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When it comes to hair extensions there are so many options you can choose from - there are different types of hair, methods of getting them applied, and time you can wear them. And these are just some of the things that may get confusing when trying to differentiate between all the options. We’re here to help you learn everything there is to know about all the main types of human hair extensions so that you can choose the best ones for you!
What are hair extensions?
Hair extensions are hair pieces or wefts that you can attach to the roots of your own hair to add length, thickness, color, or all of them. They can make a world of difference for anyone that wants to enhance their mane. Real hair extensions can add a subtle change, for example a bit of thickness to fill out very thin hair, or a big change for anyone that is looking to add a lot of volume and length and go from short to long hair overnight.
Hair extensions can be created from natural or synthetic hair, can be installed using a variety of methods (clips, tapes, adhesive, hot tools, bonds, links, etc), can be worn for a few hours or a few months and come in every shape, size, color, and texture. Keep reading to find out what are the most common types, how long do hair extensions last, and how to take care of hair extensions.
What are human hair extensions?
Human hair extensions are exactly what the name suggests - they are made out of 100% human hair collected from donors. Quality hair extensions are made with remy hair. What is remy hair? Remy Hair is considered to be the finest quality of real human hair because the hair is collected in a way that ensures that all the cuticles are kept intact, facing the natural growing direction. This eliminates tangling problems commonly found in non-Remy or low-quality hair.
How to care for human hair extensions?
Human extensions can be cut, colored, and heat-styled just like normal hair. With a little care and attention, you can make sure that your real hair extensions last a long time and are healthy. Make sure to store them in a dry place, away from direct sunlight when you are not using them, don’t wash them too often and always use sulfate-free products, keep them well moisturized and always use heat protectants before styling them with hot tools. You can change the look of your remy hair extensions at any time without damaging them.
How long do hair extensions last?
There are many types of human hair extensions on the market and all of them have different lifespans, from a few months to over a year, if properly taken care of. Their longevity depends on how often you wear them and how well you take care of them. If you want to know how to keep your natural hair extensions in better shape for a longer period of time, check out our article on How to Care for Your Hair Extensions for useful tips and tricks!
What are synthetic extensions?
Synthetic hair extensions are created from various chemically blended fibers. These fibers are made to resemble human hair, but they most often have an unnatural finish. They are very sensitive to weather conditions such as sun exposure and moisture, they are very difficult to style are also known to not blend well with natural hair.
How to care for synthetic extensions?
To take care of synthetic hair extensions, wash them in cool water once a month with a sulfate-free shampoo. You should also moisturize them by using a detangling conditioner every time you wash them. Make sure to gently brush them and keep them stored safely when you are not using them. Synthetic hair extensions cannot be colored and will melt when exposed to heat. Most of them come with preset styles that cannot be altered and have a stiffness to their movement and a shiny finish that will make them difficult to blend.
How long do synthetic extensions last?
Synthetic extensions have a short lifespan - up to 3 months. Their longevity also depends on the quality of the fibers used to create them and how often you wear and how good you take care of them.
Another way to separate hair extensions types by is by how long you can wear them. There are three main categories: temporary hair extensions, semi-permanent hair extensions and permanent hair extensions. In theory, all hair extensions are temporary but the time you can wear them varies so much that it has become common to separate them in these three categories because of how different they are and the purpose they serve.
Temporary hair extensions contain no glue or tape, which makes them harmless and easy to use. The most common non-permanent extensions are clip-ins, flip-ins or halos, hair wefts and wigs.
Clip in hair extensions are the most popular temporary types of extensions, as they can change your entire look in a matter of minutes without damaging your real hair.
What are clip in hair extensions?
Clip in extensions are the easiest, fastest, and safest way to add length and thickness to your hair. Clip-in human hair extensions are basically pieces of hair, called wefts. These wefts have a thin textile seam base and sturdy, lightweight clips attached to them. This means that you can take these wefts and easily install them into your hair. They are the least damaging type of extensions and easiest hair extensions to apply yourself, you can do it at home is a matter of minutes.
What are seamless clip in hair extensions?
Seamless clip in hair extensions are identical to remy clip in hair extensions with the only distinction being the base. The classic extensions have a fabric or stitch base while the Seamless hair extensions have a thin silicone base. The silicone base is 50% thinner than the textile base of the classic hair extensions. These human hair clip ins are ideal for people with thin, fine, or oily hair because of the thin seam that makes them virtually undetectable.
How to take care of clip in hair extensions?
Clip in natural hair extensions are quite low maintenance, but in order to keep them soft and silky, there are a few things that you need to consider:
You can read more tips and tricks about caring for your hair extensions in our dedicated article here.
How long do clip in hair extensions last?
Depending on the quality of the hair and how much you wear them, remy clip in hair extensions usually last 3 to 6 months if worn on a medium to a regular basis. If properly taken care of and only taken out occasionally, they can last up to 1 year or more.
Semi-permanent hair extensions are installed to last for a longer period of time but no tools or heat is needed to attach them. Depending on how fast your hair grows they can last from a few weeks to a few months. They need to be reapplied when your natural hair grows but they are easy to remove and reinstall and can be used multiple times. The most popular semi-permanent hair extensions types are the tape-in hair extensions.
What are tape in extensions?
Tape in hair extensions are thin pre-taped wefts that you attach to your natural hair. To apply them you take a thin strip of your natural hair and place it between two wefts of tape-ins, basically sandwiching pieces of hair between the two tapes. The bonds created are very thin and only 1.5 inches wide, which makes them lie flat on your head, making them invisible. The glue used is medicinal so it's not harmful to your natural hair or you. The installation process is quite easy and we’ve prepared a step by step guide on how to apply tape in extensions that you can read here.
How to care for tape in extensions?
How long do tape in extensions last?
In terms of application, real hair tape in extensions need to be removed and refitted every 4-8 weeks, depending on how fast your natural hair grows. They can be reused up to 3 times or even more if they remain in good shape.
Permanent hair extensions use different types of chemicals, glue, tape, or beads to be installed. It is also common to use heat to apply them. They are a big commitment because they can be worn the longest from all hair extensions types.
Hair breakage, hair loss, damage to the hair follicles and even alopecia are common problems that permanent hair extensions can cause. If you want to avoid all these problems you should choose either clip in hair or tape in hair extensions. They are harmless and if properly installed and removed, will not cause any damage.
The most popular types of permanent hair extensions are: sew in hair extensions or weaves, fusion and pre-bonded hair extensions, and microlink or microbeads extensions. From the not so common permanent extensions, we will name i-tips, k-tips and u-tips, which get installed by hot or cold fusion.
What are sew in extensions?
Sew in extensions are wefts of hair cut to measure your needs that are then sewn into your hair by needle and thread. Most people prefer to have their hair cornrowed before starting the process or braided at the back from one ear to the other and then have the wefts sewn in on top.
How to care for sew in extensions?
How long do sew ins last?
The maximum amount of time recommended for keeping the weave in is 4 months, as a longer period of time will affect the growth of your natural hair. Some good advice is to have the weave removed every 6-8 weeks and reapplied after a short break.
What are fusion and pre-bonded extensions?
This type of hair extensions are applied in your hair with a glue gun or heat clamp that uses a special adhesive to melt the glue in your hair. Pre-bonded extensions are not recommended for everyone, as they are quite damaging to your natural hair.
How to care for your fusion extensions?
How long do pre-bonded extensions last?
It is not recommended to keep the fusion extensions in your hair for more than 4 months. They normally need removal and repositioning every 2-3 months as your natural hair grows. Beware of the invasive procedure though, as it will most likely cause hair loss and scalp irritation due to the used chemicals.
What are microlink hair extensions?
Also known as microbeads or microloops, these extensions are applied by attaching small pieces of hair to your own with the help of a silicone bead, which then gets tightened to secure it in place. This method does not use any chemicals, but it might cause damage to your hair if not applied correctly, putting pressure on your roots and pulling on your hair strands.
How to care for your microbeads?
How long do microlinks last?
While they normally last up to 4 months, they need to be reapplied every 2-3 months or when your hair has grown too much and the beads move away from the scalp.
Now that we’ve run by you the major pros and cons to all types of hair extensions, it is up to you to find out what works best in your specific case. If you still can’t make up your mind about which type of extensions to go with, do not hesitate to write to our customer care team at firstname.lastname@example.org and they will gladly walk you through our products and help you make the best decision!
CRYSTAL – Yes, you can get our Signature Weft if all you need is a boost of volume and not to add length to your hair. It comes as a 4-clip weft that is super thick and can be successfully worn for special hairstyles and updos.
Can I just get one big weft for my hair instead of a whole clip in set?
BEATRICE – Other types of extensions except clip ins and tape-ins use hot glue or other invasive procedures, such as needle and thread, to bond the extensions to your natural hair. Temporary extensions such as clip ins don’t harm your hair at all, as they get clipped in and out easily. Tape-ins use medicinal glue as adhesive, so they are also safe for your hair. The other types of extensions might severely damage your natural hair as they will pull out your hair strands when you get them removed.
Why are the so-called permanent extensions so damaging?
ELAINE – It is not advisable to combine natural hair extensions with anything else, as the difference will surely show. We recommend you to go with one complete set of natural hair extensions that will cover your entire hair, so that you will not need to add anything else for more volume, length or color.
Can you combine synthetic and natural hair extensions?
CHERRY – It is always a matter of quality and if the chemical procedures involved are well executed and the fibers resulted are of good quality, synthetic hair extensions can mimic real hair to a very high degree. Nevertheless, anything man made will never resemble actual human hair, so you should keep your expectations according to the craftsmanship and price level of the synthetic hair you purchase.
Do synthetic hair extensions ever look good?!