The four main types of hair extensions on the market are:
Loose hair – hair cut from a donor, process and sold in bulk.
Weft – this is also known as weave. With this hair is sewn together in a long strip at the top usually about a metre long.
Strands – can also be called pre-bonding or pre-tipped. Here the hair has keratin glue on the tips and is put through tubes to tie into natural hair.
Tape hair extensions – Skin weaves or skin wefts. These are fitted by using double-sided transparent tape.
These extensions are usually made from 100% human hair but can also be made from synthetic nylon or a mixture of the two. There are some things that need to be considered before deciding which type to buy. Mainly synthetic are much cheaper than wholesale virgin hair but the downside is that they are not suitable for straightening or curling as they would melt. The plus side with synthetic is that they come in a variety of colours so you can add streaks to your natural hair without it being permanent. Go wild for a party or add a lowlight or highlight for a more natural look. Human hair is the best if you intend to put curls in or straighten your hair as it acts like your own. It can also be dyed if you want an exact colour but can’t find one.
Extensions come in different textures too to match your own hair. These can vary from curly to straight and come in many types of curl patterns.
- Silky straight. Silky smooth, straight hair that resembles East Asian hair.
- Yaki. This is a straight hair that resembles the relaxed texture of Afro-Caribbean hair.
- European hair. This is also straight but may have a tiny wave in unlike the East Asian hair.
- Deep wave. This is not a true wave but can be made to look like spirals
- Loose deep wave or romantic wave. Soft romantic curls similar to the deep wave but looser.
- Jheri curl. Often sold in short lengths to create the full ‘afro’ look
- Wet and wavy. Can also be known as Spanish or Indian wave. Human hair is usually used for this that already has a natural curl or wave. This is very natural looking and reverts back to its curly state when wet.
- Feather lux. This is when long feathers are attached to the hair.
These are just a few and names may vary amongst manufacturers.