Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Hair extensions: My experience.

Since the age of 19, i have been wearing hair extensions religiously.  Mainly because i have very fine swedish hair, that takes so long to grow! i don't think its ever reached past my shoulders and thanks to extensions, i'm ok with that.
But i thought i would do a review on the different types, as i've had nearly every hair extension type possible! Just to help give an insight on the variations of extensions and after care, as i could never find much information on them myself.

1st type: Clip ins.

Now i have always sworn by these due to how simple they are to use and are often a lot cheaper than the more semi permanent types of extensions.  They were the first extensions i ever had, and i've found that i always come back to them. They come in either human hair, or synthetic, but i find human is the best. You can cut, heat style and dye human hair unlike its synthetic counter part.  To attach them, you simply open the clip, attach it to the hair, and then close it. Here is a tutorial on how to insert them: how to clip in extensions. I've had so many sets of these, but they do wear out if you over heat style them (like i did, mainly going out too much at uni in my first year!), so invest in a spray leave in conditioner and heat protectant and they'll last you. You can buy them in literally any length and colour, and now more popular is thickness. The average hair extension set is about 100-120 grams with a range between 7 and 10 wefts to clip in, but thicker sets at about 160-180grams are becoming increasingly popular.
Here is an example of what the wefts would look like:
 I guess the thicker the hair, the more realistic they look. If you don't want to buy an expensive set of thicker hair, you can buy a 6ft weft of hair on eBay and your own clips and make your own, i used to do that and double up each piece so they were a lot thicker. There are so many tutorials on youtube on how to do that. I would definitely recommend these if you're looking for any easy way to add volume/length without committing to semi permanent ones. Good places to buy these online are ebay or foxy locks extensions, which are a bit pricier but definitely worth it!
These can also be worn in up-do's as well if clipped in right, you can literally do anything with them!

An example of my hair with clip ins: (also happens to be my favourite hair colour)

2nd type: Glue-in wefts

This type is definitely the messiest type of extensions, and also the 2nd type that i tried. I began to get fed up of putting my clip in extensions every time i wanted to go out somewhere, and researched into other ways in which to wear them. I stumbled across a website that sold 6ft wefts of hair, as well as a bonding glue (known as liquid gold) which would stick them into your hair for up to 2 weeks. You were also given a bond dissolver for when you wanted to remove them. I decided i liked the sound of these and bought them, cutting my own wefts (i usually doubled my wefts) and having my poor bf glue them in for me! You cut them in wefts like that of clip in extensions, but instead of clips, you're gluing them into place. However, they were so messy and needed so much care as if the slightest bit of conditioner got on the bonds they would loosen and slip. The glue would also get absolutely everywhere! I hated these the most, but i loved how thick and voluminous my hair was with them. It was a love-hate relationship. I wouldn't really recommend these, the glue often gets stuck in your hair and you sit there spending hours trying to comb out the remainders of it! You can't really put your hair up in these either which is a pain. I haven't ever gone back to using these but they do look good if you can get past the maintenance aspect.
If you do consider these, have a look on youtube for a few tutorials, i know there are some good examples of how to insert these.

An example of my hair with glue-in wefts:
(can you see what i mean with the volume??)

3rd type: U-tip bonds
These are the type that last the longest, usually up to 4 months if maintained properly! These are also the ones i've had most recently. They are applied to your head in individual strands along rows of your head, and often give the most natural look, and you are able to wear them in pretty much any style without the bonds showing. The glue is made of keratin, a protein naturally found in hair. They are attached by selected a some strands of hair, melting the glue and rolling it around the hair to bond it. Here is what the tips look like (this is a bundle of strands) and a video: U-tip extension tutorial
These are brilliant if you want a more permanent solution. To have these done in a salon, you're looking at about £300 pounds depending on how much hair/length you want, and you would have anywhere between 150 and 250 strands of hair, again depending on whether you want volume, length or both. I've had 3 sets of these put in, however, being the cheap skate i am, i bought my own off ebay and had my boyfriend painstakingly put them in one by one (he really is a star!). I loved them to begin with, but i do recommend buying a tangle teezer brush, (found here: tangle teezer) as it makes it a hell of a lot easier to comb through your hair and avoid matting! Again, with these you need to look after them using deep conditioners (as they are not part of your head, they dont get the same oils your own hair would), heat protectant, and leave in conditioners to keep them shiny and healthy! I would recommend aussie miracle leave in conditioner, it smells lush and keeps your hair so soft! My only bad experience with these was the removal process, as well as how much work went into them to keep them in a healthy condition!

An example of my hair with U-tip bonds:

4th type: Micro bead/bond extensions:
Last but not least, these are the final type of extensions i've had in my long journey. Attached individually like that of the u-tip bonds, they require no heat or glue whatsoever and are usually the more popular choice. Where the U-tips would have glue, these have a metal or plastic bead that are squeezed shut to attach to the hair (see video: micro bead extension video). These often last just as long as the u tips as well.  I've had two sets of these, one set i bought myself and attached, and one set done professionally. I found that these looked great and were comfortable and again, they can be worn in any style. My only problem was that the beads would slip quite a lot and you need regular maintenance to keep them from doing so. Otherwise, they last around 4 months like the others. I really loved mine but the slipping beads drove me nuts! Simple things like having a shower and drying my hair were starting to become a chore due to the sheer effort it took to dry them! To have them done professionally, it cost me £150 pounds from a mobile hair stylist who also provided a free tangle teezer ;) If you would like to know where i had them done and live in the Cardiff area, message me and i'll give you her info! Again, the hair needs to be conditioned (never near the bonds though) and protected like the others.

An example of my micro beads:

I hope this review helped anyone researching into hair extensions!


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  3. Which method was the least damaging to your natural hair? What about the micro bead one step weft (where they attach just one long weft of micro beads to your hair) ?

    1. in terms of least damaging, i would say the clip ins and the micro beads. i personally prefer the u-tip bonds because i feel they stay in my hair much better (as mine is fine and soft, the beads tended to slip in my hair). i've never tried the one step micro bead weft so i cant comment on that x

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