Clip-in or clip-on hair extensions
This technique is the least permanent and can be very effective without the disadvantages such as traction alopecia associated with glue extensions. The hair weft has small toupée clips sewn onto them. Usually a set of clip-in extensions averages eight strips of human hair in varying widths from two inches to eight inches. Starting at the nape of the neck, the hair is sectioned neatly, then the weft is placed onto this section with the clips open and facing the scalp. Each clip is snapped into place. It can be helpful to lightly backcomb each section for a more secure grip. This is repeated until each clip-in weft is in place. Clip-ins can be worn for an entire day; however, they must be removed before sleeping. Some people wear clip-ins only for special occasions and other functions, while others wear them daily. This shows the versatility of this type of hair extension.
Bonding and sealing extensions
Bonding is a method of weaving that lasts for a shorter period of time in comparison to sew-in weaving. It involves the application of hair glue to a section of wefted hair then onto a person’s natural hair; special hair adhesives are used in bonding to prevent damage to one’s natural hair. This technique is commonly used and does not cause damage to the hair unless taken out without proper directions from a professional. It is advised that weave bonding be installed for up to 3 weeks because the glue begins to loosen up and lessens the attractiveness of the hair. There are 2 types of bonding methods: soft bond and hard bond. Soft bond is flexible and comfortable to wear and is made using latex/acrylic based adhesives. Hard bond is the industry term for bonding treatments whose adhesive contains cyanoacrylate, or super glue. Hard bond adhesives last longer than soft bond adhesives because it is not water based and therefore less susceptible to deterioration. Nonetheless, the hard bond adhesives are not as comfortable as the soft bond adhesive because they are rigid. These bond attachments generally last 4–6 weeks before a maintenance appointment is necessary.
The fusion method delivers one of the most versatile and most natural-looking weaves on the market. This involves a machine similar to a hot glue gun used to attach human hair extensions to individual strands of one’s natural hair of about 1/8 to 1/4 inch squared sections for a truly authentic look. Another option for fusion attachments is using hair which is pre-tipped with a keratin adhesive. A heat clamp is then used to melt the adhesive to attach the extension hair to the natural hair. Fusion weave allows washing hair frequently and the use of regular hair products such as hair gels. Nonetheless this technique is very time consuming because it takes about 3 or more hours. They need repositioning every 2–3 months as the natural hair grows. Due to various chemicals in the glue, which may cause hair loss and scalp irritation, combined with heat, this method is more damaging to natural hair.
Micro rings (or micro loops)
Micro rings or micro loop hair extensions use small metal rings (usually aluminium) lined with silicone with the extension hair attached. They are fixed to small sections of natural hair and tightened using a special tool that clamps the loop around the natural hair.
The micro loops are designed to be small enough so that they are not visible in normal use. They need repositioning every 2–3 months as the natural hair grows and the micro rings move away from the scalp.
As they do not use heat or adhesives, these hair extensions should cause less damage than some types.