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Should I Get Hair Extensions? | It Depends… Learn Why

Updated: Oct 9, 2023




  • Choosing the right type of hair extension can complement your hair type and lifestyle

  • Explore the trade-offs between long-lasting extensions and temporary

  • Make an informed investment that benefits both your look and well-being.


Have you ever considered hair extensions but weren't sure which type is best or if they're right for you?


With so many options for adding length and volume, weighing the pros and cons can be tricky.


This article will break down the most popular extension methods—clip-ins, tapes, sew-ins, and micro beads—and outline the benefits and drawbacks of each.


You'll learn hair health facts, get tips for choosing the best extensions for your locks, and find answers to frequently asked questions.


Ame Salon in Englewood NJ
Beautiful Extensions at Ame Salon

The 4 Types of Hair Extensions


Clip-in


Clip-in hair extensions provide a simple way to temporarily add length, volume, and highlights without committing to a permanent style change.


Individual wefts of natural or synthetic hair are clipped into your hair strands wherever you want extra fullness or pops of color that your natural locks can't provide alone.


The base of the wefts has several sturdy clip combs that you simply section your hair and snap into place.


Clip-ins can be applied yourself in minutes for a DIY hair transformation. They can be worn for a night out, a special occasion, or whenever you want to experiment with new styles.


Clip-ins offer versatility since you can add as many pieces as needed to achieve your desired look and remove them just as quickly. They are less damaging to your natural hair than semi-permanent options since they don't require glue, tapes, or heat bonding, which can stress your roots.


However, too many heavy wefts can feel uncomfortable with their weight. And if the texture doesn't perfectly match your hair, the extensions may not blend seamlessly.


Overall, clip-ins provide temporary hair enhancement with minimal commitment.

Clip-In Extensions

Pros

Cons

​Application

Quick and easy, DIY

Can require adjustments throughout wear

​Duration

Temporary, easy to put in and take out

Not suitable for long-term wear

Versatility

Great for adding length, body, and highlights

​May not blend well if textures don't match

Impact on Natural Hair

​Less damaging compared to permanent methods

Can feel heavy with multiple large wefts


Hair Extensions at Ame Salon, Englewood, NJ
Skilled stylist can apply tape-in extensions in as little as 30 to 60 minutes

Tape-in Hair Extensions


Tape-in hair extensions are a popular choice for those looking for a semi-permanent solution to add length and volume to their hair.


One of the standout features of tape-ins is the speed of application.


Unlike other methods that take several hours, a skilled stylist can apply tape-in extensions in as little as 30 to 60 minutes.


This makes them a convenient option for those with busy schedules.


The tapes used are usually made of a medical-grade adhesive, ensuring they stick well without causing damage when removed properly.


Another important aspect to consider is the maintenance of tape-in extensions. While they last 4-8 weeks, they require a bit of upkeep to keep them looking their best.


Avoiding oil-based hair products near the adhesive tapes is crucial, as oils can cause the tapes to slip.


Additionally, you'll need to visit your stylist for regular adjustments as your natural hair grows and the tapes move away from the scalp.


These adjustments are generally quicker and less expensive than the initial installation but are necessary to maintain your tape-ins.


Tape-In Extensions

Pros

Cons

Appearance

Natural look when colors are matched properly

​May not be ideal for fine or thinning hair

Duration

Can last up to 2 months with proper maintenance

Need to be redone every 6-8 weeks

Versatility

Lightweight and customizable for natural movement

Tapes can damage hair if not removed properly

Sewn-in Weaves


Sewn-in weaves offer a more permanent solution for those looking to change their hairstyle for an extended period.


One of the primary benefits of this method is its durability. Once installed, sewn-ins are quite secure and can withstand various forms of physical activity, making them a favorite among those who lead an active lifestyle.


However, it's essential to note that the installation process is labor-intensive and can take several hours.


This is because each weft of extension hair must be meticulously sewn into the braided rows of your natural hair, ensuring a snug and secure fit.


Maintenance for sewn-in weaves is also something to consider. While durable, they require regular upkeep to keep the extensions and natural hair in good condition.


It's advisable to schedule periodic check-ups with your stylist to tighten the weave as your natural hair grows.


Proper cleaning and moisturizing are also crucial, as neglecting these steps can lead to issues like matting or even bacterial growth.


Despite the maintenance involved, many find the natural look and versatility of styling options, such as updos and various curls, worth the effort.

Sewn-In Extensions

Pros

Cons

Appearance

Natural look, especially when layered or highlighted

Can feel heavy depending on the amount applied

Duration

Most durable, can last 2+ months

Time-intensive installation process

Versatility

Allows for versatile styling like updos

Risk of traction alopecia if braids are too tight

Volume and Thickness

Adds desired volume and thickness

More expensive than other methods


Micro Bead Extensions


Micro bead extensions offer a unique blend of longevity and less potential damage to your natural hair. These extensions use tiny metal beads to attach to your natural hair, eliminating the need for heat or glue.


This makes them a popular choice for those who are concerned about minimizing damage. They offer a semi-permanent solution lasting up to three months with proper care.


However, they do require regular maintenance appointments to move the beads up as your hair grows, ensuring the extensions remain secure and look natural.


Another advantage of micro bead extensions is the freedom they offer when it comes to styling.


Because the beads are tiny and the extensions are attached strand by strand, you can enjoy a wide range of hairstyles, from ponytails to braids, without worrying about exposing the attachment points.


However, the beads can sometimes be visible in fine or thin hair, so it's essential to consult with a professional to determine if this method is right for you.

Micro Bead Extensions

Pros

Cons

Application Method

No heat, glue, or chemicals

Professional installation required

Duration

Long-lasting, up to 3 months

Regular maintenance needed

Hair Health

Less damaging to natural hair

Not ideal for very fine or brittle hair

Styling Flexibility

Allows for natural hair movement and various styles

Beads may be visible in fine or thin hair


Ljupka Arsovska, master stylist hair extensions
Tape-in extensions are excellent choice for thick hair - Ljupka Arsovska, Master Stylist and Author

What Hair Extensions Are Best for You?


For Thick Hair


If you have thick hair, you're in a favorable position when choosing hair extensions. One of the best options for you is sewn-in weaves. These extensions are braided into your natural hair, providing a durable, long-lasting solution.


Sewn-ins are particularly effective for thick hair because the braids can handle the weight, and the extensions blend seamlessly with your natural locks.


Another excellent choice for thick hair is tape-in extensions. These are less permanent than sewn-ins but offer their own set of advantages. Tape-ins are quick to apply and provide a natural, flowing look.


They are lightweight so that they won't weigh down your thick hair. The best part is that they require less maintenance than other permanent methods, making them a convenient choice.


For Thin Hair


If you have thin or fine hair, the selection of suitable hair extensions narrows down, but good options are still available. Clip-in extensions are a fantastic choice for those looking for less commitment and minimal damage to their natural hair.


These extensions are easy to apply and remove, making them ideal for special occasions or short-term wear. They offer the versatility of changing your look without a long-term commitment.


Micro bead extensions are another viable option for thin hair. These extensions use small beads to attach the extension to your natural hair, eliminating the need for heat or glue. This method reduces the risk of damaging your already delicate strands.


Micro bead extensions offer a more permanent solution than clip-ins and provide a natural look that blends well with your hair. They are expensive but a worthwhile investment for those looking for long-lasting results.


Comparison Table for Hair Extensions Based on Hair Type

Hair Type

Best Extension Types

Pros

Cons

Thick Hair

Sewn-In Weaves

Long-lasting, Versatile, Natural look

Time-consuming, Expensive

Tape-In Extensions

Quick, Natural movement, Lightweight

Regular maintenance, Potential for hair damage

Thin Hair

Clip-In Extensions

Easy, Temporary, Less damaging

May slip, Short-term wear


So, Should I Get Hair Extensions?

After considering the various types of extensions and how they align with your hair type, the decision ultimately rests with you.


Hair extensions offer a transformative experience, allowing you to experiment with length, volume, and color. However, they also come with their own set of challenges, such as maintenance and cost.


Weighing the pros and cons is crucial. Clip-ins might be your best bet if you're looking for a temporary change for a special occasion.


Sewn-ins or microbeads could answer those seeking a more permanent transformation and willing to invest time and money.


The key is making an informed decision that aligns with your hair type and lifestyle.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Hair Extensions

Hair extensions can be a game-changer but have drawbacks. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages will help you make a more informed decision.


Before you take the plunge, it's essential to weigh the pros and cons. Hair extensions can offer you the mane of your dreams but also present challenges for which you should be prepared.

Are You Thinking About Getting Hair Extensions?

If you're contemplating getting hair extensions, you're likely excited about the possibilities but also cautious about the downsides. It's a significant commitment that requires careful consideration.

1. Disadvantage: Installation Can Be Difficult

One of the major drawbacks of certain types of hair extensions, like sewn-ins and micro beads, is the complexity of the installation process. These methods often require a professional touch, which can be time-consuming and costly. If you're not prepared for this commitment, it might be best to consider simpler options like clip-ins.

2. Disadvantage: Color Must Match

Another challenge you'll face is ensuring the color of the extensions matches your natural hair. A mismatch can make even the most expertly installed extensions look unnatural. It's often recommended to consult with a stylist to color-match accurately, which can add to the overall cost and time investment.

3. Advantage: If Done Right, They Look Real

One of the most compelling advantages of high-quality hair extensions is their ability to blend seamlessly with your natural hair. When installed and styled correctly, it's nearly impossible to tell you're wearing extensions. This allows you to change your look without the limitations of your natural hair length or volume.

4. Advantage: Increase Volume and Length

The most obvious benefit of hair extensions is the instant gratification they provide in terms of length and volume. If you've struggled with thin or slow-growing hair, extensions offer a quick and effective solution. You can achieve the lush, voluminous locks you've always dreamed of, often in just one salon visit.

Get Beautiful Hair Extensions

In conclusion, hair extensions can be a fantastic way to enhance your natural beauty, but they require a level of commitment in terms of maintenance and cost.


By understanding the advantages and disadvantages, you can make an informed decision that will help you achieve your hair goals.

Finding the Right Local Hair Extensions Salon

When it comes to getting the perfect set of hair extensions, the salon and stylist you choose can make all the difference. A quick online search for "hair extensions near me" or "hair salon near me" can yield numerous results, but digging deeper to find a salon specializing in extensions is crucial. Look for salons with experienced stylists with a portfolio showcasing their work with different extensions.


Reviewing reviews and asking for recommendations can also help you narrow your options. Don't hesitate to schedule consultations at a few places; this allows you to discuss your needs and expectations and gauge the stylist's expertise.


Another effective way to find a reputable salon is to use location-based search terms like "extensions near me" or "find local extensions salon." These searches can help you discover salons in your area that you might not have encountered otherwise.

Pay attention to the salon's cleanliness, the quality of the products they use, and the professionalism of the staff. Remember, a great stylist will install your extensions and educate you on maintaining them, ensuring you're satisfied with your new look for weeks to come.


Ljupka Arsovska posing for a photo
A one-on-one consultation with experienced stylist will help you determine the best extensions for your lifestyle.

Consult with a Professional Stylist

Before taking the plunge into the world of hair extensions, it's crucial to consult with a professional stylist.


A one-on-one consultation will allow the stylist to assess your hair type, texture, and overall health, helping you determine the best extensions for your lifestyle.


You'll also get a clearer financial commitment during the consultation.


The stylist can provide a detailed breakdown of the costs, including the price of the hair, labor for installation, and any additional treatments you may need.

Understanding the Price Points

Hair extensions come in various price points, influenced by factors such as the type of extensions, the quality of the hair, and the length and volume you desire.


Synthetic hair extensions are generally less expensive but offer less versatility in styling than natural human hair extensions, which come at a premium.


The attachment method also affects the overall cost; for example, sewn-in extensions usually require more labor and thus may be more expensive.


Always weigh these factors against your budget to make an informed decision.


Caring for Your Hair Extensions

Washing your extensions is a delicate process; use sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner to keep them from drying out or becoming damaged. Always brush your extensions gently with a soft-bristle brush, starting at the ends and working your way up to avoid tugging or pulling.


Styling your extensions also requires some care. While many natural hair extensions can be heat-styled, using a heat-protectant spray is advisable to minimize damage. Regarding bedtime, consider braiding your extensions or tying them in a loose ponytail to prevent tangling.


Ljupka Arsovska, owner of Ame Salon in Englewood
Keep your extensions away from chlorine in swimming pools and salt water
  • Use Sulfate-Free Products: Opt for sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner to maintain the integrity of the extensions.

  • Gentle Brushing: Use a soft-bristle brush and start from the ends, working your way up to avoid tugging or pulling.

  • Heat Styling Precautions: If using heat tools, always apply a heat protectant spray to minimize damage.

  • Avoid Chlorine and Salt Water: Keep your extensions away from chlorine in swimming pools and salt water, as they can cause the extensions to tangle and dry out.

  • Regular Maintenance: Schedule regular appointments with your stylist to tighten and check the extensions' condition.

  • Nighttime Care: Braid your extensions or tie them in a loose ponytail before bed to prevent tangling.

  • Deep Conditioning: Use a deep conditioning treatment once a week to keep the extensions hydrated.

  • Minimize Use of Hair Products: Avoid using too many styling products like hair sprays and gels, as they can build up and make the extensions greasy.

  • Proper Drying Techniques: After washing, gently pat the extensions dry with a towel and allow them to air dry. Avoid rubbing, as it can cause frizz and tangling.

  • Storage: If you're using clip-in extensions, store them in a cool, dry place, preferably laid flat to maintain their shape.


Frequently Asked Questions About Hair Extensions

1. How do hair extensions stay in your head?

Clip-in extensions have small clips that snap onto your natural hair. Tape-ins use a special adhesive tape to stick to your hair.


Sew-ins are braided into your natural hair and then sewn in, while micro beads are clamped onto your hair using small metal beads.


2. Can I wear hair extensions every day?

Yes, you can wear certain types of hair extensions daily, but it largely depends on the quality and type. Clip-ins and tape-ins are generally good for everyday use.


3. Can I swim or play sports with my hair extensions?

Swimming or playing sports with clip-in extensions is generally not recommended as they can slip.


However, sewn-in and micro bead extensions are more secure and can withstand physical activities better.


4. What are the most common methods of hair extension application?

The most common methods are clip-ins, tape-ins, sew-ins, and micro beads.


Clip-ins are the easiest to apply and remove, making them ideal for temporary use.


Tape-ins offer a more semi-permanent solution and are quick to apply.


Sew-ins are the most permanent and secure, while micro beads balance permanence and less damage to your natural hair.


5. Can I sleep wearing my hair extensions?

For clip-in extensions, removing them before sleeping is advised to prevent any potential damage to both the extensions and your natural hair.


For more permanent types like sew-ins and micro beads, you can sleep with them in, but it's recommended to tie your hair in a loose ponytail or braid to prevent tangling.



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