Hair Extensions – The Basics

Long hair comes to those who wait, but longer hair comes to those who go out and get it (ba dum tss…).1 lh

I’ll admit I was a wee bit hesitant to write this one – to be honest I’m not sure whether admitting to wearing extensions is seen as a faux pas. Nonetheless, I have gone through a hell of a journey of trying brands, dying, styling, blending, and figuring out the best way to keep them in securely – so, from one girl to another of course I want to share my experience. After all, having found an article like this some time ago would surely have saved me some trouble.

Choosing a new set of hair extensions can be a daunting task – what brand is best, how long should you get them, and is synthetic or Remy hair better? Whether you’re looking for a set of clip-in extensions to add length to you hair or simply to create more volume, there are a ton of options out there. This week I cover the basics of what you should look for when shopping for hair extensions.

Length: Generally, sets of extension can come from hair extensionsanywhere between 10 and 24 inches. This chart can help give you an idea what they look like once they’re put in. Personally, I’d go with 22 inch set since it was only a few more dollars to get the longer ones and since I believe that getting them too long is better than too short as you can always cut them. Mind you, 22 inches is super long, but I was able to have them cut with my hairstyle so I could get layers which matched my haircut and could easily blend in. Usually your hairdresser will be more than happy to help you out with this when you go in for a cut.

Weight: Hair extensions are measured in grams – typically between 100 – 200 g. All this means is the heavier the mass is, the more hair there is attached to each weft. If you have fine hair you may be interested in getting a lesser amount, but since extensions are prone to shed I would recommend opting for the heavier sets.

What is Remy Hair? Remy hair is the finest, human hair available. Since the cuticals are in tact the hair appears to be more natural and healthy. Ultimately investing in real hair with your extensions will give you a ton more wear out of them (as they last much longer!) and they’ll look a lot more natural.

How to buy: There are a number of online stores including Luxy Hair and Irresistible Me, however I would encourage you to shop in person. Matching colour can be extremely tricky and seeing it in person makes a huge difference. Check out Sally Beauty Supply or Trade Secrets here in Canada.

Caring for your extensions: Even though extensions13467658_10153777408875888_428109937_o.jpg are may be made with real hair, they don’t produce the oils or proteins as hair on your head does (since it’s cut!) so you don’t need to wash them as often as you do your own hair. If you’re wearing them daily, obviously there will be product buildup from hairspray and other styling creams which can cause them to feel grungy. I would recommend washing them once a week, and less often if you’re only wearing them once in a while.

To wash them simply fill your sink up with warm water and shampoo (like you would a bubble bath) and gently clean them one at a time. Squeeze out all of the access water and apply a small amount of conditioner individually to each weft. Try to only focus on the ends of the hair and avoid getting the clips and top of the extensions wet as it can cause the clips to break or hair to shed out. After rinsing out the conditioner, detangle them with a wide-toothed comb and lay them flat on a towel to dry overnight. You can blowdry them but I try to avoid using unnecessary heat on them if I can.

Styling: Hair extensions can be straightened, curled or used an updo just as regular hair can (check out my fishtail topknot tutorial to see). You can either put them in your hair and style as usual (this helps blend the hair with your own much better!) or curl/straighten them separately and then add them in. Lastly, remember to always use a heat protecting spray!!!

Pro Tip: If you have fine or straight hair the clips can slide from the base of your roots. To avoid this, I always will spray some hairspray along the roots I’m about to clip to and tease, tease, tease. This will give more support to the extensions and less of a chance for an embarrassing mishap.

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There is a ton of trial and error when figuring out how to put in your extensions, and it takes a while to figure out what works best for you. Here’s a great video on the basics of putting in your hair extensions, but remember every person is different and it takes some practice!

Do you have any questions or comments? Let me know down below! 🙂

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