Hair extensions have evolved into a popular style-defining hair accessory of both men and women around the globe. They can camouflage shorter hair, double up as a protective coating and allow easy transitioning between a variety of styles. It is okay to get confused amongst the large selection of hair extensions and so we have classified the whole list to assist you in making the right selection.
A. According To Material
1. Natural Hair
Natural hair extensions have the same texture, feel and even shade as that of your real hair. This makes it possible to get a natural hair extension perfectly blending in with your locks. They are more expensive than synthetic ones. Remy’s hair is the highest quality of natural hair which is very easy to maintain.
Longevity – Six months after which they need to be replaced.
- You can use normal hair care products on natural hair extensions and even use a blow dryer or curling iron without causing any damage.
- Can be dyed easily if you don’t like the shade of your natural hair extension.
- Might be prone to flat locks, frizz, and other problems common with natural hair.
- Has to be styled daily.
2. Synthetic Hair
Synthetic hair extensions might have a completely different shade than your original stands and may not match the texture perfectly. For making the most of these hair extensions, you need to limit your purchase to the topmost quality as the inferior ones feel brittle and difficult to care for. Styling synthetic extensions might seem very problematic as the application of heat causes them to get damaged.
Longevity – Two to three months if you care for them adequately like by using a soft-bristled brush.
- Unique construction allows wearing them right away without any styling needs.
- Does not fall flat and can retain curl, wave, and volume irrespective of the weather.
- Begin to fray and frizz after a few washes.
- Hair products for natural hair can’t be used for treating or washing synthetic hair extensions.
3. Natural Collagen Extensions
Here comes a healthier alternative to traditional hair extensions carrying all the attributes of real human hair. However, 100% natural collagen protein goes into its composition compared to the keratin protein composition of human hair. Such extensions have zero maintenance requirements and are not prone to breakage or tangling.
- Can be combed, styled, curled, and blown dry.
- Comes with a highly affordable price tag.
B. According To Construction
1. Strand by Strand
Each extension comprises between 20 to 40 strands which are attached to small sections of your hair. However, the attachment points might lead to discomfort for the time being. The strands tend to clump together and herein lies extensive maintenance requirements.
- Last pretty long following proper maintenance.
- They serve as the best choice for people with thick or coarse hair.
- Can blow a hole in your wallet.
- Takes a long time to be attached with natural hair or removed from the same.
2. Wefted Panels
You can apply the wefted panels in a variety of ways. However, they are not as long-lasting as strand-by-strand extensions but are preferred by people as they can be removed easily. While you can attach some of its varieties like clip-ins to your hair in a DIY manner, others require professional help. Wefted panels can be the perfect choice if you don’t wish to put expensive extensions while adding both volume and style to your hair during special events.
If you are searching for good hair extensions on a budget then the machine-made wefts can serve as advantageous options as they can be cut to your preferred length. You can exercise complete flexibility over the hair added so that you can customize your look accordingly.
- They are less expensive to buy as they are not hand-made.
- Have a sturdier and thicker composition which adds to its longevity.
- Might be difficult to be camouflaged as natural hair given their bulky nature especially when used on thin hair.
- They are infamous for shredding.
People having thinner hair can find their match in the hand-tied wefted panels which do not fall apart or shred quickly like the machine ones. The strands remain firmly attached to the weft which has to be sewn into the hair for preventing a messy look. Such hair extensions carry a natural flair making them easier to blend into your regular strands.
- They are handwoven which prevents the hair strands from falling out.
- The slimmer profile of the wefts makes them easier to hide.
- Hand-tied wefts cannot be cut and the long ends need to be folded over.
- They cannot be glued into the hair.
C. Injection Molded
Your search for a hair extension that blends in naturally ends with the injection-molded numbers. They can be securely attached to your strands without adding to the bulk and this makes it the ideal choice for people having thin hair who don’t want their extensions to look too obvious. These wefts can be reused by simply applying more glue or tape.
- Thinner and lightweight than peer wefts.
- Can add to the length of your hair instantly.
- Not ideal for building up too much volume.
- Can look unnatural if not applied correctly.
C. According To Attachment Method
- Glue-In or Tape-In
- Micro Links
- Blonded Hair Extension
- Cold Fusion Extension
- Hair halo Extension
- Clip-In Bangs
- Hair Blending Extensions
- Micro Ring Loop Extensions
- Hair Wig
Change up your hairstyle without visiting the salon with the clip-in hair extensions which are accompanied by a fabric or silicone base wherein the strands remain attached to a clip. The best thing about clip-in hair extensions is that they do not damage your strands or force you to commit to a particular style. Clip-in extensions are indistinguishable from your natural locks while adding both length and volume boost.
Longevity – 3 to 6 months following constant use although this number depends on your maintenance and the extension quality.
- Offers a large variety of shades to select from.
- Can be tried out easily at home without seeking out professional help.
- Has to be removed before bedtime.
- Quality is not at par with other types of hair extensions.
2. Glue-In or Tape-In
Just as the name suggests, this extension comes in small tapes having a width of around 4cm. Hair strands are sandwiched between two tapes following the application of glue. The glue or tape-in method is best for people with thin hair who don’t want to look too artificial. It is advisable to book a stylist’s appointment for getting the extensions perfectly aligned with your hair roots.
Longevity – Lasts for a month or two after which it calls for replacement.
- Does not require the application of heat while fixing the glue-in extensions.
- Carries a natural look making it difficult to distinguish the same from natural hair.
- Not compatible with most hair care products as it can cause the adhesive to slide off your hair.
- Requires regular maintenance as hair growth causes the tapes to go down with it.
The woven sew-in extensions are perfect for people with thicker hair. It requires your natural hair to be braided into cornrows for the correct attachment. Applying sew-in attachment is a very time-taking process and can cause discomfort to first-timers. You need to use protein-based shampoo and deep conditioning products to minimize hair damage and keep your strands healthy.
Longevity – It is advisable to replace them every six to eight weeks so that the natural growth of your hair doesn’t get inhibited.
- Resembles the look and feel of natural hair as they are sewn in to prevent fallouts.
- Super durable extension type which stays put over a prolonged time span.
- Hair tends to get damaged during the braiding process.
- Not suitable for people with thin hair.
4. Micro Links
Natural hair is looped through small beads with the attached extension which are next clamped shut using pliers. But it is advisable to get this type of extension done from a reputable salon as substandard beads can damage your hair. Micro links are a very expensive choice that requires individual strands to be attached. People having thicker hair are advised to opt for micro links since the beads might show through thinner locks.
Longevity – Can last up to a maximum of four months without repositioning.
- Prevents hair breakage while applying for the extensions especially if you opt for silicone-lined beads.
- Renders a natural look which has made it a popular choice of people around the globe.
- Takes between 2 to 4 hours for applying for this hair extension.
- Requires professional help for the application.
5. Blonde Hair Extension
Also known as fusion hair extensions, they use different types of adhesives to create a natural look. However, this type of extension can cause hair damage which is why it gets imperative to seek out professional help. Application of the blonded extensions can require about four hours wherein a machine resembling a hot glue gun is used by the stylist for gluing the extensions to single hair strands.
Longevity – This semi-permanent form of hair extension can sustain up to 4 months without repositioning. You should always offer a cooling period between two simultaneous applications so that your hair can restrengthen itself.
- Do not leave any trace of attachment as it joins smoothly with your hair.
- You can treat fusion hair extensions much like your real hair, and they generally hold up well when used with various hair products, shampoos, and conditioners.
- Carries a costly tag and cannot be reused.
- Can cause discomfort like itching or headache.
6. Cold Fusion Extension
Loops or an I-tip are used in the cold fusion method for being placed on your hair either via a nano or micro bed. While the former is best suited for thinner hair, the microbead can serve you well if you have thick locks. Once the extension is applied, you can easily tie your hair up in a high ponytail. This method is ideal for adding some vibrant highlights and spicing up your tress game.
Longevity – Has to be redone every 6-8 weeks.
- Fixing it doesn’t require heat which minimizes chances of damage.
- Allows the hair to move more naturally as it is done strand by strand.
- Very costly extension that cannot be reused.
- The use of clamping tools might lead to hair loss.
7. Hair halo Extension
This superior method of hair extension is specially designed to make your tresses appear longer and thicker. They are applied via a comfortable and invisible wire device that surrounds the crown of your head and remains hidden under the top layer of your hair. You can easily try out this application process in your home as it is easier than clip-ins.
- A beginner-friendly process that takes just a few minutes.
- You don’t need to worry about wefts, clips, tapes, or glue.
8. Clip-In Bangs
Changing your hairstyle becomes easy with the clip-in bangs which can serve as a great alternative if you don’t wish to cut your hair for creating bangs. It can have your back against possible cutting mistakes while transforming your hairstyle. You can avail of clip-in bangs in both natural and synthetic variants.
Longevity – Proper maintenance can make the clip-in bangs last for almost one year.
- Can be removed easily for creating a more sophisticated style.
- Clip-in bangs can be treated similarly to that of your hair.
9. Hair Blending Extensions
Hair blending extensions are made using superior natural hair making them a premium choice over peer options. They do not damage your scalp or hair during the process. On completion of blending, you can style your hair effortlessly. The best thing about these comfortable hair extensions is that they remain secure in place even when you participate in outdoor activities in windy weather conditions.
- Can cover hair thinning, balding and open scalp areas in a seamless manner.
- Comes in custom-blended hues which tend to enhance the natural hair color and complexion of a person.
10. Micro Ring Loop Extensions
This is another strand-by-strand method using I-tips which eases out the installation process. You can exercise complete control over the hair volume and density by regulating the number of strands you wish to put in. These rings can camouflage extensions and render a natural flowy movement to your hair.
Longevity – Over a few months.
- Perfect for adding color pops, highlights, and lowlights to your hair.
- A non-damaging and harmless method that doesn’t cause breakage, dryness, or shedding.
11. Hair Wig
Wigs have served as the most popular go-to option of people for years given their sheer versatility. If you are looking for an immediate hairstyle change, then the wigs can serve as the best choice. Wigs can address concerns of texture, thickness, length, and even color.
Longevity – Synthetic wigs last for around a few months whereas human hair wigs last longer.
- A wide variety of wigs make it easy to find one for accommodating different face shapes.
- Wigs can camouflage hair loss problems.
Taking the call of getting a hair extension is easy. The difficult part lies in choosing the right one. But our above discussion can surely guide you towards taking the right decision as you select a hair extension that can define your style in the right manner.