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6 Common Hair Extensions & How to care for them

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Whether you’re considering trying hair extensions for the first time, or have used them for years, the number of options available can be both exciting - and overwhelming.  There is good reason for this: hair extensions have been in use for thousands of years.  Ancient Egyptians (think Cleopatra!) used wigs and sewn-in hair pieces and braids. Later, in Europe and North America, women wore large wigs woven into intricate and sometimes huge updo styles (à la Marie Antoinette), and even men got in on the action, favoring powdered wigs to reflect positions of power - and cover bald spots (we see you, George Washington). 

Both style and technology have evolved significantly, thank goodness.  But given the widespread use of wigs, wefts, and extensions throughout the world and throughout history, there many options to consider when exploring what kind of extension may be right for you.  Here, we break down the six most common kinds.

 

Tape-in Extensions

Tape-ins are strands of hair extensions which come prepared with tape or glue that can be fixed to your own hair.  Usually a hair-dresser does this for you, and will use a special tool to heat up the glue while taking care to align the extensions with your roots. 

How do I care for them?

Tape-in extensions require special care, and stylists often recommend special hair products that are less likely to loosen the glue.  They can be styled however you like but require gentle handling around the roots. 

How long do they last?

Tape-ins usually last 4-8 weeks before they need to be removed and reapplied.  As with all extensions, however, how long they last depends significantly on how well they are cared for  and how quickly your hair grows. 

 

Clip-in Extensions

Clip-in extensions are one of the easiest to apply and least damaging to the hair and scalp, but they are also the least permanent.  These extensions can come in many different widths, and are held together at the base with fabric or silicon that is attached to a clip.  These can be placed easily, without assistance.

How do I care for them?

Clip-ins require similar care to other extensions and varies depending on whether the extensions are human hair or synthetic.  These extensions should be washed, conditioned, air-dried and delicately combed roughly once a month, or more frequently if product builds up.

 

How long do they last?

Clip-ins usually last 3-6 months with regular wear, but with extra special care, can last as long as a year. 

Customers rave about Yummy’s products.  Shop our clip-ins here.

 

Wefts

A weft, or weave, is a sewn-in hair extension.  Individual hair strands are woven into a very fine cloth which can vary in width.  Wefts may be sewn by hand or machine; hand-sewn wefts are generally lighter but more delicate than machine-sewn wefts.  Typically, a stylist will first braid natural hair into cornrows, then stitch the weft into the cornrow using a needle and thread.  This process can take several hours, and the strain on the scalp can be uncomfortable - typically, wefts are not recommended for people with thin or light hair. 

 

How do I care for them?

Because of the strain on your scalp, weekly deep moisturization of the scalp and edges of the hair is important.  Stylists may also recommend the use of a special protein wash to decrease the damage done to natural hair.  Beyond these considerations, however, wefts may be styled just like other extensions.

How long do they last?

Despite discomfort during their application, wefts are popular because they are held in place so firmly and do not require regular removal and reapplication.  Most stylists recommend removing the weft every 4-6 weeks, so that natural hair growth is not hindered. 

Yummy sources only the highest quality materials for our products.  Shop wavy wefts and curly wefts on our store. 

 

Fusion and Pre-Bonded Hair Extensions

Fusion (or pre-ponded) hair extensions are small collections of hair strands, bonded at the base by adhesives like glue or keratin.  A stylist will apply the extensions by holding them to a few strands of natural hair, and using a small, heated clamp, fuse it to the natural hair.  Fusion extensions may be desirable because the ‘strand-by-strand’ application may be less detectable than other extensions.  However, the application and removal can be damaging to natural hair so may not be suitable for everyone.

How do I care for them?

These extensions can be styled and treated much like your real hair.  Chemicals used in the glue can be irritating, however, so extra scalp care and moisturization may be required.

How long do they last?

Fusion extensions are often favored because they are semi-permanent and can last for up to four months.  However, depending on the speed of your hair growth, they’ll likely need to be repositioned every 2-3 months.

 

Micro link extensions

Similar to fusion extensions, micro-link extensions may blend more seamlessly with natural hair than traditional weaves or clips.  Micro-link extensions, however, require no heat or chemicals for bonding.  During application, a stylist will link several strands of extension to natural hair using a small bead that is then clamped down tightly.

How do I care for them? 

These extensions can be washed, treated and styled much like your natural hair.

How long do they last?

These semi-permanent extensions usually last up to four months, but depending on the speed of your hair growth, they’ll likely need to be repositioned every 2-3 months. 

 

Wigs

Wigs can be constructed in many different ways, each resulting in a different feel, look, and price.  Wigs are generally used to cover the entire head, though partial wigs, like frontals, may be used to supplement, rather than cover, natural hair.

How do I care for them?

Wigs vary greatly in both their construction and the kind of synthetic or natural hair used - each wig must be cared for differently.  In general, though, wigs are considered somewhat difficult to wash, and do require great care. 

How long do they last?

Though they can be difficult to care for, wigs usually last longer than hair extensions.  Depending on the quality of hair used, if cared for well, wigs can last as long as a year.

Customers LOVE Yummy’s lace frontal and full lace wigs.