Avoid the Confusion: What You Need to Know About Hair Quality Before Getting Hair Extensions
Hair extensions aren’t simply the privilege of wealthy Hollywood movie stars and famous singers anymore. Today, more than ever before, thousands of women (and men) are finding that hair extensions are an accessible part of the image they want to exude.
In recent years, technological advances have allowed hair extensions to take on a quality and “naturalness” that was impossible only a decade ago. We’re sure you remember those tabloid pictures of Brittany Spears and her awful and tangled mess of hair extensions. But today, it is completely possible to get hair extensions and have no one know you have them but you and your stylist.
Hair extensions have become an important part of many women’s images, almost like a wearable fashion accessory. From clip-ins that you put in before your best friend’s wedding to more permanent extensions that you can wear for almost a year at a time, the numerous styles and methods of hair extensions make them a possibility for almost everyone.
But before you run out to the nearest hair salon, you’ll want to consider a few factors before getting your hair extensions. One of the most important things to take into account when choosing a salon and a brand of hair extensions is type of hair that will be used for extensions.
Synthetic vs. Natural
All hair extensions are made from natural hair, synthetic fibers or a mixture between the two. The extensions made from human hair are considered to be the highest quality; they also usually carry a higher price tag.
Remy hair is the top of the line when it comes to hair extensions. It is 100% human hair sourced from women (mostly from Asia) who grow their hair out for the express purpose of selling it to hair extension manufacturers. The hair is washed and treated, and Remy hair is renowned because all of the hair cuticles are reworked to make sure that they all flow in the same direction. This helps to keep your extensions looking clean, smooth, shiny and untangled.
You’ll also want to make sure that the extensions you choose are the right ones for you. Finding extensions that match in color, texture and thickness to your natural hair is a must if you want a natural, unnoticeable look. You should also style your hair extensions before putting them in to get the most out of the volume and extra length that they will offer your image.
Synthetic hair fibers are usually lower standard than natural Remy hair, but better synthetic products are hitting the market in today’s world. If you live in an area with excessive wind or humidity, synthetic fibers won’t react nearly as much to the elements as would natural hair. If you’re worried about how the weather will affect your extensions, synthetic might be the way to go.
Synthetic hair, however, comes with two major disadvantages. Firstly, it can’t be colored because it will be close to impossible to match the color between your natural hair and the synthetic extensions. You’ll have to find an extension that perfectly matches your hair color before putting them in.
Secondly, the vast majority of synthetic extensions can’t be used with heat styling devices. Say good bye to your favorite hair straightener if you opt for synthetic extensions as you run the risk of melting your hair. There are a few synthetic hair extension products from Asian companies that just hit the market that reportedly withstand heat styling products.
Synthetics might be a great way to get started in the hair extension world. Clip-in synthetic wefts are usually the cheapest option and you might consider using them for a short term to see if they are right for you before investing more money for a great looking long term technology such as pre-bonded fusion extensions.
Grade of Hair
Another important thing to take into account when considering which hair extensions to invest in is the grade of the hair that extensions offer. All hair used in extensions is graded on a scale that goes from A (lowest grade) to 7 A (highest grade). A grade hair is much cheaper but is usually noticeable as the quality of hair will differ from your natural hair. Grade 7 A hair, also known as double drawn hair is made from thick fibers and 90% of all the fibers are cut to exactly the same length. This makes double drawn hair easier to maintain and more natural looking.
The Origin of Your Hair
Where the hair for your hair extensions comes from is also an important factor to consider. Most human hair used for extensions is sourced from Asia by women who grow their hair out for the express purpose of selling it to hair extension companies. Though this hair is thick, it is often treated with chemicals before being made into extensions thus lowering the quality. The best human hair is sourced from Europe, though it is generally more expensive as well.
The Weight of Your Extensions
If you have extremely fine or thin hair, you’ll need to consider the correct weight of the extensions you’ll be using. Clip-in wefts usually come in three different weights ranging from 120 grams to 240 grams. The more weighty options add more volume to your hair but also can put an extra pull on your natural hair, especially when wet. If your hair is thin it is usually best to opt for the lighter option though you may lose some extra volume.
Wefts or Bulk?
When you’re looking for the perfect hair extension, you’ll probably hear about wefts and bulk hair extensions. What do these terms mean? Wefts are pieces of material, usually plastic, that is stitched to the hair extension. This weft holds the hair in place and connects to your natural hair fibers. Wefts are usually used for bonding, sewing or weaving techniques as well as incorporated into clip-in styles of extensions. Bulk hair, in contrast, comes in bundles that are tied together at the top and are used in braided and fusion extensions.