Which Type of Hair Extension is Right For You?
Updated: Nov 3, 2022
Clip-ins, tape-ins, weaves, pre-bonding, fusion, micro-link ... what is it all about? There are so many different extensions and terms styles that if you're new to the hair extensions world, it can get overwhelming.
Ohana Hair Boutique Extensions are 100% remy human hair bundles, pieces & wigs, hair extensions are not limited to this specific type. To help clear up the ambiguity, let us break down the different types of extensions that are out there.
Real Human Hair Extensions vs. Synthetic Hair Extensions
The first thing you need to know about hair extensions is that they come in real human hair extensions and synthetic hair extensions; before you get into the different types of hair extension application techniques. So, what's their difference?
HOW HAIR EXTENSIONS ARE MADE
Human hair extensions are precisely what the name suggests. They are created out of real, 100% human hair gathered from donors. Remy hair simply means all of the are unbroken and that they are running in the same direction at the time the hair was collected. This aspect allows for almost no tangling and guarantees that throughout their lifespan the extensions remain smooth and silky.
On the other hand, Synthetic (or artificial) hair extensions are made from several synthetic, processed fibers, and comprise of no human hair. Generally, these fibers are very fine, plastic filaments contrived to emulate real human hair.
APPEARANCE & TEXTURE
Both human and synthetic extensions come in various styles, colors, and different methods of application. Synthetic fibers typically vary in quality, but they are also generally inflexible and move differently than human hair. So, synthetics don't blend very well with natural hair. Often times, they have a wiry or coarse feel to them. 100% human hair extensions look and feel real (because they are!) and therefore blends more naturally with your hair.
COLORING & STYLING
It is possible to treat human hair extensions just like your own natural hair. 100% human hair can be straightened, colored, curled, and blow-dried. You can also apply hair products to human hair. Conversely, synthetic hair cannot be colored because most dyes contain ammonia or bleach, which would damage the fibers of synthetic hair. Additionally, you cannot use the same methods to style synthetic hair. Sunshine, harsh hair care products and heat can damage synthetic fibers so curling irons, blow dryers and straighteners are not recommended. as they will melt or severely damage the hair.
QUALITY & LONGEVITY
As the old saying goes, “You get what you pay for”. Synthetic hair is significantly cheaper than real hair, but of course, cheap is not always a plus. Because they’re made out of synthetic fibers, synthetic hair extensions do not last as long as 100% human hair as they can easily be damaged by the aforementioned factors (sun, heat, etc.) Normally, synthetic hair extensions last for just a few months, whereas the human hair extensions, if well maintained, can last a full year or more. Ohana remy human hair extensions last for about 12 months on average.
In a nutshell, human hair extensions can be maintained and styled just like your own natural hair. Therefore, human hair extensions will look and feel like your own hair; more so than synthetic hair extensions. It will blend easily with your hair and last much longer than synthetic hair. Although they are inexpensive when compared to real hair, synthetic hair does not look as natural, cannot be styled with heating tools and do not last as long as real hair.
Well, there you have it; the differences between real vs. synthetic hair extensions. Now, let’s talk a bit about the various types of extension applications!
1. CLIP IN HAIR EXTENSIONS
Clip-in wefts, best known as clip-in hair extensions, come in a strand of contoured pieces that are attached at the base with either fabric or silicone. They typically come already attached and ready to use. Another pro to clip-in extensions is that they are very user-friendly so you can, most times, install them yourself—see here for how to clip them in.
Of the many different styles of extensions, clip-in hair extensions are the least permanent. style of extensions because you can quickly remove them and put them back on whenever you want. Unlike some of its counterparts, clip-ins usually take 5 to 15 minutes to apply at home. Because they don’t involve any chemicals, heat, or pressure, Clip-in hair extensions are one of the least damaging styles. Simply clip them onto your natural hair with ease.
Like with all hair extensions styles, the same synthetic vs. real hair extensions rules apply. We only recommend, and therefore offer, human hair extensions so that’s what we will focus on here.
In short, human hair extensions are super low maintenance and only need to be washed about every 20 wears; more often if there is a lot of product buildup rendering your extensions unmanageable. Simply brush, shampoo and condition the hair and let them air dry! -Learn how to wash and care for your clip-in hair extensions.
You can style your human hair clip-in extensions just like your own natural hair. Although they can be curled, straightened, and colored, it is recommended to use a lower heat setting when styling. A heat protectant is also suggested. - For more tips on heat styling human hair clip-in extensions, including some do's and don'ts, click here.
HOW LONG DO THEY LAST?
Simply put, clip-in human hair extensions’ longevity depends on how well they are maintained, how frequently they are used, and the products used on them. and how often you wear them. Clip-ins last anywhere from 3 to 6 months, up to a year and sometimes even longer, with proper ware-and-tear. - See here for clip-in care tips and tricks to guarantee that your human hair extensions stay full and vibrant for longer.
2. TAPE-IN HAIR EXTENSIONS
Tape hair extensions are pre-taped extensions that are taped/glued together on either side of your own hair. Typically, these hair extensions would be installed by a stylist because they need to be aligned with the roots and applied with a heated tool that heats up the glue. Furthermore, you would need to have a stylist remove them (with glue remover) and then reinstall them. This process usually takes roughly 40 minutes to an hour to install and if the extensions are well maintained, they can be re-installed. Consequently, when you apply heat to your roots and/or any adhesive product such as tape or glue, this can be damaging to your hair.
In regards to tape-in extensions, you’ll want to be very careful using conditioners or hair products. Some products can cause the tape to come loose or slip off. For this very reason, special, less harsh, shampoos and products are typically recommended by stylists to ensure the glue holds. Style them just as you would any other human hair extensions; however, be careful not to damage the glue/tape at the roots.
Tape-ins are considered to be “semi-permanent” which means they typically last 4 to 8 weeks before they need to be removed and re-installed. Do note, however, longevity of your tape-in extensions depend heavily on good maintenance as well as the rate at which your hair grows.
3. SEW-IN HAIR EXTENSIONS (WEAVE)
Weave hair is applied by first, braiding the natural hair into cornrows (or other style) then, the hair extensions are sewn on to the braid using a needle and thread. This style of hair extensions is mostly used for people with thicker hair. The typical installation time for sew-in hair extensions ranges from 1 to several hours and often puts some strain on the scalp; feeling somewhat heavy.
In most cases, you’ll want to seek out an experienced hair stylist to install your hair extensions. Even the sew-in hair extensions that come in wig form (comes as one piece instead of separate wefts) are recommended to be installed by a professional, as the process can be very technical and difficult. This style is most popular because it is most permanent and seamless.
If you choose to go with sew-in hair extensions, you must be sure to moisturize the scalp, the nape and edges of the hair (once per week or more). You should also use deep conditioning products on your weave. Special protein products are also highly recommended as they help to minimize damage and weakening of the hair. As for styling, the same rules apply for real hair vs. synthetic hair.
Because sew-in human hair extensions can affect your natural hair growth, it is recommended to have your extensions sewn in for no longer than 4 months. It is good practice to remove the weave every 6 to 8 weeks.
4. FUSION & PRE-BONDED HAIR EXTENSIONS
Also known as bonding or pre-bonded hair extensions, fusion hair extensions are fused to natural hair using different adhesives such as glue. Installing pre-bonded hair extensions takes roughly 3 to 4 hours to apply and should also be applied by a professional stylist. This type of application is very damaging to your natural hair, so do not be surprised if your stylist advises against this method. The application typically involves either a hot glue gun type machine or, a heat clamp to melt the glue to the natural hair.
Fusion/pre-bonded hair extensions should be managed and treated just as your natural hair. Although it is recommended that you use the same products you always use, the extensions may need re-positioning on average every 2 to 3 months due to your natural hair growing. As with all styles that require chemicals or glues, this method can cause breakage, hair loss, and scalp irritation.
Fusion & Pre-Bonded hair extensions are considered semi-permanent because they can they remain installed for up to 4 months. However, like all other types of hair extensions, this varies based on your own hair type and growth.
5. MICROLINK HAIR EXTENSIONS
Microlink hair extensions take approximately 2 to 4 hours to apply. Also known as “micro bead hair extensions” or “micro loop hair extensions”, they are applied by attaching tiny wefts of hair to small sections of the natural hair with a small silicone-lined bead. While this method does not use heat or glue, if not installed properly by a professional hair stylist, microlink hair extensions can harm your natural hair.
You can wash microlink hair extensions the same way you would your natural hair. The same styling products may be used as well. Much like fusion hair extensions, microlink hair extensions need re-positioning every 2 to 3 months as the natural hair grows and the microbeads separate from the scalp.
Microlink hair extensions are considered semi-permanent and they generally last up to 4 months.
6. WIGS & HAIR PIECES
Wigs and hair pieces come in many different forms and have a topical application. Wigs are long and full and are made to cover your entire head. Not to exclude “lace fronts” or “netting”, there are many methods for how the wigs are made. Wigs most often act as a replacement for your own, natural hair for many reasons such as hair loss, balding, or simply to change up your look.
Hair pieces, on the other hand, often come in the shape of a bun, ponytail, or hair tie so you can simply attach it at the top of your own natural hair. Hair pieces can be used for isolated thinning or, they can be used to produce an alternate hairstyle, such as an elegantly long, full ponytail with just one piece added for thickness.
Wigs and hair pieces can pose a bit of a challenging when washing, and depending on whether they are real or synthetic you have to be extremely careful. Since full hair pieces are usually attached to either a plastic or other material, you have to modify the way you wash and treat the hair.
Typically, real human full wigs can last for up to one year if you take good care of them. The smaller pieces are usually synthetic and typically don’t last more than one month of use. It depends on whether they are real or synthetic and once again the way you take care of them greatly affects their lifespan as well.
And that's it! We, at Ohana Hair Boutique, hope we've given you all the information you need to make a knowledgeable decision on which type of hair extensions will be right for you, your hair type, and your hair goals.
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