Lesson 1: The Basics

Hair Weaves and Extensions

Last Saturday I was invited by my friends for a girls day out. We shopped and came across some gems. The older antique feel of bay area neighborhood shopping and a crisp glass of wine can fix all your problems. The best part of our day was when we had the pleasure of visiting one of the largest wig & hair supply shops in town. I was amazed by the many different types of affordable hair, styling tools, and hair care products in the store.

This wasn’t your everyday beauty supply store. This location carried over 300 different styles, colors, origins, and textures. Hair extensions have become an art for the skull. Traveling my entire life, sourcing quality hair has always had one major downfall; there’s always been a smaller selection of what you really want, and a large one of hair you don’t. It seemed we may have run into the jackpot for quality hair. For instance, the selection of human hair weave is mind blowing. I came across a wide range of textures, colors, lengths, and styles from which you can choose. Regardless, it’s important that you not settle on your hair. Ever. Always select a type of hair that best suits you. Hair is not cheap, and the quality shouldn’t be. You settle and you will regret it. Pick your poison and stick to it until you find better hair and can upgrade. Again, never settle.

Each type of weave is characterized by a particular texture and comes with multiple wave patterns including:

  • straight
  • wavy
  • deep wave
  • tight and curly

Most sought after origins of hair:

  • Peruvian hair:

 

Peruvian hair is lightweight, free-flowing and luxurious.  This hair blends perfectly with African American, relaxed and natural as well as medium and coarse Caucasian hair textures.

 

  • Indian hair:

 

Indian hair has the thickest texture which suits most natural women since Indian hair is quite textured and comes with a very natural luster. We are the best hair retailer where you can find the best Indian hair direct from the source. You can find quality Indian curly weaves and wavy weaves at competitive prices.

 

  • Malaysian hair:

 

Malaysian hair is very soft and it blends best with relaxed textures and girls with very fine silky hair which is extremely manageable and has a unique luster. The hair is super soft and full of luster. A good example is the Malaysian body wave which is easy to style and maintain. Another quality weave is the straight sew in for that classy look.

 

  • Brazilian hair:

 

As you probably already know, Brazilian hair is one of the best textures for African American women because the texture is full, thick and flat out fabulous. The Afro kinky Brazilian weave is for those who want a more natural but edgy look.  The body wave extensions can be dyed, straightened or curled.

 

  • Eurasian hair:

 

Eurasian hair comes from individuals with a mixture of European and Asian descent. The Eurasian texture is very silky, smooth and perfect for relaxed hair.

 

Virgin weave is very easy to manage. The key points to ensure when managing virgin types of weaves:

  • Wash hair with sulfate free shampoo and use moisturizing conditioners.
  • Use a paddle brush and a white tooth comb to maintain the curls.
  • Do not use a ton of oils on your hair as this may damage it.
  • Consult with a professional before using chemicals on your investments.    

However, if you plan to blend and play the part look for textures that are close or similar to yours. Apart from the virgin hair weaves, I got to see numerous hair extensions, wigs, bundles, closers frontals, sew-ins and ponytails.     

Extensions     

Below are a few of my favorite hair extensions:

1. Clip-in Hair Extensions

Clip-in hair Extensions come in a strand of contoured pieces, attached at the base with either fabric or silicone. Clips are attached to this base and come ready to use. All you have to do is clip the pieces to your natural hair all on your own!

Clip-in hair extensions are the least permanent style of extensions because you can quickly remove them and put them back on whenever you want.

Unlike some of the other hair extension applications mentioned above, clip-ins usually take 5 – 15 minutes to apply at home.

Clip-in hair extensions are also the least damaging because they don’t involve any chemicals, heat, pressure, or other installation methods mentioned above they simply clip onto your hair with ease so there is no damage to your natural hair.

How to care for human hair extensions:

Human hair extensions are very low maintenance and only need to be washed every 15-20 wears, or if there is a lot of product buildup to the point that they become unmanageable.

Just like your natural hair, you simply brush, shampoo and condition the hair and let them air dry! They can be curled, straightened and colored, but it is always best to use a lower heat setting when heat styling the hair, and to use a heat protectant prior to heat styling.

 

2. Tape-In Hair Extensions

 

Tape hair extensions are pre-taped and then taped or glued together on either side of your own hair.

Normally, a hairdresser would apply tape-ins for you because you need to align them with the roots and they are applied with a heated tool that heats up the glue. Then, you would need to have them removed (with glue remover) and then reinstalled.

Naturally, when you apply heat to your roots and any adhesive product such as tape or glue, this can damage your hair.

This process usually takes approximately 40 minutes – 1 hour to apply and if the extensions are in good condition, they can be re-used.

 

How to care for Tape-In Hair Extensions:

With tape-in extensions, you have to be very careful when using conditioners or hair products because this can cause the tape to come loose or slip off.

This is a very common issue with tape-ins, where the hair simply slides off. Because of this, hairdressers usually recommend you use special shampoo or conditioner and styling products that are less harsh and not as oily to ensure the glue continues to stick to your hair.

You can style them any way you want because they are made with human hair, but you need to watch out for the roots where the glue or tape is.

 

3. Sew-In Hair Extensions/Weave

 

Weave hair is applied by braiding the natural hair into cornrows first, then using a needle and thread to sew the weave into the braid or cornrow.

This type of hair extension is popular because it’s the most permanent and seamless, as the hair is literally sewn into your own hair and cannot come off.

 

How to care for Sew in Extensions/Weave:

If you have a weave, you need to moisturize the scalp and edges of the hair at least once a week and ensure you are using deep conditioning products. This avoids skin irritation and itching.

Another advice I would give for people with weaves is to wash the hair with a special protein product to minimize damage and weakening of the hair.

 

4. Fusion & Pre-Bonded Hair Extensions

Fusion hair extensions are fused to the natural hair using different adhesives such as glue. Applying pre-bonded hair extensions take approximately 3-4 hours to apply and are also applied by a hairdresser.

However, fusion extensions might not be suitable for all clients as this type of application is very damaging to your natural hair, so your hairdresser may even advise against this method.

The application involves a machine that looks like a hot glue gun, which glues the hair to individual strands of the natural hair. Another type of application for pre-bonded hair extensions uses a heat clamp to melt the glue to the natural hair.

 

How to care for Fusion Hair Extensions:

The best way to take care of Fusion Hair extensions is keeping them moist and clean.

However, due to the numerous chemicals in the glue, this method can cause hair loss, breakage, and scalp irritation.

 

5. Micro link Hair Extensions

Micro link hair extensions are applied by attaching tiny wefts of hair to small sections of the natural hair with a small silicone-lined bead. Then, with a special tool secure the bead to the hair and tighten to hold it in place.

Although this method does not use heat or glue, if not installed correctly by a professional, micro link hair extensions can be damaging on the hair.

 

How to care for Micro link Hair Extensions:

You can wash them the same way you would your natural hair and use the same styling products. Similar to fusion hair extensions, micro link hair extensions need re-positioning every 2 – 3 months as the natural hair grows and the microbeads move away from the scalp. 

 

6. Wigs & Hair Pieces

 

Wigs and hairpieces come in different forms and are applied to hair topically. Long, full wigs are made to cover your entire head. This also includes wigs that are called “lace fronts” or “netting”

Wigs act as a replacement for your own hair and are meant to cover your entire head. Wigs can be used for many reasons such as hair loss, balding, or simply to change up your look. 

Hairpieces are a little different and often come in the shape of a bun, ponytail, or hair tie so you can just place it on top of your own hair.

 

How to care for Wigs and Hair Pieces:

Wigs and hairpieces can be a little challenging to wash, and depending on whether they are real or synthetic you have to be very careful. Since full hair pieces are usually attached to either a plastic or other material, you have to modify the way you wash and treat the hair.

Final Words

From the tips I have given you, I hope you are now well equipped with the information you need to make an informed decision on which type of hair extensions will be right for you, your hair type, and your hair goals. If you are still stuck, have more questions, or suggestions for our goddess community, let us know in the comment section below!

 


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