This is one of the top questions we get as extension stylists, and I hate to say it, but there isn’t one blanket answer. That’s like asking what the best type of makeup is for everyone. Clearly the type of makeup you would use on someone with oily skin is much different than what you would use on someone with dry skin.
Hair extensions are the same: there is no one type of extension that is best for everyone. It really depends on your natural hair, and what you want extensions for. Everyone’s hair is quite different and the reason why someone wants extensions can vary from just adding length to adding volume to covering medical hair loss issues. However, I am going to discuss some of the top reasons why you would want to pick one type of extension over another.
Is your hair thin, fragile, or weak?
If you’re dealing with thin or weak hair you will need an extension method that is lightweight and doesn’t put too much stress on your natural hair. You also don’t want to put too many extensions in your hair, as your hair won’t be able to hold the weight of it.
Recommendation: Nano bead or (link). These are the most lightweight and are virtually invisible in thin hair. They were developed for people with medical hair loss, so they are suitable for almost anyone with thin or delicate hair.
Stay away from: Any type of weft extensions. They weigh too much and can cause bald spots if put in thin hair; copper tubes or microlink — the beads are quite large and are very noticeable in thin hair, plus the larger beads add additional weight which you don’t want.
Fusion: This one is a little trickier. Fusion extensions really depend on the stylist putting them into your hair. That’s because there are different weights with fusion extensions, some fusion strands can weigh 2 grams per strand which is way too heavy for thin hair. If you’re considering fusion, make sure that each strand only weighs a maximum of 0.8 grams.
Is your hair thick, and has a stronger texture?
You’re one of the lucky ones if this describes your hair. Your hair is strong enough to hold the weight of many types of extensions, and your hair is thick enough to hide the extensions. What you want to consider, though, is how long you are planning on wearing extensions. Some of them only last one day (clip-ins), to a few months (fusion) to a year, or even longer (micro-bead, nano-bead).
If you’re planning on wearing your extensions for a considerable amount of time, I would suggest a reusable method (beads). Not only will it save you money in the long run, it’ll also allow for you to remove your extensions (should you want to) and keep the hair to have it reinstalled at a later date and only pay for installation.
Are you suffering with a medical hair loss issue?
Depending on the severity, there are few different options for you:
General thinning: This can occur after pregnancy or due to other hormonal changes. If you are experiencing general thinning all over your head, your best approach will be nano bead extensions combined with hair fibers to disguise a mild thinning top.
Thinning in the crown only: If it’s only mild, hair fibers and just a few Nano bead extensions can make a huge difference. If it is more severe, a partial wig topper could be used. A topper piece isn’t a full wig but a smaller piece that mimics the human scalp and looks impressively real.
The bottom line is: this is only a small part of what goes into choosing an extension method. Other factors to consider are your lifestyle, the cost, your willingness to commit to maintenance, etc.
Be wary of a stylist suggesting one method because that’s all they do. A well trained, educated extension stylist will know many different types of extensions, and will be able to properly assess the correct type for you and explain why.
Looking for more information about medical hair loss solutions?