Extend your hair

Monday, 10 December 2012

Extend your hairIt’s always a handy little item to have when you want to fill up fine tresses or if you simply want to add extra volume and length to your short or fine hair. You can have anything from a ponytail to a fringe, but here’s what you’ll need to look out for if ever you’re interested in hair extensions.

Hair types

These vary from synthetic (think Barbie) to human hair (think Kim Kardashian) in various lengths and colours. Human hair is much easier to work with because it can be coloured and cut and styled with heat without burning. And it can also be matched to almost the exact texture of your own hair. There is also semi-human hair that has a less doll-like feel, but still can’t be styled with your hair straightener because it will burn or lose its shape. It’s not as pricey as human hair and is best left for special occasions when you need something easy instead of long term.


If you have synthetic hair it’s best to keep it maintained by simply avoiding products and not washing it too often. Because it can’t be heat styled, it’s difficult to keep it in its original condition if it’s constantly handled. With human or semi-human hair extensions it’s a lot easier because they can be heat styled. Be sure to use the correct shampoo and conditioner on them and don’t leave it to dry naturally without combing it through. Human hair requires the use of a special brush so stick to this in case the hair becomes damaged. Try and purchase them in the exact shade you’ll need because not all hair can be tinted so this may be a problem when trying to match up the colour.

Methods of application

There are a few ways extensions can be attached to your own hair; some easier than others and a lot more comfortable.

Ponytails: They clip on very easily over your own hair. Make a bun at the height that you’d like your ponytail to be and secure with pins. Take your ponytail hairpiece and clip it in at the top of the bun. Take an extra piece of hair from the ponytail and wrap it around the top where you have attached the ponytail. This will make sure this area is well hidden.

Clip in fringes: It gets attached with special clips that sit right under your hairpiece, or you can clip it in by teasing the area slightly to allow for extra grip. You can wear it with ponytails, waves, half-upstyles… Just about any style.

Bonds: These are either keratin or silicone and are done at a salon. Individual pieces of hair are taken and attached to your own hair in thin strands. They can last up to four months before needing replacement or maintenance. Hair textures and shades vary and can be selected in the salon before you have the actual service done. Provided you look after your hair and extensions in the right way, there shouldn’t be any breakage or damage.

Shampoo and conditioner

Most places that sell hair extensions have special shampoos and conditioners that can be used on your extensions. If you’re unable to find any, remember to use a sulphur- and sodium-free shampoo for best results. Never go to bed with your hair wet and always use the correct brush.

Image: Luba V Nel/Shutterstock.com

Written by

Adele Ross is a senior stylist at Spoilt Hair and Beauty Salon based in Green Point, Cape Town. Her love for hair started when she was a little girl, and has been in the hair dressing trade for roughly 10 years, working as a professional stylist and a make-up artist. Spoilt Hair and Beauty Salon is a boutique hair and beauty salon specialising in cutting and styling, colour, hair extensions, hair and scalp nourishing treatments, manicures, pedicures, facials and massages. Call 021 434 7112 for more info.

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  1. Khensani

    Definitely interested in clip-ins. Where does one find them?

    5 years ago •

  1. ThobiiSm

    I LOVE that this article is so accurate. Great information guys!!

    6 years ago •

  1. Anne

    Have never tried extensions but I may start small with clip ins

    6 years ago •

  1. sloanie

    i never thought about extending my hair ,mmm now i think it might just be a good change of look this winter

    6 years ago •

  1. Glamorous Glitter

    Great article. Will keep this in mind :)

    6 years ago •

  1. Nuuh

    I am a fan off bonding, It really important to wash it and condition your extensions well. This insures that your natural hair is always in good condition

    6 years ago •

  1. Tasha

    My sis wants extensions, so have to pass this to her.

    6 years ago •

  1. Cat

    I love the clip in’s, they are expensive and while I have long hair already, I love them for adding volume to your hair. They look amazing

    6 years ago •

  1. Livvy

    very nice, info, however people should adhere to not washing it too often

    6 years ago •

  1. Angelisha

    I also Love the Clip in’s, use them on Special occasions!

    6 years ago •

  1. foreverGLAM

    Clip in’s are expensive :-(

    6 years ago •

  1. Angelisha

    Love the clip in’s! Use them hair extensionns often!

    6 years ago •

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