Hair Extensions 101


Leaders in the fashion industry as well as celebrities across the globe are seen with constantly changing hair styles. From different color choices to varying lengths of hair, each week brings something new. Short cuts are followed by long, luxurious locks the next day, baffling everyone around. Now it’s easier than ever to lengthen your mane with the use of hair extensions. But there are some who remain on the fence about them.

Extension Basics

If you’ve always dreamed of having longer hair, extensions may be the answer you’ve been looking for. They can also be used to add volume to limp, thinning hair or a pop of color. So long as you have at least 3” of hair to work with, a talented stylist can add extensions. There are several ways hair extensions can be added to your hair, depending on how long you want them to stay. They can be glued in, braided in, woven in, or even clipped in for a temporary style boost.

Unfortunately, hair extensions are not cheap. A variety of factors contribute to the cost, but extensions can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars. In addition to the financial investment, they also take a significant amount of time for the initial setup process. The procedure is not painful, simply time consuming and pricey.

Know Your Extensions

When you have made the decision to have hair extensions put in, it is important to find an experienced specialist. Ask to see photos of prior hair extension work. Also inquire about how the stylist will place and remove the extensions, as well as how he or she will minimize the damage to your natural hair. Gluing extensions can be damaging, while tracks (weaving or sewing) can be much too heavy.

Find out whether you will be having synthetic or natural human hair extensions. Human hair is far more expensive, but is more viable. Synthetic hair generally cannot be heated, severely limiting styling options. Individual strand extensions provide a completely customizable look that is far more natural than other placement options.

Make sure your hair is healthy enough to withstand the pressure of the length of extensions you are looking for. When hair extensions are too heavy, they can severely damage the hair and cause it to break.

Care and Upkeep

Like almost any other hair process (certain cuts, coloring, perm, etc), hair extensions require a certain amount of upkeep. But you should only have to spend about an hour at the salon getting things touched up every six weeks. Most extensions can be treated like natural hair, just more gently. They do require a special brush created just for extensions, called a loop brush. It is also a good idea to use a gentle shampoo, light conditioner, and cool water in order to minimize tangles.

While they are not for everyone, hair extensions are a great way for people to explore a variety of hair lengths and styles. The financial and time commitments are often worth it when it comes to a botched, hated haircut or other hair fiasco. Try them out and perhaps you’ll fall in love with your new ‘do.


Guest author Julie Eben helps run a blog about Clearwater hair extensions.  She has been a hairstylist for years and now shares her expertise with clients in the blogging universe.



  1. I’ve been wanting to try out hair extensions for a long time now, but I didn’t want to commit to the sewn-in or glued-in hair. I already have long hair, but it definitely isn’t as full of body as I would like. I’ve always been envious of those ladies blessed with thick, curly hair.

  2. Thanks for this great review. I have read lots of articles related to hair extensions. Also read the negative side of it that is why I am having second thoughts in getting it. Though my best friend keeps on convincing me on getting my hair extended. Are they really safe to use?

    Keep on posting. love following your post

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