Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Guide to Clip-in Hair Extensions


Hair extensions are wonderful accessories for us girls, they can give you that extra bit of confidence on that special night out knowing your hair looks fuller and longer. They can make that simple braid/plait look like something very special!!!

Last year I was sent a set of hair extensions that I did a little review on and that I wore quite a lot, of course over the summer months it’s a little impractical to wear extra hair as it’s so hot and humid where I live but now that the cooler weather is here again I’m loving extensions.

I was recently asked if I wanted to try out some ‘salon’ extensions that were only available through hairdressing salons and were top quality and it got me to thinking what is the difference in clip in extensions???

So I’m going to be talking about a few different sets of extensions and telling you the difference in price, weight and quality that I personally found and hopefully if you’re looking to buy some yourself it may be of some help.

These sets are all advertised as being 100% human Remy hair. The main points to consider when buying extensions online is the length of the hair and also the weight, obviously 90grams of hair is going to be almost half the weight of the 160gram sets. The pieces are not going to be anywhere near as thick as the heavier sets.

You should decide whether you want the extensions for length or fullness, and decide on what colour closely matches your own hair if you want a seamless look. If you are wanting to dye your extensions then always try to buy a shade lighter than what you want. It’s much easier to dye hair darker than lighter.

When something is advertised as Remy hair it just means it is the ‘highest quality’ human hair whether it’s from brazil, india, china or wherever, it’s the highest grade for that hair.  You can easily curl, straighten, dye, braid and style remy human hair just like the hair on your head. The hair is a full cuticle hair that all runs in the same direction (from cuticle to tip).

Having a sturdy clip on your extensions is very good, you don’t want those clips flipping the wrong way or being too obvious on your head so the colour of the clip is important too, try to get them to match the colour of the hair extensions. Clips should be securely sewn on on at least three sides. Sometimes after many uses these stitches can come undone and it is a simple thing to sew them on again.

When you hear the word ‘weft’ being thrown around, think of the 'weft' as being a curtain of hair sewn together at the top so when weft is referred to it means is how many layers of hair are on the extension piece (not to be confused with how many clips are on the piece). A double weft would be two layers of hair, a quad weft would be four layers. Be sure if the extensions are more than one weft that they are not positioned directly on top of each other which would make a thick band. They should ideally be placed above each other in a ‘step’ pattern which would make the band thicker but flatter against your head.

Eg:  like this    ________                                       not this        ________
                                ________                                                ________
                                         ________                                       ________



VP Fashion – my extensions from last year

22" clip in extensions in #4 (medium reddish brown) they cost approx $110 last year but I think they sell for $99 now.

These extensions have been through a lot of use, they’ve been styled in lots of ways, washed numerous times and even dyed and they still look pretty good. I never actually liked the clips on these ones as they are silver and not attached very well and now that I’ve seen different types of banding I don’t really like this banding either.  You should check with the website to see if they have changed their clips. These extensions are a ‘double weft’ extension sewn directly on top of each other which means they have a bit of a ridge when they are on.

Hair Extension Sale

15” clip in extensions in colour #2 – 90grams - $49.95 (on sale) – they come packaged in plastic bag

These were quite a surprise when I received them, they are much smaller than what I expected and very light, the ends seam to look a little ‘scruffy’ too. To be honest I’m not sure why you would really want such a lightweight set, I know if you have fine hair a lighter set is required than normal but these just seem a little too thin to me although if you are someone with very fine and short hair they may work very well. These are ‘single weft’ extensions.


My Fantasy Hair

10 pieces - 18” Delux clip in extensions in ‘Melted Chocolate’ – 160grams - $165.99 – packaged in plastic

I was quite happy with this set, the larger piece is really nice and full, it’s called a ‘quad weft’, I can wear this piece just by itself and it makes quite a difference. You can also purchase this piece alone for $55.99 which is a pretty good idea. The band and clips on the larger piece are sturdy and strong with the wefts sewn in a stepped pattern and the hair itself styles up beautifully. The smaller pieces have a smaller and less sturdy band and are ‘double weft’ pieces sewn directly on top of each other. I have noticed that a couple of the clips have come unstitched in places already so I will have to restitch them.


Hairvenly Extensions (Australian site so if you’re in Australia the postage would be much quicker)

10 piece - 20” Delux clip in extensions in ‘Dark Brown’ – 160grams - $159.00 – come packaged in plastic

This is a beautiful set of extensions, all pieces are solidly constructed and all have a wide band, secure clips with silicon and with plenty of hair on each piece. I’ve worn these quite a bit and they have styled up perfectly and have performed very well. Hairvenly Extensions also has a YouTube channel which demonstrates how to care for your extensions along with some great style ideas - HERE. These extensions are also ‘double weft’ extensions sewn in the stepped pattern.


Hair Secrets (Australian salon supplier)

7 piece - 20” luxury ‘ultimate volume’ clip in extensions - $425.00 – colour matched to your hair
Available from salons only – packaged in silk organza bag inside a thick cardboard cylinder.

This set is the first set I’ve owned of ‘salon quality’, I wasn’t really sure if there would be much of a difference between this set and the last two sets I showed you but even when I first opened them the quality and thickness in this set was obvious. From the packaging to the actual performance and feel of these extensions (they actually feel like satin) there really is a sense of luxury. This set is also cut with a more blunt end rather than a natural layered end which is great for those that want that look or want fullness right to the end (which is great for braiding too) and because they are only available from salons you could easily get them cut to suit your style while you’re in the salon. All the pieces have a sturdy band and well placed clips with silicone strips for extra girp. If you are someone who wants to wear extensions on a long term basis it would be worthwhile to invest in something like these. You can also get sets suitable for fine hair which are 5 piece sets. These extensions are advertised as being ‘ethically’ obtained (so no poor Russian prisoner had to give up their hair against their will!!) and they are ‘double drawn’ which means all the hair strands are the same length all the way down and they have been thoroughly checked twice.


********************************

So overall, are the salon extensions really worth the approximate $200.00 more than the online extensions? Well they certainly are beautiful and seem to be of a excellent quality and if you can afford to pay for that luxury then I say go for it, if on the other hand you are a teenager with limited funds, I can quite happily recommend the extensions from ‘My Fantasy Hair’ and ‘Hairvenly Extensions’.

My Fantasy Hair - http://www.myfantasyhair.com/
Hairvenly Extensions - http://www.hairvenlyextensions.com/


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Putting in extensions is quite easy once you’ve had a little practice and there are hundreds of ‘how to’s’ on youtube to show you how, heck I even have a simple one myself – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDH_QuaUxaM&feature=plcp  :D

MyFantasyHair has a great slideshow that shows you where to place the pieces - http://www.myfantasyhair.com/Style_Guide.php   Remember, you don’t need to wear every piece in the set, I quite often just wear one or two of the larger pieces, one parallel to the top of my ears and the other just above. The size of your head will also determine how many pieces are best for you to wear.

Caring for hair extensions is pretty easy, you need to remember that extensions do not produce oil like your normal hair so they will dry out quicker. Simply giving them plenty of loving care, especially when you wash them will keep them looking healthy. Always apply a heat protector when you’re styling them with anything heat related. Deep condition the ends occasionally too with argon/moroccan oil or something similar.

It’s not necessary to wash your extensions after every use, because they don’t have natural oils they don’t actually collect as much dirt and dust but of course if you use a lot of products in them they will need washing when you think they need it.  Normally after about 4 wears is a good time to wash. When you wash them, use a gently shampoo for dry hair and then condition them with a conditioner (leaving the conditioner on for about 5-10 minutes before rinsing) you can then use a deep conditioner if you like.  Don’t vigorously scrunch the hair when washing, just gently massage the shampoo in and then rinse out.

It’s always better to let your extensions air dry rather than using a hair dryer, you can lay them on a clean towel to dry but I prefer to hang mine over the towel rail over night. Using wide tooth combs and brushes or special loop brushes on them is best but not when they are wet and you should NEVER sleep or swim in your extensions. It’s best to store them in a clean dry place, I store mine in boxes so they stay clean and out of the dust, some people like to hang them up.

So I hope this post was of some use to you, here's my video :)



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