The idea of hair extensions can appear daunting to many women. Horror stories of visible tracks and beads may come to mind when thinking of hair extensions. But fear not! When done properly, hair extensions can be a great way to add length and volume to your natural hair. If considering extensions, it’s important to understand the different types and what is right for your hair type. 

Types of Extensions

There are multiple different types of extensions. Some types, like clip-ins for example, do not always necessarily require a visit to a salon. However, most of the time extensions should be left to the professionals. Tape-in extensions, hand-tied weft extensions, and invisible bead extensions are three of the most popular extension types right now. Their main differences lie in the application methods. 

Tape-in Extensions

Tape-in extensions do not last as long as the other two and take less time to install. Tape-ins consist of “sandwiching” a thin layer of your natural hair between two strips of the extension hair. These extensions can be beneficial to people with thinner hair as they tend to lay quite flat. They’re also great if you’re not quite sure if you want the permanence or upkeep of other extension types. The number of strips used depends on the client’s hair type and desired look. Tape-ins use a “‘medical grade adhesive’” (BYRDIE) and therefore it is extremely important to get them installed and removed by a professional stylist. 

Hand-tied Weft Extensions

Hand-tied weft extensions may take longer than tape-ins to install, but they certainly last longer to make up for it. These extensions involve a stylist attaching beads to a client’s head in a row and then hand-tying wefts (hair strands woven into a strip) onto those beads. Like tape-ins, the number of rows and beads will depend on the client’s hair type and desired look. If properly cared for (which means scheduling regular appointments to move them up and release the tension) hand-tied weft extensions can be reused for up to six to eight months (BYRDIE). 

Invisible Bead Extensions

Invisible bead extensions are similar to hand-tied wefts, yet boast a more comfortable, flexible, and, of course, invisible result. These extensions involve a row of beads that “wrap around the head in a horseshoe shape” (What are Invisible Bead Extensions?). The weft is then stitched into the bead. Online hand-tied wefts, invisible bead extensions sit 2mm away from your scalp and therefore result in less tension. Despite sitting away from your scalp, these extensions still blend seamlessly. Unlike tape-ins and hand-tied wefts, invisible bead extensions usually only require 1-3 rows of hair. These extensions still require regular maintenance appointments in order to keep them long-lasting. 

While there is a lot to consider when thinking about extensions, they can be a great way to change up your look. Whether you’re looking to volumize or lengthen your hair, be sure to consult a professional to figure out which extension type is right for you. 

All of the extension types mentioned in this blog post are available at Haven Salon, including the use of I-tips and hot fusion extensions.