So you want hair extensions, as you can do with a little help when it comes to length or thickness, but you are not sure whether you want something permanent or semi-permanent.
There are so many options when it comes to hair extensions, we thought we'd just break it down for you.
Permanent hair extensions are extensions that get attached to your own hair, as close as possible to the scalp, in a permanent way, so that you cannot remove it without professional assistance. As your hair grows (usually 1cm per month), the extensions move further away from the scalp, and would need to be re-attached by a qualified hair stylist specialising in permanent extensions.
You will find the following permanent extensions options:
1 Keratin / Protein Bonded Extensions (Glue ins):
Extensions which get attached to your own hair by applying heat to fuse and melt the keratin / protein (glue part) to your own hair. It takes up to 5 hours or more to attach, depending on the technician's skill.
This usually lasts 4 - 8 weeks as it grows out and would need to be removed or reapplied, if the hair is still in a good condition.
Pro: A natural finish, especially if you have highlights and lowlights, then you can match them up perfectly as you can purchase different colour pieces. You have fuller, thicker hair 24/7 as you cannot remove the extensions. It can look very natural if the technician is experienced, selects high quality hair, selects the correct thickness of each strand and selects the correct colour of bonding glue.
Con: There is a high risk of damage and irritation of the scalp due to the glue and heat so close to your scalp. You may have an allergic reaction to the glue. Applying the extensions has been said to be a very long and painful experience, as your own hair may get pulled. Also matting and tangling of your own hair with the extensions if not attached properly and correct after care has been taken. Regular visits to your stylist would become costly to maintain the extensions. It is known to be the most expensive type of extensions due to the preciseness and time frame of applying the extensions - it can cost anything between R 9 000 and R11 000. You would need to find a stylist who is an expert and has professional training in these types of extensions.
2 Micro Ring / Loop / Bead Extensions:
These extensions are attached by clamping a metal loop to small sections of your hair. The process usually takes about two to three hours, depending on the expertise of the technician.
The extensions can last 6 to 8 weeks and then you would need to have your stylist take them out carefully.
Pro: Longer, fuller hair 24/7. You can also match up your highlights and lowlights easily.
Con: Frequent visits to your salon to move the shafts up once your hair grows out or if they start slipping down. The friction of heat from compressing the metal micro rings can cause hair breakage, especially if you are prone to hair loss. More damage may occur if this technique is not done by a highly trained, professional technician. The clamps will show if you wish to wear a ponytail or bun or if they are not the same colour as your own hair.
3 Tape-in Extensions:
Extensions that come with a strip of medical adhesive tape at the top of each section which you stick to your own hair. It take less than an hour to apply, again, depending on the technician.
Can last up to 6 to 8 weeks. Oil is applied to your hair and combed through with a fine toothed comb to remove the tape ins. More oil is applied to your hair and combed through once all the adhesive glue is out.
Pro: Process of attaching the extensions is quicker compared to other permanent extensions. You can use the tape ins again if maintained properly while wearing them. Light weight and comfortable to wear, with a full effect 24/7.
Con: You could have an allergic reaction to the adhesive glue. If you have more finer hair, the glue strips can be visible. Not recommended for more oil prone hair or if your hair is shorter than 5cm. You would not be able to wear your hair in a ponytail or bun, as once the tape-ins are applied, you cannot move it yourself.
4 Clip-in Extensions:
Extensions that come with clips already attached to the wefts (pieces). You attach the wefts yourself without a technician needed as they are just clips that you simply clip onto your own hair.
Can last 3 months to a year, even longer if highly maintained with good products, masks and Argan Oil, as you can find, here.
Pro: It is super easy to attach and you don't need to visit salons frequently to apply or reapply. The price is much lower in comparison to permanent extensions as there is no cost to apply the extensions. You save time with only taking 5-10 minutes of clipping the wefts in. With only wearing them when you would like to, it prolongs the life span as they are not worn on a daily basis, not slept with, not over washed or over styled. You only wash your clipin extensions every 15 wears, unlike permanent extensions that get washed with your own hair. No hair damage to your own hair and no pain when applying it.
Con: You do not have your full, volumized, long hair 24/7, as you are not allowed to sleep with the extensions in. Although the chances are very slim, a clip may break if overused, which would result in you having to attach one of the spare clips you receive with your set.
Still not sure what you should get, or have any questions we have not yet answered above? Email us your queries or send us a picture of your hair outside in natural light for assistance in choosing the perfect shade and thickness - firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, if you are in Cape Town, give us a shout when you would like to pop in for a free demo and colour match.
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