Often times when we see celebrities, we quickly notice how great their hair looks, and shortly after, ponder how we too can achieve a similar picture-perfect mane.
What we sometimes don’t realize though, is how unreal their hair can be. That perfectly-curled hair that reaches down to their back? Most likely not real. It may or may not come as a shock, but most celebrities have damaged hair, and need hair extensions to make their hair look the way that it does.
If you’ve never thought about hair extensions before, there are some great benefits to using them. For instance, they can make thin hair look fuller and more voluminous, and they can make short hair instantly longer. For anyone who has trouble growing their hair out, hair extensions can be a great solution to the constant battle of debating over whether or not hair has actually grown or not.
However, one thing to consider is that hair extension damage is a common issue, so it’s important to understand what you are getting yourself into before you take the plunge. For one, hair extensions are not cheap, and once you start using them, it can be hard to go back to the hair you had before you started using them.
We’re here to help you decide if hair extensions are right for you, and also guide you through what to do if your hair has already been damaged by extensions.
Let’s start with the basics…
Types of Hair Extensions
There are five main types of hair extensions, and it is usually a matter of preference combined with the type of hair you have that determines which hair extensions are right for you.
If you’ve never tried extensions before, clip in extensions might be a great way to dip your toe in the water. They are temporary extensions that you can put in and take out whenever you want, and you don’t have to have a professional put them in your hair. They’re also great if you’re on a budget, as most extensions can cost anywhere between $275 to $2,500! Clip in extensions on the other hand, are usually in the $50-$150 range. Even though we said you don’t need a professional to put in clip in extensions, if it’s your first time, it might benefit you to bring them to your hairstylist and have him or her cut them and show you how to apply for the first time. Then, when you’re ready to trade them in for new ones, you’ll already be a pro at clipping them in!
For more information and tips on how to get the most out of your clip in extensions, read Cosmopolitan’s article on, “10 Tips for Wearing Hair Extensions.”
Fusion hair extensions are on the other end of the spectrum from clip in extensions. They are one of the most popular methods of extensions, and also one of the more traditional. They are sometimes referred to as “hot fusion,” or “glue-in,” although not all hair professionals use glue to apply them. The extensions feature a keratin protein bond at the top, which is solid until melted with a hair extension tool. The hairstylist will then shape the melted keratin around the hair, and when it cools, the keratin hardens and creates a durable bond. This type of extension can last anywhere from three to six months and needs to be removed by a hair professional. It’s also a great hair extension method to use if you have fine or thin hair!
Another great option for someone who has fine or thin hair and wants extensions are micro link extensions. Micro link extensions are applied strand by strand to hair and contain a coating on the inside that helps the link grip the hair. The coating is perfect for thin hair because it makes sure the links do not slip once they’re attached to hair. A professional stylist needs to apply these extensions, and they will weave your real hair into each link, along with the fake hair. You will have to get these adjusted every six weeks or so to accommodate hair growth, so remember to take that into account when thinking about which hair extensions you want to get.
A hair weft, sometimes referred to as a hair curtain, is another type of hair extension. It is commonly known as a hair curtain because of the way that it looks. It is usually seen as long sections of hair glued to the scalp or attached in another manner, (for example, braiding). Most hair wefts cover a limited amount of area, so four to six wefts are usually needed to create a uniform appearance.
Tape in extensions are a relatively new method of extensions, and seem to be getting pretty positive reviews. You can be in and out of the salon in about an hour, and there’s no stress on the scalp because the tape lays flat and isn’t uncomfortable. They are also a good compromise in size between the large clip in extensions and the small micro link extensions. The one unfortunate piece is that these extensions aren’t ideal for high buns or ponytails because the tape has to go in horizontally, and therefore can usually be seen if you put your hair up high enough. They are known as the best way to prevent damaged hair from extensions though, so in the end they sound like a win-win to us.
Can Hair Extensions Damage Your Hair?
While hair extensions can be a major confidence booster, they can be damaging to the overall growth and health of your hair if not properly cared for.
One thing to avoid when getting hair extensions is making sure that the hair extensions aren’t heavier than your own hair. If the extensions are too heavy, they can cause your hair to break off. Hair extension damage can also happen when the extensions are attached too tightly. This combination of weight and strain on the hair follicles can cause the hair to fall out, which is officially known as traction alopecia. When hair is frequently pulled, either by braids, extensions, or very tight ponytails, the hair around the hairline begins to recede, and permanent hair damage can occur.
To prevent traction alopecia from occurring, it’s important to make regular trips to your salon when you have hair extensions in, so that the extensions can be removed and replaced as necessary. Even more crucial, is taking hair extensions out the moment you see they are causing damage to your hair.
Everything in moderation, right? There’s a right and wrong way to getting hair extensions, and as long as your hair stays healthy, hair extensions don’t have to be damaging to your hair in the long run.
Solutions for Damaged Hair
If you do find that getting hair extensions causes damage to your hair, there are different ways you can treat or hide the damage, so don’t worry!
If hair has broken off and is damaged around the front hairline, a great cover-up to use on any thinning areas is Toppik Hair Building Fibers. These Hair Fibers look like powder but are made of keratin protein, the same type of protein that is found in hair. The Hair Fibers will cling to existing hair and make hair appear fuller and thicker. To make sure the hairline looks natural, use the Toppik Spray Applicator along with the Toppik Hairline Optimizer to target the part line and create the most natural-looking front hairline.
If the hair extension damage is greater than just around the part line or hairline, try a hair concealer that can cover larger areas of hair loss. Toppik Colored Hair Thickener is available as a spray formula, and comes in five colors that match almost every hair color. Simply spray the formula where you would like to cover thinning hair or hair loss, and the area will blend in with your existing hair and cover the area of hair loss until you need to wash your hair. This is a great way to cover any damage while hair is growing back.
Remember to take care of your hair and watch for any signs of breakage or damage so that you can keep your hair healthy and beautiful while using extensions!
Have you ever tried hair extensions? Tell us if you’ve tried them before and what you did to keep your hair healthy in the comments section below.
Stay In the Know
Next week is November, and that means Movember has arrived! We’re giving you a chance to win free Hair Fibers for a year, so check back with us next week to see how you can participate and win!