If you’ve ever envied a celebrity for their luscious, long locks and cursed your genetics for not blessing you with a fabulous mane, you’re not alone. Remember Beyoncé’s 711 clip where she dances around a hotel room flicking her mermaid-length hair from side to side? Well, not to diss the Queen, but we seriously doubt that glorious mop of hair is all her own.
In fact, most of Hollywood’s leading ladies get a lil’ help in the mane department, so rather than sit back and wait for your hair to grow, make like an A-lister and cheat your way to greater lengths.
The lowdown on hair extensions
First up, extensions require proper care and maintenance, so it’s good to know what you’re in for. There are tons of different textures, hues and application methods, so before taking the plunge, you’ll need to do some lengthy research. Also, extensions are a serious investment, and can cost well over the $500 mark… and that’s just the beginning! Do your homework, shop around and talk to the professionals to get the best price – and hair – available.
What kind of extensions should you choose?
If you haven’t had extensions before, you’re probably feeling a little overwhelmed right now. Don’t fret – we’re here to talk you through it. What’s best for your straighty-180 strands may not necessarily suit your wavy-haired BFF, so be sure to explore your options. While fusion and tape-in extensions work on just about any hair texture, weaves are best suited to those with curls.
The most temporary type of hair extensions, clip ins can be applied and removed within minutes.
- No need for a trip to the salon – they can be easily applied at home
- Relatively cheap
- Not permanent, so when you’ve had enough, you can just take them out
- Won’t damage your hair
- Generally made from low-quality, synthetic hair
- Cheap, so often don’t look as natural as other methods
- Have a tendency to fall out
- Since the clips are chunky, they can be difficult to wear with your hair in an updo
We recommend: WASP Hair Quik Extends Clip in Extensions, Lady Jayne’s Hair Extensions for volume and length, Models Prefer Professional Human Hair Extensions, Lady Jayne Hair Extensions, Dollie 100% Remy Human Hair Clip-in Extensions, Cleopatra Balayage Clip In Hair Extensions
With weaves, your natural hair is braided into cornrows, then extensions are sewn in with a needle and cotton. Ideal for women with medium to thick hair.
- Weaving ensures the extensions stay put
- Look fairly natural
- Come in a variety of lengths, colours and hair types, making them a great option for girls with wavy or curly hair.
- If the braid is too tight, it can put a strain on your scalp and cause scabbing or hair fall-out
- If the weft is too heavy, it can pull hair (thin-haired ladies – beware!)
- Usually made from artificial hair or low-quality human hair
We recommend: Dollie Weft Hair Extensions, Tantalising Hair Xtensions Micro Weave
Also known as fusion hair extensions, the strands are bonded to your natural hair with adhesive.
- Very discreet
- Most permanent method of hair extensions, and last for around six months (depending on natural hair growth)
- Easy to maintain, and can be treated in the same way as your natural hair
- Typically made with good-quality human hair
- Application can be quite painful, as the extension is glued close to the scalp. If it’s too tight, it can pull on your natural hair, risking damage
- Require 4+ hours for application
- Some fusion extensions use glue adhesives or polymers, which are petroleum-based and can cause thinning
We recommend: Show Pony Professional Stick Tip Hair Extensions, Great Lengths Synthesized Keratin Bond Hair Extensions, WASP Hair Flexibonds Glue in Extensions
To hold the extensions in place, double-sided tape is applied between two sections of your natural hair. A quick, easy and pain-free process, the tape extension lies flat and comfortably in your hair, and won’t damage your natural strands.
- Semi-permanent and last anywhere from 6-12 weeks
- Easy to maintain and can be washed and styled as normal
- Quick application, and simple to remove
- Generally made from synthetic or low-quality human hair
- Not all tape extensions have a clear adhesive strip, so there’s a chance they’ll be seen through your natural hair
- Less mobility than natural extensions
We recommend: Tantalizing Hair Xtensions Virgin Hair Tape Extensions, Show Pony Tape Hair Extensions, Greath Lengths APPS Tape Extensions
This process involves looping the hair extension through your natural hair and then clamping it using pliers and a metal bead.
- Can be easily moved up the hair shaft, meaning they’re a cost-effective option
- Last for around 12 months
- Relatively pain-free application
- Have a tendency to slip down the hair shaft, and as such, require frequent attention
- Typically made from low-quality hair that will need trimming
- Metal micro links are particularly damaging to your natural hair. When heat is applied, such as with a blow-dryer, the metal heat amplifies the hair inside the clamp and can cause breakage.
We recommend: WASP Hair Microlinks Microbead Extensions, Remy Hair Extensions Micro Bead Extensions, Cleopatra Hair Extensions Microbead Hair Extensions
Show some TLC
Much like your own hair, extensions need some love and attention. Be careful with wet hair, and try to dry your hair naturally, using your fingers to gently brush through any tangles. You want to avoid tugging, yanking or tangling the extensions while brushing, so hold your hair at the root, and start brushing from the tape, weave or bond. Before bed, pop your hair in a plait or braid to prevent matting.
Have you tried extensions before? Share your experience with us.