If you know me, you know I love to talk! Below you will find my latest blog posts on all things SALON! If you have anything you would like me to blog about, make sure to let me know! 

 

Enjoy

 

~Ashley Raskie - Owner- Studio 1 Salon & Day Spa

The 4 Types of Hair Extensions: How Do You Know Which is Right for You

 

 

By Ashley Raskie 



 

I have a confession to make: Hair extensions are my favorite procedure as a hairstylist. Don’t get me wrong, I love giving clients a fresh new cut or dying their hair a daring shade of blonde, but for the right client, hair extensions are life-changing. This was true for Helene.** (**Names are changed to protect the identity of my clients.

 

Two years ago, Helene came into my salon, desperate. She had thinning hair on the crown of her head. She had been to every salon in her area. She drove over three hours to come to me, hoping I could give her a solution to her problem. No one could help her, and the last thing she wanted was to get a wig and accept defeat. She didn’t want her husband to see her take a wig off at night. She didn’t want to look in the mirror, seeing nothing but her problem areas before she went to bed at night. She wanted to feel good about herself. She wanted to feel pretty. 

 

But I couldn’t help her. At that time, hair extensions were placed in their hair, not on top of the head. I couldn’t help her. And if I couldn’t help her, no one could. 

 

I refused to accept that. So I told her I would figure this out and contact her when I came up with a solution. So I searched. And searched. And searched, until finally, I found a course designed for special hair-extensions techniques. This was it. This was my best chance of helping Helene. So I took an out of state course on specialized techniques. There are only 3 stylists in the state of Wisconsin that offer this advanced technique, so this knowledge isn’t exactly widespread. 

 

When we arrived, we were greeted by four hair models, all with different challenges we needed to help with. One of the models had previously had a brain tumor and survived the treatment, which is amazing, but the treatments had damaged her hairline and she was told she would never be able to grow hair in that area ever again. She was a survivor. Now, it was up to us to make her feel good, so we got to work, learning new techniques we’d never tried before. In the end, we gave her a full head of hair without a wig. 

 

It was overwhelming. I am not an emotional person, especially not in public, but Gwen** had me in tears. We did it. We made her feel good. And we did it again with our other three hair models. It was life-changing. And now I knew I could help Helene. 

 

Not long after that, I contacted Helene, telling her I finally found a solution for her--one I knew would change everything. So I did a private booking for Helene, making sure it was just us two. I combined a hair topper and hand-tied extensions, giving her a full, gorgeous head of hair. And it changed everything. She still comes to me to this day, still travels 3+ hours for her appointment. For her, it’s worth it. 

 

Now, not everyone I treat has such an emotional story, but I do help a ton of women who need extensions. Every time I have these appointments, I empty the salon, so I’m the only one in there with my clients. I am very protective of their secrets and I will do whatever it takes to keep their trust. 

 

That’s because I have a secret, too. 

 

Here’s my secret:  I was born with crappy hair. Crappy, fine hair. Growing up, I was never happy with it. I tried everything imaginable to get thicker hair: hair products, expensive shampoos, vitamins. You name it, I tried it. The only thing that ever worked for me was hair extensions. I have been wearing hair extensions for 18 years, which is why this topic is so near and dear to my heart. 

 

Because I can relate. 

 

I’m not just a stylist who applies the extensions, gives you advice and calls it good. No. This is a journey and I’m right here with you every step of the way. 

 

Every client gets hair extensions for different reasons. You might want to change your look up while you’re impatient for your hair to grow back. You might be curious about a new style. Or, like Helene and many other women, you don’t want to focus on your problem areas. 

 

The good news is there are so many options out there these days--more than ever before. But with that comes a bit of analysis paralysis. Do I even want hair extensions? How much do they cost? Which ones are right for me? It’s a lot to take into consideration, but by explaining the different types of hair extensions, hopefully, I can demystify the process a bit and get you on the right track.  

 

The Four Types of Hair Extensions: 

 

 

Clip-In Hair Extensions

 

Clip-in hair extensions are, hands down, the most popular type of extension. They're also one of the most affordable. This is because clip-in extensions are easy to apply, usually taking 5 - 15 minutes, depending on the number of extensions, where they are placed, and skill level. They are a good solution if you just want to add length and volume to your hair while you’re waiting for it to grow out. Since it’s easy to take them out and reapply them, they are also a great option if you are looking for a new look for a short period of time, like a special event. Given their affordability and ease of application, they’re also an excellent choice for clients who are new to the hair-extensions process. It is generally not difficult to find stylists who will apply clip-ins for you, and even help you find ones that match your natural hair. 


 

Benefits: 

  • Clip-in extensions have one of the easiest application methods. In fact, this is one of the only types where going to the salon is optional--I’d still recommend going to a professional for correct application. 
  • They are easy to apply and remove, making them very malleable. 
  • They are one of the most popular and affordable hair extension types

 

Things to Consider: 

  • They need to be removed when sleeping or washing your hair. If they are not removed, they cause tangling and further damage your hair
  • Wearing clip-in extensions in the same position every day can cause stress and tension on the part of the hair the clip is attached to. You will need to vary the different spots or tease your hair before applying them in order to relieve tension
  • If they are not applied carefully, the clips are very noticeable. Pay attention to where they are placed. Knowing how and where to place them takes practice and patience. 

 

Ideal For: 

  • Clients who are new to hair extensions. They are the ideal “gateway extensions”. 
  • Clients who are looking for affordable hair extensions
  • Clients who are looking for something temporary. Clip-in hair extensions are an excellent option for those who are looking for versatility with their hairstyles, especially during weddings or other special occasions. 
  • Clip-ins are great if you are looking for something that is easy to apply and take out, especially during sports, swimming, showering, or going to bed at night. 

 

 

Tape-In Hair Extensions 

 

Another popular option, tape-in hair extensions are an alternative to clip-in hair extensions, in terms of affordability and longevity. As the name suggests, tape-in hair extensions are applied to the hair’s root using medical-grade tape. One of the reasons tape-in hair extensions are so popular is because of how discreet they are, since they lie flush to the head and don’t stick out, unlike some other types. They are very quick and easy to apply, typically taking 30 - 60 minutes, depending on how many are being placed. They look very voluminous and natural and are a great option for newbies with fine hair. 


 

Benefits: 

  • Tape-in extensions are a lot less noticeable than clip-in extensions. In fact, a lot of clients report barely seeing or feeling them once they’re applied. 
  • Installation is a lot quicker than other methods
  • This is one of the more affordable hair extension options out there
  • This method is ideal for newbies who don’t want to spend as much time and money on their hair-extensions 

 

Things to Consider: 

  • While they are reasonably durable, you have to be very careful when putting your hair up in a ponytail, especially within the first few days of application. If you’re not used to them being in there, you might pull at the tape or it might show. 
  • “Push-ups” are required fairly often in order to maintain them, especially as your hair grows. 
  • The tape can be harsh on your hair and scalp
  • They don’t last as long as some other methods. This can be good or bad, depending on your needs. Expect to adjust them, and possibly reapply them, every 6-7 weeks. 

 

Ideal For: 

  • Clients with thin/fine hair 
  • Clients who are new to hair-extensions. Another excellent option for newbies. 
  • Clients who want temporary extensions (think 6-7 weeks on average)
  • Clients who are looking for a more discreet option than clip-in extensions

 

Hand-Tied Hair Extensions

 

What do personal trainers, high-quality makeup, and hand-tied hair extensions all have in common? Your favorite celebrity definitely has them. Hand-tied hair extensions are one of the best-kept secrets in Hollywood. Turn on an episode of Keep Up With the Kardashians, The Bachelor, or Grey’s Anatomy, and odds are nearly every woman is wearing hand-tied hair extensions in their locks. But these locks are not just for the Hollywood Elite--at least not anymore. You, too, can achieve thicker, more natural-looking hair with hand-tied hair extensions. So what are they? Hand-tied extensions are wefts of hair that are bound and weaved by hand, integrating with your natural hair. In other words, handwoven. Because they are interwoven into your natural hair, they blend seamlessly and are virtually undetectable to the naked eye. And while they’re more expensive than clip-ins or tape-in extensions, hand-tied hair extensions are some of the most durable. You can even wear them while doing extreme sports, like skydiving and bungee jumping.   


 

Benefits: 

  • They are highly durable compared to clip-ins and tape-in extensions. In fact, with high-quality hand-tied extensions, you can do extreme activities such as skydiving or riding on a roller coaster without them falling out. 
  • With skillful application, they are virtually undetectable because they blend so seamlessly with your natural hair
  • Not only do they blend seamlessly with your natural hair, they can be integrated with hair toppers as well
  • They are considered the least damaging to your natural hair
  • They can be made with natural or synthetic hair and can endure heat, dye, and other harsh hair treatments

 

Things to Consider: 

  • Hand-tied extensions are some of the most labor-intensive extensions out there, so when you make an appointment to have them done, it will take a lot longer than clip-ins or tape-in extensions
  • They are one of the pricier options for hair extensions. Expect to pay hundreds of dollars per appointment. But on the flip side, they can last up to 12 months with proper care. Regular treatment 6-8 weeks is ideal. 
  • Hand-tied extensions are not recommended for newbies due to the expense and the commitment involved in taking care of them

 

Ideal For: 

  • Clients who want want to integrate their natural hair with their hair extensions, such as hair toppers
  • Clients who want to invest more in a more permanent solution for their thin hair
  • Clients who want to invest in a long-term solution for their thin, fine hair that looks natural
  • Clients who want the most durable hair extensions money can buy


 

 

Hair Toppers

 

Unlike other methods that are applied under the hair, hair toppers are specifically designed to be placed on the crown of the head. For so many years, the only option for clients with thin, fine hair on top of the crown as a wig. Not anymore! Hair toppers, or transition pieces, are the ultimate solution for those who want their hair-extensions to blend seamlessly with the rest of their hair. Much like hand-tied extensions, hair toppers are one of the best-kept secrets in Hollywood, with some of the biggest stars wearing them every time they step out of the house or take Instagram shots. But hair toppers are not just for A-Listers, they’re for anyone who wants a long term solution for their thin, fine hair. 

 

 

Benefits: 

  • They can be made with either real or synthetic hair and blend effortlessly with your natural hair
  • Depending on your stylist’s skills, they can be blended with your natural hair and other hair-extensions, such as hand-tied extensions
  • They are incredibly durable. You can dye them, take a flat iron to them, curl them--just like your real hair, but you can leave your real hair alone and give it time to heal if it needs it
  • They are the only type of hair extensions that are designed to be placed on the crown, where some women have thinning hair

 

Things to Consider: 

  • Let me be clear--hair toppers are an investment! High-quality hair toppers are attached to a breathable mesh, mimicking the scalp. Such care and attention to detail does not come cheap. Believe me, I fell for the Facebook ads of cheaper ones at first. I now use those as a “what not to get” piece when showing off the difference in quality!
  • If you are waiting for a hair topper, they need to be special ordered. 
  • Hair toppers last approximately 6-8 months, on average with most guests getting at least a year!

 

Ideal For: 

  • Clients who have thinning hair on top--this is your best option
  • Clients who are willing to invest in a more long-term solution for their hair
  • Clients who want to integrate their extensions with their natural hair
  • Clients who want to protect their natural hair from heat or other harsh treatments 



 

So how do you know which type of hair extensions is right for you? It comes down to a matter of personal preference, depending on your hair type, your budget, how long you want to wear them, and other lifestyle factors. I would highly recommend consulting your hairstylist before committing to anything, especially ones that are more expensive and long-term. This will also depend on how experienced your stylist is with your desired extensions. 

 

I have experience in all four techniques, but I specialize in hand-tied extensions and hair toppers, oftentimes combining the two methods, depending on the client’s needs, especially for women with thin, fine hair who need the volume. 

 

As I said before, I understand what it’s like to have crappy hair. To be embarrassed when I look in the mirror because I don’t like the way I look. It’s miserable! But if I can change even just one client’s day, by giving them the hair they have always wanted, then I consider my day a success. A day maker, as someone I admire once so eloquently put it. We have the tools. You don’t have to live this way anymore. Because the truth is, you’re not alone. There are more of us out there than you know. 


 

If you’ve made it this far, you were probably born with crappy, fine hair too and you’d like to fix that. If so, join my Facebook group “The Crappy Hair Club”, where I’ll give you practical tips on hair extensions based on your personal needs. 

 

Don’t be shy. By joining this private group, you can use the tools celebrities use every single day to trick us into believing they have Goddess-like hair. No one will ever know your little secret--unless you brag about it.  

 

You can even learn my little secret. You can see what I’m hiding every single day. Because, like you, I have to work at it every single day. And if I can change Helene, Gwen, and my hair, I can change yours too. 

 

 

 

 

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