Choosing the right application method is probably the hardest thing to do. After all there are so many methods and every hair extensionist has their favourite… Here most of the popular extensions are described
These are attached to the hair via little keratin bonds at the tip of the extension, which are fused with a little hot tool. Heath connector has a temperature of 160C as opposed to hair straighteners of 220C so it is not nearly as damaging. These are extremely popular and look great, but require regular salon appointments for maintenance. For maximum longevity with this system, remember to condition only the lengths. If you’re blow-drying, dry the lengths first, then tip your head forward to dry your real hair–don’t blast the bonds with heat! This is perfect for FINE and THIN hair. The bonds are almost invisible and they do not get white, sticky or soft. They are also small enough to hide.
Durability: If you look after them well by yourself you could get 3 to 4 months out of them! If used with European or Russian hair, which can be refitted, your extensions will last from 8 to 18 months.
Sewn-in extensions are ideal for coarse, curly or thick hair that’s able to handle them. They’re applied by being sewn into a tightly-braided section of the client’s own, natural hair. This is one system we don’t have personal experience of. These extensions require serious upkeep and salon visits are advised every six weeks or so to ensure the section where it’s sewn is in good condition. As these extensions are woven into the client’s own hair, the stylist will also want to assess if they need to be tightened up’.
Durability: This depends on the quality of the hair and whether or not your own hair can handle the weight of the extensions. However, salon visits every 6 to 8 WEEKS weeks are highly advisable.
Tape extensions have been the industry’s whipping boy of late, largely down to the fact that people brand words like DAMAGING and MATTING around when they’re mentioned. They are connected by wide bonds that look like two bits of Sellotape. Your own hair is placed between them and they are clamped around the strands. The wide, rather than skinny bonds, look stringy after a few washes. It is also impossible to put your hair up or tie them in a pony tail.
Durability: Things can get tangled as your own hair starts to grow. 5 to 6 WEEKS is a generally average.
A hugely popular system, advertised as pretty much damage-free as there’s no glue, no heat, no tape and no sewing. However, this couldn’t be more wrong. It is applied using single-strand micro-bead extensions by clamping the little bead on the tip of the extension to your own hair. The connections are durable and uncomfortable. Bonds are bigger and heavier and more than often the colour of the ring doesn’t match the colour of the hair. For example, there are 60 shades of blonde for only 6 blonde shades of the ring. Suitable for thick dark hair mostly. Very damaging and noticeable for fine and blond hair.
Durability: 3 to 4 MONTHS. Hair can be reused.
Fun and noncommittal but typically fake looking, you can wash and style them just like your own hair. They get ratty and worn-looking from frequent use and the quality varies widely. Choose real over synthetic as they’re more durable with washing and styling.
Durability: Highly dependent on frequency of use.
These hair extensions are quick and easy to apply. Strand by strand, a micro loop extension is applied to a similar sized piece of your own hair around 1cm away from the scalp. Tiny, silicone lined aluminium rings hold the extensions securely in place, without the need for any harsh glues or chemicals. Drawbacks of this method is that hair and rings supplied are usually of a very poor quality and do not last more than few weeks.
Durability: 5 to 6 weeks. Hair cannot be reused.
Nano tip hair extensions are fitted by taking small, individual portions of a client’s hair, and threading a nano ring onto the hair through a metal wire. Once in place, the nano tip hair extension is then threaded through the ring, and a small set of pliers is used to clamp the hair extension in place. The rings look very tidy and are much smaller than traditional ones.
They have to be applied very skilfully as a metal wire very often cuts through hair causing them to break. They have to come pre bonded which is why the client does not have an option to chose a hair type.
Durability: 3 to 4 months however the hair cannot be reused.