Hair extensions are everywhere now—most of your favorite celebrities wear them on a regular basis for longer, more voluminous locks (they can even transform your color), but you'd most likely never know because they look and feel more natural than ever. However, there's a science to how they work and which type is best for each individual's hair, so finding a stylist who knows the ins and outs of the hair extension world is crucial. One such stylist, Kristin Grip (she's the founder of Tease Salon in Costa Mesa, CA), has mastered her skills—if you've seen JoJo on The Bachelorette and her gorgeous hair, you've seen her work. Here, we got the details from Grip on three of the most popular hair extension methods right now, so you can find the best one for your strands.
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"We make custom clip-in sets of hair where we can customize a client's color, length and the width of the actual rows of extensions to fit their hair just perfect," says Grip. "Depending on how often you wear them, they can last for years. Hair extensions don’t expire, they just wear out over time. If you have some old clip-ins in a drawer from five-plus years ago, they are still good. The only reason you’d want to replace clip-ins, is if they have become worn-out from hot tools , brushing, styling, tons of washes, etc."
Average cost: $250–$350
According to Grip, these are also known as a “fusion method,” where each individual extension is a small gathering of hair with a bond/tip at the top holding all the hairs together. "The bond is placed against a small section of the client's hair that's equal in thickness to the extension, and then melted with a small hot wand. The bond melts and I roll it with my fingers around the client's hair. The bond cools and cures, creating a sealed, long-lasting, durable bond. These steps are repeated to install an average of 150–200 pieces for a full head. I prefer to have clients come back in every three months for a new set to avoid damage to their natural hair , but I have seen women wear them up to five months."
Average cost: $1,000+
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"I invented this method in my garage in 2004, and now I see them everywhere—it's really popular at my salon too," says Grip. "A hair extension 'weft' is a row of hair sewn together at the top, creating an even row or 'curtain' of hair. I take a horizontal part in the client's hair and place a weft along the part. Then I take small sections of the client's hair and weft hair and lock them together inside of a bead. The wefts lay super flat and can add a ton of hair quickly. An average full head is three to four rows, which I can install in about 40 minutes. Maintenance involves coming in every six to eight weeks to have them repositioned at your scalp ."
Average cost: $800–$1,500