Hair Extensions And How To Rock Them: A Beginner's Guide

Everything you need to know about getting hair extensions and how to use them.

Published On Feb 21, 2023 | Updated On Mar 05, 2024


Long hair can be hard to maintain, but there is just so much you can do to style it.  If you’ve always fancied long hair but it’s just been difficult to maintain, think of the next best option - hair extensions! They are easy to use, make your hair look fuller, and can be used in a variety of colours too. Plenty of celebrities do it and it’s just a great look to have for any kind of occasion. Often they can be set and styled better too. However, before you get started, there are some things to keep in mind. Choosing poor quality extensions, or those that don’t really match your hair colour is a big no-no. In this guide, learn everything you need to know about wearing and pulling off hair extensions.

Anyone who does not want to, or cannot maintain long hair can use hair extensions. Apart from that, even for those with shorter hair, dyed hair extensions can be used to help add some colour. You can also use it to add volume to your hair or to make it longer, and this  makes it easier to style. This also helps you avoid the damage done while colouring or styling your hair and gives you a more temporary, reversible solution. If you are also looking to go for a particular look, styling hair extensions is safer than styling your natural hair. The next step is to understand how to wear hair extensions.

Not all hair extensions are made from real hair. These can also be manufactured using synthetic fibres that look just as good as natural hair. Between the two, while extensions made of real hair look more natural, they are also prone to acting out like your natural hair. Synthetic hair, on the other hand, lasts longer and doesn't act up when you don’t want them to. That said, there are five different types of hair extensions. These are categorised based on their application method.

These hair extensions use a dry glue that has a keratin base. These are technically ‘permanent’ hair extensions, and are stuck to your scalp. However, this does not mean that you can leave them forever. They can weigh in on your natural hair roots and prevent them from breathing. They are the most personalised form of hair extensions and need to be applied, maintained and removed under expert supervision.

These types of hair extensions are braided into your hair, often into cornrows or tracks. It’s a complex process where hair extensions are sewn into your natural hair. Do not try to apply these hair extensions at home. 

While they are each unique, these hair extensions use similar methodologies. Hair extensions that are added by using tape under the top layer are known as taped hair extensions. The same is done with the glue-taped hair extensions, but instead of adhesive on the tape, you use glue. Clip-in hair extensions are the easiest since they use clips to add these extensions. They are relatively the safest and best used when you want to add streaks. You can try applying these hair extensions at home with some expert guidance. There are plenty of tape-in hair extension tips and tricks.

Choosing the right hair extensions for you will depend on your general lifestyle. If you want something more temporary, a change for a couple of hours, clip-in hair extensions or taped ones are the best. However, if you are looking at more long-term solutions and want to be able to style your extensions using heat-based appliances, consider getting the keratin-based ones. Apart from that, your professional stylist can help you determine the best course depending on the climate around you, your physical activity level and  other preferences with regards to styling your hair. Apart from the clip-ins and taped hair extensions, do not try applying hair extensions at home.

Once you know how to wear hair extensions, it’s time to pick a colour. A shade lighter and the hair extensions will look bad, especially if you have just added in a few streaks. Colour code your hair extensions well, and make sure they match your natural hair colour so they look like natural hair extensions. If you are considering getting long-term hair extensions, specifically the keratin-based glue ones, it’s best to put them on and then get them all dyed the same shade. However, be careful with the whole process, and take good care of your scalp. When it comes to dyeing, there are plenty of tape-in hair extensions tips and tricks to guide you. 

Once you know how to wear hair extensions, the most important thing to do is to establish a haircare routine. This is important not just for the health of your natural scalp and hair, but also to ensure the longevity of your extensions.

  • Make sure you brush your hair every day. Your hair extensions can get tangled in your natural hair, making it complicated to detangle the mess that follows.  Adding pressure to even out the tangles can put extreme stress on the roots and damage your natural hair extensions.
  • Use lots of conditioner. You need to keep your hair in great health so it behaves well and does not affect the overall health of your scalp.
  • Make sure your extensions are not too heavy so that they don’t add unnecessary pressure to your natural hair. It could cause them to weaken at the roots and affect your overall hair growth too.
  • Talk to a professional. Don’t try to put on hair extensions yourself and consult someone who has considerable experience in the field. They know what can go wrong, will help you make the best choice and advise you on how to maintain it too.
  • Put in the effort to maintain your hair extensions. Wash them, blow dry them and style them so they look good. Get a smoothening treatment if you feel like you need it over time.
  • Wait for your hair extensions to dry completely before you use any heat-styling products such as straighteners. However, you should use the hair dryer to expedite this process. Moisture build-up in extensions could lead to hair damage, especially in weaves.
  • Choose a natural shampoo which is free of chemicals, especially sulphates.
  • It is not recommended to try using hair extensions at home, on your own.
  • Taking care of your hair during swimming and a healthy sleep routine are some important tape-in hair extension tips and tricks.

Like your new extensions? Then it’s time to add some extra oomph with some braided hairstyles. If you feel like jazzing up your hair some more, check out the latest liquid hair trend.

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