Extensions used to be reserved for celebrities in previous years but these days just about anyone can have their own luxurious locks at a price that’s affordable. While having this product so readily available is a great thing, there is a huge selection of extensions to choose from. First time shoppers may find it difficult to decide which type not only looks good with their real hair but which style would give them the most natural appearance.

Each type of extensions comes with its own set of pros and cons, which should definitely be taken into consideration.

Sew-In Extensions

Pros: If you want a set of extensions that don’t come with the risk of falling out or being pulled out on accident, then sew-in extensions are going to be your best bet. As the name implies, this process involves taking tracks of hair and using special thread to literally sew the extensions in. Before this step, however, a woman’s natural hair is first braided into cornrows. When it comes time to sew the extensions in, the thread will be expertly weaved through the cornrows, keeping the extensions secure. The sew-in method allows a woman to wear her extensions for up to 6-8 weeks before needing to have them redone or taken out.

Cons: Although sew-in extensions are perfect for long time wear without worrying about maintenance, it does come with a few disadvantages. If the braids are put in too tightly, it can cause headaches and a dull, throbbing sensation, which can be uncomfortable to deal with on a daily basis. For those that have sensitive scalps, the tension of the braids could cause lesions/scabs, which can be damaging to not only the scalp itself but the hair as well.

Bonding

Pros: Bonding hair extensions is one of the most popular methods because it provides long-lasting results, like the sew-in method and looks completely natural. Hot fusion bonding requires the use of a heated appliance to “fuse” the extensions to a person’s natural hair. Cold fusion is an easier method that can be done by anyone and simply requires good quality hair glue that can be purchased from any beauty supply store. Bonding hair extensions, if taken care of properly, has the ability to last up to 4-6 weeks.

Cons: The use of the bonding material isn’t exactly healthy for the hair and can cause breakage. If the glue is applied improperly, it can cause tension headaches. Long term application using this method could also lead to random bald patches—commonly known as “traction baldness.”

Removing the bonding material itself typically results in the loss of healthy hair being ripped out from the scalp as well.

Clip-In Extensions

Pros: Unlike the other application methods mentioned above, clip-in extensions cause the least amount of damage to a woman’s scalp. There are a variety of clip-in extensions on the market, from fake, clip-in ponytails to tracks that already come with hair clips attached to the wefts. Not only are these types of extensions better for the hair, it is also less time consuming. A few minutes and a couple of snaps later and any woman can walk out of the house with a head full of luxurious hair. It is best to choose real human hair, which can be styled in a variety of ways.

Cons: Many women opt for the cheap alternative and choose synthetic clip-in extensions. Synthetic hair tends to look fake and because it isn’t natural human hair, it cannot be styled using heated tools because it will cause the hair to melt.

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