Hair Extensions 101

Lauren Conrad Hair Extensions

Lauren Conrad Hair ExtensionsHair Now & Gone Tomorrow: Change Up Your Style With Hair Extensions

How is it that celebrities go from super short styles to glamorous long locks in a Hollywood minute? You guessed it: Hair Extensions! But the world of hair extensions can seem like a foreign language from “bonding” to “clip-in,” “synthetic” to “natural,” and the list goes on. Here’s a quick overview to introduce you to this exciting new world.

Hair extensions come in two basic categories: natural and synthetic. There are several different levels of quality when it comes to natural hair from virgin hair that’s never been chemically treated, to Remy, which has every strand organized in the same direction. Single drawn hair comes from one donor and can have variations in length, while double drawn hair is collected from multiple donors so that the strands have matching lengths.

There are several different options for applying extensions. These include low commitment clip-in extensions, microbead extensions that last two to six weeks, or fusion extensions that can last up to six months. There’s also glue-in and sew-in extensions.

clip in hair extensions

Clip-In Extensions

Want to hit the town with Kim Kardashian waves but wake up with your low maintenance bob? Then clip in extensions are the perfect match for your needs. With clip ins you can add a faux bang, longer locks, or pops of your favorite color, without any commitment. They are super easy to put in and remove, and you can reuse them any time you want to rock a different style. Not only are they easy to maintain, but are the most affordable option.

You can find the largest selection of clip-in extensions online. Make sure you’re getting 100% human hair so you can style them with your trusty flat iron without creating a melted mess (synthetic hair and heat don’t go well together). Also, with human hair, if the shade you order isn’t exact, you can bring your extensions to you hairstylist to create a hair color that matches flawlessly.

hair extension techniques

Microbead Extensions

If you want something more temporary than clip-in, but don’t want the commitment of fusion extensions, microbead extensions are a great alternative.

Microbead extensions involve the use of a small metal bead with silicone lining that are threaded through your natural hair and clamped with the bonded end of the extension. Microbead extensions can be installed by a trained stylist, or are available in your local beauty store. They cause little damage to your natural hair and can be removed easily.

Heat Fusion Extension Application

Fusion Extensions

If you’ve already experimented with clip-ins and microbeads and decided you’re ready to take the plunge, heat fusion and cold fusion techniques are longer term options for the die-hard extension fan. Heat fusion extensions are applied with an adhesive (wax, glue, or keratin) and a heat tool to attach the natural hair to the extension. While this is a longer term option, the heat fusion technique can be damaging on natural hair.

The cold fusion technique is a safer alternative, using an ultrasound device to create a bond. While cold fusion is effective and long lasting, it is one of the more expensive options for bonding.

Without a doubt, hair extensions are an awesome way to change up your look and make a statement. So why leave all the fun to the celebrities? Keep people guessing with your ever-changing hairstyle!

Hairstyle Blog contributing author Lindsay Hausch
Contributing author Lindsay Hausch has provided clients with professional cutting edge color and cutting techniques at exclusive Paul Mitchell and Bumble and Bumble Signature Salons for the past seven years. She co-founded Sedona Beauty Team, which represents a team of artists that offer luxury, on-location beauty services. She enjoys writing articles that share her expertise. You can follow Lindsay on Twitter and FaceBook.