Don’t you wish you had hair like those models in the Pantene commercials? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a head full of thick, glossy, bouncy tresses instead of whatever nightmare currently resides atop your pate? Ideally, you’ll learn to love the hair you have and find ways to work with it and still feel attractive – a good stylist can help you on this score. And if thinning is a problem there are definitely products and procedures to help you. However, there are options that could be quicker and less expensive. And believe it or not, many of the models you see sporting full heads of lustrous locks are using the very same tricks. Hair extensions are a great way to get the look you want when nature fails to provide. But if you’re not sure which of the most popular methods is right for you, here’s a breakdown of what you can expect when you opt for different types of hair extensions.
- Strand. Attaching extensions to your natural hair on a strand-by-strand basis can be expensive and time consuming, but it’s generally considered the most desirable method for a couple of reasons. For one thing, the strands of false hair are virtually undetectable, unlike strips or clips that may peek through depending on how you style your hair, how long you leave them in, and how well you maintain them. In addition, they can last 3 to 6 months or more, whereas other methods need to be reinstalled more frequently, so you can let your natural hair grow out for a while before you have to remove and reapply strands. Finally, strands are the least likely to damage your natural hair. All in all, the benefits you gain by this method are well worth the additional price tag. As with most purchases, you get what you pay for.
- Weft. The benefit of using strips of hair that contain several strands is that the installation process is much faster and far less expensive. Whether they are sewn in place, taped, or glued, it won’t take long at all to get the full head of hair you crave. But there are some caveats if you want to keep them looking good. Proper maintenance is a must since these strands can easily get tangled and matted. And they will need to be removed and reattached every 1-2 months, depending on how fast your hair grows and the way you treat them. In addition, if you’re not careful you could damage your natural hair when removing them. So the lower price might not be worth the added hassle.
- Clip on. These are by far the easiest hair extensions to put in since they come with a clip attached for easy application. They also tend to be the least expensive option. The main problem for most women is that they must be added and removed daily. And because they are only clips, they can easily come out, and the clips may be visible with certain hairstyles. For some women, though, they are an ideal solution to a changeable personality.
- Wig. Technically, this is more of a hair replacement than a hair extension, but it can definitely be used to get the long, beautiful hair you want, especially if your hair is too thin or patchy for regular extensions to be a viable option. There is some maintenance involved and you’ll have to get used to wearing a wig, but it can allow you to look and feel beautiful every day. As a bonus, wigs last forever with proper care, so you’ll really only have a one-time expense (unlike many extensions, which will have to be replaced eventually). If you’re looking for the extra hair that’s right for you, simply talk to your stylist at Studio 417 Salon or whatever hair care facility you frequent. If your stylist doesn’t specialize in extensions or wigs, there’s a good chance she can refer you to a stylist that does.