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, which many of us do! Thanks to the many new extension techniques from nano ring to stick tip hair extensions, 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 answer the question of: ‘What are the best hair extensions?’, and what to look out for when buying them, we have compiled the ultimate hair extensions guide to make sure no one gets left behind!
What Are The Best Hair Extensions: The Ultimate 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 are 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?
- How Much Are Hair Extensions?
- Do Hair Extensions Ruin Your Hair?
- How Long Do Hair Extensions Last?
- Human or Synthetic?
- What Type Of Extensions Should I Buy?
- How Do I Choose The Right Colour?
- Can You Dye Hair Extensions While In Your Head?
- How Much Hair Do I Need?
There are many reasons 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 a haircut regret or have damaged your hair in the past, causing it to feel as though it grows a centimetre a year, 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 when thin-haired girls worry about extensions pulling on their hair or feeling like their extension clips are on full show.
There are two main reasons for getting hair extensions; the first is for length, and the second is for volume. Many women with short bobs will also invest in hair extensions to add texture and a little more bounce, so they’re not just for those who 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 you are trying to achieve will determine the hair extension type you will use. Many different types of extensions are now available, some better for thin hair due to their lightweight formation and others better for applying half or full-head extensions. Take a look below for more information about the different types of extensions and when they are best used.
Hair extension prices significantly depend on the type of hair used, the length and thickness, the colour and the method of application that you choose. However, on average, human hair extensions can cost anywhere from £95 to £350 or more. Synthetic hair extensions tend to be less expensive because they are not made of real hair. For example, a half head, 16″ of Remy Human Hair extensions, would cost about £180, whereas a full head would be about £470.
Additionally, you should take into account the cost of the application and maintenance afterwards to get a more accurate estimation of the price. Our experts in hair extensions are always happy to take you through prices for your distinctive requirements and style preferences to give you a more accurate idea.
A common misconception is that hair extensions ruin natural hair and weaken the strands. However, this is a myth! The correct answer is that no, hair extensions will never damage or ruin your hair if they have been professionally fitted and are cared for well. With modern standards and more options available, hair extensions have been completely updated; while once they had a reputation for being damaging and properly designed, they are now designed to be seamless, comfortable and safe.
Always ensure to book with a reputable hairdresser who specialises in hair extensions and who will meticulously, safely and securely fit your new luscious locks. Also, make sure that you invest in our hair care products, such as our shampoo for hair extensions, conditioner for hair extensions and oil for hair extensions.
Take a look at our previous article for information on the best shampoo for hair extensions!
The longevity of your hair extensions largely depends on the type of hair extension you have gone for and how well you care for them. For example, tape-in extensions will last around 4 to 8 weeks, and if you take care of them extremely well, you may get the same extensions taped back in for a fresher look. Clip-in extensions last about 3 to 6 months, but as you are the one who clips in and takes out your extensions, their lifespan depends on how often you wear them and how well you care for them, whether they are in your hair or not.
Sew-in extensions are more permanent than others as they can’t be removed from your hair, but they still last about 6 to 8 weeks. It is recommended that the maximum time you should have a full set of tape-in extensions is about 4 months, as they can affect the growth of your natural hair. Microbeads also last about 3 to 4 months; however, it is important to treat these with extra caution and care with natural products, as they do not survive very long without meticulous care.
Always make sure you adhere to the necessary and proper steps to care for your hair extensions. Not following them can really affect the longevity and quality of your hair extensions, resulting in a duller look.
The question of whether to buy synthetic hair extensions or human hair extensions is extremely common in the hair world. It 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 that you cannot apply any heat to the hair, nor can you 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 more expensive. This is because it is hard to source, and someone has had to grow their hair for years to give you the locks you love. However, other than the price tag, advantages are abundant 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 types 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 best suited to you. As mentioned previously, many techniques 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:
- Tape-In Hair Extensions Pros And Cons
- LA Weave Hair Extensions Pros And Cons
- Pros And Cons Of Clip-In Hair Extensions
- Micro/Nano Ring Hair Extensions Pros And Cons
Suitable For: Medium to thick hair
Tape hair extensions are 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 used during the attachment process, 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 damaging your natural hair when attached or removed, making it ideal for those who want to grow their natural locks a little longer. Not only can you style your locks how you would normally, but you can also go swimming with them attached, allowing you to go on as usual with your new head of hair.
However, because the method requires the extensions to be placed in sections of the hair, it is more suited to those with medium to thick hair, as the extensions will look blotchy or congested in thin hair.
Here are some tape-in hair extensions pros and cons:
|Style how you like
|Not suitable for thin hair
|Quick installation and removal
|Can fall out if not fixed properly
|Thin wefts make them comfortable to wear
|Sometimes works out more expensive than other extension types
Suitable For: Most hair types
A relatively new way of adding texture to your locks is to have LA weave extensions. So, with this new way of adding volume, let’s look at some LA weave hair extensions pros and cons to see if they are right for you.
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 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 is carefully 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, minimising the risk of damage. After being sewn in place, the extensions are 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.
Suitable For: Thin hair
If you’re looking for an option to remove your hair extensions before going to bed and apply them the next day, then you may want to look at the pros and cons of clip-in hair extensions, as they could be your best friend. The extensions are applied by releasing the clip, sliding it in place onto your natural hair, and then fastening the clips. While you can remove these daily, as long as you have purchased human hair clip in hair extensions, you can cut and colour the hair as you wish. This means you can take your extensions to your favourite hair salon and ask them to dye them 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 Elle’s handy guide!
While slipping the extensions in and out of your hair can be ideal for those who like changing their look, these hair extension types are certainly not for those who like waking up 5 minutes before work with luscious hair all ready to go. Clip-ins take time to apply and adjust to the hair, and they can take some practice to put them in the right place so that the clips are not on show.
Nano Rings Suitable For: Fine to medium hair
Micro Rings Suitable For: Medium to thick hair
Last but not least, let’s take a look at micro ring hair extensions’ pros and cons and nano ring hair extensions’ pros and cons!
One of the most popular forms of semi-permanent hair extensions is 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 and hair are 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!
Luckily, the con of nano rings is that they can’t be used on thick hair, but micro rings can, so while you may not be able to use one type of extension, you will still be able to use the other. When having your extensions applied, you will be able to discuss with your extensionist which one is best for your hair type.
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, making it easy to find the perfect colour if you know how! One of the biggest mistakes many newbies make is buying hair extensions of the colour they wish to achieve rather than their natural hair colour. This isn’t the best of ideas 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.
The simple answer to the question is yes. If you have extensions in your hair and suddenly decide to go platinum blonde, you can achieve this with a colourist. We personally recommend that you book in to have your hair coloured by the same person who applied for your extensions, as they will be able to dye the hair without damaging the extensions and the bonds.
If you wish to dye your hair, but 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, you may be wondering what the answer is to this question, or you may not have even realised that this is an important question. Depending on how thick you wish to have your hair, along with the extension 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, you will only need about half a head of hair; this will be cheaper as you only need 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, we would always advise you to 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 look so that they can colour match perfectly to your natural hair.