When looking through magazines, it's easy to see tha long hairstyles are back. If you have short hair now and you really want long hair,your going to have to be patient because it's going to take a long time. Human hair grows about a half inch per month, so if your hair is just around ear level, it would take you almost 2 years to grow it out properly. Who wants to wait that long? The beauty industry recognized this demand for instant long natural looking hair and started producing human hair extensions.
So where do you start if you are thinking of getting your first extensions? You have to look at the different types of hair used for extensions, the different types of attachment methods, maintenance schedules and of course the cost.
Hair extensions are made from human or synthetic hair. Synthetic hair is used to add the high fashion colors, such as pinks and blues. If your looking for something more natural and realistic, you should probably go with human hair. Human hair comes in many different textures and grades. It must be healthy and strong to produce extensions that will last and wear without tangling or drying. European human hair is well known as quality hair used for extensions.
There are three basic techniques used to attach extensions. They are fusion, weaving and bonding.
Fusion is a process done strand by strand in small sections using heated adhesive sticks or glue specifically made for hair extensions. Extensions are added directly to your own hair about a quarter inch from your scalp and looks totally natural. No one can visually see that you have hair extensions.
Weaving is where a corn row or track is created around the head and close to the scalp. Extension are sewn on the tracks. Your own hair lies over the tracks for a natural look.
Bonding is when glue is applied onto the weft of the extension and then applied at the root of your hair. A weft is horizontal hair strands attached together at the top of vertically flowing strands. Wefts can be machine made or handmade.
There are some disadvantages to each method. Sometimes if the hair extension application method is not done properly, the extensions will fall out or cause damage to your natural hair. Also, with additional pressure to your scalp from the weight of the heavy extensions, there could be some thinning of your natural hair and possibly headaches as you adapt to the new weight. There have been some reports of allergies with the chemicals that are used. You should discuss these issues thoroughly with your hair stylist so that there are no surprises.
After you have your hair extensions, you will need to schedule maintenance visits to check your extensions. How often you need to go back will depend on the type of hair and the method used. As your hair grows out, some of the extensions will need to be removed and replaced or touched up.
On a daily basis you should treat your human hair extensions as you would long hair. Brush, shampoo and condition your hair as normal. Some stylists will recommend specific high quality hair care products to use with your extensions. You can also use hair dryers, curling irons and flat irons on most types of human hair extensions. Color treatments can be done on the hair extensions, but you should consult with your stylist before considering this.
One downside to hair extensions is that they can be really expensive. To get good hair extensions on your whole head, you will need quality human hair, an experienced stylist with at least one assistant and about 6-8 hours of time. The price can range from $150-$2000 depending on what you are having done. If you just want to spruce up that old hairstyle and not spend a bundle, you could try just adding a few highlights or lowlight hair extensions which would cost less.