Like it or not, throughout the ages the sex appeal of women has been tied to long hair. Right or not, fair or not, for that reason long hair is something many desire. Sex appeal aside though, most are still unwilling to do what it takes to grow a long, healthy mane. It is just too much work and hassle, right?
Enter extensions. They make a mile long mane possible without many of the long hair care drawbacks. Although, being honest, they can present drawbacks of their own. Not the least of which is the risk of profound hair loss when put in wrong. Although in the right hands the risk of that is extremely small.
Plus anymore they are much more than just a way to add length. You can easily and instantly makeover your look by adding in a fringe, a splash of color or loads of body and volume Mother Nature forgot. They can also be used to camouflage at bad haircut. Even better, anymore you are but minutes away from any style you want.
Besides we like our flirtations with bobs and other shorter cuts. So you could almost say extensions let us have our cake and eat it too. Shorter hair we can live with. Longer hair to show off when trying to impress.
This is why you might want to explore four topics
- How they’re a cool way to cheat
- What we want from our hair extensions
- Some do’s and dont’s for living happily ever after with them
- A quick overview of the sometimes confusing lingo
Cheating Your Way To Added Length and Sexy Oomph
A word commonly associated with wefts is “cheat”. And that’s what they help you do. Just in a way that is super cool enough to make it easy to get the hairstyle of choice – without having to wait forever for your hair to grow long enough on its own.
If you don’t have the hair for a luxurious ponytail, cheat. Use extensions.
Want a flirty fringe for the day? Cheat. Use extensions.
Looking for more body, more volume? Cheat. Again by using extensions.
Yet don’t get carried away with how easy it is to get added length. You really have no business adding more than four, five inches at most because of the weight you are putting on your natural locks. Remember the longer the hair the more it pulls. The more it pulls translates into more risk of damage to the natural hair the extensions are attached to.
With so much cheating going on,
What Do We Want In Our Extensions?
Fans agree, it isn’t too much to ask they be a quick to put in, affordable, and a reusable fashion accessory.
We also don’t think it’s too much to ask they look natural and blend in with our own hair nearly perfectly.
Plus being low maintenance, high quality, and comfortable to wear would be nice too.
The good news is having extensions put in was once a grueling, laborious, time consuming chore. And the price out the door didn’t make it something for the masses.
Not anymore. It’s now a quick and easy way to completely makeover your entire look in mere minutes. Whether you pay a pro to assist or DIY in the privacy of your bathroom. So you might say this is getting to the point where it’s a near instant styling fix. Used much like you would use say false eyelashes, a push up bra or platform shoes.
So while your hair can instantly be made red-carpet-level great for a night out you can also slip back to your normal person hair with little to no effort too.
Then too where it once was fairly obvious up close all the hair up there wasn’t yours or how they were attached and held in place were at times visible or bulky, anymore they are virtually undetectable. That’s right. You will never know about the best of these. So no more worries about being out on a windy day and exposing your secret to lush, full hair. Although getting your hair caught in fans, ala Beyonce, may still not be advisable.
Given all this maybe you should ask yourself, what’s not to love about this approach for creating a temporary fashion transformation. Any die-hard fashionista-wannabe can change their hair no commitment required. It’s a great way to reinvent your look without having to wait for your locks to lengthen naturally. Or do give your hair what nature forgot – piles of sexy volume. Leaving you with an end result that is nothing short of spectacular.
Which is to say these are all about convenience.
They are about achieving hair perfection 24/7.
They give a way to satisfy any appetite for instant body and bounce in abundance. All without the slightest hint of cheating.
When seeing you “extended” for the first time your friends will be all excited about your great blowout. So much so they won’t be able to stop talking about it. While only you and your stylist know the real secret behind your thick, luscious locks.
The Do’s and Dont’s of Hair Extensions
While these work to produce gorgeous results they are hardly a no maintenance way to style your hair. They can’t be considered cheap yet either. So you’ll want to take care of your extensions much like, if not better than, you take care of your real hair if you wish to strut out the door with hair to die for beyond next week. To that end here are some things you’ll want to remember when using these to thicken or achieve cascading locks.
- Don’t go to extremes lengths. This is worth mentioning again. At most you want to double the length of your existing hair and no more. Yes there may be exceptions but that’s a good rule of thumb to safeguard your strands. Since the longer the hair added in the more weight your natural hair has to support.
- Do wash your extensions using baby shampoo, low sulfate shampoo or some other gentle cleanser.
- Do take care to remove any tangles before washing by using a wide tooth comb and gently running that through the hair.
- Don’t vigorously rub the wet extensions with a towel. Instead squeeze them in the towel to squeeze out the excess water. Then hang them to air dry.
- Do condition and hydrate your fake hair. The natural oils from your scalp do that for your natural strands. You’ll need to make sure to do this for your purchased hair.
- Don’t attach clip ins too close to the roots so they are pulling on the hair too hard.
- Don’t sleep in clip on extensions. Doing so just about guarantees your natural hair will be harmed. And if you have tape in extensions or have used some other type of more permanent bonding do not go to bed if they are wet.
Understanding Extension Speak
A quick and by no means comprehensive hair extension glossary might be somewhat helpful to bring you up to speed about the terms you may hear being used.
- Breakage is the term used to describe damage to natural hair at the point where the extensions are attached.
- Clip In is an extension application method. Small combs designed to clip tightly onto your hair are sown into the wefts. They hold the wefts in place.
- Halo: This may be referred to as hair on a wire. A filament that holds the hair is placed on the crown of the head. The natural hair is pulled out from under the wire to hide it.
- Remy Hair is human hair with the cuticles aligned to run in the same direction. Maintaining the cuticles produces the most natural looking hair extensions plus this reduces tangling to almost zero. This type can be colored, curled and flat ironed just like your real hair.
- Strands are small tufts or clusters of 50 strands of hair that are attached to yours.
- Shedding is the process where extensions lose individual strands.
- Synthetic is as the word implies not real hair. They cannot be heat styled or colored or otherwise processed.
- Tape In is another application method. In thise case the extensions are taped to a thin section of natural hair. The tape is applied over and under the natural hair and this holds the extensions firmly in place.
- Weft is a sheet of or bunches of hair. They come in various widths and lengths. Longer lengths are naturally the most costly. These are usually measured in grams or ounces of hair.
- Weave is the process of sewing or braiding a weft of hair into your natural hair at the scalp. Less popular that it once was it is still used to secure the extensions in place by some.
To bottom line this for you, demand to be able to tweak our hair like celebrities do has resulted in a growing supply. There are all sorts of ways to attach extensions now. These are available at various price points. And pretty much means no one has to suffer with thin limp hair, no one has to get in a hair rut, and for most bad hair days can be a thing of past.