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What to look for when shopping for hair extensions..

Hair extensions are the most common hair trend amongst celebrities, and women who just want a new look. Not only do they provide endless possibilities but it gives your hair a chance to be untouched while giving you a look you couldn’t or wouldn’t dare apply to your own hair.
Whether you want a new color, or a different length it can be done with the right extensions, but there are certain guidelines to finding the right extensions and applying them.

Texture & Length…

First and foremost you have to find the right texture and length. Your hair texture must match the texture of your extensions or it will be very easy for others to tell that all of the hair on your head isn’t yours. Upon choosing the right texture you have to keep in mind that the hair you choose will ultimately stay the same texture the entire time it is in your head, therefore you have to be ready to style your real hair accordingly so it doesn’t differ too much as your hair changes. For example if you’re going out at night and you know your hair is going to get frizzy, you should flat iron your hair and take proper precautions for it to blend as your hair changes. I have thick hair so I usually shop for Peruvian hair because even though it is silky it’s thick as well so simply flat ironing my hair results in the perfect blend. Remy hair is a popular option amongst most women because it’s very smooth and very seldom gets tangled or frizzy.
Synthetic hair is not human hair so it can’t be exposed to too much heat and definitely will start to look like a mess when left in for too long. Think Barbie’s hair after about a month of having her. It feels very artificial and after one night out it might be garbage. Consider synthetic hair your short term hair and human hair your long term extensions. You can wash them and reuse them for up to a year as long as you take exceptional care of it. Most people keep their extensions for about 6 months.
When considering coloring your extensions keep in mind that the texture will almost always change, but if you purchase virgin human hair you can manage it pretty easily. Virgin hair is hair that hasn’t been processed at all. No color, no dye, no alterations, just hair.

Finding the right length…

Extensions are sold by the inch. They usually start at 10” and go all the way to about 34”. Picking your length can be fun but you can disappoint yourself if you don’t keep in mind your height and the length of your torso. Based on those factors the length can vary. I have a long torso and I am 5’8 so when I purchased my 18” inch hair I was rather disappointed. On my friends that were 5’2 it fell to waist length, on me it fell right below my boob. It was a lesson learned. Make sure you get a tape measure and estimate where your desired length will fall on you, because the longer the hair the more money you pay for it.
When picking your length be sure to buy the right amount of hair. If you are buying your hair by the bundle there are usually 4 oz of hair in each bundle. The longer the hair the more bundles you need. Most women do well with 3 bundles. If you are shopping by packs 2 packs will suffice. When buying clip ins most packs come with 8 pieces.

Application…

Thankfully there are many different ways to apply extensions. You can sew them in which requires you to braid about 60-90% of your real hair and sew the tracks into your braids. This helps for hair growth, and keeps most of your real hair hidden. Sew ins are recommended for those who want to keep their extensions in for a longer duration of time. The tracks can also be glued in. This is a more temporary style being that the glue will start to wear off and the tracks will start to naturally come out. This method is least recommended because your real hair can come out with the glue especially, if you are removing the hair prematurely. An effective alternative to gluing in your tracks are clip ins.

Weft…

Last but not least this is the one thing people over look when buying their extensions… the weft. The weft is the track that the hair is applied to in order for it to be put in your head. Some hair is wefted on to the track by machine, and some are wefted by hand. When wefted by machine the hair is more likely to shed because it isn’t stuck into the track properly or strong enough. When done by hand it’s obviously done more carefully, and the strands of hair are applied in a more precise fashion side by side, rather than on top of one another resulting in less tangling and shedding.
Who knew that hair extensions could be so complicated? But now that the guidelines are laid out its more understandable as to why extensions can be very pricey. You get what you pay for, and we all want the best!

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Lauren Stewart
By: Lauren Stewart

Lauren Stewart is a freelancer writer from Michigan. She enjoys writing about beauty, health and fitness! She is passionate about learning new ways to take control of her health and wellness and is a makeup and skincare junkie! You can contact her by emailing lrstewar@gmail.com.