When getting hair extensions for the first time, it's important to ask the basic questions to get started. We had the moment to sit down with the owner and founder of YourHairShop, Kristin Griepentrog to share her expertise in hair extensions.
Q: Which methods are the best for me?
A: There are endless methods to extensions, there are so many different ways altered to fit different needs. There are variations to everything. The most prominent ones will be sewn in, wefts, beaded in wefts, and individuals. Let's dig a little deeper into each method.
Clipped inClipped-in hair is a gateway or introduction into hair extensions. It's perfect for the client who does not want the day to day washing and styling. They're more for events and temporary wear. It does feel awkward at first, but once you get the hang of it, it is the easiest method.
1. There are keratin bonded which are fused on. It's a little hard bond that you hold up to a small grouping of hair and when you heat up the bond, it will melt. You roll it around the hair and you will have to do that 150-200 strands as average.
Sewn in methodThe sewn in method is very old school and one of the very first methods. That is where you make a corn row braid. You can either braid up the entire head (found in the African American community) or you can make a cornrow braid that goes temple to temple, it's a nice tight braid that meets in the back and you can sew the hair to that braid. Nowadays, a lot of people do a similar weft method, but with beads or they'll create the attachment point with beads and then sew to it.
I-TIPI-Tip is also known as shoe lace tip hair. I-tip goes into the bead and it will be crimped shut with a pair of pliers.
Keratin tip hairWe carry flat tips but they're also known as U-tips or finger nail tip. This is the type of extension where you will hold it up against the strand of the hair and it will melt with the iron. Once it is fused around the hair, you will then rolled it. This method is different because it's beaded in. So we put the bead on the hair.
A weft is like a hula skirt. It has a seam at the top and the hair just hangs from that.
Pros and ConsThere are pros and cons to each method. There are different ones that work for different people's hair, so it's important to know what it is you're looking for and how much hair you want to add. If you want full hair, then that's wefts.
Q: May I reuse my hair extensions?
A: Most commonly the I-Tip can be reused. With the I-Tip you can open the bead, unlock it, pull the tip out and put a new bead on the hair and re-clamp it shut.
The Keratin, although they can be reused, they are usually not. Because you will have to send them out to be re-bonded.
The wefts can also be reused, whether it's beaded in or sewn in. You can either cut the string if it's sewn in or if it's beaded you can unlock the beads and still have the hair that is left over.
Q: How long does it last?A: For every method, the duration of the hair will depend on the quality of hair. Depending on the method, it'll last a couple months. We highly suggest not wearing them over a year because the ends do get shorter overtime with wear, heat tools and brushing. You can snap some ends overtime, even though the hair looks good it does appear much shorter.
- I-Tip can last up to 2 months. It requires maintenance every two months.
- Keratin can last up to 3-4 months and then removed and toss. It's possible to be re-tipped but not common.
- Wefts will require you to come in every 6-8 weeks to be removed and reinstalled
Q: Will it damage my natural hair?
A: Generally speaking, there shouldn't be any damage if it's done and cared for properly.
However, there is always a possibly of damage and it depends on the factor. The stylist has the responsibility to install it to the right amount of hair to support the extensions so that it doesn't fall off. Another factor is the client care. It's important that the client come in for proper treatment and maintenance; in addition to proper care at home.
Making sure you go to an experienced stylist with a great reputation is also an important factor.
Here a a few precautions to take, to make sure that your hair doesn't end up damaging.
- Don't overwear your hair, it's common that clients wear their hair longer than it should and it ends up damaging their natural hair.
- You need to make sure that you're going in for proper maintenance
- You need to make sure you use the proper shampoo and conditioner.
- Brushing it twice a day before and after shower
- Do not sleep with wet hair
Q: How can I remove my hair extensions?
A: Clip-ins are easy, they bend and snap, open and shut. They come right off.
All the other methods are best removed at a salon, just so you can actually see what they're doing.
During the removal process of keratin hair, you will need to use a gel removal, crunch it up with a pair of pliers and it will start to disintegrate. This process will ruin the hair extension, hence our recommendation to not be reused.
With the I-Tip, you can open the bead, and use a pair of pliers to slide them right off. There are a pair of pliers designed to open the beads here.
The wefts beads can be open and slid right off. The sewn in wefts just needs to be trimmed and it'll unravel and come off.
We hope that these Q & A will help you on your journey of hair extensions. Feel free to come by our Salon or email us with any personal questions you may have!