano rings. The tips differ in that the i-tip hair extension uses a keratin bonding agent to glue the hair together, whereas the nano tip hair extensions have a tiny wire loop embedded in the keratin which fits into the tiny nano ring.
As with the Micro Rings method, nano ring hair extensions do not use heat, glue or sewing. They are relatively quick to fit and to remove, the extensions (although not the nano rings) can be used again, and the rings are available in a wide range of different colours and shades to match the root of the client’s hair.
Not every client is suitable for nano rings as a method – clients with very fine hair or hair which is oily will find the nano rings do not stay in their hair very well. This would make them the ideal candidate for pre bonded fusion which is discussed below.
Pre-Bonded Hot Fusion Method
There are two different types of pre-bonded fusion hair extension methods – hot and ‘cold’. The hot fusion method uses heat, whereas the ‘cold’ fusion method uses ultrasonic connectors. Studio58 offers a course on the hot fusion method, which is one of the oldest and still most popular methods for extending hair.
This is a strand by strand method which uses ready prepared strands of hair that come with pre-tipped bonds attached to the top. There are two different types which can be used – U-tips, which are also known as Nail Tips, and Flat Tips. Studio58 uses U-tips. This is made of Italian keratin, which melts when heated.
With this method, the pre-bonded ‘U tip’ extension hair is applied to a small section of the client’s own hair in individual strands by melting the keratin nail tip with a heating iron and then wrapping and rolling the heated keratin around the client’s own hair to create a strong bond that holds the hair extension in place. The whole process takes around 3 hours, so it is not as quick as other methods.
The extensions are removed by applying a specialist alcohol based remover solution to each individual bond and crushing it. This weakens the bond and releases it from the client’s hair, enabling the extension strand to be easily removed.
This method offers great versatility during a fitting, enabling the technician to fuse different colours together – providing a very ‘bespoke’ fitting for the client.
As with all hair extension methods, hair extensions applied using the pre-bonded hot fusion method will need regular maintenance, usually every 6-8 weeks.
Tape Hair Extensions
This method involves using hair wefts where the hair extension is attached to transparent polyurethane adhesive tape. These pre-taped wefts are around 4cm wide, and thin sections of the client’s own natural hair is taken and sandwiched between two back to back wefts, one which is applied on top of the hair, and one which is applied underneath.
Tape Hair extensions are growing very quickly in popularity, with a key reason for their popularity being the speed with which they can be fitted and removed. A full head can be fitted in under an hour, with removal being quick and easy for the extensionist and safe for the client. Removal just involves spraying the tape with an alcohol based solution which allows the tape to easily be eased away from the clients hair. They are also very flexible, as you can easily cut the tape into smaller bespoke wefts to allow you to fill gaps that are smaller than 4cm. In addition to this, once removed they can easily be used again by being re-taped.
Tape Hair Extensions are suitable for all hair types, adding instant volume and length.
Micro Ring Weft
The Micro Ring Wefts method is a relatively new hair extension method. It combines using micro rings and hair wefts.
The way this process works is that the wefts of hair are placed horizontally in strips against the head, and small sections of the client’s natural hair, along with a small section of the weft hair, are then gently threaded through each micro ring. The micro rings are then clamped on top off the weft to secure the weft in place. The sections are placed approximately 2cm apart and continue until almost reaching the top of the head. The amount of wefts needed depend on the thickness required.
Removal is very quick and easy – it simply involves using your pliers to squeeze the micro rings back into an ‘O’ shape to release them. Whilst the micro rings cannot be used again for re-fitting, the weft can. Once the micro-rings have been squeezed loose, the weft will easily come away.
No sewing is required to keep the wefts in place, and it doesn’t involve using glue or chemicals, which can be damaging to the hair. It is a much quicker method than applying each strand individually, as happens with the micro ring and pre bonded methods.
The most common downside to this method, is the lack of versatility in terms of what the client can do with their hair once the weft is fitted. It is very difficult to wear the hair up in any fashion – something that is possible with all strand by strand methods.
Sew In Braidless Weft
Unlike other sew in techniques, the Sew In Braidless Weft method does not involve the use of tight braids. The tension of braids can often make them uncomfortable and even damaging for the client, whereas this method involves using a beaded track of micro rings instead, offering a much flatter position to the scalp.
These are installed in one straight long track (or row) of rings, side by side with very small gaps in between. They are applied in the same way as the micro ring method, but clamped shut without a hair extension. The weft of hair is then sewn in to the track of micro rings. This makes it ideal for many hair types.
Sew In Braidless Wefts do not involve heating or glue. A key benefit of this method is that you can re-use the wefts to reposition many times. The weft is easily removed by cutting through the stitching that is holding it in place so that it just comes away from the head. The micro rings are easily removed by using pliers to release them. These are discarded and when you re-fit a weft you use new rings.
Studio58 is one of the UK’s leading hair extension training course providers, offering accredited courses in their own training centre near Bristol, London and Cardiff. Our hair extension training enjoys an outstanding reputation throughout the UK, giving ambitious salons and technicians the very best start in the very lucrative hair extension industry.
Brief videos looking at each of the hair extension methods can be viewed here, or for more information about our range of hair extension courses, please visit https://www.s58hairextensions.co.uk/training-courses/