Hair Metrics Analysis: Hair Extensions


Used almost exclusively by women, hair extensions are a great tool to hide thinning hair or patches of hair loss while adding length, volume, or simply providing a greater number of hairstyle options. Many celebrities openly discuss their use of hair extensions, which appear to be exempt to some degree from the stigma that comes along with wearing full wigs.

Nonetheless, when selecting a quality hair extension provider, the same rules apply as with wigs (See Hair Metrics Analysis: Nonsurgical Hair Replacement). Hair extensions differ in composition (synthetic vs. natural), quality, and color, yet in some respect need to be more thoroughly evaluated since the extensions will be blending in with your own hair.

The cost of extensions can range from a few hundred dollars to $1,000 or more depending on what you’re looking for and will only last for about 2 months of daily wear. Initial application for semi-permanent varieties often require a few hours of your time, and can be applied using glue, tape, weaves, protein bonds, or braids. Temporary hair extensions can be clipped in.

Our Take…

The right extensions for your hair can look great and natural, but will require maintenance. At-home care typically requires the use of certain shampoos and careful instructions on the use of heat, chemicals, brushing, blow drying, and sleeping. You will likely want your stylist to cut and color them to match your hair, and most hair extensions aren’t “virgin” human hair (hair that’s never been treated), so your recoloring options may be limited on the lighter end. And, synthetic hair is more easily damaged during styling.

Are they worth it? We think so, particularly at the higher end of quality if they’re in your budget. But, make sure you’re fully informed about the application process, aftercare, and any changes you’ll need to make in your grooming habits. Go into the purchase knowing exactly what you’re in for and the maintenance necessary. For a few days or weeks prior to your purchase, take notes on how your like to wear your hair so the extensions can be placed in areas that won’t show or restrict your preferred hairstyles.

Once the hair extensions are in place, realize that quick hairstyling exits after a shower are no longer going to be practical for most women. Extra time will need to be allotted to make sure your new hair is blended flawlessly into your natural locks. When the extensions are ready to be taken out, make sure you have this done professionally, especially before they start tugging on your hair roots.

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