5 Types of hair extensions

Adding hair extensions is the way to go when you need a break from your hair. But which one to choose…Braids? Wigs? Weave? Lace fronts? Spray-on hair?

BRAIDS

Many of us wore plaits and cornrows when we were younger, but they still suit an adult lifestyle. This involves plaiting/braiding hair extensions into your hair. Afro-textured hair curls on itself, so there is no need to tie the ends when you reach the end of the plait. Looser hair types, like hair extensions are, require hair bands on the plaits’ ends to prevent them from coming loose. Another option is burning the end of the plaits to seal them together- be careful that you don’t burn your real hair in the process.

PROS

-Very easy to remove
-Your hair is still exposed, so it’s easy to keep your real hair and extensions clean
-Low maintenance because no combing or brushing necessary

CONS

-It takes many hours to add to your hair
-Need to tie or burn ends to prevent the extensions from undoing. These can hurt if they hit you in the face
-First night sleeping on the hair hurts
-Difficult and time consuming to remove



WIGS

We’ve all seen wigs before. This is hair that you wear over your real hair. The wig consists of hair attached to a net stretchy enough to fit over a scalp and/or human hair.

PROS

-Very, VERY easy to remove and put on
-Can try on in the shop before you buy, so no disappointments when it’s too late to change anything (always ask shop assistants first)
-Buy many and have a different hairstyle everyday with no fuss involved
-Can remove to wash your real hair
-Can style before wearing it, so no need for help from others

CONS

-Not attached to your scalp or hair, so there is a chance it will move or come off
-Time must be spent maintaining the wig

WEAVES

These look similar to wigs but are sewn onto your real hair. Your hairdresser should cornrow your hair and then attach the weave to it by thread.

PROS

-No worries about the weave unexpectedly coming off
-Comes in a variety of lengths and colours
-More affordable and accessible than lacefronts

CONS

-Time must be spent maintaining the weave
-After being worn for many weeks or months, the weave may start to come loose
-Difficult and time consuming to remove
-Cannot remove hair to wash your real hair underneath



LACE FRONTS

This is also similar to wigs, but this time the ‘wig’ is glued to the skin just before the hairline that goes around your head. Don’t glue anything to your hair unless you want a receding hairline, and use special hair glue from the shop, not the glue used on paper, wood, etc.

PROS

-Easy to apply and remove
-Firmly attached to your head
-Comes in a variety of styles and colours

CONS

-The most realistic looking are expensive
-Need constant maintenance
-Cannot wash your real hair underneath

SPRAY-ON HAIR

If you suffer from bald patches or a receding hairline, hair extensions may worsen the problem because they put the hair and scalp under pressure, especially if done too tight. Spray-on hair comes in a normal spray can, and you use it the same way you’d use deodorant. Just spray over the bald patches and your visible scalp will be gone.

If this doesn’t appeal to you, go to your pharmacy and buy Hair Loss Treatment Spray. This will thicken each hair strand, making it appear as though you have more hair.

PROS

-Cheaper to buy than other hair extensions
-Easy to apply and remove
-Can apply it yourself

CONS

-Spray-on hair isn’t real hair, just fibres meant to mimic it
-May rub or get washed off during the day (buy the ones that come off with soap and water)
-Need enough real hair for the spray-on hair to blend with

This summary is not exhaustive. Go to a hair shop and look over all the hair available. Remember to consider how they will fit in with your lifestyle. How expensive is it? How long do they last? Is it human hair, animal or manufactured? Is it too long or short? Does it fit with an active lifestyle? Ask yourself as many questions as possible. Go online and read what others are saying about your chosen hair type. After thorough research, make that purchase.