HAIR EXTENSIONS ARE THE ONE TYPE OF HAIR REPLACEMENT THAT YOU DON’T HAVE TO WEAR ON YOUR SCALP, BECAUSE THE REPLACEMENT HAIR IS ATTACHED TO HEALTHY HAIR YOU ALREADY HAVE ON YOUR HEAD.
Hair extensions are widely used by women to simply lengthen their hair, but new technologies have allowed savvy hair replacement studio owners to better utilize hair extensions as a hair loss treatment.
Q. What exactly are hair extensions?
A. If you want to thicken or lengthen you hair, extensions can be a beautiful option provided you have enough healthy hair on your head to attach extensions to. You cannot use extensions, however, if you have a bald spot on the top of your head, because there is no hair to which to attach them. Hair extensions can add volume, cover small bald spots, thicken thinning patches, add lowlights or highlights or change your look entirely.
Q. How are hair extensions applied?
A. As long as you are not currently suffering from a progressive hair loss condition and you have a lot of healthy hair to which hair extensions can be attached, you have a number of choices in how they are applied. If you have some degree of hair loss, though, most specialists agree that sewing, knotting and attaching tiny links are the best ways to attach hair extensions to avoid further stress from chemicals, adhesives and heat. This applies to those with naturally fine hair and simple thinning, to those regrowing hair from chemotherapy, and to those suffering other hair loss trauma or disease where a hot application method would not be appropriate.
Q. Why are the best hair extensions custom-made?
A. When you have a hair loss problem, custom hair extensions are designed to suit your particular hair color, texture, density, length and style, in addition to your particular hair loss needs. They are your most expensive option because each individual strand is sewn and designed specifically for integrating into your hair, one strand of hair at a time. Most hair loss professionals would not recommend premade hair extensions to their hair loss clients, because they are usually clipped or glued in; both of these are undesirable options when dealing with hair loss issues, since they typically last only a few months and can result in more hair loss and weakening, especially if applied improperly or by someone inexperienced with hair loss issues.
Q. What are the differences between adhesives, links or the sewn-in variety?
A. Most hair extensions need maintenance, depending on how they are attached. If you want more length but less damage, using a multiple-strand adhesive application technique reduces the stress on your hair and provides a virtually seamless transition. But when adhesive extensions need maintenance, they usually need to be replaced entirely. Instead of dissolving adhesive, which makes adhesive extensions unusable, individually sewn-in extensions or those attached via microlinks can be very quickly and simply loosened and reused to clean out shedding, shifted up and tightened, so the maintenance time and expense are drastically reduced for both the stylist and the client. These methods are the perfect solutions to a chemical- and adhesive-free alternative for adding length, volume, color and styling options with less cost and less maintenance. And they are the best way to customize areas around the front of the head, strand by strand.
Q. What if I need more hair in back of my head or around the temple?
A. There is one type of unique “sandwich” application process that allows for attachment higher up on the temples and up to the back of the head, in places other extensions won’t work. The application technique uses a sandwich method between existing hairs with adhesive tape, and width and volume can be added as well as length while protecting hair from damage, because it is supported on both sides with no ridges or bumps.
Q. Do I need a special shampoo for my hair extensions?
A. Yes. Rely on a shampoo and conditioner specifically suggested by your stylist for your type of extensions. Most of these are sulfate-free because these ingredients can weaken adhesive bonds and cause the discoloration of human-hair replacements.
Q. How do I brush my hair with hair extensions?
A. You’ll want to invest in a special “loop” brush specifically created to protect extensions from being dragged and pulled. You may also use a small bristle brush to push any shedding hairs down toward the attachment so they don’t itch. Always brush from the bottom first to loosen tangles, not from the base of the scalp, because extended hair has the propensity to tangle easily.
Q. Are there any styling rules I need to know?
A. To help hair extensions last as long as possible, be gentle with your hair care. To avoid tangling, sleep in a loose braid, shampoo hair in the shower only so hair hangs straight down and avoid scrubbing hair with a towel. Rely on heated tools to style hair instead of constant brushing and blow-drying, which can cause extensions to slip prematurely.
Q. What type of hair produces the most natural-looking result?
A. All hair stylists and hair replacement experts agree on using 100 percent human hair because it can be cut, colored and styled like your own hair and because it moves and acts like your own hair, giving you a better blended result.
Q. How long does it take to have extensions applied?
A. A regular full head of strand-by-strand hot glue extensions can take four to five hours, but the length of application time varies depending on the different application techniques.