All About Hair Extensions (With Pros And Cons Of Each Type) April 6, 2017

“Please, God! Please, give me long and luscious hair by the time I wake up tomorrow morning!” How many times have you made this same prayer before going to bed? Because I lost count a long time back. But here’s the thing – you can get beautiful long hair within a few hours without going through the trouble of growing it yourself. The answer? Hair extensions, of course!

Many women get swayed by the magical transformation that hair extensions promise. But there’s a dark side to this wondrous invention that is not often discussed. Yes, you heard me right. There are some serious cons that you need to be aware of before booking an appointment with your hairdresser.

But before we get into the pros and cons of hair extensions, let’s talk about what they actually are and what you must keep in mind before getting them.

What Are Hair Extensions?

Hair extensions are also known as hair integrations. They are used to add to the length and volume of one’s hair. They can be made of natural or synthetic hair. Virgin natural hair extensions are the best quality (and the most expensive, of course) as the cuticle of the natural hair is preserved and all the hair runs in one direction, giving it the most natural look. If you are tight on your budget, synthetic hair extensions are a cheaper option. Though they are not great for heat styling and tangle quite easily, synthetic extensions are good for anyone who wants a temporary change in style. They also do not require as much maintenance on your part as natural hair extensions do.

Reasons To Go For Hair Extensions

There can be various reasons for someone to go in for hair extensions.

  • Those who do not have good hair growth can go for these to add extra length to their hair
  • It can be used to get a new look like a fringe or a particular cut
  • Add some bounce to your regular hair
  • Add some color in your hair without using chemical colors

Things To Keep In Mind Before Getting Hair Extensions

If you are interested in adding a few strands of extra hair to your natural mane, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind before getting the procedure done.

  • Always get the hair extensions placed in your hair with the help of a professional stylist. Some of the extensions might look easy enough to do by yourself, but doing so can definitely harm your hair.
  • The extensions that you place in should not be too tight. If you are experiencing any sort of pain or discomfort, immediately talk to your hair stylist and get it rectified.
  • Always go for extensions that are of good quality, even though they might be more expensive. You don’t want accessories in your hair that can cause damage later.
  • Remember to take care of your natural hair. Hair that is damaged cannot bear much styling, even if it is only hair extensions. Oil your hair regularly, go for regular treatments and take good care of it.

Well, now that we’ve got all that out of the way, let’s look at the pros and cons of the different types of hair extension methods.

1. Tape-In Hair Extensions

Tape-In-Hair-Extensions

Image: Shutterstock

If you’re looking for hair extensions that can easily be put on in a couple of hours, tape-in extensions are what you need. These extensions come in wefts that could be anywhere between 1.5 and 8 inches long. Each weft comes with either double or single-sided polyurethane tape tabs cut to fit its size. Your hair is essentially sandwiched and stuck between these extensions.

How Long Does It Take To Attach?

60-90 mins

How Long Does It Stay In?

4-6 Weeks

Pros

  • With an application time of less than 90 minutes, this is the fastest method of applying hair extensions
  • Easy to apply as no heat or other tools are required
  • Minimal damage to hair as there’s no application of heat required
  • Reduces the strain on your head as the extensions are spread over a large area of your head
  • Lend a natural look to your tresses as they lay flat against your head
  • The extensions can be reused for 6-8 weeks after being removed with solvent and reapplied with the help of more double-sided tape

Cons

  • The adhesive on the tape needs to cure for 24-48 hours, so you cannot wash your hair or undertake any strenuous activities that can cause you to sweat
  • You cannot apply any silicone based product or oil to your hair as they may cause the extensions to slip down
  • Not recommended for swimmers for aforementioned reason
  • Hair cannot be comfortably tied up when these extensions are in

2. Micro Ring Hair Extensions

Micro-Ring-Hair-Extensions

Image: Shutterstock

Micro ring hair extensions come in the form of small bundles of hair that are looped through small sections of your natural hair. The extension is then secured by a metal bead clamped around it with the help of a pair of pliers. A more convenient version of these extensions are the micro loop extensions that come attached with a loop and bead beforehand. Hence, they do not require a loop tool for attachment.

How Long Does It Take To Attach?

4-5 hours

How Long Does It Stay In?

2-3 Months

Pros

  • Do not require heat or glue for attachment, hence reducing damage to hair
  • The extensions can be uncrimped and reused
  • You can slide the extensions up and down to adjust them the way you want
  • Blends seamlessly with your natural hair
  • Easy to wash

Cons

  • Not recommended for people with short or fine hair
  • Can cause discomfort and strain on your scalp
  • The clamping down of the extensions with the pliers can cause your natural hair to break
  • If not removed properly by a professional, it can damage your hair
  • Not possible to tie high ponytails

3. Weaving

Weaving

Image: Source

The weaving method of hair extension involves creating a horizontal cornrow in your hair then sewing your hair extension into it with the help of a needle and cotton thread. So the extensions are quite literally “woven” through your hair. Weaves are usually worn by African women because they have the kind of super thick hair that is needed to conceal the extensions from view.

How Long Does It Take To Attach?

2-4 hours

How Long Does It Stay In?

2-3 Months

Pros

  • Does not require heat or glue for application, thus reducing the damage to your hair
  • You can apply oil or silicone styling products to it
  • Ideal for thick hair
  • Can last for 2 to 3 months if maintained properly
  • No visible gaps, which makes it look super natural
  • Recommended for people with short hair
  • Adds tons of volume

Cons

  • Not recommended for anyone with fine hair
  • The tight braids can cause pain in your scalp and, in extreme cases, traction alopecia
  • The heavy extensions can weigh down and cause headaches
  • Require a lot of proper washing and maintenance
  • If not washed properly, your weave runs a risk of developing a bacterial infection…which is just gross
  • The presence of cornrows that need to be hidden limits your styling options
  • Need to be removed by a professional

4. Clip-In Hair Extensions

Clip-In-Hair-Extensions

Image: Shutterstock

Clip-in hair extensions are the best option for anyone who wants longer hair within minutes. They are wefts of hair that come with clips attached to them at the top. All you need to do is clip them on at the roots of your hair. They can range in 2 to 8 inches in size.

How Long Does It Take To Attach?

5-10 Minutes

How Long Does It Stay In?

You can put them on and remove them whenever you want.

Pros

  • Easy to apply
  • Freedom to put them on and remove them whenever you want
  • You can buy them in multiple colors and styles to change up your look on a regular basis

Cons

  • Cannot be left in for extended periods of time as the clips can cause your hair to break
  • Need to be removed before going to bed
  • Their cheaper price range means that the hair itself is of low quality and won’t last long

5. Hot Fusion Hair Extensions

Hot-Fusion-Hair-Extensions

Image: Shutterstock

Now, hot fusion is a method that is pretty involved and requires a well-trained professional. The procedure itself starts off with a keratin U-tip bond that is lined with silicone to be attached to the extension. The extension is then bonded to the root of your hair with the help of a heating tool. The silicone lining basically protects your hair from heat damage.

How Long Does It Take To Attach?

6-8 hours

How Long Does It Stay In?

4-6 Months

Pros

  • The most durable method because, with proper maintenance, the extensions can stay in for about 6 months
  • Since the keratin dries clear, you can’t really see where the extensions have been attached
  • Blends perfectly with your natural hair

Cons

  • With an application time of 6-8 hours, this process is tiresome
  • The heat application required for attachment can damage your hair
  • Not reusable
  • You may experience headache, discomfort, or itching for a few days after application
  • You need to find highly-trained professionals to get this done because if it is not done properly, you could cause serious damage to your hair

6. Cold Fusion Hair Extension

Cold-Fusion-Hair-Extension

Image: Instagram

Cold fusion hair extension is quite similar to the hot fusion method. The only difference is that it comes pre-tipped with a keratin based polymer that needs to be attached at the root of your hair. Though you need a special tool to do so, it does not require any heat application.

How Long Does It Take To Attach?

4-6 hours

How Long Does It Stay In?

2-3 Months

Pros

  • The no-heat element of this method reduces your chances of hair damage
  • Can be applied super close to the roots, making it blend really well with your natural hair
  • Recommended for fine hair

Cons

  • Takes a long time to put in
  • The clamping tool can cause hair breakage
  • The hair extensions are not reusable
  • You may experience headache or irritation for a few days after application

Phew! Who knew there were so many ways to attach hair extensions? Well, now that you’ve weighed all the pros and cons of the different ways to get hair extensions, I hope you’ll be able to make a well-informed choice! And don’t forget to comment below to let us know which method you would like to try out and which you would never in a million years.

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  • http://www.stylecraze.com/members/manjarisingh/ Manjari Singh

    Wow… Looks lovely