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What are the Different Types of Hair Extensions?

Updated on May 30, 2013

Types of Hair Extensions

There is a massive range of hair extensions available and it is often confusing. I mean – what is the difference between a microbeads hair extension, pre-bonded hair extensions, sewn in hair extensions or clip in hair extensions. See what I mean?

Deciding which one is right for you is a major pain, and one place to start without actually spending any money is to pop into your local hairdresser and see what they suggest. In the meantime I'm going to give you a basic guide as to the differences between all the different types in this article and hopefully that may help you decide which one is right for you. There are two main differences really – whether or not the hair is human i.e. natural, or synthetic; and how the extensions are attached.

There are other minor differences more concerned with the thickness of the hair and basically you be paying more for thicker hair than you will for thin hair. I don't really see why there is such a large difference in price between the different thicknesses, but there is and there's nothing you can do about that unfortunately. The fact is – if you have thick hair, you're going to be paying more than people who have thin hair.

TressMatch Clip in Hair Extensions are the Best!

Clip in Hair Extensions

These are probably the easiest type of hair extensions to attach, but they are perhaps not quite as comfortable as some of the other ways of attaching hair extensions. You can if you wish to attach these yourself, as shown in the video below, but usually it's a good idea to get a friend to help you out the first few times, in order to make sure that the hair is properly and evenly attached. Once you have a feel for it, they are easy to do on your own.

There is a massive range of clip in hair extensions available, but I like to recommend this particular manufacturer - TressMatch - because the quality of their hair is superb. Although you can buy cheaper hair extensions than these, personally I think you're better off spending a little more money and for two reasons – they are easier to attach and far more comfortable to wear than some of the cheaper hair which is far too light.

These guys offer three different lengths and weights 16 to 18 inches [110g], 20 to 22 inches [125g]; 20"-22" [150g]; And they offer 14 different colors, so you are almost certain to be able to match your particular hair color. Basically – the heavier weights are for people with thicker hair.

The best place to buy them is from Amazon – go check them and read the reviews – there almost no bad ones, and they offer a 30 day return policy. Highly recommended!

How to Attach Clip in Hair Extensions

Sewn in Hair Extensions

Sew in or "weave," hair extensions are a little different to the clip in version in that you can leave them in for a long time. While clipping hair extensions tend to allow you to have a far thicker extension, the main difference is the fact that you can clip them in really quickly, whereas sewn in hair extensions take a lot longer to do, but can be left in for an extremely long time.

Basically you can leave them in until they start to drop because of your natural hair growth. Also – obviously you cannot sew them in yourself, so you are going to need to get a friend to do it, or go to a professional hairstylist. When you're deciding which ones to go for, I think the most important thing is whether or not you plan on leaving them in or not. Certainly the clip ons are much easier to use. And of course – less expensive – because you're not having to have somebody else do the work for you.

Watch this short video to see what I mean – clearly, you are not going to be able to do this yourself. So if you are planning on wearing short hair at work for example, and then putting hair extensions and to go to a nightclub you're far better off with the clip in versions.

How to Sew In or Weave in Hair Extensions

Micro Bead Hair Extensions

Micro bead or micro link hair extensions are very similar to the weaving version, because you're basically weaving the natural hair and the extension through a tiny little bead – if you watch the video below you see what I mean and the good thing about this particular type of hair extension is it is really well-suited not only to matching your natural hair, but weaving in different strands of brightly colored hair as well.

This is another type that is not practical to do yourself, because you really need to carefully match the natural hair to the extension so that it looks natural and hangs properly. This is a somewhat skilled job, and if you are planning on doing this I suggest you find a friend to practice with, because it really does take a while to learn how to do this. Once you've got the hang of it – like anything else – practice makes perfect – it is not too hard. Or – go to a professional with experience attaching microbead or microlink hair extensions. There are plenty of salons that do hair extensions - just check with them first.

Attaching Micro-Bead Hair Extensions

Synthetic Hair Extensions

I personally prefer human hair extensions, and the best ones are Remy Indian hair, but if you're looking for an interesting and different look, then synthetic hair extensions and wild colors can be great! Synthetic extensions are far less expensive than the natural human hair extensions – and I mean a lot less expensive!

The synthetic ones so it is wide and varied arranges the natural ones, and you can buy them to attach with beads, links or clips, much like the natural human hair versions. I don't like the feel of these personally, and the only time I do use synthetic ones is when I want some shock value for something really off the wall.

The price is very attractive though. :)

Salon Pro 30 Second Bonding Glue is the Best!

Glue in Hair Extensions

Glue in hair extensions are not really any different to the weave in or sew in versions, and are really interchangeable. The only difference is the way they are attached. As you might've guessed, you can glue these hair extensions in as well as sew them in. Although the glue in process is somewhat convoluted, the advantage of gluing them in rather than weaving them in is that they will will not drop out as your natural hair grows, whereas the sewn in versions will need to be redone as your hair grows.

This is another type of hair extension that really requires somebody else to do it for you, and once again it is best to either find a friend to practice with or go to a professional stylist, which makes this another of the more expensive types.

In the days when hair extensions were a new idea it was necessary to buy a hot glue gun in order to attach the hair, but now you can buy glue that you can apply with your fingers and one of the best – no scratch that – the best - is from Salon Pro. Don't forget to buy the glue remover as well!

What is your favorite type of hair extensions?

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