Find an easy and damage free way to fake it until you make it!
It’s no big secret that black women are the biggest consumers of hair products in general and hair extensions are no exception! People have wildly different opinions on wearing fake hair but either way, extensions are definitely here to stay!
There are a variety of techniques to attach extensions to the hair, each with its own drawbacks.
Here are a few of the most popular ones:
Cornrow Weave – Cornrows are made with your own hair as a base for ‘tracks’ or extension hair to be sewed on. There are a few drawbacks with this method of extension. First, if all your hair is braided underneath the weave, the hair will not usually get the best level of care. It becomes quite difficult to get the hair moisturized daily or washed and conditioned properly. Secondly, if some hair is left out around the hairline to cover the tracks, constant flat ironing of the hair so it can blend with the weave leads to serious breakage. There is also the potential of breakage when the weave is being taken out if not done carefully by a professional. A cornrow weave can take up to 3 hours to install.
Braiding extensions – Extension hair is added to the natural hair at the root then braided. Very small sections create micro braids and larger sections regular braids. This style will last from 2-3 months. With any braided style, there is potential for a thinning hairline if the braids are attached too close to the hairline (baby hairs) or they are too tight. The potential for serious breakage is also evident in removing the braids if they are yanked off or the hair has build up at the roots and its is not detangled carefully. Braids can take anywhere from 2-8 hours to install depending on the size and length.
Fusion (strand by strand) – Extensions are added to small sections of the hair close to the root. They are attached with the help of an adhesive in a glue gun. Naturally the potential for breakage with this method is immense. Even with the adhesive dissolvers, hair is very likely to break or be pulled out at the root when removing them. Only a professional should add or remove these from the hair. This method can take from 2-8 hours to install depending on the amount required i.e. full head, half head etc
Bonding – This is a temporary and easy method of adding extensions. Glue is applied to the weft then applied near the root of the natural hair. Natural hair is then used to cover the weft. Some women will neglect hair care with bonded extensions as washing with them in will make the glue a bit sticky and loosen them. Naturally, this will lead to weaker hair in the long run. Also, as with any glue based extension method, breakage is very likely during removal of the extensions and as such should only be attempted by a professional. Bonding extensions take 1-2 hours to install depending on the volume required.
Clip-ins – These are by far the easiest and safest method of applying extensions to the hair. Clips are sewn onto the weft of human hair extensions* and are then applied to the hair close to the root by snapping the clip into place. To remove, the clips are opened and wefts taken off. There is no damage to the hair. It is advisable but not necessary to remove them daily before bedtime to keep the extensions* in good condition. Alternatively, they may be left on the head, wrapped and tied with a satin scarf overnight to preserve the style. The extensions* should be removed to wash and deep condition the hair as usual. The extensions can also be washed separately. Clip-in extensions do not damage the hair and they are excellent at adding extra length or volume without any adverse effects. They also allow the hair to be looked after via the usual regimen which is great in the long run. They only take a few minutes to install!
Choose wisely when getting hair extensions, and whatever your opinion on hair extensions*, you must agree that your own hair should never suffer for the sake of the style.
Always think of extensions as an investment in yourself and the health of your hair. A rule of thumb, genuine virgin human hair is the best not only because it gives the best lustre, it also moves naturally and rarely sheds or tangles.