Types of Hair Extensions:
"Fusion" is a term used to describe a method of fusing additional hair into ones natural hair. Hair extensions in small lock sizes are fused into ones own hair in a number of different ways. Hair Extensions brands like Great Lengths, Hair Dreams, Cinderella, SoCap, Flashpoint, Dream Catchers, Micropoint, Hair Locs, Cold Fusion, and numerous others are considered to be a fusion method.
The are different kinds of bonding material that hair extensions are tipped with on the top end of the hair strand to hold the lock together. It can be called "keratin" or the "glue" that is used to bond the hair. The "keratin" or "glue" used by different companies to bond the hair locks together are not all the same. Hair Extensions companies use various forms of polymer thermoplastics, a kind of plastic, to form the hair lock strand of the hair extensions.
Keratin is the fibrous protein forming the main structural constituent of hair, feathers, hoofs, claws, horns, etc. These are ingredients used in the production of polymer thermoplastics because they contain large macromolecule chains that lock together to make the polymer bind together. There are differences in properties, qualities, colors, and wearability. Different types of removers are used by different brands.
While the hair lock may be tipped with a polymer keratin glue. There are different ways the hair extensions pieces can be fused to the hair. Sometimes heat is used to melt a thermoplastic plastic hot melt tipped hair extension piece into the hair so that it also fused to ones natural hair close to the scalp piece by piece, and depending on the size of the hair lock, from 100 to 200 pieces to complete a full head of hair extensions. The hair is easily removed with a solvent that breaks down the bonding substance so that it can be removed safely from the hair after about threee months.
Fusion hair extensions are my first choice of method at the salon because the hair extension hair is more evenly spread throughout the hair. The style and color can be blended well to look the most natural.
The cold fusion method is fast rising in popularity. It uses the ultrasonic welding technology of thermoplastics. The keratin bond (a type of polymer thermoplastic) on the hair tip is melted with ultrasonic waves instead of heat to fuse the hair extensions to your hair. Heat is still produced by the ultrasonic waves that fuse the bond to the hair, but the tool used does not itself get hot.
Cold fusion term had also been used to describe the technique using metal tubes, rings, or "locs" because there is no heat used.
This is a combination of a weft and fusion. Small hand tied weft piece are laid into the hair with a fusion method. This can be done several ways, but the "Double Hair" brand by Balmain is gaining fast popularity. It is faster and less expensive than other full fusion methods. It may not last as long, up to two months, and if done with silicone lined locs, it can be tightened with maintenance and the hair can be reused.
Macrame or Knotted
This is a very unique method of fusion. No metal, no glue, no heat. The extension hair is tipped in string that is knotted or tied with a macrame technique into the hair. It is relatively seemless and undetectable. My experience is that you should never knot the clients hair. In the demonstration, when the hair was removed, there was a cutting of the client's hair and I do not think that even a little bit of damage like that is OK. It builds up over time and cause the client to become dependent on hair extensions when they they otherwise would not have to be. Because of the unique manufacturing of this, meaning that I can not easily duplicate it, it means that I can not customize my color blending, which is the cornerstone of my business. The colors available are too limited.
These are the individual strand type. This is a softer, flexible bond used with pre-tipped hair. They could be refered to as shrinks, shrinkies, shrink locs, plastic tubes. They are little plastic tubes that are formulated to shrink in size from ratios 2:1 to 4:1, by applying heat. They form a pressurized bond that holds the hair strands in place. This avoids shedding from some fusion methods. It is also smooth and not scratchy feeling. Some fusion methods have rough edges that act like velcro to the hair and can influence hairs tangling and extension pieces sticking together.
Locs, Links, Metal Cylinder, Rings
These are also the individual strand type. A small copper or aluminum cylinder is pinched or tightened to attach the hair. These can withstand heat and are nice with textured hair that must be styled more. A high heat resistant pretipped bond on the hair can be used. There is some controversy with this because of the uneven tension that may cause hair to slip out. It works either flawlessly and the hair stays in or it may all slip out the next day. In the last week I've redone two of these from other salons. I like to use an aluminum tube with silicone lining that grips the hair without causing damage. I have seen tubes that are metal and threaded like a screw on the inside(supposably to grip the hair better). These are dangerous and can cut the hair.
Skin Weft or Seamless Hair Extensions
Wefts of hair are seamless, unlike the regular machine wefted of hand tied wefts of hair used for weaving or sewing tracks into the hair on a braid. These wefts are taped with double-sided tape on to this parting of hair. This adds tracks that are seamless without the lumpiness of braided tracks. This method last 1 to 2 months.
Braided or Tracks
This is when an entire weft is sewn onto a braid. This used more often with ethnic hair. It tends to slip more on fine, straighter hair. I do not do this kind.
Temporary Hair Extensions
These are good for times when you need or want longer or thicker hair or even color pieces added. for a specific occasion and don't need or want them stuck in your head long term, for a photoshoot, one scene, a party, to create more hair in an updo, just to try out long or thicker hair, whatever the reason. The technique of taping or special adhesive can last up to a week or so depending how well you maintain it. Several different types or human and synthetic hair can be used by laying down sewn wefts of hair into partings of your own in different layouts to create different effect. You can add highlights, texture, and length.
Clip In Temporary Hair Extensions
Wefts of hair can be simply placed within the layers of your hair with little comb like clips that hold them in. These are worn for just a day, an event, an occasion. They can be easily taken out and put in yourself. These can be custom made to match hair color and style and you can use them over and over.
Most of the types I just went over are usually used with real hair. Synthetic hair is a nylon base. These applications lead to a variety of looks. The hair can come in fashion colors that are vibriant beyond that which can be attained with real human hair. It is fused to hair, individual pieces with a unique technique of braiding and heat. It can not be styled in the manner that human hair can be, but it also can offer looks that that you might not be able to obtain otherwise. These are sometimes fun just to add color.
Hair extensions can be added to create highlights without coloring the person's own hair. Light pieces in individual strands or in wefts can be added for bits of color and a shine effect with glowing light reflections. Fashion colors in bright reds, blues, yellows, greens, oranges, white, purples, and combinations can be used along with different textures.
Hair extensions can be added to add volume and texture. I match the color and texture perfectly or design a blended texture to emphasize a new style we can design. This doesn't always require a full head. Sometimes only a few pieces, or just a row is all that is needed to add a bit of fullness.
For a prom style, you can have temporary extensions that are easily installed and are easy to remove for the day. The cost will depend on the type of extensions and how elaborate the prom style is. In the consultation, I can draw up several ideas for designs and give you options to choose from