Hair extensions allow you to change the look of your hair without having to commit to anything drastic or permanent. Hair extensions can also be attached to your existing hair to create a long-term look.
The Beginnings of Hair Extensions
Hair extensions have been around for a long time. In fact, you will find that men and women alike used hair extensions in ancient Egypt in order to add length and volume to their hair. Real human hair, often from slaves, was used to create the hair extensions.
Later in history, hair pieces were used to help complete specific looks for a hairstyle. For example, Apollo Knots were commonly worn by women in the 1850s as extensions to their natural hair. This is a perfect example of creating a whole new look without doing anything permanent to the hair.
While, for some time, hair extensions went out of style, today hair extensions are worn by people from celebrities to school girls and everyone in between. The extensions can be incredibly expensive or very affordable depending on the quality and type of hair used, as well as what type of extension that is used.
Types of Hair
There are two different types of hair that are used for extensions – synthetic hair and human hair. There is often some scorn over the use of synthetic hair when used for hair extensions, but if you’re looking to change your look often, and you’re using hair wefts, this is an affordable way to accommodate you changing mood.
Wefts are strips of hair of varying widths. Sometimes they come attached to a comb, but they can also come glued to a strip of fabric or weaved thread, allowing you to create your own hair extensions with your own clips or to be used for weaves, tracks or bonding.
You’ll find that wefts are available in strips as narrow as 1/2″ and as wide as 10″. You can order custom wefts of wider lengths if you prefer to work with one large weft. Using smaller wefts allows you to add volume, by adding smaller pieces wherever needed, and/or length.
Using wefts with combs attached allows you to add volume or length at your discretion. What’s more, you can use different colors to create a fun temporary look. They can also be folded into braids, pulled into buns and more.
Human hair is typically the most desirable option for people wanting hair extensions. The quality of the human hair used for hair extensions vary, with the most expensive option being virgin human hair.
Virgin human hair means that the hair comes from a person that has never processed their hair in any way. What’s more, when the hair is cut, it is drawn back into a pony tail and cut right below the hair tie to preserve the quality of the hair.
Remy is another type of human hair. This is a lesser quality hair than virgin hair, but is also unprocessed. The reason it’s a lesser quality is because it’s cut differently, which causes the cuticles to be cut in various directions.
Non-remy hair is the the type of hair that is most commonly used. It often comes from China and it has been or will be processed with chemicals to change the color. The cuticles will be multi directional, which means that they will look frayed and frizzy faster than virgin or remy hair.
Double drawn hair can be made from any quality hair and is a reference to the process by which the hair is gathered. Double drawn hair is equally as thick throughout the entire weft of hair. When made with virgin hair, you have the most expensive type of hair used for hair extensions.
Lastly is the single drawn hair. Like double drawn hair, single drawn hair can be created from any type of hair. Single drawn hair is thick at the top and thins out going towards the bottom. This creates uneven ends that are thin and wispy.
When you use virgin human hair, the hair should not be colored after cutting. This means that you will have to carefully match the wefts to your own hair to get a match. You should be able to find virtually any natural color that you want in virgin or remy hair.
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Non-remy or non virgin hair can come in any color that you can imagine. You’ll find both natural and unnatural colors from non-remy hair. If you’re going for a fun or funky look, then non-remy hair is going to be your best bet.
If you’re looking for the ability to change your look often, then you probably want to use temporary or clip in hair extensions. You can find high quality removable hair extensions made from virgin double drawn hair, you simply need to be prepared to pay for it.
You’ll find that there are attached hair extensions that last for varying amounts of time. The longer you want your hair extensions to last through washing, hair products and so on, the more expensive the process is going to be for attachment.
The most popular form of hair extensions, and by far the most affordable, is weaving or tracking. This is a process by which the hair extensions are sewn into your existing hair by braiding your original hair. The downside to this method is that you can’t wash and use products as often as you would for your regular hair or for other attachment options.
Other options for attaching hair extensions include:
- Flare Beads
Most methods, other than clip ins, take between 4 and 8 hours to attach. Some other methods are being developed with the goal of producing hair extensions that will last longer while withstanding the normal abuse that most people put their hair through.
Hair extensions are an excellent way to change your look. You can choose temporary or semi-permanent methods to get the change that you want. Just remember, choosing the right color and the right type of brazilian hair can go a long way towards producing a natural look that you love.