Which Hair Extensions are best?
Wanting to switch up your look and style is something we all consider with the change of seasons. Whether it’s trying out a new and more fashionable wardrobe, changing up our aesthetic, starting adding bits of jewelry to our everyday look, and of course we cannot forget about hair.
When it comes to changing your hair, the options are endless. You want to go lighter or darker? Done. Want to achieve the Balayage or Ombre look? Done. Wanting to add length, thickness and even some color to your hair without dying your natural hair? Easy! This is where hair extensions come in to save the day, and help you get the look you desire.
Hair extensions are one of the easiest ways to get that long and beautiful tresses you’ve been wanting. There are different hair extension types and different methods for applying them. This article will introduce to you all the types of hair extensions and their uses, to help you choose which option is best for you when considering using hair extensions.
Before we dive into the details of the different hair extension types, let’s quickly talk about the two different kinds of hair extensions; real human hair extensions and synthetic hair extensions.
Difference between Real Human Hair Extensions VS. Synthetic Hair Extensions
Real human hair extensions are made from real human hair and are Remy. They are collected from a single donor. Remy means all the cuticles are still intact and are in the same direction from top of the hair extension all the way to the bottom. This is to prevent any tangling and to ensure that the hair extensions remain smooth and silky.
Real human hair extensions blend in seamlessly with your natural hair giving you a more natural look. And just like your real hair, it can be styled however and whichever way you like. They can also be dyed since it’s natural human hair. As experts in hair extensions, we do not encourage dying your hair extensions, especially bleaching them, because the chemicals can significantly damage them, and lessen their lifespan. All hair extensions by Zen Hair Shop are 100% Remy Human hair and are available in more than 25 beautiful colors. Check out Zen Hair’s Hair Extension Color guide.
Synthetic hair extensions, on the other hand, are made from synthetic blended fibers and do not contain real human hair. Some synthetic hair extensions may include real human hair, but in very low count, the majority being synthetic fiber (90-95%). Synthetic hair extensions do not blend in well with your natural hair, resulting in a very unnatural finished look. They do not have the same feel to the touch as real human hair, as they have a rougher or coarse texture. Moreover, you cannot color or style them. Chemicals from hair dyes and bleach can completely destroy the synthetic hair extensions, and heat styling can melt or entirely damage them.
Are Hair Extensions permanent?
Choosing the right type of hair extensions is an important step. Depending on what you are looking to achieve, and your commitment.
Permanent hair extensions include Tape-in hair extensions, I-tip and U-tip hair extensions and Sew-in Wefts.
They stay attached to your hair between 6-8 weeks. Then they are removed and re-attached to your hair during maintenance, closer to your scalp, the same way they were fitted in the first time.
Temporary hair extensions include Clip-in hair extensions, Ponytail hair extension and Halo hair Extension. You can apply and remove them from your hair easily and in no time. Perfect to achieve that quick and easy look to start off your day, or for a special occasion.
How does hair extensions work? And What are the different hair extension types?
Starting off with Temporary hair extensions:
1. Clip in Hair Extensions
Clip-in hair extensions is a very popular method to instantly get longer and thicker hair in just a few minutes. They are super easy to apply at home, and help you create any look you desire right at the comfort of your home.
Clip-in hair extensions are hair wefted into a piece of fabric, with clips sewed onto it to help the hair extension attach to your hair. They come in variant sizes and widths, and come ready to use.
The application takes 10-15 minutes, and you can do it all by yourself effortlessly.
They can last up to 1.5 years, sometimes even 2 if you take real good care of them and follow a healthy hair routine.
Read all about our top 7 tips on how to take care of your clip in hair extensions
2. Ponytail Hair Extension
If you are looking to add a bit more thickness and volume to your ponytail, or just want to simply recreate that gorgeous sexy ponytail look you saw on Instagram, Ponytail hair extensions is what you’re going to need.
Just like the Clip-in hair extensions, they are extremely easy to apply on your hair. All you have to do is put your natural hair up in a ponytail, insert the comb clip that is on the ponytail underneath your hair tie, then wrap the Velcro hair strand around the base of your own ponytail, securing it with a bobby pin...and Voilà. Now you have a fuller, longer and bouncier ponytail.
3. Halo Hair Extension
Halo hair extension is another great way to instantly add length and volume to your hair. Super quick and easy to apply. They are a great alternative to Clip-in hair extensions, especially if your hair is long enough (below shoulder length), but you want to add a little more length and thickness.
It comes with an invisible elastic band that sits comfortably on the top of your hair and is completely concealed.
Permanent Hair Extensions:
1. Tape-in Hair Extensions
Tape-in extensions are one of the most popular methods of hair extension application. This type of hair extension is pre-taped with an adhesive, and is attached to your hair, where your natural hair is sandwiched between the two pieces of the tape-in. They are not damaging to your natural hair or roots when it is applied by a hair professional, as well as if you take real good care of them post-application.
They are a perfect way to add length, thickness or both, as well as color to your natural hair.
They typically last between 6-8 weeks on your hair. After the 8-week mark, you will need to go into your salon for your maintenance appointment, and have them removed and reapplied. For removing them, a special tape-in extension remover will be used to help loosen up the bonds. After removing the tape-in hair extensions, your hairdresser will remove any adhesive residue that may have remained on your hair. The tape-in extensions are then washed, dried, and then reapplied on your hair using re-taping tabs.
Application usually takes between an hour or an hour and a half, depending on the amount of packs you will be applying on your hair.
Get inspired by checking out some of the beautiful Tape In Hair Extension Before and Afters included in our transformation catalog.
Another type of the Tape-in Hair extension is the Invisible Hair Extension.
The invisible hair extension is perfect for people who especially have thinner and finer hair on the top part/crown area of their hair. They mimic natural hair roots, which makes it ideal to achieve a longer, thicker and fuller hair that is completely hidden, resulting in a beautiful and natural look.
The duration of application and its method is exactly the same as the regular tape in hair extension, only the piece that mimics hair roots is applied on the top part, where it will be visible as your natural hair roots.
2. U-Tip Hair Extensions
U-Tip hair extensions are also known as Keratin or pre-bonded hair extensions. They are fusion hair extensions, which means a hot fusion tool is used to heat up the keratin tip on the hair extensions to help it adhere to your hair. Application is done by taking a small strand of your hair, roughly the same amount as the u-tip hair extensions, and adhering the hair extension to your natural hair using the fusion tool.
This type of application can be damaging if not professionally done and if it isn't applied the correct way. If the application is done too close to the scalp, it can cause irritation and severe damage to your hair, hair roots and scalp. Not to mention the use of the hot fusion tool too close to the scalp can result in burning it.
Application can usually take up to 3-4 hours, and lasts 6-8 weeks on your hair. For the removal of the u-tip hair extension, a clamp or a plier is used to break the bond, then a special remover spray is used to help break down the adhesive and to soften it, making it easier to remove from hair.
3. I-Tip Hair Extensions
Also known as micro link hair extensions or micro bead hair extensions. These extensions are applied to your hair by attaching a single micro hair extension to a small section of your hair with a small silicone lined micro link. Then using a plier, the micro ring is pressed to safely attach the hair and the micro hair extensions together in place.
It can take between 3-4 hours to complete this method of application. For the removal, a plier is once again used to press on the micro ring to loosen it, then finally removing the micro hair extensions and the micro ring from the hair.
4. Sew-in Weft Hair Extensions
Sew-in hair extensions or weft hair extensions are hair extensions that are applied by sewing the hair extension into your hair. Your hair is braided first into cornrows, then using a needle and thread, it is sewed into the braided row. It is done by an experienced hair professional, as it takes extreme attention and technique to apply it correctly. This method of application is more suitable for clients who have thicker hair. The application can be a little tight on the hair, and often feels heavy on the scalp. It is advised for people with thinner hair to avoid this application as it may cause extreme discomfort, and will cause strain on the scalp and hair roots.
The duration for this application takes several hours, up to 4 hours.
One of the major things you need to keep in mind when choosing this type of hair extension, is you need to keep your scalp hydrated and moisturized, using products that will provide deep conditioning. This is to keep your hair and scalp healthy and prevent any damage from occurring.
You might be wondering “What hair extensions last the longest?”
And the answer is pretty simple. The better care you take of your hair extensions, the longer they serve you. Using the right type of hair products, such as sulphate and paraben free shampoo and conditioner is crucial to the livelihood of your hair extensions. These chemicals tend to dehydrate your hair extensions, stripping away their moisture leaving them dry, brittle and more prone to damage. Another great tip is to use heat protectant spray whenever you heat style to protect your hair extensions, and always keeping up with your maintenance appointments.