Trying to decipher the many different types of hair extensions is no mean feat. And to make it even more confusing for first-timers, there seem to be multiple variations of the same technique. Here are five of the most popular.
Clip-in extensions are a quick, affordable, and temporary way of achieving length, thickness, and volume at home. "The good quality clip-ins will look and feel natural, they will last years, there is no commitment, and you can fit and style them yourself," says Karelina. Perfect for those who want to change their look for an occasion such as a wedding, there are a range of ready to wear clip-ins to choose from, from one-piece clip-ins to 10-piece sets, ponytails, buns, and bangs, the latter of which you literally just clip to your hair.
Tape-ins are considered to be semipermanent extensions that can last up to eight weeks and re-taped three times. While there are many more sections than clip-ins, tape-ins are applied by a trained hair technician, and Yates claims it only takes 45 minutes to fit a whole head. Tape-ins are generally lightweight and lie flat to your head, meaning they blend in seamlessly.
Weaves are applied to the hair by a weave specialist who braids the client's natural hair, and then sews wefts of extensions into each braid. Generally, weaves last up to two weeks, but fortnightly maintenance checks are recommended.
Micro rings is an extensions technique where a hairstylist attaches the extensions to strands of natural hair using tiny copper rings. The rings come in different sizes and are distributed across the head to ensure the extensions remain discreet. Considered permanent extensions, they typically last three to four months before requiring tightening and, if cared for correctly, the hair can be reused multiple times. Nano rings are almost exactly the same as micro rings, but the rings are smaller and made of metal.
Pre-bonded extensions — also known as fusion extensions or keratin extensions — are one of the most well-known and widely used types of extensions. Fused to the hair using keratin and a heat gun, the process can take over two hours as each extension is connected to your natural hair individually until the desired look has been achieved. Like micro rings, bonds are considered to be permanent, and depending on personal maintenance, can last for up to four months before needing to be refitted.