From Rapunzel to Kim Kardashian, beautiful women everywhere are rocking long, thick hair that leaves the rest of us cursing mother nature. Just because you can't get your natural hair to grow past your shoulders, doesn't mean you have to give up on your long hair fantasies. Take a cue from celebs like Miley Cyrus, Victoria Beckham, and Lindsay Lohan and let hair extensions take you from your current 'do to the longer, fuller hair you crave. Extensions are gaining increasing popularity, and with recent advances, they can be designed to fit virtually any style routine. Jada Beauty has done the research... let us guide you into the wonderful world of hair extensions, and figure out if this might be the answer to your long hair prayers.
Length, volume, and color... oh my! - Many women think of hair extensions only in terms of giving your length a boost. Little known is the fact that extensions can supplement volume instead of, or in addition to, length. Furthermore, they can also be applied to give you natural highlights, or a total color makeover. So whether your hair is short, thinning, mid-length, fine, limp, lifeless, dull, or any combination of the above, hair extensions can meet a variety of your needs. At least three inches of natural hair is all you need to let extensions transform your lacking locks into your dream 'do.
Flexibility - Hair extensions are not a one-size-fits-all acessory. Hours versus months, synthetic versus natural, clip in versus woven in, stylable versus styled... the opportunities are nearly limitless. There are extensions for every situation, from the girl who wants a quick, pre-styled curl fix to clip in for a big event to the girl who's looking for some added length that she can count on for months and style right along with her natural hair. Plus, extensions are an overnight transformation that can eliminate months of waiting for hair to grow out. Read on to learn more about the different options you have when choosing what type of weave is right for you.
Cost - Hair extensions were a luxury that only the rich and famous could afford for many years. Although theya re now available on a more practical scale, they still aren't cheap. Depending on what material, application, amount, and upkeep you opt for, extensions can cost anywhere from tens to hundreds to thousands of dollars. Bottom line: Consider finances when making the decision to give mother nature a boost.
Time - There is a huge range when it comes to the time committment of ectensions. Clip-ins can be applied in a matter of seconds, but for longer lasting extensions, applications can often take four to six hours, and demand up to an hour every week on upkeep.
Damage - Certain application methods can leave hair damaged and dead. Some even lead to bald spots! Before getting extensions, make sure you know your stylists qualifications, and familiarize yourself with the implications of the application and removal methods that you opt for. Not suprisingly, some methods are safer for hair than others.
Finding Your Perfect Fit
Synthetic vs. Natural Human Hair - The goal of extensions is to keep hair looking natural, which can be achieved with both synthetic and natural materials. Synthetic extensions are less pricey, more plentiful, and can offer a wider range of colors. 100%-Natural human hair extensions, however, are generally more durable and longer-lasting. Additionally, whereas most synthetic materials cannot be color treated or styled with heat tools, natural materials can be subjected to anything that your normal hair would, offering greater style versatility. Regardless of which material to chose, stylists recommend using a variety of weights and possibly even colors similar to your own, in order to achieve the most natural look possible.
Clip-In vs. Semi-Permanent - Clip-in hair extensions are great for their ease of use; they can be clipped in and out in a matter of minutes. They are also generally the least expensive option when it comes to weaves, and can be purchased don or in an updo. However, they can sometimes shed or tangle, and they are more difficult to blend seamlessly into your hair. Semi-permanent extensions, on the other hand, are generally the most natural looking; the seem between natural hair and extension is often undetectable. However, they run more risk of damaging your hair, they are more expensive, and they are more demanding in terms of maintenance.
Method - When it comes to application, there are many points to consider: time, expense, appearance, viability, risk to natural hair, maintenance, and more. Although there is no right or wrong answer, some methods have shown to be more reliable and less likely to cause lasting damage than others. Most people avoid older methods such as glue, which often damages natural hair, and metal clips, which have a short lifespan and make hair difficult to brush through. Ttracks/sewing can be a good option in some cases,but it frequanetly hangs too heavy on the natural hair, and it is often less viable than bonding methods. Currently, the method most hihgly recommended by stylists is Thermo plastique, which is a relatively gentle way to bond that can be easily removed without damaging natural hair, and which boasts micro bonding attachment points that are nearly invisible.
Once extensions are in, they can usually be brushed and washed without fuss. Loop brushes made specifically for extensions are advisable when brushing hair to avoid damaging the extension and its bond. Additionally, gentle shampoo, light conditioner, and cold water is often key to avoid damage and tangling when washing. Because extensions do not produce any natural oils of their own, as normal hair does, it is especially important that you keep them moisturized.
If you're still set on longer, thicker hair, but aren't convinced that extensions are the route for you, there are many ways to improve the strength of you existing hair, and allow it to grow more efficiently au naturel. Experts recommend a balanced diet (protein, iron, zinc, Vitamin C, and a small amount of healthy fats are all essential to healthy hair), daily scalp massages, and vitamin B supplements. Additionally, check out Jada Beauty to find your perfect stylist, as a simple cut is often the easiest way to rock a healthier, fuller looking mane.
Here are a few long-haired beauties we can't stop staring at. Think their locks are real? Fake? Half and half? We don't know, and we bet you can't tell either! Voila, the beauty of extensions!
Have you used extensions to give mother nature a little boost? We love to hear tips and opinions from our readers, leave us a comment below to share your two cents!
For the love of longer, thicker hair,