What is the most luxurious salon service offered today? The answer is – Hair Extensions. The cost can be very expensive, depending on the quality and the hair extensions methods. The reputation of the salon plays an important role, and the price may vary from simple to double.

To make a right choice you have to consider different options. Consider your lifestyle and budget first. The type of extensions, the hair cost and the fitting method will form the price.

There are four main Hair Extensions Methods.

  • Micro Rings
  • Strand by Strand
  • Wefts
  • Clip-In

Below you can read the description of those Hair Extensions Methods, the pro and contra, the cost and aftercare recommendations.

STRAND BY STRAND Hair Extensions Methods

In this method, the extensions strands are individually fitted to the strands of your natural hair. The fitting can be done with glue (hot or cold) or Micro Rings.

Strands of extensions are usually about 20 to 30 hairs. During your consultation, the technician decides which is the best extensions colour to use.

The low-cost extensions are coming in pre-bonded strands, ready to fit. If you go for excellent quality, the hair will be prepared by hand, strand by strand. The technician will make them prior the fitting visit. During the fitting visit, the individual strands are attached to your hair with glue or Micro Rings.

There are two Strand by Strand methods: Hot Fusion (Keratin), Cold Fusion and Micro Rings.

Micro Rings or I-tip:

In those hair extension methods, the small strands of extensions are pulled through small tubes (Micro Rings). The Micro Rings are clamped to the natural hair with a professional tool.  The best quality Micro Rings are made of copper. Some are lined with silicone to protect the natural hair.

Micro Rings are the safest and the most secure of all the modern Hair Extensions Methods. No heat, no glue and no damage to the customer’s hair. The Micro Rings are invisible and hold the extensions very well.

Micro Ring Hair Extensions Methods

Budget: ££ – £££££

The cost for Micro Ring Hair Extensions Methods depends mostly on the product quality. The price will vary upon how many strands are fitted, the extensions length and salon’s reputation. A specialist must apply Micro Rings. A full head can be done in 2-3 hours.

Pros:

  • The extensions are in individual strands and move naturally
  • This method uses no heat or glue – no damage to the natural hair
  • Micro Rings resist heat, chemicals and are secure for the extensions
  • The Extensions are reusable many times. Any extensions that could have slid down can be re-fitted
  • The safest method on the market
  • Micro Rings are of different colours and can match any hair
  • Invisible when fitted by a professional
  • Excellent for thin hair. The Micro Rings are secure even for minuscule strands

Cons:

  • One of the longest methods to apply, the application time, can be 4-6 hours. A professional can complete a full head in 2-3 hours
  • Requires a long learning curve to be successful. A professional must have years of experience

Maintenance:

Avoid all oil-based products near the Micro Rings.

Hot Fusion or Keratin Bond

This method uses small U-shaped Keratin bonds. They look like tiny shells. The extension is placed into the U-bond. Using a heater, the technician melts it and attach the extension and the hair together. Sometimes the U-bonds are lined with silicone. The silicone creates a protective barrier for your hair.

The Keratin bonds are fitted close to the scalp, with some space to allow your hair to move naturally.

Keratin Hot Fusion Hair Extensions Methods

Budget: ££ – £££££:

The cost for Hot Fusion hair extensions depends mostly on the product’s quality. The price will vary upon how many strands are fitted, the extensions length and salon’s reputation.

Pros:

  • Most suitable for thick, coarse hair
  • Easy to fit. Can be applied by a technician with limited experience

Cons:

  • The time-consuming method of hair extensions and average application time is between 6 and 8 hours. An experienced hairdresser can do a full head in 2-3 hours
  • The heating tool is used application. Too much heat can damage the customer’s hair
  • Keratin is not reusable, and extensions cannot be re-fitted
  • Customers may complain of a headache after fitting. You can also feel discomfort and an itchy scalp during the first few weeks.
  • Hot Fusion or Keratin requires a long learning curve for a technician. May result in hair damage or breakage if not applied correctly
  • Some hair care products can melt the Keratin bonds and damage the extensions
  • Not suitable for thin hair. The Keratin can be visible through the thin hair

Maintenance:

Avoid too much heating with the blow dryer. Avoid all oil-based products.

Cold Fusion

This method uses tiny sheets of Keratin. Using an ultrasonic tool, the technician melts it and bonds the extension and the hair together. The Cold Fusion does not require heat and less damaging to the hair.

Cold Fusion Hair Extensions Methods

Budget: ££ – £££££

The cost for Cold Fusion Hair Extensions Methods depends mostly on the product’s quality. The price will vary upon how many strands are fitted, the extensions length and salon’s reputation. Cold Fusion can be quicker to apply by a specialist. A full head can be done in 2 hours.

Pros:

  • Most suitable for thick, coarse hair
  • Easy to fit. Can be applied by a technician with limited experience
  • Can be quicker to use than the Hot Fusion

Cons:

  • A heating tool is used application. Too much heat can damage the customer’s hair
  • Keratin is not reusable, and extensions cannot be re-fitted
  • Customers may complain of a headache after fitting. You can also feel discomfort and an itchy scalp during the first few weeks
  • Cold Fusion or Keratin Bonds require a long learning curve for a technician. May result in hair damage or breakage if not applied correctly
  • Some hair care products can melt the Keratin bonds and damage the extensions
  • Not suitable for thin hair. The Keratin can be visible through the thin hair

Maintenance:

Avoid too much heating with a blow-dryer. Avoid all oil-based products.

WEFT HAIR EXTENSIONS

The weft extensions (about 3-6cm wide) is fitted to the hair in rows, and not in individual strands. Wefts are secured in place with glue or sewn to the natural hair. The Weft Hair Extensions Methods are:

  • Glued-In
  • Sewn-In
  • Braided

Tape In Weft Extensions

The extensions are fitted using double or single-sided polyurethane tape. With double-sided tape, the weft extension is pressed to the hair after removing the protective band from one side. The weft is attached to the hair and then pulled upwards.  Another weft is pushed from the other side of the tape. This forms kind of “extensions sandwich”.  Customers with thin hair may require only a single-sided Weft.

Tape In Weft Hair Extensions Methods

Budget:  £ – £££

The cost for Tape-In Hair Extensions Methods depends mostly on the product’s quality. The price will vary upon how many strands are fitted, the extensions length and salon’s reputation. Any technician can apply Tape-In. A full head can be done in 1 hour.

Pros:

  • Fastest method on the market. The volume can be increased in 20-30 minutes.  A full head fitting takes 45-60 minutes.
  • No heat or tools required for Tape-In fitting.
  • Weft Panels are flat, almost undetectable. Suitable for thin hair.
  • A safe method, the overall weight of the extensions is spread out over a large area.
  • The hair can be re-used if prepared by a specialist.

Cons:

  • The customer cannot wash hair or excessively sweat for 24-48 hours after fitting. The weft glue needs time to go off and secure the tapes.
  • Any silicone or oil based products can make the weft lose and slip.

Maintenance:

Avoid all oil-based products directly on the Tape-In wefts.

Glue-in:

Short-term hair extension methods. The glue is applied to the weft; then the weft is pressed against the natural hair.  The Glue-In wefts are fitted for few days. The adhesive is removed using an oil-based solvent.

Budget:  £ – ££

The cost for Tape-In hair extensions methods depends mostly on the product’s quality. The price will vary upon how many strands are fitted, the extensions length and salon’s reputation. Any technician can apply Tape-In. A full head can be done in 1 hour.

 Pros:

  • Perfect for someone looking to have extensions for a short time.
  • The cheapest extensions method.

Cons:

  • Glue can cause damage to the hair and the skin.
  • If the wefts are thick, they can cause headaches or tension alopecia.
  • Can only be used for few days.
  • Heat and some hair care products can melt the glue.
  • If the adhesive is applied to the scalp skin during the fitting, the hair skin can clog. The clogged follicles can cause bacterial scalp infections.

Maintenance:

Wefts must be re-fitted every few days or after a shower.

Sew-in or braided:

Commonly called as a weave, sew-in or braided extensions. Widely used within the Afro-Caribbean community. Perfect for thick, coarse or curly or hair.  The natural hair is braided together to create a base for the extensions. The wefts are sewn into those braids with a needle and thread.

Sewn In Hair Extensions Methods

Budget:  £ – ££

The cost for Sewn-In extensions depends mostly on the product’s quality. The price will vary upon how many wefts are fitted, the extensions length and salon’s reputation. A full head can be done in 2-4 hours.

Pros:

  • The customer can use oil or silicone-based products.
  • Good for curly and thick, coarse hair.
  • No glue, no heat during the fitting.

Cons:

  • The fitting can take many hours.
  • If the extensions are not washed on regular basis, bacteria can build up and cause infection.
  • Hair Extensions are not comfortable and obviously visible.
  • Can cause headaches after fitting.
  • The styling is limited.
  • Tight braids can cause tension on the hair.
  • Not suitable for thin hair.
  • Damage the hair with the weight of extensions.

Maintenance:

The hair must be washed on a regular basis. No over styling, this will make the braids loose and slip.

CLIP-IN

Clip in extensions is a fast and convenient method. The wefts of hair extensions are fitted with small pressure clips.  Clip-in extensions are perfect for those who not want to have extensions every day. Clip-In can be used to extend the length of existing extensions.

Suit for special occasions or events.  The Clip-In extensions can be removed at wish, in few seconds.

Clip In Hair Extensions Methods

Budget:  £ – £££££

The price of clip-in extensions depends on the quality and the brand. Russian Hair Clip-In will last for many years of regular use, with a proper after-care.

Pros:

  • Excellent versatility – the option to fit it or remove it at wish.
  • The Clip-In can be removed and installed back by any person.
  • Can be washed and styled.
  • Last for many years with proper care.

Cons:

  • Clip-in extensions cannot be worn for many days without removing it.
  • Must be removed before going to bed.

Maintenance:

The Clip-In must be washed (not very often). Apply a conditioner if the hair becomes dry or dull.  Carefully comb the Clip-In Hair Extensions with a wide tooth comb or Loop brush.

MICRO-LINK SKIN WEFT

The hair is pulled through silicone lined micro-links that are attached to the skin wefts. The micro-links are clamped with a professional tool.

Budget: £-£££

The cost depends on a quantity of the wefts.

Pros:

  • Quick Fitting – 1 hour or less.
  • No heat, no glue or tape. No damage.
  • Wefts can be cut to size.

Cons:

  • Wefts are bulky and do not suitable for thin or fine hair.
  • Limited styling

Maintenance:

Avoid all oil-based products directly on the Tape-In wefts.

Micro Link Skin Weft Methods