Hair extensions started being used in the 1980s, but because of poor results and high expense, were abandoned until about 5 years ago. Their popularity has been boosted by all the celebrities who now use them.
What are hair extensions?
Hair extensions are hairpieces that can be attached to your natural hair or scalp; they enhance the thickness of your hair or the length. There are several kinds, but the most popular ones are
· Strands, small clusters of about 30 pieces of hair
· Wefts, slightly larger curtains of hair, joined at the top and free flowing at the ends. The best wefts are hand-made, not machine-made.
· Braids and dreadlocks, which are pre-wound.
Some are synthetic and some are made of human hair. The natural hair of Caucasians is different from that of Asians or Afro-Caribbeans and you should choose an extension that will match your own hair.
They come in many varieties and can be pre-colored, pre-highlighted or pre-permed with curls or a body wave. Depending on how it was attached, you may need to have your hair extension Inverell re-done after 6 or 8 weeks, or it might last up to 4 months. Re-attaching will always be periodically necessary because our natural hair continues to grow, the bonding agent becomes loose, life happens, and you’ll need to re-adjust and refresh your hair’s appearance.
How are hair extensions attached?
· Strands are woven, glued, or clipped to your natural hair. If they’re clipped, you can take them off easily any time. If they’re glued, various bonding agents may be used and care must be taken to protect your scalp and natural hair.
· For wefts, your stylist will make a small corn row or weave in your natural hair, and sew the weft to this weave. This method uses no chemicals.
· Braids are usually woven in with your own hair and again no chemicals are used.
The Rise and Fall of the Hair Extension
The quality of hair that you receive within a set of extensions will play a major part in the difference between a good and a bad set of hair extensions.
We all know just how popular extensions have become throughout the world and, with the demand for them getting more and more everyday, the extension market is becoming very saturated, rapidly.
More and more manufacturers are skimping on quality, as the price of natural human hair rises. With new competitors appearing throughout the market everyday, all retailers are feeling the pressure to perform.
As with anything, the price that you pay for your extensions will generally reflect in the quality of product that you receive, however the extension market is renowned for being a highly unregulated, so this cannot be taken as gospel.
This series of articles is designed to educate you as a consumer, so you can make an informed decision about the type of hair extensions that will choose to transform your look.
Origins have nothing more to do with the quality of extensions that you will receive other than the texture; however this still plays an important part in how our hair extensions look. We must also understand that companies will sometimes treat the hair using chemicals to change the texture, which can also affect the quality.
Everybody's natural hair texture is different and, although not imperative, it is a good idea to look at the type of extension origin in relation to the texture of your natural hair, before buying.
Lets look firstly at probably the cheapest and most readily available; Chinese hair. This has a very coarse/ thick texture and comes in dark colours, mainly black. With Chinese hair you have much more chance of it being put through a chemical process; manufacturers know that extensions are very popular for people with that of Caucasian hair so they will strip down the cuticle to make the hair resemble this texture.
Next we have to remember that with Chinese hair, any extension colour other than black, will have to go through some kind of colour stripping process to reach its desired colour. This normally means some kind bleach product will be used, so again, especially with the lighter colours quality will be affected.
It has such a coarse texture, it is not well matched to the majority of Caucasian types of hair. It is personal preference as to whether you are happy wearing this hair. To give you an example; my hair is quite fine with lots of layers and, as I prefer a thicker, coarser look and my hair extension stylist is very good at blending I do not see much of a problem using Chinese Extensions. I reiterate that personal preference is key!
So then we move up the scale to Indian hair. Texture wise this is a much similar texture to Caucasian hair but will still have the same issues colouring wise as naturally it is found in very dark colours and blacks.
Indian Temple hair is hair that is sacrificed in temples throughout India. It can be seen as a very good type of hair to use as long as it is not over processed. Good Indian Temple Hair will cost a bit more to buy, but will be worth the investment.
Then we move on to European hair. This can mean it is collected from countries within the EU; a massive area with a lot of countries in it. However not many where people cut their hair off and sell it! Consequently we are narrowing down the availability already. Again texture wise this is much more suited to Caucasian hair, however you will find that countries where hair is available from for example Spain will also be in the majority of dark colours. We need to also bear in mind that companies will label their extensions as e.g. 'Spanish Hair' when actually the hair has been sourced from China, but processed in Spain, giving its apparent 'Spanish' origin!
Russian Hair is another origin of hair where supply is extremely limited and consequently cost is high. This is because a lot of time and money has to be spent travelling through isolated Russian villages finding hair donors. Russian hair is classed as the finest best quality hair suited to Caucasian hair that money can buy. Please note the last section of this sentence; this is hair is from one of the most expensive origins. Russian hair comes in a variety of natural colours meaning the need for dying and bleaching is limited if not non existent. It is also renown for being soft and silky to touch therefore doesn't really need any processing so there are no problems with drying or matting after washing.
Again we must watch for these companies that will use only a percentage of Russian Hair in their extensions and sell as Russian hair and companies claiming their hair is Russian, when actually it has just been processed in Russia and nothing else.
So, to conclude, the second statement in our Hair Extension Article Series; What Do You Know About Hair Quality? Chapter 2 is; 'The texture best suited to Caucasian Hair, regarding hair origin is Russian Hair. This hair is very expensive and hard to find. Buy using a good hair Extensions Technician, we can use blending techniques to disguise the texture of other coarser hairs e.g. Chinese. Textures and Hair Origins are all to do with personal preference and must be analysed carefully. '
Please read my other Articles within the Hair Extension Article Series; What Do You Know About Hair Quality? To start piecing together the whole story about what to look for in Hair Extension Qualities.
Inverell Hair Extension Salons – A Guide
Hair extensions are a great way to add length and volume to your hair. You can find extensions in different colors and styles. Make sure that when you purchase extensions that they are of high quality, so that they will last and have a natural look.
What are the Different Types of Hair Extensions?
There are several basic types of hair extensions, including clip-in, micro-ring or loop, fusion bonding, sewn-in or tracking, and bonding and sealing extensions. The clip-in extensions are the easiest to apply, but they do not last as long as others and if not placed properly, they can come loose. The micro-ring or loop extensions do not damage hair, but for people with short hair, they are not recommended because they can be visible. Fusion bonding extensions last longer than some other methods, but they can cause damage and should be done by a professional. Sewn-in or tracking extensions are the longest lasting and most natural looking of the different types. These should be applied by a professional.
There are also bonding and sealing extensions that are very natural looking, and they are the sturdiest of the different types of hair extensions and almost invisible. They do take a long time to apply, and they must be applied by a professional, using special tools.
How Do I Apply Clip-in Extensions?
Applying clip-in extensions is an easy and fast way to change your look for a special evening. For the best results, use quality 100-percent virgin Indian hair extensions, which are the most natural looking of the products available. The following easy-to-follow steps will help guide you through the application of clip-in extensions:
- Part your hair horizontally from under one ear over to the other ear.
- Start at the lowest point of the hairline part the hair where you wish to create a section.
- Clip the remaining hair firmly out of the way, so that you can add your extensions.
- Take the first weft, making sure that it is long enough and wide enough to fit along the back of the hairline and open all of the clips.
- Take the chosen weft and just below the part, carefully clip into place. Make sure that the clip snaps close on your hair and is secure. Repeat with the remaining clips.
- Release the hair you secured out of the way and make a new part. To do this, comb down a new layer about a half-inch from the original part. Each time, you need to secure the remaining hair out of the way so that you can easily clip in the extension.
- Repeat the process for all the extensions.
- Check for any gaps by running your hand along the extensions to make sure that they lie flat across your head. Make any necessary adjustments.
- When applying the side pieces, make sure that they are secure, frame your face and blend with your natural hair.
- To remove the wefts, gently unclip the sections and move up and away from your hair. Try not to pull, as this can lead to hair loss.
The clip-in hair extensions are a quick method of applying extensions that you can do yourself, but most other extensions require a qualified professional to get the most natural looking results and to limit any damage done to your hair. The key to correctly applying any extensions is to do so in a way that they are not noticeable and blend with your natural hair.
Hair Extension Salons - A Guide
What type of hair extensions should you get?
When you first start thinking of getting hair extensions, you may be very overwhelmed by all the different methods available today and how each one is designed for a particular type of hair. Researching all the different methods is very important and the quality of your research may directly relate to whether your hair extensions will be good or bad.
Below is a Letter to the Editor asking about specific hair extension methods for fine/thin hair.
Hello. I am interested in getting hair extensions, but I am a little concerned about what they can do to your hair. I am only a teen but i have thin/fine hair that is a little damaged from blow-drying and frequent use of the flat iron. I want to know if hair extensions could ruin my hair and if it is a bad idea to get them? I do not want cause any further damage or like permanently ruin my hair. Write back with any solutions or advice if possible. Thanks.
I am not a professional cosmetologist, so I cannot give you a professional opinion. However, I have done extensive research on hair extensions and I can share with you some information that I have learned.Human hair extensions are very heavy, and if attached to hair that is damaged, they can result in permanent hair loss. The extensions can pull out your natural hair because of the extra weight of the human hair and the damaged condition of your natural hair. Synthetic hair extensions weigh about 1/3 the weight of human hair and may be more suitable for your situation.You can do a stress test on your hair yourself to see how damaged it is. Take one strand of hair and pull it. If it comes out very easily, then your hair may not be suitable for extensions. If you have to pull it pretty hard, then your hair may be okay. There are several hair extension methods that have been developed specifically for fine and thin hair. You can research the methods at our Hair Extension Resource Center.If you really want to get hair extensions, perhaps the best place to start is schedule several hair extension consulations at different salons near you. Get different opinions about how damaged your hair really is and whether it could support hair extensions. See our free resources on preparing for the consultation at www.hrhairextensions.com