To Glue or Not to Glue: Various Techniques and Methods for Attaching Hair Extensions By: Elena Golescu Hair extensions can be seen everywhere! Many of the most glamorous hairstyles are possible through the use of hair extensions and in recent times, hair extensions have become widely used with all walks of life. Hair extensions are a fantastic option for those who seek length and volume and are unable to achieve these results on their own. Hair extensions also provide the option of adding highlights and lowlights to an existing style without the damage or commitment of coloring the hair with harsh chemicals. There are a variety of options available for hair extension application. A few of the many hair extension application options available include: -Clip-In Hair Extensions -Glue Bonded Attachments -Non-Glue Bonded Attachments Hair extensions can be applied by both a professionally trained cosmetologist and by the individual. It is recommended that non-cosmetology professionals only apply clip-in hair extensions to avoid damaging the hair. Before committing or investing in hair extensions, it is important to understand the various hair extensions and the techniques associated with their use. Clip-In Hair Extensions Clip-in hair extensions are exactly what they sound like, temporary. These easy to use extensions can simply be clipped in the morning and taken out at night. It is sometimes difficult to commit to a new hair style and clip-in hair extensions offer the option of taking a new hairstyle for a test drive. Clip-in extensions are also beneficial when wanting to avoid damage to the hair. Clip-in hair extensions come in both human hair and synthetic forms. While the human hair offers many more styling options, including the use of heated styling tools and coloring, synthetic hair is just as good in providing a quality hairstyle. Clip-in Extensions come in many lengths and textures ranging from short and straight to long and curly, making styling options endless. A unique advantage to using clip-in extensions is the flexibility that the individual has in achieving dramatically different hairstyles without committing. Strand by Strand Hair Extension Application This technique is performed by professionals only. Using various bonding methods, the extensions are attached to the individual’s hair in small sections by heat fusing, gluing, bonding, weaving, and clamping. Offering long-term results, this option is ideal for those who are ready to commit to a style and the maintenance required ensuring the quality of the extension. There are two types of strand by strand hair attachments: glue based bond attachments and non-glue based bond attachment. Both application techniques are successful in offering the individual professional quality hair extensions that have the potential of lasting up to six months in some cases. Weft hair extensions are tracks of pre-attached hair that are attached to the hair in rows rather than the strand by strand process. There are a variety of techniques used to attach wefts depending on preference and hair type. Taped wefts are an option for those who have thin hair. The hair extensions are attached using a slim row of hair that is strategically placed on the scalp using an adhesive. These extensions can offer natural looking results which is sometimes hard to achieve with thin hair. The longest used technique for attaching wefts is by sewing them into the natural hair. This is a successful way to gain a beautiful natural looking hairstyle than can be created quickly. Since wefts are pre- attached hair that is structured in rows, little time is needed to thread the rows of hair against the scalp. This technique can be quick and cost less than bonded hair extension attachments. Maintaining this type of hair extension does require maintenance and may leave the individual feeling a bit of the weight that is associated with the extension. Heat Free Bonds are the latest trend in hair extensions. This type of bonding lasts the longest in comparison to the lifespan of hair extension application techniques. Using a heat free bond, these extensions can last up to 8 months which is an extended amount of time in the hair extension world. These extensions are fused to the hair using keratin which is a protein made by natural hair. The bonds created using this process are the smallest that can possibly be achieved and provide the individual with high quality and undetectable hair extensions. The bonds are also a flat shave which help blend into the natural hair, making this an ideal method for those with thin or fine hair. The natural hair avoids all contact with heat and instead is exposed to ultra sonic waves which bond the hair. All types of heated hair styling tools are safe for these bonds. Classic Bonds are the most common technique for applying hair extensions. Using a flat, heated tool, the hair extension is bonded to the hair using both glue and heat to achieve a secure attachment. Despite the fact that this is a universally used technique, there is one slight drawback. When using heated styling tool with the classic bonds, caution must be used to avoid the bond coming into contact with any type of heat. If the bond does come into contact with a heating tool, there is a risk that the bond could possibly melt or even morph. The use of heated styling tools is 100% permit able, just risky for those who have little experience using styling tools. Classic bonds are more expensive than some of the other their extension techniques but provide the individual with a glamorous and long lasting style. Microtubes are another technique that can be used to attach hair extensions. Microtubes work best on those with darker hair that is not thin or fine. The use of heated styling tools is okay, but over using heat can decrease the life of these hair extensions. This technique uses tubes that are sewn into the natural and then the hair extension is looped through and the hair is firmly locked into place. One of the advantages of this type of attachment is the ease of removal. Leaving no damage, the tubes can be manipulated to release the hair and simply slide off when ready to remove.
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