This article will break down the most damaging methods of hair extensions and also the safest and non-damaging methods.
• Less Damaging Methods Of Extensions - Then we will look at hair extension methods that claim to be "less damaging"
• Non-Damaging & Safe Methods Of Hair Extensions - And finally we will look at hair extension methods that are guaranteed non-damaging and 100% safe.
The Most Damaging Hair Extension Methods(1) Tape-In Hair Extensions : Tape-in hair extensions are just what they sound like. Your stylist will have a bundle of between 50 and 300 individual pieces of extension hair that have tapes on the end. These tapes are used to bond the extension hair with your natural hair.
Damage From Tape-In Hair Extensions
The pictures below from Gia & Co depicts the bald spots that tape-in hair extensions can cause.
Think about it, If you are adding a lot of length and volume, you are going to be adding over 5 ounces of extensions to your hair. That is about the weight of a billiards ball pulling down on your natural hair and roots.
When you add in brushing, styling and everyday wear and tear, you are going to be causing a great deal of stress on your natural hair! Over time this stress will ultimately lead to bald spots and hair breakage!
(2) Micro-Link Hair Extensions - Micro-Link are similar to tape in hair extension in that they are an individual method of hair extensions. But instead of using tape to attach the extensions your stylist will use an aluminum bead that clamps down on the extension hair and your natural hair, fusing them together.
This type of hair extension method goes by a wide variety of names
- I-Tip Hair Extensions
- Micro Ring Hair Extensions
- Micro Bead Hair Extensions
- I-Link Hair Extensions
- Loop Hair Extensions
- Cold Fusion Hair Extensions
No matter what you call them they are attached the same to your natural hair. Micro-link extensions use beads that link your natural hair to the extensions. Each strand of [extension] hair has a link on it, and your stylist puts your hair through it and the link is clamped down to secure each extension. With the micro-link technique, one small strand of extensions and your real hair are linked together.
These beads come in aluminum or copper, with or without a thin non-slip silicone layer inside them, different colors for different hair tones and different sizes for different areas and hair thickness. Depending on the thickness of your hair your stylist will choose one of the following types of beads
Micro-Lock - These are the most popular types of micro-link beads and are good for thick hair. They offer the strongest hold because they have grooves on the inside that interlock when crimped. But these are the most damage causing bead due to their robust hold.
Flare Beads - These are better for women with thin hair because they are made of copper instead of aluminum. The copper is softer and the shape is longer which evenly spreads out the pressure. But, the root cause of damage is still there and that is the tension of having the extension hair attached directly to your natural hair.
Silone Beads - These are aluminum beads that are coasted on the inside with silicone. The silicone is more gentle on the hair and is slightly less damaging than just a standard aluminum micro-lock bead.
Micro-Link Hair Extensions Will Cause Damage To Your Hair
Many salons claim that when applied correctly, micro-link hair extensions will not cause damage.
The truth is that regardless of how professionally they are applied, micro-links will cause a great deal of tension and stress on your natural hair.
Additionally, micro-link hair extensions are prone to becoming knotted and matted. Just read this woman's experience. After three months of wearing the micro-bead her hair became a knotty and matted mess.
Another important fact to consider is that your natural hair sheds 80 to 100 hairs per day. This shedding becomes worse when heavy extensions such as micro-links are attached.
By the time you are ready to come in for removal and reapplication, the extensions are held on by fewer hairs and the weight of the extension may end up ripping your hair out from the scalp.
Other Issues With Micro-Links
In addition to this micro-link hair extensions causing damage, they also have a variety of negative issues:
- They are prone to falling out. Your stylist will tell you to avoid using conditioner near them as that will cause them to become lubricated and slip out of the bead.
- Micro-bead hair extensions are very expensive due to the amount of time it takes to apply them. They can cost as much as $2,500.
- They are uncomfortable to sleep with and can be very painful if not applied correctly.
- They are very time consuming to apply. Because these hair extensions are applied individually, they can take as long as 5 hours to apply depending on how many pieces you are adding.
Keratin Bond Hair Extensions are applied to your hair by heating up keratin glue and "fusing" the extension hair to your natural hair. As you can imaging their are a lot of things that can go wrong with this method.
This biggest flaw of this method's application is that the extensions are attached directly to your natural hair.
That means that the weight of the extension hair, which in some cases can weigh as much as a billiards ball, will constantly be pulling on your natural hair.
When that level of strain is placed on your natural hair, breakage and damage are almost guaranteed.
Also, this is an individual method of hair extensions which are more susceptible to matting and tangling than weft methods of hair extensions.
Another leading cause of hair extension damage is from matting and tangling. Once this happens brushing become nearly impossible and the removal becomes long and tedious.(4) Braid and Sew Hair Extensions - This is the oldest and most traditional form of extensions. Unlike the three methods mentioned above, this method uses a hair weft instead of individual pieces of hair. First your stylist will braid your hair into a "row" across the back of your head. Once the braid is complete the stylist will sew the hair weft onto the braid.
The Braid & Sew method of hair extensions is applied exactly how it sounds. First the stylist will create a row by creating a braid of your own hair that go along the back side of your head and then they will sew a weft of hair directly onto the braid.
This braid is used as the attachment point for the hair extensions. Additionally, their is stress and tension being placed on your hair just from the braid alone.
Once the extensions are attached to the braid, the tension is increased even more. This is what makes this method one of the most damaging methods of hair extensions.
Overtime this tension will cause severe bald spots all along where the braid was created.
Even though this method of hair extension uses a weft, it should not be confused with modern day weft hair extensions such as the Glamour Locks Hair Extension System.
The Following Methods Are "Less Damaging"
- Natural Beaded Rows
- Waterfall Beaded Rows
- And Other Beaded Weft Hair Extension Systems
While these methods of extension all go by different names or brands, they all have very similar methods of attachments and fall under a category of extensions called Beaded Weft Hair Extensions. Beaded weft hair extension systems are also known as Sew-In Weft Hair Extensions and Invisible Weft Hair Extensions.
These methods are not to be confused with Hand Tied Wefts or Hand Tied Extensions. Hand Tied refers to the hair that is attached to your natural hair. There are hand tied wefts and machine sewn wefts. Hand Tied wefts are thinner and generally of higher quality than machine sewn hair wefts.
Beaded Weft Hair Extensions all use something called a hair weft that is sewn into a row created across the back of your head. A row is a parting of your hair that is created by your stylist, see image below.
A hair weft is a bundle hair that is sewn together horizontally at the top, creating a "curtain" of hair that drapes down, see image below.
Your stylist will sew the weft onto your hair along the row that has been created. All of the methods listed above follow this basic formula. But they all use different attachment tools to adhere the weft to your natural hair.
The Glamour Locks Hair Extension System (Non-Damaging & Safe)
The Glamour Locks Hair Extension System is the only patented and guaranteed non-damaging hair extension method available. It was designed to take all the good parts of hair extensions and remove the damage causing parts. We were able to do this by introducing a third step to the application method that creates a safety barrier between your natural hair and the extension hair. That safety barrier is created by a patented tool called a Tension Strap
First, the Glamour Locks Certified Stylist will gather your hair to create a row across the back of your scalp. Then the stylist will create a Glamour Track using a Tension Strap.
The Tension Strap bears the weight of the extension hair resulting in less stress on your natural hair. The Tension Strap holds all the weight of the extensions resulting in comfortable and damage free hair extensions!
So What Makes Hair Extensions Non-Damaging?
To summarize this article, non-damaging means that the hair extension application method you have chosen does not cause stress to your natural hair.
Hair extensions that are attached directly to your hair will break your hair, create bald spots and will cause long term damage that you will need to deal with for many years to come.
If you are interested in trying the Glamour Locks Hair Extension System you can schedule your consultation here.
Where Do your Hair Extensions Come From?
Another thing to consider is where your hair extensions come from. We broke down pros of cons of hair imported from countries all around the world.
Click Here To Read Our Article, "Where Your Hair Extensions Come From And Why It Matters"