There are over 50 ways that extensions can be installed, and new methods are developed all the time. Methods can be divided into a few categories. For this article, we will discuss more permanent methods of extension. It’s useful to have a basic understanding of these categories so that when you come across an extension method you will know the advantages and disadvantages, and how it compares to other extension types.
1) Beaded Extensions
As the name suggests, beaded hair extensions use a variety of types of beads to attach to your natural hair. The most popular types are copper tubes, micro beads, nano beads, and loop and lock. Bead methods are reusable and easily adjustable. The beads really range in size from copper tubes (the biggest) to the very small nano bead.
2) Bonded Extensions
Bonded extensions, often called fusion or glue-in extensions, use a bonding agent that is melted into the natural hair. The most common bonding agent is keratin wax. The wax is melted with a heat connector gun and then rolled in with the client’s natural hair. There are many different grades of keratin wax, but the best is Italian keratin. This wax has the strongest hold and doesn’t become tacky over time. Fusion extensions are not reusable because when they are removed the bond (wax) is broken down by the removal solution.
3) Tape-in Extensions
These extensions are like thin sheets of hair extensions that are placed onto the client’s hair, sandwiching the natural hair between two sections of tape-in extensions. The top of the extensions has double-sided tape which are plied together. These extensions lay very flat against the client’s hair but because the sections are quite wide it can be difficult to wear your hair in a high ponytail.
4) Sew-In/Tied-in Extensions
These extensions use thread to incorporate the extensions into the natural hair. The most common type is a sew-in weft, where a weft (hair extension section) is sewed into a braid of the client’s natural hair.
No matter which method of hair extension is applied, all extensions are applied to the root section of your hair, near your scalp, and then they grow out as your natural hair grows out.
You should never try to apply your own permanent hair extensions: proper sectioning of the natural hair and placement of the extensions are crucial to avoid any damage to the natural hair.