You don’t have to spend years patiently growing out your hair in order to get long, flowing locks. If you’re interested in lengthening or adding volume to your hair, extensions can be a great way to go. But how do you decide what kind of extensions to get when there are so many popular options?
Knowing how daunting it can be to choose hair extensions, Philip James has put together a guide to the five most popular types. They are:
- Fusion: a method that uses melted keratin protein bonds to attach extensions to strands of your natural hair
- Micro-link/Micro-cylinder: small beads are used to add hair strand by strand
- Braidless sew-in: a relatively new technique in which wefts of hair are attached to natural hair with thread
- Skin weft/Tape extensions: a method that uses thin polyurethane strips to attach wefts of extension hair
- Clip-in: extensions are attached with a small clip using this temporary technique
In order to decide which of those five types of extensions is best for your hair, you should first ask yourself a few questions.
What kind of hair do you have? Certain types of extensions just don’t work as well with certain types of hair. For example, extremely slick hair has trouble holding micro-link extensions in place and while fusion extensions work for most hair types, you should avoid this method if you have overly processed or damaged hair. If you’re unsure which method your hair is most suited for, talk to your hair stylist.
What kind of hair do you want to have? If you want to add length and volume to already thick hair, braidless sew-in extensions may be your best bet. However, if you want thinner hair to look fuller and slightly longer, skin weft extensions may better meet your needs.
Do you want longer lasting extensions, or special occasion extensions? If you want to leave your extensions in for months without worrying about them, you’ll want to choose fusion, micro-link, or braidless sew-in, as these all last 4 months with little maintenance. Skin weft extensions are good for 6-8 weeks, but hair can be reused. Clip-in extensions should never be worn for an extended period of time because they can damage your hair, so only choose this option if you just want to add length every now and then.
How much are you willing to spend? Since they’re the most temporary, clip-in extensions are also going to be your least expensive option. Skin weft, braidless sew-in, and microlink are all slightly more expensive, while fusion is most expensive. However, you should also think about value: how long each type of extensions will last and whether the hair can be reused.
Remember, an experienced hair stylist can give you recommendations for extensions if you’re still not sure what type is best for you. Your hair stylist should also be able to find a color that will blend nicely with your natural hair (try finding some for redheads – yikes!), add your extensions, and cut and style your hair so that your extensions look natural.
If you want to learn more about the different types of hair extensions without having to head down to your local salon, check out the infographic to the right from Philip James.