Step 2 Discover how the hair extensions are attachedFinding out about all the methods of hair extensions is probably the MOST important step. You should allow extra time to understand the methods and also the next step to select the best method for your hair situation.
There are literally at least 50 different hair extension methods available today. First we will discuss the basic ways that hair extensions are attached to your natural hair, then we will give you the list of the 27 different hair extension companies we researched for our E-book, Hair Extensions-The official consumers guide to getting hair extensions.
And just like the drug commercials we see on television, the side-effects of hair extensions are very real and you need to know what they are.
Important notice for all hair extension methods: Hair extensions can cause permanent damage to your natural hair. Every hair extension company out there today claims that their method does not cause damage and even more companies claim that the condition of your natural hair will be improved after wearing hair extensions.
Assuming that companies are honest and their claims are true, this leads me to believe that damage to the natural hair occurs when stylists do not attach or remove the hair extensions properly. Make sure your hair extension stylist has been trained properly for hair extension services!!! We will cover more about this in Step 5.
First, the hair that is used for hair extensions comes in wefts (hair that is attached together with a tiny little curtain at top, or in individual strands of hair. A strand of hair is considered 30 or more individual strands of hair. Hair can be human hair or synthetic hair.
Each strand of hair on our head has a cuticle, or layer if you will, that is going in a certain direction. All of the cuticles of the hair on your head are going in the same direction. So, when you talk about adding hair to your head, it is important to understand the cuticle and how it is important to the look and feel of your hair.
With human and synthetic hair, you get what you pay for. Quality hair is expensive!
There is good quality hair, and bad quality hair. Cuticle hair is the best hair available today and it is very expensive. Cuticle hair is cut off a donor's head and kept aligned in the exact way that it was when it was cut. This type of hair will give you the best results, less tangling and longer life.
Non cuticle hair is hair that is collected off of floors and the cuticles are not aligned. The hair is then given an acid-bath (similar to many perms right in a row) to remove all the cuticles in the hair. Then a silicone coating is added to the hair to give it a glossy silky feel. Non cuticle hair will lose its coating after several washes and the result will be serious tangles and snarls.
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There are many different origins of human hair. There is European hair, Indian hair, Asian hair, Russian hair, etc. The top quality hair is actually cut off of a women's head and sold specifically for hair extensions. Women grow out their hair and keep it healthy (no coloring/perming etc.) so that they can sell it. American hair is not typically used for hair extensions since most American women color, perm and highlight their hair leaving it unsuitable for use as hair extensions.
Synthetic hair can also be used. This hair is man-made and comes in different levels of quality. Price is usually a determining factor of quality. The more expensive, the more quality.
The basic ways to attach hair extensions are: bonding, fusion, weaving, braiding + sewn in, locs, links, tubes, braiding and tape.
Bonding: This is the quickest method. A bonding glue is applied onto the weft of the extension hair and then applied at the root of your hair. This is a temporary method.
Fusion: This is a process done strand by strand in small sections. Various types of adhesive based material is used to add the extension hair directly to your own hair. Many celebrities have this type of hair extension since it looks like the extension hair grew out of your own head.
Weaving: Corn rows or tracks are created around the head and close to the scalp. Extension hair, or wefts of hair are sewn on the tracks. Your own hair lays over the tracks for a natural look.
Braiding: Similar to weaving above, tiny braids are created close to the scalp and the extension hair is sewn directly into the braids.
Locs, Links: Tiny locs or links are used to hold the extension hair to strands of your natural hair
Tubes: Uses tiny little plastic tubes that 'shrink-wrapped' the extension hair into your own natural hair.
Tape: Various kinds of special tape can be used to attach hair extensions
Do you understand the different methods and types of hair for hair extensions? If so, then ...Continue to Step 3, selecting the hair extension company and finding a salon that offers the method you selected.