So you want longer hair but have recently had a bob cut? Well, never fear because hair extensions can be a fast track way to waist length tresses – with little to no fuss. If you are not comfortable with styling your hair or have someone who assists you, don’t worry because with the right hair extensions it can be like styling your own hair, just thicker and longer!
If in doubt, why not ask your hairdresser? As with all the hair techniques available, there is bound to be one that suits you. Check out just a few hair extension techniques below:
This technique is best done in a salon and you my need to revisit your hairdresser every month to make sure that major shedding has not occurred. The extension hair comes as a 100-strand lock of human hair secured at the top with a keratin protein polymer cap. In the salon, each cap is bonded to your own hair, near your scalp, with a heated tonglike tool. Depending on the length and thickness of your hair, you’ll need 50 to 100 pieces. This is a great technique for those with fine or thinning hair, but not recommended for damaged hair. To maintain this look, shampoo and condition your hair with silicone-free products – silicone can make extensions slip off – deep-condition the ends of your hair, but avoid getting conditioner on the bonds.
These extensions can tangle quite easily so brush them gently with a bristle brush.
Lasts: Up to Four months
This can be done at home or in a salon as all you need is the hair, a needle and thread.
This is a great technique for those with afro hair, including hair that has been relaxed. Your hairdresser will make several small, tight braids along your scalp, then uses a curved needle and cotton, nylon, or silk thread to secure a weft (a line of extensions that are machine-stitched at the top, like a curtain of hair) to the braid. A full head weave is a solution for someone who wants to completely change the texture or colour of their hair without damaging it. For a full weave, all of your hair is pulled into braids before the wefts are sewn on. A partial head weave must be carefully matched to your real hair to look convincing, as some of the hair is left out. To maintain the hair, shampoo and condition it every three weeks. Remember to be careful when washing the hair as this can cause loosening. When drying the hair, make sure that you are thorough to avoid scalp irritation and dampness.
Last: Three months – they should then be completely removed, washed and conditioned before being reattached.
Clip-in extensions range from a one-inch piece with one clip, to a weft that runs from ear to ear with three to five clips. They’re made with human or synthetic hair and come wavy or straight and in a wide range of shades. Clip them underneath the top layer of your hair to conceal the attachment. This is a great option for someone who wants longer or thicker hair temporarily. If you have very fine hair, be careful where you place the clips as they may show through. For thinner hair it is important to choose clips that match your hair colour and place them closer to the back of your head to keep them hidden.
Lasts: As long as you want them to. Clips can be removed as often as you like (but don’t shower or sleep with them in). Quality extensions can be reused forever. If you are quite handy or know someone who is, it may be cheaper to buy the hair and the clips separately and sew them on yourself.