A Beginners Guide to Hair Extensions
Have you always been tired of the way that your hair looks? If so, you are not alone. The truth is that in the last several year extensions have been gaining popularity. Perhaps it is due to the trend that many A-list celebrities are constantly changing their look with extensions, or maybe it is due to the fact that the advancing technology in the beauty industry has made hair extensions more affordable. Whatever the reason, women no longer have to look in the mirror disappointed with their hair. Instead, they can have some control to change their hair almost instantly.
Though they are becoming increasingly common, not everyone knows a lot about them Many people may think that all hair extensions are the same, but the truth is that there are many different varieties. Throughout each of these types, the goal is the same. Whether a woman is looking for a special occasion hairdo or everyday look, this little secret can dramatically add length and/or volume to their hair.
The first category of hair extensions is synthetic hair. Synthetic extensions are generally more affordable, but they do not look as natural on your head. Additionally, synthetic extensions do pose some styling challenges. Depending on the specific type of synthetic extensions that you choose, you may not be able to use some of your regular heat based styling products. That being said, synthetic extensions are often easier to physically apply to the hair, which is important to those who are tender headed.
Human hair extensions are the other type of extensions that you can find. These are made of all genuine human hair, and that is probably why they appear so natural when added to your own hair. Though these are a bit more expensive, many ladies choose to go with human hair extensions because they prefer their more natural and easy look.
Regardless of the type of extension that you are interested in, the advantages are fairly self-explanatory. By applying these extensions to your hair you will be given the flexibility to instantly changer your look. This may mean that you are simply changing the style, or the color, or the texture, or a combination of factors. This means that even if you have been stuck with thin stick straight hair with the aid of extensions a thick curly head of hair is not out of reach.
Before you take the plunge to get extensions, you need to take the time to understand what comes along with that decision. Financially, good quality hair extensions are an investment. They can very quickly multiply in cost, and with even basic extensions, you can expect to spend several hundred dollars. Additionally, you need to realize that your hair is going to experience some wear and tear from the extension. With any type of extension, it is going to need to be physically attached to your existing hair in some manner. There are different methods, but all of these are somewhat lengthy and uncomfortable to sit through. Additionally, the contact points of the extensions and the hair, known as the “attachment point,” can be somewhat damaged by the experience. Extensions also require some extra maintenance that you might not be familiar with if you have never had them. You need to find a professional who is comfortable and experienced with extensions and will not only apply them properly, but will educate you on their upkeep.
There are several different methods to applying extensions. The oldest has to be the long-standing tradition of “cornrow tracking.” Basically, this is where a stylist will braid your hair into long cornrows. As they are braiding they will carefully weave in strands of your extensions. This is a great method because it really allows your extensions to be added into your hair in a natural pattern that will echo that of your natural hair. This creates a more natural appearance and a lasting effect.
Another common method of extension application is “track extensions.” This is where you actual extensions are bough in thin lines of hair. Each of these thin lines holds many different strands of hair. To affix this to your hair the stylist actually sews it into your hair. Though this method may not last as long, your hair will sustain less damage since there are no glues or chemicals used.
Glue in extensions is where a stylist uses a special glue to attach your extensions. Due to the glue, this is application makes your extensions last for a long time, but due to the chemicals in the glue, your hair is going to be put through some damage.
Fusion is a method of application that attaches single strands of hair to your own hair using keratin bonded tipped extensions and a fusion tool to melt the keratin to your own hair. This method can last 3-6 months with proper care.
Tape Hair Extensions are a new innovation in the extension industry. With this application, the stylist uses a special type of hair extension that has double sided medical grade tape already applied to the extension. The hair is skin weft and after applied, appears to be growing out of the scalp. The clients hair is “sandwiched” between 2 pieces of the extensions. This method is less damaging than the glue and the fusion hair. The extensions can last several weeks with proper care. This is an excellent “semi permanent” method. They are longer lasting than the clip in extensions but can easily be removed at any time. The application time is only a fraction of the strand by strand fusion methods so it’s not a big hassle to reapply when needed again. Celebrity stylists are catching on big to this method and it’s perfect for photo shoots, interviews, concerts, etc.
The zero damage extension application method is of course temporary clip in extensions. Clip in hair extensions are very popular right now for celebrities and also for everyday diva. They can be applied in under 10 minutes and easily taken out without damage to the hair.
No matter which method you choose, unless you are properly taking care of your extensions you cannot expect them to last. Of course, you will want to speak with your individual stylist regarding their personalized recommendation, but one thing that rings true for all types of extensions and application processes is that you need to use the right shampoo and conditioner. There are many different types on the market ad you need to be sure that the one that you are using is designed to be gentle. Some of the more harsh soaps actually have a chemical that will break down the glue, and that can only lead to your extension falling out. Instead, speak with your stylist to find out what they recommend to keep your hair healthy.
Hair extensions can be a style savior, but before you get them, you want to be sure that you know what you are getting into. Do your research. Find the best quality extensions and application method for you and your lifestyle. Then ensure that you are taking proper care of your extensions, and if you do that, you can be sure that they will last as long as possible.
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