Hair Extensions are life-savers in helping us experiment with all kinds of colours and lengths that we may not have tried otherwise, and the best thing is that they're not just popular among celebrities like the Kardashians — they're more accessible than ever. From clip-ins to the more complex bond extensions, there are a ton of avenues you can explore if you want to switch up your hair temporarily or semi-permanently. Whatever your preference, we've broken a few of them down for you.
Clip-ins are perhaps the easiest, less time-consuming way of adding length, thickness, and volume to your hair, and one of the best things about them is that you don't even have to see a professional to have them installed.
"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,
These types of extensions literally clip to your hair, and they come in handy when you want to change up your hair for a particular event or occurrence and don't want to commit to something more permanent. (You typically take them out after a day, but can continue to reuse them for long after that.) Nowadays, clip-ins come in all kinds of lengths, textures, and colours, and you can usually buy them in packs.
Microlinks — also called micro rings or micro beads — are a popular alternative option to sew-in weaves and tape-in extensions. These are normally attached to strands of hair using small tubes or rings, and they're said to be safer than other kinds of extensions because they don't damage the hair and scalp by putting too much weight or stress on them. They also don't require the use of glue or adhesive, and they're a lot less noticeable in your hair.
One downside, depending on how you look at it, is that getting a full head of microlinks might take anywhere from one to five hours to complete, but they can last up to two to three months.
Installing a weave is a process that requires a bit more labour. They're usually installed by a hairstylist who braids the hair down into a specific pattern — either what's known as a straight-back cornrows — before sewing bundles or "tracks" down to the braids. This can usually take anywhere from two to six hours, depending on how many bundles you're installing (two or three is a good amount) and how speedy your stylist is.
Weaves can last anywhere from six to 10 weeks, though it's important for people who wear them to also make sure they're still regularly taking care of their hair that's beneath the weave.
Bonds are fused to the hair using keratin and a heat gun. This process can take a few hours to complete since, like microlinks, each extension is connected to your natural hair individually until the desired look has been achieved. These are also considered to be permanent and, depending on personal maintenance, can last for up to four months before needing to be refitted.