24 Jun Your Guide To Hair Extension Lingo
The hair extensions market, as a whole, has been growing. It’s projected to grow even more, at about 3% annually. With this level of growth, it is difficult for most customers to keep up with the products and trends in the hair extensions industry. Here are some basic terms used to describe various hair extension types and techniques when a customer is looking to buy hair extensions:
Individual Hair Extensions
One type of hair extension that a customer may encounter when looking to buy hair extensions is “individual hair extensions.” Individual hair extensions may refer to individual strands of hair or, more commonly, small bundles of 40 to 50 strands of hair. When these small bundles of hair strands are held together with a keratin adhesive, they are referred to as keratin extensions. Keratin extensions are attached by melting the keratin adhesive, creating a bond with the wearer’s natural hair.
Another type of hair extension that a customer may encounter when trying to buy hair extensions is “wefted hair extensions.” Wefted extensions are panels of hair and are distinguished from individual hair extensions as they are sewn by machine or by hand into a weft. The weft is attached to the wearer’s natural hair by clips, tape, or weaving. Weaving refers to a process in which the wearer’s hair is braided with the weft attached to the braid by a needle and thread.
Hand Tied Extensions
The phrase “hand tied extensions” can refer to either wefted extensions in which the wefts are made by hand rather than machine or a process for attaching hair extensions to the wearer’s natural hair. When used to refer to the attachment process, the wearer’s natural hair is braided and the hair extension is tied, by hand, to the braid with a needle and thread. This is the same process as a weave. While there is no standard definition distinguishing the two terms, a weave typically refers to a process in which the wearer’s entire head of hair is braided, whereas hand tying typically refers to a process in which individual rows of hair are braided. In both cases, hair extensions are sewn to the braids with a needle and thread.
Microbeaded hair extensions may be the most familiar type of hair extensions for the majority of consumers. “Microbead” refers to the process of attaching hair extensions rather than the hair extension itself. In the microbead process, an individual hair extension is attached to the wearer’s natural hair by crimping the hair extension to the wearer’s natural hair with a small, collapsible ring or bead. Microbeaded extensions may also be referred to as non damaging extensions because microbeaded extensions do not use glue or heat to secure the extensions. Because of this, they are believed to be less damaging to the wearer’s natural hair when attaching and removing the hair extensions.
Ombré extensions refer not to the hair extension or to the technique used to attach the hair extension, but to the color of the hair extension. Specifically, ombré refers to a hair extension that blends or shades from one color to another along the length of the hair. For example, one style of ombré is to be darker at the base of the hair extension intended to be attached near the roots of the wearer’s hair and lighter at the ends.