Everything you need to know about buying hair extensions

Everything you need to know about buying hair extensions

by Catherine

| January 16th, 2017

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by Catherine | January 16th, 2017


Now we know celebrities such as the Kardashians, Blake Lively and Beyoncé rely on hair extensions to achieve their perfectly polished locks, so let’s talk about hair extensions and the options out there!

The truth is, there are a lot of trade secrets behind getting celebrities looking perfect, and the biggest of all… hair extensions.  Not many of us are blessed with having thick luscious locks, and no shampoo or conditioner (regardless of what adverts would have you believe) will ever give you that look.

Celebrities don’t have super genes either; rather, they turn to extensions to switch up their length whenever they feel like changing their look.

Here are a few key facts when choosing the right type of hair extensions for your hair, budget and preference.  Bear in mind that hair extensions aren’t just for achieving long Rapunzel hair.  Think of them as the trusted friend who will support you through a bad haircut or re-style!

Two of the most common terms we use to describe hair extensions are 100% Human Hair and Remy Hair.  You may have heard of the latter, but do you know what it means?  These terms help us describe the quality of the hair. This is why you can buy hair extensions for £30 or upwards of £1000. If you’re lusting after celebrity style hair extensions, then investing in high quality hair is essential.

What is Remy Hair?

Remy hair is cut directly from a donor ensuring the cuticle remains intact and the hair is then processed to ensure every strand is uniform and faces the same direction. The cuticle makes up the outer structure of the hair and protects the hair’s core from outside elements. Think slates on the roof of a house, you need them to be all lying flat to protect the inside.

This hair is designed to last 6-9 months and will retain its shine, lustre and behave and blend more like your own hair, and in some cases even be a lot healthier than your own hair.

What is Human Hair?

100% human hair isn’t donated, it is collected. Collected from brushes and factories, commonly known as ‘fallen hair’, this hair needs to be cleaned and stripped to blend together. Hair of different origin and age is mixed together and processed in an acid bath with the cuticle striped. This hair is designed to last 4 weeks before it becomes dull and can tangle and matt.

Double Drawn Hair Vs Single Drawn Hair?

Have you ever purchased hair and the ends of the hair are thin and straggly or noticed girls with a just few strands of wispy hair. Well this means the hair ratio is a low grade ratio and lots of different hair lengths are bundled together, resulting in the hair looking like it needs a good few inches cut. Which then actually results in you losing all that extra length you thought you were adding! We specialise in double drawn hair and actually only offer double drawn hair in our salon professional range. Double drawn hair gives the illusion of healthy, full and thick hair.

True double drawn hair means that over 80% of the hair bundle is made up of the final length with very minimal numbers of shorter strands, so if you purchase 20” extensions, at least 80% of the hair has to be 20 inches in length.

Discuss the options with your stylist!

Weaves, A.K.A. Sew-Ins, Braided Weaves, Micro Ring Weaves

An affordable and effective way to add volume and length, weft extensions are attached to your own hair with small micro beads that stay fixed in place for 6/8 weeks. This fast and affordable option allows your stylist to apply hair extensions in an hour. Wefts have really taken of over in the last five years due to the time it takes a stylist to apply the hair. With non-damaging application methods, weft extensions can be applied with absolutely no heat, no glue and no braid! Clever techniques mean that the wefts can be individually cut and customized to fit your head size and even positioned to ensure you can wear your hair up without any tell-tale signs of extensions. With the latest weft technology, Beauty Works and celebrity stylist Jen Atkin developed the Invisi-Weft, designed with a lightweight silk structure which blends into the hairline seamlessly. The secret to Hollywood hair makeovers!

Shelf Life: 6-8 weeks.

Reuse the hair for up to 6/9 months.

Tape-In Extensions

Small customizable wefts are attached close to the roots of the hair using medical grade tape. Tape extensions are a super-fast salon service. Using tape-in wefts that actually mimic the hair’s natural growth, Beauty Works Invisi-Tape is lightweight and can be applied within minutes to the hairline. They can be used to add highlights throughout the hair and create bespoke blends.

Ideal for a shorter term fix, disguise bad haircuts, broken or damaged hair and used for special occasions such as weddings and holidays. The perfect application method for salons and clients on the go!

Shelf Life: 6-8 weeks.

Reuse the hair for up to 9 months.

Bonded Extensions, A.K.A Flat Tips or Glue-Ins

A method that has been available for years, the hot, ultrasonic waves are used to bond keratin attachments to your hair with keratin glue molecular. Pre-bonded extensions are flexible and comfortable to wear and hair can be added to hair throughout the hairline to extend your locks. Even the shortest hair styles can be transformed with this method, but do allow up to 2/3 hours for a full head application. However the results are well worth the time in the salon chair!

Shelf Life: 3 months

Reuse the hair for 6 months

Micro Rings A.K.A Stick tips or Beaded extensions or Nano Bonds

The latest technique to become more mainstream in the last few years; micro rings involve tiny copper or aluminum beads being attached to individual strands of your own hair. Each strand can flow freely with your own hair, whilst unique colour blends and clever placement of the extension strands can create amazing hair. With no heat and no glue involved, it’s a favorite with salon professionals and a great option for longer lasting hair. And it’s all about size here, the smaller the ring the less undetectable the bond will be, check out our Nano Bonds, the the smallest ring and bond available!

Ideal for a longer term fix, disguise bad haircuts, add highlights and low lights and completely change your lengths.

Shelf Life: 3 months

Reuse the hair for 6 months

Clip-In Extensions

The secret weapon for every Hollywood hairstylist; we’ve been providing some of the world’s leading hairstylists with clip-in extensions for their kit for years. (Find out more on our insta!) Clip-ins are a good way to start with hair extensions and are a more temporary, economical option. Unlike permanent extensions, you can apply clip-ins at home whether you’re looking to add volume or length. Plus, they can last for up to two years if properly cared for.

Shelf Life: Depending on wear, clip-ins can be a permanent wardrobe fixture for months, if not years.

Aftercare and Maintenance

Like with every new addition to our beauty regimes, dedicating time to caring for your hair extensions is an essential. Don’t expect to jump out the shower and look like a preened princess – your extensions need a little TLC. Using the right aftercare products is essential for any type of hair extensions, so we suggest purchasing the correct aftercare products, specifically designed for hair extensions as well as a specialist extension brush which is snag free. Must have haircare is the golden rule for any experienced hair extension wearer!

Another key factor which can cause damage is heat. Have you ever burnt your dress with an iron? The horror when you pull the smoking iron away and you see the ugly melted hole left behind.  This is what you’re doing to your hair extensions when you use heated appliances on anything above 180 degrees.  Remember, you wouldn’t iron your silk dress on a cotton setting so keep heat styling on your extensions to a minimum where possible and do not exceed temperatures over 180 degrees Celsius.

Are hair extensions a good idea for me?

Another key factor is your lifestyle, you must consider your hair and lifestyle routines as you must be willing to set an aside a small amount of time each day to maintain professionally applied extensions. A good way to start with extensions is trying a small amount for volume then building your way up to more hair.

Extensions can be really damaging if they’re not installed or maintained correctly

Whether it’s an incorrect application or removal or you’re applying too much, extensions can be stressful to the hair follicles and can even result in hair loss.

The most important information that we can ever share with you is seek out a professional to apply your hair extensions.  There are hundreds of YouTube videos demonstrating the application of hair extensions and it looks easy right? WRONG! What the videos don’t show is the damage they have done after a few days of wearing DIY extensions.  In fact just because you are a hairdresser doesn’t mean you can apply hair extensions. Hair extensions are a fine art and like any specialist beauty treatment you must have the training and certificates to ensure you are a professionally qualified.

Always check out your stylist’s work on Instagram, Facebook or elsewhere online, and ensure you are working with an experienced professional who can properly determine the extension option for you.

Now, considering all the information above, you will be able to find the perfect hair extension method for you.

Check out our full extensions range.

Contact our team of hair extension specialists covering the UK for a complimentary hair extension consultation today.

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