Your Go-to Guide to Hair Extension Types and the Best for You
Stop dreaming about long hair, wear it!
Whether your hair is short or long, you probably have tried or wanted to try hair extensions. But between clip-ins, fusion, and micro-link it can be daunting at first to make your way through this world. That’s why we’ve created your ultimate guide to hair extension types to achieve the length of your dreams.
Human Hair Extensions vs. Synthetic Hair Extensions
The first big difference between hair extension types is if they’re made with human or synthetic hair. Human hair extensions are made from real hair from top to bottom, collected from a donor. There are two terms you should know when purchasing this hair extension type: natural and Remy hair. If the extensions are made of natural hair, it means the hair might have been processed or died. On the other hand, Remy hair is the highest quality and refers to healthy, virgin hair where the cuticle remains intact. Remy hair is carefully selected so that all the strands flow in the same direction and keep a silky texture.
Sometimes the term Remy hair is abused, so make sure you do your own research before you buy Remy hair extensions yourself. It might be useful to buy a sample first if the vendor offers the option. Synthetic hair is made of different synthetic fibers and contains no human hair instead. It’s the cheapest and most accessible option if you’re trying out hair extensions for the first time. One thing to watch out for is the use of silicones: they will make your extension shiny at first, but as they wear off, your strands will be more prone to tangle and look dull.
Hair Extension Types Explained
1. Clip-in Hair Extensions
Clip-ins are easy to use and you can quickly apply them at home. They’re wefts of hair with small combs that can be clipped to your natural hair, which vary in width to better blend in. These hair extension types are the least permanent and are perfect if you don’t want to commit to hair extensions or only want to wear them for a special occasion. They’re quite low maintenance as they can be washed after several wears and are very versatile for any hair type.
2. Tape-in Hair Extensions
Tape-ins get glued or taped into your hair by your hairstylist. They’re aligned to your natural roots and then the glue is heated to adhere to your hair. You’ll also need to have them removed at the salon with glue remover and reinstalled if you wish to. Among all hair extension types, tape-ins can damage your hair as they require heat to be installed. What’s more, they’re not recommended if you need lots of moisture for your scalp, as conditioners and shampoos can cause the tape to get loose or come off.
3. Halo Hair Extensions
If you’re looking for easy access to the hair extensions world, halo extensions are for you. They’re characterized by a single weft (single strands are sewn into a super thin cloth strip) and they’re applied like a “halo” to the crown of your hair. The thread is barely visible and requires a quick installation at the salon. As long as you take good care of your halo extensions, they can be worn for years.
4. Sewn-in/ Weaves
Next in our hair extension types guide are sewn-ins. These extensions are applied by braiding the hair into cornrows first, then using a needle and thread to sew the strand into the natural hair. Since they need to be anchored to your natural hair, sewn-ins are usually for people with thicker hair. The process is also quite long and can put a strain on your scalp, so doesn’t work on lighter hair. Nevertheless, weaves are one of the most popular hair extension types as they’re long-lasting and naturally blended into your hair.
5. Wigs and Hair Pieces
Hairpieces like wigs, buns, and ponytail clippings are a form of hair extensions. They let you play with your length without commitment and also are a great way to switch up your look in many fun ways. Similarly to the hair extension types we mentioned above, wigs and other hair pieces can come in human or synthetic hair, which will have an impact on their prices.
How To Care For Your Hair Extensions
Although they’re not technically your hair, hair extensions require as much love and care! Follow these tips and they will last long and strong.
- Brush frequently: brush your extensions daily and every time you take them out to avoid tangling. If you’re using straight extensions, choose a paddle brush, whereas if you wear your extensions curly use a wide-tooth comb.
- Wash your hair with the right products: keep washing your hair to keep your scalp and your strands healthy. Always go for products that are gentle and hydrating, even better if they’re sulfate-free, like Dove Hair Therapy Dry Scalp Care Moisturizing Shampoo which acts straight at the cellular level.
3. Sleep on silk or satin: if you’re going to bed with your extensions on, make sure you wrap them into a satin scarf or sleep on a silk pillowcase to prevent dryness. Don’t tie them up in a bun or topknot or you’ll wake up with a tangled mess.