Longing for long luscious locks but it isn’t in your genetic treasure chest or don’t want to wait for your hair to grow? No need to fret as hair extensions are the perfect solution for your hair thickening wants and needs. However, there are many different types of hair extensions, and it is important to keep in mind that not all types of hair extensions and installation methods are created equal or best for all hair types.

The same goes for the quality and type of hair used in a hair extension. For the best, natural and confidence-boosting look utilize hair extensions that are made from real human hair. The use of real human hair allows for better color matching, texture, styling and condition of the hair extensions. Be wary of synthetic hair extensions as it is artificial and not real hair meaning it is unreliable. You also cannot use hot styling tools to style your hair, unlike real human hair extensions. Many real human hair extensions can be easily styled and maintained with your natural hair.  

Be cautious of hair extensions that come from unknown sources. High-quality hair extensions will be ethically sourced. Commercial hair is commonly sourced from Russia, Ukraine, China, Peru and India. It should be obtained from verified distributors. While real human hair extensions will be more expensive compared to synthetic extensions it will be more durable and seamlessly blend with your natural hair.

Types of hair extensions

In order to choose the best hair extension for you, consider your natural hair type, lifestyle and budget.

Tape-in Hair Extensions

If you have thin, fine hair tape-in hair extensions may work best. Tape-in hair extensions are a weft of hair, a collection of hair strands sewn onto a thin cloth strip that is attached to your hair using double-sided or single-sided tape. The tape is a good solution for those with fine hair as it is less likely to be visible compared to other types of bulkier hair extensions. Tape-in hair extensions can be reused and applied in about one hour.

Sew-in Hair Extensions

Sew-in hair extensions are often used for those with coarse, curly or thick hair. Sew-in extensions are wefts of hair that are sewn into your braided hair with a needle and thread. No heat or glue is used to apply the hair extension, but you will have to return to the salon every four weeks or so to have the braids tightened to keep the sew-in hair extensions in place. On average it takes about three to four hours to apply sew-in hair extensions.

Hot Fusion Hair Extensions

Unlike tape-in or sew-in hair extensions, hot fusion hair extensions come in strands of hair. The fusion hair extension has a small keratin protein bond tip that is placed over a section of your natural hair and is then melted or attached to your natural hair. The small keratin tip is shaped and molded around the hair and then cooled to create a sealed, durable bond. The small bonds are connected strand by strand to your natural hair to help it blend with your natural hair. It can take up to six to eight hours to install hot fusion hair extensions and works best for those with coarse or medium to thick hair.

Cold Hair Infusion Extensions

Cold hair infusion extensions are similar to hot fusion hair extensions except no heat is used to apply them. The cold hair fusion extension is applied by pulling your natural hair through a small bead or lock and then attached with a tool. The application process can last four to six hours and is often recommended to be used in thick, coarse hair as the beads can be visible in those who have thin or fine hair.

Clip-in Hair Extensions

Clip-in hair extensions are more of a temporary fix best for those who are looking to add some thick, voluminous hair for a special occasion or event. Clip-in extensions are wefts of hair that fasten to your natural hair with pressure-sensitive clips and are suggested for those who have medium-density hair. Clip-in hair extensions can be applied in about ten minutes and allow you to decide if you want more permanent hair extensions for your hair thickening needs.

Note that hair extensions can be heavy and may stress or damage your natural hair. Take care to select hair extensions that match the density of your hair. Utilizing hair extensions with a similar density to your natural hair will allow it to blend naturally with your hair texture. Also prioritize the maintenance of your hair extensions as it will increase the longevity, quality of them and help avoid causing damage to your natural hair. Hair extensions should not be painful or cause discomfort. If you experience any irritation consult your hairstylist to evaluate your hair extensions and help adjust them properly.

To find the right hair extension for you consult an experienced, professional hairstylist who can help you match the type of hair extension with your natural hair’s color, density, texture, and length. During your initial consultation discuss your specific hair goals and what types of hair extensions and maintenance will be needed to achieve them. This will ensure your hair extensions will not damage your natural hair and will help blend your hair and hair extensions for a flawless natural hairstyle.