Types of Extension Installations

Types of Extension Installations

Gina Reynolds - Tuesday, April 04, 2017
  1. What to consider when choosing extensions

When choosing any type of extension maintenance cost should be taken into consideration prior to getting an installation. When the proper maintenance protocol isn't followed hair can mat or lock. Purchasing cheap hair for your extensions can result in matting and tangling. If this happens combing through your extensions can be grueling and can cause your extensions to be pulled out along with your hair.

Are extensions damaging?

I've been doing extensions almost a decade and I've built my business by being honest with my clients. There's a possibility for damage with every method and every method is not suitable for EVERY hair type. Maintenance does play a role in minimizing the damage of extensions. Just like having anything done to the hair such as chemical treatments, when you put something in your hair that's not natural to the hair there's a possibility for damage.

You must care for your extensions as though they are your real hair. They aren't attached to your scalp like your natural hair so they aren't receiving the oils and nutrition that your natural hair does. While wearing extensions you should use leave in treatments, conditioner, oils (my preference is argan on the extension), and heat protectant. You should also also use a moisturizering shampoo and occasionally a clarifying shampoo to make sure there isn't a product build up on the hair. Product build up can make the hair tangle, may, feel yucky, not curl right, etc. On days you clarify your hair make sure to follow up with a moisturizing shampoo & conditioner to restore the sheen and softness.

Can I color my hair with extensions in?

If you color or bleach your hair with extensions in it is imperative that the stylist properly rinses and neutralizes all of the chemicals from your hair. If not the chemicals will seep into the extensions and cause damage to your hair. I recommend either going to someone with experience working on clients with extensions or only have the service performed on your leave out hair (leave out is hair without extensions in it).

Types of extensions

Microlinks/Microtubes/Microbeads - are small bunches of tipped hair that are applied to your hair with small beads and tightened with a special tool. No glue or heat is used with this method. These extensions should be maintained every 6-10 weeks depending on the amount of new hair growth. If microlinks are not maintained they will mat and tangled. When applying oil to this method avoid getting oil close to the connection point.

Braidless Weave - a method that doesn't use braids when wefts are applied. Beads are applied to the hair sideways, then tightened, then wefts are sewn to the beads with thread. There is no maintenance for this method unless thread or a bead becomes loose. This method needs to be redone every 2-2.5 months depending on hair growth.

Beaded weave - this method uses no braid, thread, glue, or heat. Your hair and wefted hair are pulled through small beads and secured with a tool. This method should be maintained every 4-5 weeks to avoid wefts from slipping out. Removal consists of reopening the clips. When applying oil to this method avoid getting oil close to the connection point.

Fusion - this method uses a protein (keratin) bonding agent and fusion connection tool to adhere small bunches of hair to your hair. Although information on the internet claims that it is not a glue, it is a type of adhesive or it would not adhere to you hair. I recommend not wearing this method longer than 4 months as the new growth can potentially tangle. There is no maintenance unless pieces detached from your hair. After 4 months the extensions are removed. When applying oil to this method avoid getting oil close to the connection point.

Tape Extensions - with this method your hair is sandwiched between 2 extensions and adhered to the extensions with a double-sided tape. These extensions should be maintained every 8-10 weeks. At a maintenance appointment the extensions are removed with a special remover, your hair is shampooed, and the extensions are retapped and reinstalled. The night before maintenance you should shampoo your extensions so the tape hair is clean. When hair is newly installed it should not be shampooed for 48 hours. This allows the tapes to set. If you use allot of oils and products where the extensions are attached to your hair, it will break down the tapes and they will slide out. When applying oil to this method avoid getting oil close to the connection point.

Traditional weaving (cornrow method) - with this method the natural hair is cornrowed down then wefts are sewn to the cornrows with thread. This style is the least damaging to natural kinkier textured hair. It's a protective style when the cornrows aren't done too tightly. If the cornrows are too tight this method can cause tractional alopecia, especially around the hairline. This method should be worn anywhere from 6-12 weeks depending on the hair growth. After shampooing your hair you should sit under a dryer for at least 1-1.5 hours or use a hand held blow dryer to dry as much as the cornrows under the weave as possible to avoid mildewing. Using a mixture of essential oils under the weave is great for the scalp and smells wonderful. Especially oils such as tea tree and peppermint.


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