Hair Extensions 101

We know pixies are all the rage right now, but in our eyes, they don’t hold a candle to long, loose waves. And you don’t have to be genetically blessed to get them. Many of the most sought-after heads of hair get help from extensions. To learn more about the often-daunting array of fantasy-hair options, we have put together all of the facts to demystify the methods, the maintenance, and more. Welcome to Hair Extensions 101.



Fusion (or Bonded) Hair Extensions

Individual keratin-tipped strands are fused to your natural hair using heat.

Tape-in Hair Extensions

Wefts of hair are attached to small sections of your natural hair using double-sided tape.

Weave (or Sew-in) Hair Extensions

Your natural hair is braided in rows from ear to ear and wefts of hair are woven (with thread) onto the braids.



Finding the right extension method will depend on budget, preference, and hair type. While fusion and tape-in extensions can be used on just about any hair texture, weaves are best suited for curly, kinky hair. Fusion extensions tend to be the most expensive ($500 to $4,000) and have the most time-consuming application process (up to three hours); they also last the longest (three to four months). The tape-in application process is much faster (about an hour) and more affordable ($300 to $2,000) but requires more frequent maintenance (every six to eight weeks). The same tape-in extensions can be removed and reapplied, though, you don’t have to purchase new hair each time. The same goes for weave-in extensions, which last about three months, can be applied in an hour or two, and are the most affordable option of the bunch ($100 to $1,000). (Fusion extensions are a one-shot deal; once removed, you can’t use them again.)


Human Versus Synthetic Hair

When it comes to purchasing hair, you get what you pay for. Price will vary greatly based on quality of the hair, as well as the desired quantity (for thickness) and length. Virgin (never-before-processed) Remy human hair is the highest quality and runs upwards of several hundred dollars per bunch (and some heads may require more than one). The hair cuticle is preserved, instead of stripped, and all the hairs run in the same direction, maintaining that natural soft, silky texture. Synthetic hair is much cheaper ($50 to $100) but won’t blend or style the way human hair does. It can’t always withstand heat styling and tangles easily. It can be a great way to try out extra length or bangs without a big commitment, though.


What to Look For

It’s important to match the color and texture of the hair extensions with that of your natural hair. Touch the hair first. If it feels dry, it’s going to tangle more easily. And avoid hair with excessive shine: Shiny hair is coated with silicone, which will wear off quickly and lead to tangles and dulling. As for your stylist, experience is a must. Improper application or removal is when damage can occur. We also recommend looking for someone with a colorist background: If the color match is off, your extensions will be very obvious.


Shopping Online VS In-Store

When shopping online, especially for expensive products, we always recommend to paying attention to the quality of the website. It is important to be able to read about the product before making a purchase. Always research all the information provided on the website. Also, check if there is an option to easily contact the team in case you have any urgent questions.

If you decide to buy your hair extensions in-store, make sure you find a good assistant. Ask questions about the company and the quality of the hair they use. When choosing a color, try to use the natural light if possible. This will help you to choose the perfect shade. Not getting the right color is a common mistake when buying hair extensions. Most extension companies offer a wide range of colors that make it easier for women to find the right shade.

We suggest doing your homework online before going to the store. It is better to inform yourself prior the purchase. Don’t rely too much on a shopping assistant in this case. Sometimes they just push whatever needs to be sold or don’t have much experience in the product themselves.


How Much Do You Get in The Set?

One of the aspects to consider when choosing the hair extensions is how much actual hair and how many wefts you get for your money. Even though some brands are slightly more expensive than the others, we believe it is better to invest slightly more initially than have to buy a new set in a year’s time. When buying a high-quality product, you are paying for the hair you can wear confidently for a long time.

If you see less expensive hair online, make sure it is genuine Remy human hair, so it lasts. Remy Hair is considered to be the finest quality of human hair because the cuticles are kept intact and not stripped, like in most other non-Remy hair extensions. Preserving the hair cuticles and aligning them in a unidirectional fashion creates extensions that are completely natural in appearance. Remy hair is also considered to be the healthiest because it is picked one strand at a time.


How to Cut and Style

Good extensions should be entirely undetectable—blending your natural hair with the extension is critical. The best way to do this? A great cut. After the extensions are in, your hair should be cut dry, with layers that blend the two hair types. You can color extensions darker (no bleaching!), but it’s best to choose a shade close to your natural color to avoid over processing. Or you can mix and match various shades for a more natural-looking blend. As for at-home styling, extensions should allow you to wash and wear.



Extension hair should be cared for just like your natural hair: gently. Be extra careful with wet hair, dry hair completely with your fingers before using a brush to style. Avoid tugging or yanking at the extensions while brushing. Instead, hold hair at the root, and begin detangling starting at the ends. You can use all of your favorite hair products but keep oils away from the roots in order to prevent the bond, tape, or weave from slipping. At bedtime, put your hair in a loose braid so it doesn’t get matted or tangled while you sleep.


The Damage

The weight of extensions can put additional stress on the roots, so it’s important to match hair density to avoid unnecessary tension on natural hair. In other words, if you have fine hair, your extensions should be a lighter density; those who have thicker, more coarse strands should look for hair with medium density. Placement is also essential. Extensions should be placed where hair is strongest. Avoid areas along the hairline or the back of the neck, where hair is the most fragile.

How To Extend The Life Of Your Color

If you color your hair there’s no doubt that you spend quite a bit of hard-earned cash, as well as precious time, sitting in hair salons each year to keep your color looking gorgeous. And if you’re like many people, you could unknowingly be washing a lot of that money down the drain each time you step into the shower.

Yes, coloring your hair and keeping it looking good-as-new can get pretty pricey, but there are some tried and true tips and tricks that can help you get the most bang for your beauty buck. So before you vow to never wash your hair again, read on for the know-how that will keep your color-treated tresses fade-resistant and looking fresh between salon visits.


Moisturize Your Mane

The chemicals in dye strip hair of its natural moisture and can leave your once lovely locks looking fried. This “fuzzy” look is a result of damage to hair cuticles–the outermost part of hair strands. And since hair is porous by nature, each hair-care product you add penetrates deep down causing more damage and color dullness. So, it goes without saying that keeping your hair hydrated is essential in alleviating dryness as well as preventing color-fade. Maintaining moisture takes more than a simple application of daily conditioner. Using a deep conditioning treatment before and after coloring your hair will help offset damage and lock in color.

To extend the life of your hair color even further, stylists suggest applying an at-home deep conditioning treatment every seven to ten days. Once you find a treatment that fits your budget and hair woes, apply it to damp, towel-dried hair and comb through from root to tip. Then, wrap your hair up in a bun, pin it in place and let the conditioner work its magic for 30 minutes before rinsing with lukewarm or cold water.


Shampoo Smartly

To maximize your color treatment, it’s important to know when you should and shouldn’t shampoo your hair. Shampooing incorrectly and too often can result in dull color–and more trips to the salon.

Skip the shampoo 24 to 48 hours before you color your hair. Natural oils from your hair and scalp will actually protect your hair, plus help color cling to your strands. You don’t have to worry about leaving styling products on your hair, either. Contrary to popular belief, product build-up won’t affect the coloring process.

After your color treatment, wait at least 24 hours (48, if you can stand it) before washing your hair. This will allow your color treatment to set, which will result in more vibrant color after your first post-appointment shampoo.

Say no to sulfates and sodium chloride when picking the perfect shampoo for your color-treated locks. Color-specific shampoos typically don’t contain sulfates that can strip color from your hair. Instead, these gentle shampoos contain potent color protectants like UV absorbers, antioxidants and vitamins that protect your hair from damaging free radicals.

Shampoo every other day. When cleansing color-treated hair, less is always more. As soon as your hair gets wet, color begins to escape, so washing your hair every day isn’t a good option to protect color. Allowing the oils in your hair to build up for a day or two will protect your hair color, naturally. Hair getting too oily by forgoing a daily shampoo? No problem. Simply use a dry shampoo or dry shampoo spray to eliminate that “greasy” look.

Use a color-depositing shampoo between salon visits if you notice your color fading a bit. This type of shampoo will color the surface of each hair strand temporarily. Just remember to go easy on these because the pigments in the shampoo can weigh your hair down if used too often. You should also always ask a colorist which shampoo hue is best for you!

Keep the water cool when rinsing your color-treated hair. Hot, steamy water can allow pigment to escape more freely, so opt for lukewarm or cold water when rinsing.


Condition Correctly

When caring for your color-treated hair, it’s important to know how to use hair conditioner correctly and effectively. When searching for the right conditioner for your color-treated tresses, look for daily conditioners that infuse hair with extra conditioning. Look for conditioners that contain natural ingredients like shea butter, vegetable glycerin, avocado oil, aloe and jojoba extract. All of these will help hydrate your hair, create shine and prevent frizz.

Once you pick your perfect conditioner, you must also be smart about applying it. Don’t just slather it on right after you rinse your shampoo! Conditioner won’t be able to penetrate hair strands when they’re dripping with water, so wring out excess H2O first before applying conditioner. Then, make sure to use your fingers or a wide-tooth comb to effectively coat each hair strand. When rinsing, always opt for lukewarm or cold water to prevent dehydration and brittle ends.


Stay Out of the Sun

Though that big, bright, warming star in the sky can offer natural health benefits like healthy doses of Vitamin D, and provide effective treatment for seasonal affective disorder, the sun’s harmful UV rays not only damage your delicate skin, but your hair, too. Light and heat from the sun can cause your hair color to fade and cause hair dehydration.

You don’t have to stay out of the sun completely, though. Just be smart about it! Protect your color-treated hair from the elements to prevent the formation of free radicals that fade color. If you know that you’ll be in the sun for extended periods of time, be sure to spray a leave-in hair treatment with a UV filter. Look for products that contain benzophenone-3 or -4, polyquaternium-59, cinnamidopropyltrimonium chloride and butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane, and vitamins a, c and e. You might also want to double up on the pigment protection by choosing a shampoo with UV absorbers, as well. And for easy-breezy sun protection, simply throw on a stylish hat.

One more important thing to remember is that hot, summer sun isn’t the only type of sun that damages your hair. No matter the season, the sun’s UV rays can fade your color, so always use your sun smarts during the fall, winter and spring, as well.


Leave the Heat Alone

Blow dryers can be convenient, but this type of heat styling and others can also be your hair color’s worst nightmare. Heat is actually the greatest factor in color fading. The heat from certain styling tools can scorch your hair–especially when used daily. And once your hair heats up, the hair cuticle opens which allows hair color pigments to escape.

So, if you can bear it, put away that flat iron, curling iron and blow dryer most days. If you find yourself in a rush and need to dry your hair quickly, protect it with a spray containing UV filters and vitamins, then use your blow dryer on its lowest heat setting. Better yet, try to wait until your hair is just about dry before turning on the blow dryer or using any heat styling tools. When in doubt, just remember that damp is always better than dry!


Go for Gloss

If you find your hair color looking dull between salon visits, all you need is 10 minutes for a simple shine and color boost! Shiny hair actually masks dull color, and there’s a good chance that your salon offers hair glossing. You can utilize this affordable (and at times, free!) service to buy you more time between color retouches. And if your hair salon doesn’t offer hair glossing treatments, you can always opt for a gloss you can use at home. Look for a hair glossing product that contains broccoli seed, sweet almond oil and wheat germ to leave your hair looking absolutely gleaming.


Touch Up Color-Treated Tresses 

When you color your hair, root touch up products are your best friend in keeping your color looking fresh. Once you begin to notice regrowth, head to your local drug store to try a touch up pen. These magical pens are simple to use for at-home color correction–and also cover grays! Touch up pens are available in many shades, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding one that matches your unique color. Be sure to pick a pen that includes a brush for quick and easy application.


Have a Thing for Highlights

Before you decide on an all-over hair color treatment, consider opting for highlights instead to save more money and time. This look is low-maintenance and works with your natural hair color. If you go for highlights, your hair color won’t be masked completely which means that over time, roots and regrowth won’t be as noticeable.

On your first visit, highlights will usually take more time to apply than an all-over color treatment, but follow-up visits to the salon will only require a partial highlight, which means a quicker, less expensive hair color treatment for you.

Extend the life of your highlights by choosing a sulfate-free cream conditioner with chamomile extract. Chamomile naturally enhances highlights and nourishes chemically-treated hair.

There are multiple ways you can protect your color-treated hair to save time and money. Trying any combination of these tips will not only help you extend the life of your hair color, but allow you to achieve stronger, healthier hair, too!


How To Find The Right Wig

With so many different styles of wigs on the marketplace, picking a wig can be pretty confusing. There are lace front wigs, human hair wigs and several other wig-like hairpieces for women.

Just like choosing a diamond, picking a wig requires a certain level of understanding details. In this buying guide, we take you from A to Z of buying wigs.

What Is a Wig?

A wig is a head covering that’s typically made from either human hair or animal hair, although some wigs are made with synthetic fibers. The root word ‘wig’ is derived from the word ‘periwig’. The term first showed up in documented English literature around approximately 1675 AD.

Wigs are worn for many reasons. Some people simply want to hide their hair loss, as wearing a wig can be far less intrusive (and cheaper) than restoring hair through surgery or even installing hair extensions. Wigs for cancer patients are also very common. Some women use wigs like apparel, as an opportunity to periodically change-up their appearance. In film, it’s common for actors and actresses to use wigs to suit the characters they portray.

Do Wigs Cause Hair Loss?

Wearing wigs for extended periods of time, especially when you neglect to properly care for your hair, can lead to all sorts of hair related issues including hair loss. Although, just to be clear, hair loss isn’t exclusively attributed to wearing wigs. It’s simply that wigs can contribute to hair loss.

Synthetic Hair Wigs and Human Hair Wigs: The Difference?

Which wig type is the best for you?

Synthetic hair wigs and human hair wigs have their own advantages and disadvantages that make them each an ideal choice at different times. Both are great options depending on your needs and budget. Below is a comprehensive comparison of human hair wigs and synthetic hair wigs.

An Overview of Human Hair Wigs

One big advantage of human hair wigs is that they provide the most natural feel and look. This type of wig is very soft with movement and shine that cannot be matched with synthetic hair. Human hair wigs are also very versatile. They can be easily cut and also styled in a way that it suits your personal taste. Although they are the more expensive of the two types of wigs, they are also more durable especially if properly cared for.

Generally, there are four kinds of human hair that are used in wigs: Chinese, Indian, Indonesian and European. Obviously, most wigs are manufactured using Asian hair. Most hair extensions also come from this same part of the world.

If your only consideration is quality, human hair is by far the superior choice. This isn’t only because of its origin (being “human hair”), but another important factor that affects the quality of the hair is the processing technique. The chemicals used during production, which are required to sanitize the hair, as well as strip away the initial color, can give rise to different colors and curl patterns. Not only are these chemicals very strong, but they can also change the integrity of the hair depending on the method used. When chemicals of higher quality are used, coupled with a more artful production process, the resulting wig is of higher quality and therefore costs more.

When crafting or manufacturing a hairpiece, hair follicles are usually made to run in the same direction. Given that human hair cuticles normally all run in the same direction, there is a significant reduction in tangling. Be careful not to buy fake human hair, which is considerably low-priced and won’t meet most quality standards.

Caring for Human Hair Wigs

It’s very important that you only use hair care products formulated specifically for highly processed human hair. You also need to note that wearable hair doesn’t benefit from the naturally occurring oils on the scalp. You need to condition and hydrate human hair wigs.

However, human hair also has some shortcomings of its own. For instance, it requires a lot of maintenance. Just like with natural hair, you need to put in a lot of effort to care for it.

An Overview of Synthetic Hair Wigs

Thanks to numerous advancements in technology, lots of improvements have been made to synthetic hair. Actually, some synthetic hair wigs look so good that it takes a trained eye to tell the difference between the wig and actual human hair. In fact, with certain high quality synthetic wigs, you cannot tell that they are synthetic if you don’t have real human hair to compare it with.

One of the most significant advantages of synthetic wigs is that they can usually be worn straight of the box without minimal styling or no styling at all. The synthetic fiber contains a “memory” component for curls, waves, and volume which enable the hair to bounce back in place with minimal effort. Synthetic hair is even able to hold up quite well in bad weather without much frizzing or drooping (if any).

However, the downside is that synthetic wigs generally lack in the adaptability department. Human hair wigs can generally be worn in a multitude of styles, synthetic wigs are often much more limited.

Note that there are some heat friendly synthetic wigs on the market. Heat can be used to alter the wigs’ curl pattern; however, the synthetic fibers are still somewhat change resistant.

Our research shows that, when properly cared for, synthetic wigs will generally last about 4-6 months on average. For heat-friendly wigs and hairpieces, you should expect a shorter average duration of around 2-3 months.

How to Pick a Wig

Wig Cap Construction Types

The technological advancements made in manufacturing wigs has transformed them from what we used to know as our grandmothers’ hairpieces to pretty amazing, realistic looking hair products.

The base or the cap is the material onto which the prepared hair is attached in order to create the complete wig. Modern caps are a lot lighter, durable, and natural looking compared to earlier ones. The cap’s construction is one of the most important features to consider when choosing a good wig. Different caps are designed with different methods of attaching the hair strands. Each one of these methods also offers its own set of advantages.

The Monofilament Design

This type of design offers a more natural look. The mesh material used on the cap creates the illusion of hair growth on the scalp. Monofilament wigs can be monofilament at the part, crown, or on the entire top of the wig. This allows the hair to be parted or combed in different directions. Note that 100% hand-tied cap is largely the most comfortable of all the monofilament caps.

The 100% Hand-Tied Monofilament Design

This type of monofilament design (think individual pieces of thread or fishing line) gives the hairpiece a more natural look by allowing each strand of hair to move freely. A number of designs that are referred to as “hand-tied” designs, actually combines a set of hand-tied and machine-attached hair strands to create balance.

In these designs, areas like the crown are hand tied, while the remaining areas are machine attached. If you are looking for a 100% hand-tied design, make sure that the wig you pick is labeled as 100% hand tied.

Part Lace Front Wig

Synthetic, part lace front wig with natural parting from edge to crown.

Lace Front Wigs

Lace front wigs attempt to create the illusion of natural hair growth along the hairline. This illusion generally improves the natural appearance of the hair and allows the wearer to style the wig away from their face without revealing that the fact they’re wearing a wig. Some lace front wigs can be bought pre-trimmed while others may require some styling for personalization.

2 Reasons Many Women Love Lace Front Wigs:

They Provide a Natural Looking Hairline:

Lace front wigs are excellent when you want to keep your wig a closely guarded secret. The invisible sheer lace front is designed to blend with your skin’s complexion to create the illusion of natural hair growth along the hairlines. Lace front wigs are among the most popular wigs available today. It’s easily one of the most popular human hair wigs for black women.

They Are More Affordable Than Ever:

Due to their production costs, these lace front wigs were previously reserved for celebrities, actresses, and other professional television and movie personalities. However, due to technological advancements, there has been a big shift leading to significantly reduced costs. Lace front wigs have become quite affordable and more common among those with middle class incomes. More and more wig manufacturers today offer lace front wigs as their lead product offering. This means that your choices just keep growing with each day.

3 Tips to Get the Best Out of Your Lace Front Wig

  1. Hide Your Natural Hair: We recommend that you pull back your hair and secure it before you wear the wig. This will ensure that none of your hair is accidentally exposed under the lace front. If for whatever reason you don’t have hair, simply align the lace front with your natural hairline to create a seamless transition from your skin to the wigs artificial hairline.


  1. Match It To Your Skin Tone: If your skin tone happens to be darker than the lace material, you can use a damp tea bag to darken it to match your skin’s tone. The longer you dab the tea bag onto the lace, the darker it will get. You can also use your ordinary makeup kit to match the lace to your skin tone. This is how many women have done it for years.


  1. Handle The Wig With Care:The lace on the wig is made out of a very delicate material. Ensure that you handle it with care every time you take it off or wash it. If you feel that you need to trim your wig, we recommend that you take it to a professional. The lace may unravel if you try to trim it yourself.

A Few More Things to Consider Regarding Your Wig

Basic Capps

Basic Caps are the most affordable and most common wig designs available. They feature a closed lace layer at the crown. In basic caps, wefts of hair are simply sewn onto the cap and styled to a specific style. The crowns of these wigs are often crimped or teased to keep people from seeing down through the cap. Ultimately, basic caps often feature an increased hair volume at the crown.

Some wigs that have a cap have been mistakenly called cap-less wigs before. This misnaming usually happens because, instead of the closed lace layer usually present at the crown of these wigs, they feature vertical lace strips that create open spaces between the wefts of hair.

Average sized wigs normally fit up to 95% of all customers. Many wigs also come in large and petite sizes to cater to other customers. Some wigs have also been designed with adjustable straps to allow for up to 1/2” of space for a more secure and comfortable fit.

How to Determine Your Wig Size

To determine the appropriate wig size for you, measure your head’s circumference from the front hairline, just behind your ear, along the back of your neck, to the other ear, then back again to the front hairline.

Record the measurements to use as your shopping online (or in stores) for wigs. However, you should note that sizes can vary slightly based on the wig’s brand. You should also note that some wigs are not available in all cap sizes.

How to Buy an Appropriate Wig for Your Face Shape

While you consider and compare different wigs that interest you, take some time to think about the styles that might be flattering based on the shape of your face. Below are a few guidelines you might find helpful.

Oval: An OVAL-Shaped Face is longer rather than wide while the jaw is narrower than the cheekbones. Since an oval-shaped face doesn’t have any dominant areas and is largely proportional, the face will look good with almost any hairstyle, length as well as texture.

Round: A ROUND-Shaped Face has a wide hairline and fullness beneath the cheekbones. Some women with round faces may be obese with the neck appearing short. Round-shaped faces look pretty good with a linear or geometric style. Add height, if you can, and long, thin side areas for the cheeks to appear narrow. Then comb the hair close to the head both on the side and at the back of your neck.

Square: A SQUARED-Shaped Face has a wide hairline and jaw. Such a face needs height on top while the sides should be narrow. To add height to the face, comb the hair off your forehead. Curly texture and wisps of hair close to the face break the wide, straight lines commonly found on square faces.

Heart: HEART-Shaped Faces have wide foreheads and narrower chins. To hide its width, bring some hair onto your forehead. You should also keep the hair close to the head, on the area close to your eyes, but make it somewhat full around the jaw as well as beneath and at the fore of the earlobes.