The 5 most common hair extension services today are Glue In, Track Hair Extensions, Locking Hair Extensions, Hot Fusion and Cold Fusion. Each has advantages and disadvantages. Here are some guidelines to help you make your choice wisely.
Glue In Hair Extension Service/ Track Hair Extensions
This is a temporary hair extension solution which means for the amount of time you spend in the salon, which can be 4-hours or more for partial, upwards of 5-hours for full, and the money, the investment for a short term look should be worth the effort. You should also be ready to have the hair extensions removed within a reasonable amount of time – like a couple of months. Of course, this can depend on the expertise of your hairdresser, but it can also depends strongly on how you care for the hair in the meantime. Some people report their glue-in extensions only lasted a week, others say they change their glue-in extensions every 6 months. The average time that glue-in extensions last is about 2-3 months, with proper care.
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You can expect to pay anywhere from $220 (partial) to $390 (full) and up for these type of hair extensions. The price will vary depending on the type of hair used (e.g. human hair vs. synthetic) and length of the hair. You must also consider the cost involved in removing the hair extensions. Attempting to remove glue in hair extensions on your own is not advisable because you could inadvertently pull out your own hair,, causing a bald spot.
The benefits of this type of hair extensions are lower cost, adds volume to your hair, and can create a whole new look for you. On the downside, glue in extensions can damage your hair and scalp because glue can sometimes cause split ends or even burn your hair.
Track hair extensions involves applying up to 50 hair strands to specific areas in your scalp by using a chemical substance to make it stick. You should consider the maintenance cost that comes after. For every track you had placed in your hair, you can expect to pay up to $60 for each as part of the cost for upkeep. Upkeep should be done every 6 weeks minimum.
Locking Hair Extensions
This is a great choice if you have fragile and thinning hair. This is because it uses natural human hair only and is attached without the use of abrasive chemicals or substances like glue. In fact, you can keep your lock-in hair extensions for many months without having to sit through lengthy extension sessions. The initial service might take 4.5hrs (partial) to 5.5 hours (full). The times are not exact.
The cost for this kind of hair extension service can start at $700 (partial) to $1000 (full), but can get up to $2500 for some stylists. The reason this type is more expensive is the human hair factor as compared to synthetic hair which is much cheaper.
The main advantage of this kind of hair extension is the fact that you can usually remove them to use again when you please, as long as they are not damaged. Naturally, you would have to have this done by a professional to ensure that they can be used more than once. With regular maintenance of 2 to 4 months, the extensions can last up to 4 years with proper care. Another advantage is that the locking tubes can be adjusted to compensate for the growth of the natural hair.
Hot Fusion Hair Extensions
This type of hair extension service uses hot glue to attach the extensions. Using hot glue can burn your scalp, if you attempt it at home, so you need to make sure to visit a professional salon to have this done for you. It would cost you about $700 (partial) to $1400 (full) , but this amount varies depending on the length of the hair extensions and how many you want. You will spend at least 5-hours [partial) or 6-hours (full) in the salon for this service.
The advantage of this type of hair extension service is the 4 month period where you can enjoy beautiful, longer, and thicker hair. Because of the application method, the hair can sometimes seem a little stiffer and less natural. The method is generally not damaging to the natural hair. With the fusion method, it is difficult to make out the extensions from the natural hair, but one of the disadvantages of this method is that sometimes glue material may be visible when pulling the hair back.
Cold Fusion Hair Extensions
The cousin to hot fusion, cold fusion is a comparatively new technology and is very popular, because it is gentler on the natural hair, since it uses polymer to attach the extensions. Since this method doesn’t use heat, it is the preferred method for thin or fine hair. Furthermore, the extensions can stay on for up to 6 months.
With this type of hair extension service, you will be able to fool a lot of people, because the results are amazingly natural and beautiful. This is also the reason why this type of extension is much more expensive.
The range of a cold fusion hair extension service can start at $700 (partial) to $1400 (full), but this can balloon to $4000, depending on who you approach for the service, and the length of the extensions. As with hot fusion, you will spend at least 5-hours [partial) or 6-hours (full) in the salon for this service.
Scalp Braiding Hair Extensions
This type of hair extension can only be done partially. This means that you cannot expect a full head of hair extensions with scalp braiding. This type of extension will last you only about 2 months. Some women find scalp braiding difficult to maintain and adjust to, so they can find themselves considering removing the braids a couple of weeks after. In short, this extension needs a little time to adjust to, so expect that at the start.
The advantage of these “sewn in” extensions are that they have almost zero damage on your natural hair. In order to apply the extensions, the natural hair is styled into a firm braid across the head and then the extensions are sewn into the braid. The only major drawback with scalp braiding is that it is not suitable for all hair types. In general, the extensions last longer on hair with a coarser texture than on smoother hair.
Expect to stay at least a couple of hours in the salon, but this time can vary depending on hair length. The cost for scalp braiding might be around $150-$200. The disadvantage of this hair extension is that the scalp can sometimes itch and tangle. On the other hand, you do not put any chemicals on your head, and this is a top reason for wanting this kind of extension.
With these 5 choices, bear in mind that the costs are multi-faceted. In other words, you have to consider the cost of the salon service, the hair extensions, and the maintenance or upkeep of your hair.
Anastasia is a salon hair stylist in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Out of town appointments welcome.