Written by Charlotte Wood (last updated September 13, 2021)
In today's world it's sometimes hard to find a woman (or even man) with his or her original hair—whether that is actual hair, color, and even length. If you're not satisfied with the length of your hair and you're okay with spending the sometimes exorbitant fees, you can get hair extensions and lengthen your hair artificially. How do you go about getting hair extensions, though, and what guidelines should you follow? There are a few things to keep in mind as you shop around for hair extensions and if you remember these few tips, it will make your hair extension experience easier.
There are a couple different types of hair extensions—bulk extensions and weft extensions. Weft extensions are tightly braided into your real hair and the rest of the hair piece hangs down with the rest of your real hair. Bulk extensions, on the other hand, can be made of human or synthetic hair and are typically used in braiding with weft extensions or as bonding material. If you're looking into long-term hair extensions, you're probably going to look at wefts.
Extensions come in an endless variety of colors and textures, just like real hair. The point of extensions is for them to look like your real hair so you want to find something that matches as perfectly as it can. The quality of the hair varies as well. You can have virgin hair, which only comes in bulk extensions, isn't processed or altered in any way, and comes from only one person. Remi hair, on the other hand, is more synthesized and doesn't easily tangle. Remi extensions are best for long-term purposes.
The extensions will be put on either with a braiding technique or with a special bonding glue, both of which you should be careful with. Remember, you're dealing with your head and your hair, so you want to make sure everything is as safe and secure as it can be. When you wash your extensions you can, for the most part, wash them as you would normally wash your hair. You might want to try a milder shampoo or even a wig shampoo if you're really concerned about your extensions.
When (inevitably) you want to remove your hair extensions, you need to either cut the thread that's braided in with your extensions (be careful not to cut your actual hair), or remove the bonding glue holding the extensions in. For some bonding techniques you'll need a special glue remover, but with others you can remove it with a special shampoo; you'll need to check with your technician on what method to use. You should never just pull the extensions out because that could produce not-so-exciting results.
Hair extensions can be exciting and fun, especially if you're looking for a change in your look. Just keep these simple guidelines in mind as your hair-extension shop and remember to not agree to anything you don't feel entirely comfortable with. Good luck!
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