Hair Extensions - The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
Almost everyone will agree that having long hair is a lot of time and effort. Sometimes it seems like the time and effort involved is too much.
The instant way to have long hair is by wearing long wigs, long hair pieces or hair extensions. Hair extensions have been popular off and on for several years.
Many movie stars ranging from Madonna and Demi Moore to Cameron Diaz have used hair extensions for movie roles. It's a great way to create an instant long haired look.
Related Content: Demi Moore's Celebrity Hair Gallery
With the recent introduction of clip-in extensions more women, celebrities and non-celebs alike, are wearing add-on tresses than ever before.
What Are Hair Extensions?
Many people are curious about what materials are used to create various hair extensions. This is not an easy answer since hair extensions can be created from 100% real human hair, 100% synthetic hair or a mixture of human, synthetic and animal hair.
Hair extensions are available in just about any color, texture or length. Popular TV star Brandi often wears extensions as well.
How Hair Extensions Are Applied
The hair extension is placed on the parting of a small section of hair and the hair criss-crossed over the extension. The real hair and the hair extension are then tightly plaited or braided together and painted with a bonding solutions.
A heated clamp melts the solution sealing the extension around the hair. This is known as "heat sealing".
Hair extensions must be attached by a professional hairdresser or hair expert. It is very difficult and risky to attempt to add hair extensions on your own.
Not only will the attachments be hard to handle, you may wind up with an uneven overall length or possibly damage your hair unnecessarily.
Life Expectancy Of The Extension
Most extensions, if applied properly, will last up to four months. After this the special glue-like bond attached to your natural hair will begin to loosen and fall off.
Many people will only keep their hair extensions for a short period of time for a special event or occasion. How long extensions are kept is a personal decision.
Care Of Your Hair Extensions
Hair extensions are washed and treated the same way as you do your natural hair.
Hair extensions may wear out with normal wash and wear. As your hair grows, this will tend to affect the extensions. It is recommended that you used high quality gentle hair care products to encourage a long life for your extensions.
Removing The Extension
Removal of hair extensions can be done by the professional that applied them or can be carefully removed at home. You can remove hair extensions by twisting the tiny braided attachments and then gently snapping the seal.
Disadvantages Of Hair Extensions
It is a well known fact that hair extensions can do damage to your natural hair. The glue that is attached to your natural hair can burn and split the ends of your hair. This means that you will almost always be required to have the ends of your hair cut after the extensions are removed.
Also, if a lot of long or heavy extensions are added, this applies additional pressure to your scalp. One of the dangers of extra pressure to your scalp can be a thinning of your natural hair. In some cases there have been reports of headaches from the added weight of the hair or allergies to the bonding glue that is used.
Everyone is different and will react to hair extensions in a different way. They are not necessarily good or bad. It depends on a number of factors that you have to consider.
If you are trying to grow your hair long, you might want to think seriously of the potential damage the hair extensions could do to your long hair quest. However, if you only would like a new look for a few months and are prepared to lose some inches along with the extensions, they can be a great solution.
The best advice is to find an expert at hair extensions and discuss all the pros and cons of the instant hair look.
Advantages Of Hair Extensions
Hair extensions can be a lot of fun if you are aware of the risks and the procedures. If you get good advice and find a professional who is skilled at extensions listed below are some of the advantages you can enjoy:
1. An instant new look which is fairly easy to care for once it's applied.
2. The ability to change your hairstyle at any time and know that the long hair has a limited life cycle.
3. You can have an intricate pattern of different colors or beads added to the extension without additional damage to your hair.
4. You can have the look and feel of long hair before you decide to invest a lot of time and energy growing your own.
Although it may be costly and time-consuming to have applied hair extensions can provide the instant gratification of a gorgeous new long hair look.
There are both pros and cons for hair extensions. As long as you do the research and are willing to assume the risks, hair extensions can be a new adventure for your hair.
Original Publication Date: 05/01/2000 - Revised Publication Date: 01/05/12
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