If you’re dealing with hair loss, take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone. This cosmetic issue affects over 50% of women in their lifetime. “Stress, hormone imbalances, illness, medications, aging, genetics, [and] more can trigger hair loss,” explains Great Lengths expert and stylist, Lyndsay Maderis. “Heat damage, chemical and environmental damage, or hairstyles that pull can also create thinning.”
Both hair loss and general thinning can be difficult to reverse (but not impossible!). That said, there is one easy way to achieve longer, thicker hair while you wait for those biotin supplements to kick in: hair extensions.
If you’re unfamiliar with extensions, don’t fret. Here, we breakdown everything there is to know about these magic-like beauty products, from the different options available to all the best maintenance tips.
What are hair extensions?
“Extensions are strands of hair—either synthetic or real—that can be attached to your own hair,” explains Maderis. These extensions help add length and volume to your strands, giving you a naturally fuller look.
Real human hair, which is used in all Great Lengths hair extensions, is considered superior to synthetic extensions. Not only do they look and feel more natural, they can also be styled using heat tools (synthetic hair will melt under too much heat), and they can be professionally colored or permed.
According to Maderis, there are also many different fastening methods to choose from. “There are temporary options like clip-ins and halos, [and] more permanent solutions like tape-ins, sew-ins, and fusion,” she says. “Extensions can be added to fill just the areas needed or to fill all throughout.” During your consultation, your stylist will help determine which extensions are best for your needs.
Who is a good candidate for hair extensions?
Good news: If you have healthy hair, you’re likely a good candidate for extensions. There are a few exceptions, though. First, those with hair less than 5cm in length won’t be able to use extensions. Also, those with hair that’s too brittle, and those with certain medical conditions may not be able to try out the procedure either.
What is the process of getting hair extensions?
It’s important to seek out a professional who specializes in hair extensions versus purchasing or applying them yourself. A consultation with a professional who specializes in hair extensions will provide you the needed information to determine what method and type of extensions would work best for your hair type, condition, lifestyle and desired result. Also be sure to ask the cosmetologist what kind of training and certification they have, as well as review examples of their extension work to ensure he or she is a good fit for your desired outcome.
How do you maintain your hair extensions?
Once you’ve invested in hair extensions, you’ll want to take good care of them to ensure your investment lasts. Since Great Lengths hair extensions are made of human hair, your maintenance routine will mimic what you’re already doing for your own hair.
That said, there are a few things to note: You may wash your hair less frequently, your extensions always need to be fully dried post-wash, and it’s likely that you’ll need to brush out the hair more often than usual.
Do hair extensions offer any other cosmetic benefit?
Since hair naturally thins as you age, adding hair extensions can actually make you look younger. “By restoring the volume, you instantly bring back [a youthful appearance]—faster than Botox!” says Maderis.
Also, hair loss and hair thinning is often a jarring experience that can have a major impact on self-esteem, so many women who add extensions into their routine report a boost in confidence. Talk about a win-win.
The bottom line
Ultimately, hair extensions can dramatically change your appearance. Whether you crave longer locks or simply want that same volume you had years ago, hair extensions are an easy way to instantly achieve your desired look. If you’re interested in trying them out yourself, you can find certified Great Lengths stylists by zip code on their stylist finder on the Great Lengths Website.