You don’t need to be genetically blessed with fast-growing, full-bodied hair thanks to hair extensions.
Hair extensions are a great quick and fuss-free solution to add extra length and volume to your hair.
Whether you want long, waist length hair or just a little extra body and volume, there are plenty of types of extensions to choose from to suit your specific needs.
However, with so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide which style to opt for.
While they are a simple solution to long hair issues, there are a few things you need to consider before purchasing them.
The trick is to make it look as natural as possible without looking fake or obvious.
The last things you want are peeking clips, mismatched colours or uneven ends.
Instead, by choosing the right type of extensions that match your lifestyle and hair type as close as possible, your extensions can look as natural as possible by blending into your real hair.
So, before taking the plunge, we’re going to tell you exactly what to think about before purchasing them and how to maintain it so it lasts as long as possible.
No- one will even know that you’re wearing them.
What Are Hair Extensions?
The purpose of hair extensions is to add extra length and fullness to the hair.
If you are going through a frustrating in-between stage of waiting for your hair to grow out, extensions will bridge that gap without you having to wait for ages for the hair to grow to your desired length.
This will instantly transform your hair and let you transition effortlessly between different styles.
They are separate strands of real or synthetic hair that can be combined with your natural hair to give it more body and a more enhanced look.
They come in many different lengths, textures and colours.
However, hair extensions are best kept a secret and shouldn’t look like you are wearing them.
How to Know If You are Ready to Commit to and Invest in Hair Extensions
While you may be ready to make a dramatic change for your hair, hair extensions can require a lot of work and care.
So, you need to make sure that you can compel to the effort that comes with extensions to ensure they look their best and last as long as possible before making a commitment.
Make Sure It Fits Your Lifestyle
The best extensions are those that blend in with your lifestyle, as well as your hair.
For example, if you are an active person who likes to take part in activities such as swimming in which the chlorine could damage your extensions quicker, then it is best to invest in less permanent extension options.
However, if you are someone who likes to experiment with hair and colour it often or use heat tools regularly, then you also may be better off using a less permanent option that you can take in and out of your hair effortlessly.
As extensions can be quite pricey, these types of activities can cause them to become damaged much quicker.
Consider the Maintenance
To keep extensions looking natural, it needs to maintain its quality.
This depends on how well you maintain it.
When you leave the salon, your extensions will look flawless and natural, but it’s up to you to keep it looking this way.
So, a proper hair care regime that is tailored to your extension type is essential.
If you are the kind of person who just rolls out of bed in the morning and gathers all your hair together in a bun on top of your head, this will need to change.
Extensions can tangle easily, so you need to make sure you give them a little extra TLC and brush it properly to remove any tangles so it lasts as long as possible.
What Types of Hair Extensions Are There?
The right type of extensions will blend seamlessly with your natural hair type.
Knowing the difference between different types of hair extensions can make it easier for you to choose the most natural one for you.
This will determine how natural they look.
So, consider picking a method and style that will work on how you treat your hair.
Hair extensions can be made up of synthetic materials, or real human hair.
However, the price and quality of both will vary greatly based on the type of hair you choose.
Synthetic hair extensions are made out of soft plastic fibres, making it much more fragile and lower quality than human hair.
Because it is made of this material, the strands have an unnatural shine, which means that they can look fake and are cannot be dyed or styled with heat appliances.
They can also get tangled much more easily than human hair extensions.
Due to its short life-span and lower quality, it is a cheaper alternative if you only plan to wear it once in a while.
But if you take great care of it, these extensions can last around four to five months.
However, when going for the natural look, it is best to avoid going to synthetic extensions.
Human Hair Extensions
Nothing replicates the look and feel of human hair like real human hair.
As it is significantly more durable than synthetic extensions, it can be styled and treated in the same way as you would your own hair.
While they are more expensive, extensions made of human hair are the highest quality of extensions available.
So, it lasts much longer than synthetic extensions and there is an elimination of additional maintenance requirements as it only needs to be looked after to the same extent as your existing hair.
When attempting to get the most natural look possible, human hair extensions are the way forward.
What Type of Extension Application Should You Go for?
After choosing the right time of extensions for your hair type and lifestyle, you will need to decide how you want them to be applied.
There are a few different ways that hair extensions can be combined with your real hair.
However, the best application method for you should be determined on your hair type and how long you want the extensions to stay in your hair.
Tape-in extensions are applied using single or double-sided tape which is taped to the hair by sandwiching the hair and extensions together.
The tapes are super-lightweight and stick flat to the head.
This is perfect for those with fine or thin hair who want to add a little thickness and volume to the hair.
With good care, this type of extensions can last from six to eight weeks.
If you are looking for short-term extensions to use for a special occasion, then glue-in extensions are the best option for you.
This type of extensions is applied to the hair through applying glue to the track of the extensions, then attaching it to the hair.
If applied well, these glue-in extensions can last around four to eight weeks before they need to be taken out.
Sew-in extensions, also commonly known as a weave are particularly great for those who want to add a bit of fullness added to their hair.
The application process involves braiding the hair tightly to allow the extensions to have a place to be sewn into.
It is then sewn in using a threaded needle to secure the extensions into place with the real hair.
However, if your hair is on the thinner side, then this type of extension can weigh it down, therefore it may not be the best option for you.
Sew-in extensions should typically last from six to eight weeks with good care.
If you want to add dramatic length to your hair to take it from short to long, micro-ring extensions are the way to go.
Micro-ring or micro-bead extensions are attached using a metal ring in which your natural hairs are looped through the ring along with the extensions, which is then pulled up to the scalp to secure it into place.
This is a gentle application that is great for all hair types.
If you are looking for a more permanent option, then these extensions can last you from six to nine months.
If you are a commitment phobic but want to add a bit of length or volume, this is the option for you.
Clip-in extensions are a non-permanent and more cost-effective option which is great for occasion wear to enhance your look for a special event or occasion.
Clip-ins are hair-pieces with tiny combs that are attached to the root of the hair.
These are applied by being clipped into the hair and can be easily styled and removed just as easily after.
However, this option is best for those with thick hair as it is bulky and can weigh down thin hair.
High-quality clip-in extensions can last you anywhere from three to six months or even for a year or longer depending on how often you wear them and how well you treat them too.
How to Pick Hair Extensions Based on Your Hair Type
Consider Your Hair Color
Colour co-ordination is essential for natural-looking extensions.
The perfect colour-match will ensure that your extensions blend seamlessly into the hair.
If the colour of the extensions is even a little off, it will be extremely noticeable that hair extensions are in place.
However, to get the closest match possible, it is best to compare your hair colour to the extensions in natural lighting.
But, if your hair isn’t just one solid colour, don’t worry.
Many salons will offer dual or tri-blended hair extensions to ensure that it matches your hair seamlessly.
Consider Your Hair Texture
If you choose hair extensions that don’t match your hair type or texture, it won’t blend in with your real hair, so can appear unnatural.
So, try and one that is as close to your natural hair type as possible.
If you go to a hair salon, your hairdresser can help you choose the extensions that most suit your hair texture.
This will help you cut down on styling, which can damage extensions and won’t let them last as long.
Consider the Thickness of Your Hair
One thing to not forget when choosing extensions are the thickness of your natural hair.
Heavier hair extensions will suit those with thicker hair types without putting a strain on the hair.
This they are quite heavy, they can often lead the hair to breakage too, which can cause already thin hair to become even thinner.
However, lighter hair needs thinner extensions and think ones can look bulky and can even weight the hair down.
Consider the Length of Your Hair
As it is for most things, less is more when it comes to your extensions.
Before deciding what length of hair extensions to go for, you need to ensure that it blends in with your real hair.
As a general rule, the shorter your hair, the shorter the length of the extension should be in order to make it appear natural.
As tempting as it may be to g for Rapunzel long hair is it best to keep things short and sweet.
A full head of bulky extensions can make it obvious that you are wearing extensions.
So, the best thing to do is to go for a length that is a couple of inches longer that your natural hair.
While you may not think this is enough, the extra few inches will make a big difference to your hair and blend in much better.
How to Ensure that The Extensions Blend Naturally into the Hair
Trim Your Hair
Your current hair should match your extensions for it to look natural, this includes the ends of the hair.
Most new extensions will come with blunt, straight ends, so try and opt for a fresh new trim once the extension process is complete.
It is best to get a dry haircut once you have the extensions in your hair to help the two blends together perfectly.
This will reduce any disproportion of the extensions with your natural hair.
Wash it Before Wear
Most clip-in extensions will have an ultra-glossy finish to them when you first purchase them.
This shine can cause them to have an unnatural, plastic look that will give away the fact that you are wearing extensions.
So, the trick is to wash the extensions before wearing them to eliminate the shine.
All you need to do is use a gentle shampoo and conditioner to wash it and let it dry fully before putting it back on.
Curl Your Hair
Curly hair blends together better than straight hair.
This is because when the hair is curled, it naturally forms spirals and layers than blends your extensions and your real hair together to tuck it all away neatly.
Don’t forget to use a heat protectant spray on the hair before styling to ensure that the heat of the curler or straighter causes minimal damage to the hair to keep it lasting longer.
However, make sure you only do this if you have human hair extensions.
Styling synthetic extensions with a hot styling tool can damage it.
So, before committing to expensive extensions, pay a visit to your hair stylist who can give you more information on what type of extensions are best for you.