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Hair Extensions: Everything You Need to Know!

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Everything You Wanted to Know About Hair Extensions but Didn’t Know Who to Ask!

This year, hair extensions are truly having their extended moment in the sun. Hair extensions have improved vastly over the years when it comes to quality and technology. Whether clip-in hair extensions at home, or professionally-installed hair extensions, they fulfil the desire for longer, thicker, shinier hair that many of us are not naturally blessed with. What’s more, they offer the perfect chance to experiment with different fun styles such as clip-in bangs or strands of blue, on a temporary basis.

However, the range and variety of hair extensions available can be a bit bewildering. Here’s a quick guide to help you make an informed choice…

  1. Clip-ins:
    These are the most common and usually the cheapest type of hair extensions available. Pre-clipped strips of extensions, they fix onto sections of your own hair at the root. They are the perfect at-home variety to experiment with. The fact that they are generally priced low makes them additionally attractive to purchase and try.
  2. Tape-ins:
    pre-taped strips of extensions, these can be taped or glued alongside your roots. This procedure should preferably be done by a stylist. If you are wearing the extensions for a shorter duration like a night, you could also do them yourself.
  3. Professional Hair Extensions:
    These come in different varieties such as:

Weaves or Eew-ins – In this method the hair extensions are sewn on to your own braided-up hair. The stylist used a needle and thread to attach the extension to your hair.

Keratin Extensions – This procedure sees small strands of extensions professionally heated and then bonded to your own hair. A keratin-based glue is used to fix the extensions to your hair.

  1. I-tips: These are strands of extensions that are professionally crimped to strands of your own hair with a flattened microbead. Neither heat nor glue are used in this method.

What you choose eventually depends on your requirements. If you’re looking for a simple, temporary change of style, you could explore clip-in hair extensions or temporary hair pieces such as ponytail extensions, headband wigs, or clip-in bangs. If you desire a more realistic look and want your extensions to last longer, you would need to go in for professionally-installed hair extension treatments such as tape-ins, keratin, or I-tip extensions.

Five Must-dos Before You Take the Plunge

  1. Choose According to Your Lifestyle:
    Clip-ins are popular if you’re a beginner as they are simple and user-friendly. Available with barrettes attached, they can be clipped in or out. Tape extensions are recommended if you’re looking for a more permanent solution as they can last for up to eight weeks. Keratin, which lasts for three months or more, is a good choice if you do a lot of hot yoga. Do discuss your lifestyle with your stylist, who will assess the type of extensions that will suit you best.
  2. Match Right:
    Finding the right colour match is crucial to achieve a natural look. Even a slight mismatch in the shade of the extension would scream ‘Fake hair’! A tested way of colour-matching is to match the extensions with the ends of your tresses and not the roots. Opt for the colour that is most prominent in your natural hair. As most women have hair that is a mix of shades, your stylist will accurately colour match your hair with the extensions.
  3. Quality Matters:
    It is important for fake hair not to look like fake hair! Nobody should be able to tell that you are wearing extensions. While synthetic extensions are most affordable, they come with drawbacks such as easy-tangling and an unnatural shine. What’s more, hair that has been dyed or treated to change its texture is also more damaged and thus best avoided. Opt for highest quality extensions which are closest to your real hair, so they will hold styles and texture the same way and also won’t shed as much as cheaper options. The hair cuticles in your extensions should all face the same direction in order to avoid tangles and matting. If using clip-ins, choose ones that have a silicone cushion on the clips which prevent breakage and knots.
  4. Maintenance is Essential:
    Like natural hair, extensions also need regular wash and care. Clip-ins need to be washed after using them six to eight times. Comb out tangles before you wash them. They can be washed in your sink and left on a towel to dry. It’s important to use a shampoo and conditioner that is free of sulfates and parabens. Dab them with a towel to remove the excess water, and then allow them to air dry. For proper care of your tape-on and keratin extensions, use a gentle shampoo to wash, focusing on the roots. Apply conditioner only from mid-length of the hair to the ends. Use heat styling tools only once your extensions are mostly dry. Avoid using heat directly on tape and keratin bonds.
  5. Avoid Damage:
    It is essential to stick to the given time frames—extensions meant for six months cannot and should not be worn for three months! They must be professionally removed according to the recommended time frame. Also ensure your hair extensions are not too heavy as it will otherwise result in shedding, breakage, and hair loss. Pain is not a part of hair extensions; in fact, you should not really feel them at all! In case of pain, return to the salon to ensure the treatment is properly done. In case of a bothersome clip-in, unclip and then clip it over a bigger section of your own hair. Never wear clip-ins at night to prevent breakage and take care of your extensions.