Have you been dreaming about long luscious locks but lack patience to grow it? Hair extensions may be for you! But if you’re anything like us and have no idea where to start, don’t worry, we’ve done all the research for you!
Take a look below to find out which hair extension types are least damaging, easiest to look after and will fit into your budget.
Different Types of Hair Extensions in Australia
Human Hair vs Synthetic Hair
First things first, you must decide what look you’re going for. Is creating a more natural, effortless look what you’re after, or are you more concerned with a budget friendly quick-fix you can just whip out on nights out?
When hair extensions first hit the mainstream market synthetic hair was all the rage as it was all that was available on the mainstream market. Since then, there have been many advancements in the hair extension industry, with most now opting for human hair.
If you’re after the more natural, effortless look, look no further than human hair. Unlike synthetic hair, natural hair moves more freely and avoids the often boxy look synthetic hair has. However, if you are after a one-time-wear solution synthetic hair extensions are the more budget friendly solution.
Remy hair is the way to go if you’re looking for the-best-of-the-best. It’s the finest quality of human hair in terms of hair extensions. The term ‘Remy Hair’ refers to the way the hair was harvested from the donor. Unlike non-remy hair, the cuticles are kept intact, allowing for the preservation of the natural fall of the hair.
Clip-in Hair Extensions
If you’re looking to create the perfect Ariana Grande ponytail, clip-ins are the extensions for you. These hair extensions are arguably the most versatile type of extension you can find. Only setting you back between $200 and $600, clip-ins are one the best value options for the budget conscious, often available online or at your local retail beauty store.
Once you have been shown by your hairdresser, these hair extensions are very easy to apply and remove in under fifteen minutes at home. Although clip-ins are a less permanent form of hair extension, they are the least damaging to your hair due to the lack of adhesives.
Depending on your hair styling habits, these extensions will only need to be washed once every fifteen to twenty wears. Naturally though, the more hair products used, the more frequent washes will be required. To wash, use lukewarm water and sulfate-free, paraben free shampoo for the best results.
Tape-In Hair Extensions
If you’re after a flawless, natural look and are willing to go to a professional, tape-in hair extensions may be the ones for you. Setting your budget back between $300 and $600 on average, these hair extensions won’t break the bank. Tape-in hair extensions are often the preferred option for those with thinner hair, as the small connecting tapes won’t be visible.
The extensions are pre-taped together then glued to the roots of your natural hair. This process can take up to one hour.
It is important to note the products used to install and remove the extensions may lead to some hair damage. As glue is used to bind the hair together, this type of hair extension will need to be removed by a professional hairdresser. Depending on how fast your hair grows it is likely that you’ll have to have tape-in extensions re-done by a professional every four to six week.
Due to the nature of this type of extension, most wearers treat them as if they were their own natural hair, using heat and products to achieve their desired looks. Be careful though if conditioner comes into contact with the adhesive tape, as it may cause it to unbind to your roots and slip out. In an attempt to remedy this special products with reduced oil are now available. We recommend you consult your local hairdresser for advice on the best products to use on your hair.
Halo Hair Extensions
If you’re after easy instant volume, this is the hair extension you’re after. Aimed at those with medium-to-thick hair, the price of halo hair extensions vary depending on the thickness required. This type of hair extension is not recommended for fine hair as it will be harder to disguise.
This non-permanent extension solution comes in one large weft attached with a near invisible string loop, which is hidden once placed under the top layer of your hair. The application for halo extensions is even quicker than clip-in extensions, and better yet, doesn’t damage your hair at all.
Sew-In Hair Extensions
Sew-in hair extensions, sometimes known as a weave, are the longest lasting and most permanent hair extension solution. Naturally, due to this, sew-ins are likely to set you back a little more, with pricing starting from $500. These hair extensions are best for coarse, curly and thick hair.
To attach the hair extensions, the technician will braid a row of hair and sew in the weft using a needle and thread. They are literally sewn into your natural hair. Due to the complexity of this process, it must be completed by a hairdresser with the required training, usually taking upward of two hours to complete.
If you do opt for this type of hair extension, be prepared for maintenance. You will be required to moisturise the scalp, nape and edges of your hair at least once a week. It is also highly recommended by hairdressing professionals that wearers wash their hair with a protein-rich product to minimise damage to the natural hair.
Weave hair extensions will last, on average, six to eight weeks before they require re-sewing, which is known as moving them up. Due to the impact on your natural hair, it is recommended that a full weave should not be worn for in excess of four months at a time. Get in contact with your local hairdresser to find out if sew-in hair extensions are the right choice for you.
Fusion & Pre-Bonded Hair Extensions
Fusion hair extensions are by far the most natural looking hair extension option for those of us with medium to thick hair. Lasting up to four months, these extensions are considered semi-permanent. However, they may need to be repositioned as frequently as every two months depending on your individual hair growth.
Easily one of the most expensive hair extension options, a full set of fusion extension will set you back between $800 to $1,400. The higher price can be attributed to the intricate workings of the bonding process. Your hairdresser will add between 80 and 150 individual strands of hair throughout the process.
Pre-bonded extensions most commonly use the aforementioned Remy hair. This in conjunction with the chemicals used to bond the hair allows you to use any product or heat tool you wish — win!
As the application process is quite intense, not all people can have fusion hair extensions. The process of pre-bonding the extensions to your natural hair uses harsh products and often causes breakages. If your hair is too damaged, or simply too thin, this type of hair extension may not be an option for you, but your hairdresser should be able to help you make an informed decision.
Microlink Hair Extensions
The latest addition to the hair extension industry, Microlink Hair Extensions are the least-damaging semi-permanent option. It’s the perfect solution for most hair types!
Using micro links (tiny clips), hairdressers are able to connect strands of Remy hair to small sections of your natural hair. The best part is there is no glue or chemical required for this process, meaning your hair will continue to grow at a healthy rate.
The microbeads used are so small they are virtually undetectable, meaning you’re free to style your hair however you wish. These extensions can be washed the same as your natural hair, just avoid silicone and protein-rich products. The use of these products may cause the slow breakdown of links that connect the extension.
Much like other semi-permanent hair extension options, the initial application must be completed by a professional and will take between one to five hours, setting you back between $500 and $2,500 on average. For an individualised quote, we recommend getting in contact with your local hairdresser.
Other Frequently Asked Questions About Hair Extensions.
What are hair extensions?
Hair extensions are artificial hair strands which are added to a person’s natural hair to help them achieve their desired hair length or thickness with ease. There are many hair extension types available on the market in Australia, most of which you can learn more about above.
What type of hair extensions are least damaging?
Different hair types will withstand the damages of hair extensions more than others. Thin hair, for example, will be less tolerant to chemicals and glues commonly used in hair extensions.
However, microlinks are known as one the least damaging types of hair extension as they don’t use any glues or chemicals, but they are also the most expensive option.
If you’re after a more budget friendly, less permanent option, clip-in extensions cause little damage when they are applied and removed correctly.
How are hair extensions made?
As discussed previously, hair extensions are made either from real human hair or synthetic hair. Human hair extensions are made as it sounds, with the hair acquired from a donor and treated. This hair is then bonded to either the tape, clip or thread required for the type of extension.
How do you remove tape hair extensions?
As the tape used to hold the extension is bonded by a unique glue, it is recommended a special solvent is used to break down the glue. Then the extension can simply be pulled out. As always the safest, least damaging way to remove hair extensions is to get in contact with your local hairdresser.
How do you wash hair extensions?
There is no one size fits all approach to washing hair extensions. There are many variables which influence the care needed for your chosen type of hair. As a general rule, your hair extensions will not be subject to the oils which your natural hair is, therefore the less you wash them the longer they’ll last. Best practice is to get into contact with your local hairdresser for advice on how to wash your particular type of extension.