You may have noticed that celebrities such as Vanessa Hudgens and Rihanna have cute short bobs one month and then super long, luscious locks the next. This isn’t down to a special diet or a magical fairy godmother, unless you class your hair technician as your fairy godmother, of which many of us do! Thanks to the many new extension techniques, achieving beautiful long and voluminous hair couldn’t be easier. However, everyone has to start from somewhere, and whether you’re thinking about investing in your first ever set of hair extensions, or you’re looking to find a new technique, entering the world of extensions can seem overwhelming. To help you understand a little more about what extensions are out there, and what to look out for when buying them, we have the ultimate hair extensions guide to make sure no one gets left behind!
The Ultimate Hair Extensions Guide
With fashion trends constantly changing, we know that one summer cute and curly short hair is perfect for festivals, and the next, long locks giving us beach babe vibes is the must-have. However, while your hair does grow overnight, it never feels as though the hair on your head grows as fast as the hair on your legs. Luckily, there is a simple solution to every girl’s hair problem, and that’s the marvellous creation of our best friend, hair extensions! Now, while you may be thinking, “hair is hair”, you couldn’t be more wrong when it comes to choosing the perfect hair extensions for you. Your hair type and what you wish to achieve with the extensions, will determine the method that you go for. Here are a few questions that we’ll be answering to turn you into a hair extension pro:
- How Can Extensions Help?
- Human or Synthetic?
- What Type Of Extensions Should I Buy?
- How Do I Choose The Right Colour?
- How Much Hair Do I Need?
There are many different reasons as to why someone may want to get extensions, and it’s not always to get those few extra inches on the ends of our hair. Whether you’re having hair cut regret, or have damaged your hair in the past causing it to feel as though it grows a centimetre a month, hair extensions can give you a boost of confidence while helping to replenish your natural hair. The great thing about hair extensions is that they now come with various techniques available, making them suitable for pretty much anyone. Gone are the days where thin-haired girls worry about extensions pulling on the hair or feeling as though their extension clips are on full show.
There are two main reasons for getting hair extensions; the first being for length, and the second being for volume. Many women with short bobs will also invest in hair extensions to give them that added texture and a little more bounce, so they’re not just for those that envy Rapunzel’s hair. Extensions can also help with balding, by adding thickness to the natural hair to cover any thinning areas. However, the look in which you are trying to achieve will determine the hair extension type that you will use. There are many different types of extensions now available, some being better for thin hair due to their lightweight formation, and others being better for applying half or full head of extensions. Take a look below for more information about the different types of extensions, and when they are best used.
The question as to whether to buy synthetic hair extensions or human hair extensions is extremely common in the hair world, and is something that you need to seriously consider when investing in your luscious locks. While synthetic hair is cheaper to buy, it can prove to be difficult to maintain and style. The reason for this, is because you are unable to apply any heat to the hair, nor are you able to use the same hair products for cleaning the extensions as you would with your natural hair. Below is a full list of the pros and cons of buying synthetic hair:
|Cheaper to buy||Hard to style|
|Good as a temporary solution||Can look cheap|
|They often come ready to put in||Difficult to match to your natural hair|
|Multiple colours to choose from||Unable to colour the hair|
|They often have a fake shine which can look plasticky|
The biggest, and probably only con of purchasing human hair, is that it can prove to be a little more expensive. The reason for this is because it is hard to source, and someone around the world has had to grow their hair for years to give you the locks you love. However, other than the price tag, there are an abundance of advantages to human hair, such as:
- Looks natural
- You can style it along with your natural hair
- Easy to maintain
- Can be dyed to match your natural hair or the colour of your choice
- Can be left in for a more permanent look
- Always good quality
- Can last up to a year or longer before replacement is needed if well maintained
You can find out more about the advantages and disadvantages of both hair stypes on Hairfinder.com, along with advice on how to tell the difference when buying.
Now comes one of the hardest parts of picking out your hair extensions; the type of extension that is best suited to you. As mentioned previously, there are now many techniques that can be used to help you achieve your look without causing damage to your hair. Whether you are looking for a method that suits your hair type, or have no idea where to start, here is some advice on the types of hair extensions that you can opt for, and which one you should choose based on your hair type:
- Clip-In Hair Extensions
- Tape-In Hair Extensions
- LA Weave Hair Extensions
- Micro/Nano Ring Hair Extensions
Suitable For: Thin hair
If you’re looking for an option that allows you to remove your hair extensions before going to bed and apply them the next day, then the clip-in hair extensions are going to be your best friend. The extensions are applied by releasing the clip and sliding it in place onto your natural hair and then fastening the clips. While you can remove these every day, as long as you have purchased human hair clip in hair extensions, you can cut and colour the hair as you wish. This means that you can take your extensions to your favourite hair salon and ask them to dye the extensions along with your natural hair for the perfect match.
Being able to clip in and out the hair extensions isn’t the only advantage of clip-in hair extensions, as you can also style the hair when it is not on the head, making it easier to style before going to bed and clip them back in the next day. For more advice and guidance on how to use clip-in hair extensions, take a look at BuzzFeed’s handy guide!
Suitable For: Medium to thick hair
Tape hair extensions prove to be one of the quickest ways to achieve your luscious locks. The technique works by placing thin tape wefts as close to the roots as possible in small sections, while using a sandwich technique to bond the extensions to the hair. Due to the method that is used during the process of attachment, the extensions are virtually impossible to see, making it easier to apply a full head of hair without being visible to the naked eye.
The bond makes it hard for the extensions to fall out without it damaging your natural hair when attached or removed, making it ideal for those that want to grow their natural locks a little longer. Not only can you style your locks how you would normally, you can also go swimming with them attached, allowing you to go on as normal with your new head of hair. However, because the method requires the extensions to be placed in sections of the hair, it makes it more suited to those with medium to thick hair, as the extensions will look blotchy or congested in thin hair.
Suitable For: Most hair types
A relatively new way of adding in some texture to your locks, is to have an LA weave extensions. The first advantage of using the LA weave method, is that it is suitable for almost all hair types. As is the case for all hair extensions, you will need to discuss with a professional as to whether the LA weave is suitable for you. Conditions such as psoriasis, for example, can make the LA weave uncomfortable and cause further flair ups as the extensions are stitched to the hair.
An LA weave works by carefully being sewn into sections of your hair; this is a better method than the traditional weave as it does not require the hair to be braided beforehand, and therefore, minimises the risk of damage. After being sewn in place, the extensions are then secured with micro rings to ensure the extensions are secure on the head. While it may sound like a lot goes into the LA weave, when a professional completes the look, it can be extremely effective at mimicking your natural hair, making it hard to notice the extensions.
Nano Rings Suitable For: Fine to medium hair
Micro Rings Suitable For: Medium to thick hair
One of the most popular forms of semi-permanent hair extensions is to have micro ring or nano ring hair extensions. The techniques work exactly the same for both rings, only one is smaller than the other. The nano rings are around 90% smaller than micro ring hair extensions, making them ideal for fine hair as the ring itself along with the hair is light, minimising pulling on the roots. For both of these methods, the hair is secured by placing a small copper ring with silicone lining close to the root.
There are many benefits to micro and nano ring extensions, such as their simplicity when it comes to applying and removing the extensions. This makes maintenance a fairly straightforward task, and many people with hair extensions find that micro and nano rings last a lot longer. The hair can be used time and time again; you will only need a top-up every now and again if need be. For this reason, nano and micro ring extensions tend to be one of the cheapest ways to achieve your dream hair!
As you can probably tell just by typing in hair extension into google, there are hundreds of different colours and shades for you to choose from which can make it easy to find the perfect colour if you know how! One of the biggest mistakes that many newbies make, is to buy hair extensions of the colour that they wish to achieve, rather than their natural hair colour. The reason that this isn’t the best of ideas, is because it can make it considerably harder to match your hair to the colour of the extensions. The key to finding the perfect colour for your extensions is to match the hair to your natural locks. By doing so, if you wish to bleach or dye the extensions as well as your hair, then the colour should come out the same.
Another factor that you may want to consider when purchasing your hair extensions, is the colour that you wish to go once they have been applied. While this may not have an impact on purchasing the hair extensions, it can have an impact on whether or not you have the hair dyed after application. This will require you to book in for a longer hair appointment, so be sure to make your mind up before contacting your chosen hairstylist! If you are unsure about which colour will suit your skin tone, then Bustle has a really helpful guide to give you some advice and hair inspiration!
If you are new to hair extensions than you may be wondering what the answer is to this question, or you may not have even realised that this is an important question to ask. Depending on how thick you wish to have your hair, along with the extensions method that you wish to use, will determine how much hair you will need to purchase. For example, if you have thick hair and wish to create long locks, then you will only need about half a head of hair; this will be cheaper as you will only need to purchase one set of extensions. However, if you have thin hair and wish for thicker hair as well as long, then you may benefit from having a full head of extensions. If you are not qualified in hair extensions, then we would always advise that you speak to a specialist before purchasing any of Regal Envy’s products, as you will have a better understanding of how much you will need to purchase.
One Step Away From Your Dream Hair
Achieving your dream hair has just been made a whole lot easier with the range of methods used for hair extensions, as you can now easily find the perfect hair and technique to achieve the look that you desire. We hope that this guide has answered your questions and given you a helping hand in buying your very first set of hair extensions. As we have stressed throughout this guide, we would highly recommend that you seek the advice of a professional if you are still unsure about what to expect. Most hair salons that specialise in hair extensions will purchase their own hair, so it is important to speak to them about achieving your lock so that they can colour match perfectly to your natural hair.