Hair extensions are the rage – everyone from Hollywood actresses to your next-door neighbor seems to be sporting them. Hair extensions add oomph to your natural mane – lending your hair extra length and a voluminous bounce. But is that enough to get you wanting to try them? What are their pros and cons, and how do you maintain hair extensions? Here’s a quick guide to them before you try them yourself.
Table of Contents:
- What Are Hair Extensions?
- What Types of Hair Extensions Are Available on the Market?
- Tape-in Extensions
- Are Hair Extensions Painful?
- Tips on Choosing the Best Hair Extensions for Your Hair
- How to Look After Your Hair Extensions
What Are Hair Extensions?
As the name suggests, hair extensions are locks of hair attached to your natural hair. They aim to provide length and volume to your existing mane.
What Types of Hair Extensions Are Available on the Market?
Hair extensions can either be natural – made of genuine locks of human hair, or artificial. Temporary extensions are perfect for a party or weekend. Semi-permanent extensions stay on in your hair for as long as six months. Semi-permanent hair extension solutions are listed below.
Tape-in extensions can last for anywhere between four and six weeks. They come in flat strips and so are quick to install. They are also reusable and perfect for almost every hair type. However, natural hair growth and shedding push down these extensions. So, they must be reapplied closer to the scalp when this happens. Reapplication can take time as they must be re-taped.
K-Tips (keratin tips) last for up to six months. The application process is time-consuming but completely worth it. A single tip is attached to a group of your natural hair using a heating tool to bond them together.
K-Tips are excellent for those who have oily hair. They are lightweight, comfortable, and customized to match the density of your hair. Unlike flat tape-in strips that make it hard to style your hair, K-Tips allow excellent 360-degree mobility for easy styling. Unlike tape-ins, K-tips are not reusable, but with proper maintenance, you won’t need hair extension installation more than twice a year.
I-Tips are very similar to K-Tips: they both require a strand-by-strand application. I-Tips don’t require heat adhesive.
Each extension has a copper-coated, color-matched bead at the tip. Your natural hair is woven through the bead, which is then crimped down to secure. I-Tips last ten months or more. Even better – the application is quick and easy, and the extensions are reusable.
Sew-ins last up to a year, depending on how well you care for your hair. They are a combination of I-tips and one or more wefts of extensions. I-tips are applied along the hairline, and wefts are sewn into the hair, just above the I-tips for full coverage.
Sew-ins are excellent for both thin and thick hair types. They will need to be repositioned every once in a while. Sew-ins can begin to smell musty from sweat, water, and even a wet towel. It is essential to blow dry your hair and remove any moisture if you use these hair extensions.
Are Hair Extensions Painful?
No, hair extensions are not painful. However, they are fitted tightly and snugly around your scalp, which could cause some discomfort for three to five days. If your hair feels tight and tugged, you can expect relief once the extensions settle down.
You might experience some tenderness on your scalp while sleeping, which is typical for the first couple of days. Sleeping on your side can help relieve that discomfort.
Tips on Choosing the Best Hair Extensions for Your Hair
- Choose extensions made of natural human hair rather than artificial hair. Natural hair extensions can be treated like your normal hair.
Before buying hair extensions, read everything about the product you intend to buy on the website – what the extensions are made of, how to take care of them, dos, and don’ts, helpful tips, etc.
- The more you pay for your extensions, the better the quality. If you are serious about getting fitted with hair extensions, always prefer quality to quantity.
How to Look After Your Hair Extensions
Hair extensions are expensive, but you can make them last longer with regular care.
Brush your hair every day – when you wake up and after you take them out. Use a paddle brush for straight extensions and a wide-toothed comb for curly extensions.
Wash your hair regularly – once a week is good enough. Over-shampooing and over-conditioning the roots of your natural hair could loosen the adhesive or keratin bonds. When you have extensions, you might notice your hair tends to get dry. That is because natural oils can’t travel down the hair shaft with the extensions in place.
Choose mild, sulfate-free, moisturizing, and hydrating shampoo and conditioner. WOW Skin Science Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo is free from harsh chemicals and formulated to nourish and hydrate dry hair. Moroccan Argan oil protects the hair, almond oil nourishes dry and damaged hair and boosts shine, and aloe vera helps with moisture retention.
Avoid using harsh products on your hair. You require very little or no product if you have straight or non-synthetic extensions. For wavy hair, a curling mousse or wave spray works fine. Curl-defining gels are great for big and kinky curls.
You can now sport long and lustrous hair with hair extensions daily. Choose hair extensions carefully. Finally, while hair extensions are safe and easy to use, they require some care to ensure they last long.
Explore the WOW website for more natural hair care products.
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