These are the most popular hair extension methods currently available. However, it can be easy to get confused between the different options as there are so many methods and techniques.
There are two key categories of hair extensions:
Strand-by-strand involves using individual strands of hair, whereas wefts involve using strips of hair which are either sewn together using a machine or hand tied.
Strand-by-strand methods (micro rings & nano rings)
Weft methods (tape hair extensions, and sew in braidless weft).
Micro Rings Method
This method has been around for a while now they remain one of the most popular hair extension methods. These are strand by strand hair extensions, and involve the use of individual strands of hair. A micro ring is a very small metal ring, similar to a bead, and is used to attach hair extensions to an individual’s own hair. Each hair extension is tipped with a keratin adhesive (known as an i-tip or stick tip).
Here you use a special tool to pull a small section of the client’s natural hair through a micro ring. The i-tip of the hair extension is then inserted into the micro ring. You pull the ring up to approx 1cm from the scalp and use pliers to clamp the micro ring flat, fixing the micro ring hair extensions in place.
This method does not involve heat, melted keratin, glue or chemicals, and for that reason is often very popular with first time hair extension wearers.
The micro rings method is also very popular because it is quite quick and easy to carry out – with a professional full head fitting being completed in as little as 2 hours.
The extensions are also reusable (although the rings are not) and easy to remove, so you can easily reposition them when carrying out a maintenance appointment. All you have to do is open the ring back to release the stick tip.
A key advantage is that, if fitted correctly by a professional, they are incredibly discrete, but this method can lack flexibility when it comes to choosing the thickness of the extensions or blending more than one colour together because the strands are pre-tipped and cannot be split.
Nano Ring Hair Extensions
Nano ring hair extensions have similarities to micro ring hair extensions, but with one major difference: they are a lot smaller. 90% smaller than standard ring systems, with a nano ring measuring at just 2.5mm.
For that reason, nano ring hair extensions have been described as “revolutionary” and “incredible”, and they are one of the most popular hair extension methods currently available.
They are virtually invisible and make hair look completely natural and feel completely natural. The rings are much smaller than micro rings they are more comfortable to wear. Wearing your hair up in a ponytail they are nearly impossible to detect.
Here you have to use specially designed nano-tip hair extensions rather than the i-tip hair extensions used in the micro rings method. The tips differ in that the i-tip hair extension uses a keratin bonding agent to glue the hair together, whereas the nano tip hair extensions have a tiny wire loop embedded in the keratin which fits into the tiny nano ring.
They do not use heat, glue or sewing. They are relatively quick to fit and to remove, the extensions (although not the nano rings) can be used again, and the rings are available in a wide range of different colours and shades to match the root of the client’s hair.
Not every client is suitable for nano rings as a method – clients with very fine hair or hair which is oily will find the nano rings do not stay in their hair very well.
Tape In Hair Extensions
This method involves using hair wefts where the hair extension is attached to transparent polyurethane adhesive tape. These are pre-taped wefts are around 4cm wide, and thin sections of the client’s own natural hair is taken and sandwiched between two back to back wefts, one which is applied on top of the hair, and one which is applied underneath.
Tape Hair extensions are growing very quickly in popularity, and very popular in USA, Austraila and Europe, with a key reason for this is the speed in which they can be fitted and removed. A full head can be fitted in under an hour, with removal being quick and easy for the extensionist and safe for the client. Removal involves spraying the tape with an alcohol based solution which allows the tape to easily be eased away from the clients hair.
Once removed they can easily be used again by being re-taped. Tape In Hair Extensions are suitable for all hair types, adding instant volume and length.
Sew In Braidless Weft
Unlike other sew in techniques, the Sew In Braidless Weft method does not involve the use of tight braids. The tension of braids can be uncomfortable and even damaging for the client. This method involves using a beaded track of micro rings instead, offering a much flatter position to the scalp.
They are installed in one straight long track (or row) of rings, side by side with very small gaps in between. They are applied in the same way as the micro ring method. The weft of hair is then sewn in to the track of micro rings. This makes it ideal for many hair types.
Sew In Braidless Wefts do not involve heat or glue. A key benefit of this method is that you can re-use the wefts to reposition many times. The weft is easily removed. The micro rings are easily removed by using pliers to release them.
The Hair is attached on a very thin weft, which allows them to remain tangle free and look very natural. Silicone-lined links, which vary in color depending on the color of hair, are what secure your hair to the extensions. These extensions do not require heat when installed, so there is minimal damage to your own hair. The silicone inside the link protects your hair from the rough edges of metal, and prevents hair extensions damage.
For a full volume application, it is usually 45 minutes.
Full length application usually takes 1.5 hours. These hair extensions with no glue are very easy and quick to install.
Pre-Bonded Hair Extensions
Pre Bonded Hair Extensions ar otherwise know as fusion bonded hair extensions, and are one of the most well known techniques available on the market. One of the oldest methods available, it is still popular amongst hair extension technicians.
A utip/nail tip/pre bonded hair extension is a type of hair extension that is applied to the hair by heating up the keratin tip that is found at the end of the extension, to attach it to your natural hair.
Unlike other methods the hair cannot be used more than once. The method does not require the maintenance appointments that other fitting techniques do.
This method can take up 3-5 hours to fit.