There is no doubt that hair extensions have significantly grown in popularity!
I believe 2022 will be the year of hair extensions.
Let’s face it – they are more affordable, durable, higher quality, and versatile than ever before!
As a hair stylist, I have been installing hair extensions for the past 10 years. I have been asked all sorts of questions.
I plan to answer 15 questions a new client needs to know before investing in hair extensions.
What Are Hair Extensions?
Glad you asked. The technical definition of a hair extension is any hair made out of synthetic or real human hair that attaches to your head by a variety of different methods.
Hair extensions can add dimension, make your hair look longer and fuller. It can also be matched to your natural hair color.
What Are Hair Extensions Made From?
Marketed by the highest quality brands of extensions, remy hair is often associated with being the best.
This is sometimes misleading for newbies entering the hair extension world because the quality of hair, depends on its grade.
The most popular grades of hair are European, Chinese, and Indian.
Remy means, the cuticle and tip of the hair are in the same direction. It consists of 100% human hair that could have been previously dyed or treated.
Remy hair requires an intricate refining process to maintain the cuticle and tip.
The advantage of this is to prevent the matting and tangling of the hair. This ultimately produces a healthier, softer, more durable hair extension.
Remy hair usually will last about 8-12 months depending on your hair care routine.
Is 100% natural human hair that has never been treated or dyed.
Virgin Hair is considered the highest quality of hair on the market.
It is also the most expensive. But – like most things, you get what you pay for.
With a proper hair care routine, virgin hair will last you anywhere from 12 -15 months.
Synthetic hair is made from several different fibers and contains no human hair.
They do not last as long as human hair but they cost much less.
Using heat appliances with synthetic hair will cause breakage, melting, or severe damage to the extension.
Types Of Hair Extensions And Applications
Instead of using a tight, small horizontal braid to anchor the hair weft – it uses beads.
The technology is thought to be gentler on the hair because it decreases the tension on the scalp.
I have seen less breakage and hair health maintained while using wefts with my clients.
Hand-tied wefts are sectioned using “halo-partings.”
That means from either side of the ear, the part slightly slopes down as the line moves toward the center back of the neck.
Tiny beads are then placed just centimeters apart as small sections of hair are pulled through the beads.
These beads serve as the “anchor” for the long hair weft to be sewn in.
Don’t worry, it’s not sewn into the scalp.
Tape–In Hair Extensions
This method sounds exactly like its name. Picture a small flat piece of hair about 1’’ in length. There is a piece of tape like a tab attached to the top of it.
This tab has professional-grade medical glue on it.
You section hair horizontally into paper-thin portions then sandwich one tape-in extension on top, and one on the bottom. Your natural hair is in between.
The glue on the tab bonds to hold it in place to keep it from sliding.
The results are very natural looking if the application is done well and can last around 8 weeks before needing another session.
Halo Hair Extensions
For people who can’t commit long-term to extensions and are looking for a one-time experience, a halo extension is a wonderful option.
There is a clear tiny string in a loop the perfect size of your head.
Imagine the string can sit on your head like a headband, but the rest of the circle comes down behind the ears and ends up at the low part of the neck.
There is hair attached to the string that starts behind each ear and extends down to the lower part of the neck.
It provides length and fullness and can be worn again and again with proper care.
These pieces leave no damage at all and are great for Brides.
For this, small sections of hair are beaded just like in the hand-tide weft method.
The section is about the size of a pinky nail.
The hair is then pinched and a bead is put on.
Instead of the hair being on a long weft – it’s made up of tiny pieces bundled together.
These bundles are attached with a tip about as big as the tiny plastic end of a shoelace string.
Picture that plastic end filled with hair as it extends in a long ponytail strand.
Each plastic tip is inserted into the bead along with your own natural hair that is already resting in the bed.
A tool is used to pinch the bead shut, securing it to your head.
The advantage of I-tip hair extensions is style versatility.
You can wear your hair any way you want without worrying about the extension being exposed.
How Much Do Hair Extensions Cost?
Professionally installed hair extensions are expensive.
Most stylists require consultation with each client because the cost of hair extensions varies from person to person.
Depending on your goal of volume or length or both coupled with how much natural hair you have, will ultimately determine how much hair you need.
The cost for hand-sewn wefts and I-tips can range anywhere from
$450 -$1400+, just for the hair.
Installs usually start at $105 a row and they will need to be moved up every 4-6 weeks.
Most of my clients have between 1-2 rows sometimes 3.
Tape-ins are usually less but still range from $200-$500 just for the hair. You will need to factor in install fees from your stylist as well.
Tape-ins also require appointments with your stylist every 4-6 weeks to be moved up.
Can Hair Extensions Be Colored?
Yes. You can tone or color hair extensions darker. It is not recommended to lighten them with bleach.
Can Hair Extensions Cause Hair Loss?
Hair extensions alone do not cause hair loss. However, there are a few factors that will create hair loss.
It is important to take note of your hair health before you install hair extensions.
If you notice brittle, unhealthy, and extremely dry hair – I recommend strengthening it back up before installing hair extensions.
Avoid wearing your hair in a tight ponytail or bun for the first few weeks.
This gives time for beads to grow off the scalp providing movement.
Improper brushing of hair extensions can cause damage or hair loss because of the tension it places on the scalp.
How Do I Take Care Of My Hair Extensions?
While having hair extensions can be fun and aesthetically fulfilling, they do require attention and maintenance.
Always use a heat protectant before heat-styling and avoid putting conditioner and oils directly on the tab/glue part of a tap-in extension.
For clip-ins and halo, lay them out or hang them on something that can provide support so the hair doesn’t get tangled when you’re not using them.
Remember to book appointments with your stylist every 4-6 weeks or at the interval they recommend.
This is to have your extensions moved up and hair health reviewed.
Each type/brand is different so be sure to read the instruction on care very carefully. It does benefit you in the end!
If you had them professionally installed, my best advice is to consult your stylist and develop a hair extension care plan together.
Can Hair Extensions Get Wet?
Yes, you can get extensions wet and wash them like normal.
If you plan to go into the ocean, lake, river, chlorinated, or saltwater pool, it is highly suggested you coat the hair extensions with a leave-in conditioner.
The purpose of this is to protect the hair from harsh minerals in the water that will turn them brassy or an orangish/pink hue.
Shampoo For Hair Extensions
The type of shampoo and conditioner should be hydrating along with sulfate, chloride, and alcohol-free.
It should also be color-safe.
Typically, hair extensions that are clip-ins and Halo versions will need to be washed.
The key is to not over wash them. I recommend no more than 1 -2 times per week if worn regularly
Can I Use Purple Shampoo With Hair Extensions?
Yes, you can.
However, the purple shampoo will dry out your hair extensions faster.
Remember, your hair extensions are dead hair.
I highly recommend you pay attention to the effects your purple shampoo has on your extensions and monitor the amount you use it each week.
Can I Brush Hair Extensions?
Yes, just be mindful of what extensions are installed and how close they are to the root.
Here is an awesome video for brushing clip-in hair extensions
For I-tip or hand-sewn wefts, it might be necessary to let your hair grow out a few weeks to allow the bead to move away from your scalp.
This will allow for safer brushing.
Brush the hair from mid-shaft and down while holding the top of the extensions taught.
I recommend using a vegan boar bristle brush when combing your hair extensions.
I have personally found this type of brush to be gentler and smoother on the hair.
I also recommend brushing a couple of times. Matting can occur on the natural hair in between the wefts.
Left like this, damage to your natural hair could occur.
- Talk to your stylist first If you are interested in hair extensions and are thinking about installing them.
- A proper consultation is necessary to discuss how hair extensions could play into your natural hair, color, health, goals, and look you are trying to achieve.
- When you research hair – pay attention to where it comes from, how they source it, and how brands manufacture it. Don’t get fooled by the shiny branding and luxury appeal.
- Hair extensions are alot of work. Understanding what hair extensions are and how to care for them is essential to keeping them beautiful. Hair is an investment and hair extensions are not cheap.