Hair Extensions: How to choose the right ones for you.

This is a great informative guest-post from Philip-James Salon in Chicago. They were kind enough to write us up a post and provide this great infographic image to break down hair extensions!


Types of Hair Extensions and How to Choose the Right One for You


If you have shorter hair, you shouldn’t have to miss out on the fun and versatility that longer hair affords. And you don’t have to wait months (or years) for your hair to grow out, either – you can opt for natural-looking hair extensions instead. Before you go to your local hair salon and ask for extensions, though, you need to know that there are several different kinds to choose from, and the one that’s best for you will depend on your hair type, budget, and personal preference.

Luckily, Philip James Salon has put together an easy-to-follow infographic that breaks down the different types of hair extensions. You can refer to their table to learn all about:


This is a classic technique that’s been used for more than 25 years. A hair stylist will roll small groupings of hair into your own hair using a keratin protein bond, and the bond is hidden by leaving natural hair out along the top of the head and hairline. This is one of the more expensive techniques, but the good news is that it lasts about 4 months with little to no maintenance required.

Microlink or Micro Cylinder

With this technique, hair is added strand by strand using microlinks. The nice thing about this approach is that it doesn’t require any glue or chemicals, and it lasts around 4 months. The microlinks (also known as beads or locks) can be moved closer to the scalp after 2 months, and the hair extensions can be reused, making this a cheaper option than fusion.

Braidless Sew-In

This is a relatively new technique where your own hair serves as a base and your hair extensions are attached with thread. It’s a great way to add length or volume, and it’s particularly good for lengthening thicker, shorter hair. As with microlinks, braidless sew-in extensions last about 4 months, can be moved closer to the scalp after 2, and can be reused.

Skin Weft

Also called tape in extensions, a skin weft involves attaching extensions by sandwiching small sections of hair between two pieces of weft. This is not a technique that you should use for full head application; rather, it works best for adding fullness and slight length to your natural hair. It lasts 6-8 weeks, depending on how often you shampoo. When you do wash your hair, you should use oil-free products.

Clip-On Extensions

This is the most inexpensive and low maintenance type of extension, but it’s also not long-lasting. Your stylist will use your hair length and color to find the right clip-on extensions for you and can show you how to attach and trim them so that they blend with your natural hair. You can choose extensions that match your natural color, or you can opt for splashes of bright color to liven up your look for special occasions. Clip-on extensions are recommended for occasional use, but full sets are not meant for everyday wear.

If you want to learn more about different types of extensions, including what kinds of hair they’re best for and how to maintain them, check out Philip James Salon’s handy infographic.

Don’t forget to blend in your extensions.


Meet Ramona. She has fine dark hair that is just below the shoulder-length. She gets micro-bead extensions in 24 inches to add tons of length and thickness. Hair extensions, especially remy clip in hair extensions, can either be your best friend, or worst enemy if not properly installed and blended. Ramona is not a licensed hair dresser, and actually taught herself to do extensions. When she is not bartending, you can find her giving a gorgeous head of Doctored Locks linkies micro-beads extensions to a local stripper in 3 hours or less. Great little side-job if you ask me!


She taught a friend to do them so that she would have someone put hers in. She gets her extensions put in every 3 months or so. They look perfect on her, and she is very happy with them. After she gets them put in, she comes to me to blend them.Screen Shot 2013-04-08 at 6.48.31 PM

blending is a must. This photo on the left is what happens if you don’t custom blend your new extensions. A little trim around the edges and some light layering is all you need.

Check out Ramona’s before and after. The difference is subtle, but the outcome is perfect.

A little trim around the edges and some light layering is all you need. Perfect layers ponytail cut does the trick  every time.

PicMonkey Collage

And here is a little cautionary tid-bit……It is crucial to take care of your extensions. Pamper them and condition them. detangle and gently brush them. I advise against coloring them yourself. Talk to your stylist or check out the company website to get the right care tips for your particular extension type.

This photo below is what happens if you don’t treat your weave well.

Screen Shot 2013-04-08 at 6.48.51 PMAnd the photo of Brit is what happens if you get the wrong color. If you are gonna get a weave, make it a good one, and take care of it.
Got a weave story? I want to hear it.

Want to know more about hair extensions? Check out this post.


Screen Shot 2013-04-08 at 6.47.36 PM

A bit about hair extensions.

Getting extensions is a life-changing experience for many of us. If you have had fine, limp, or short hair your whole life and you decide to take the dive and get some, be prepared to never want to go back to your old hair.

I used to do glue in tracks on myself to add length in the back. I got sort of addicted, and finally decided that coming down from extensions is too much like coming down after a long night of partying and taking X in my teenage raver days. It let me down too hard, and I started resenting my natural hair. I jumped off the hamster wheel, but got trained in several other extension methods so that I could do them on other people. I like the concept of adding hair for length, fullness, or a little pop o’ color.

I started with Monkey Barz adhesive bonds. They were quite messy, and a bit rough on the hair. Then I got certified in GreatLengths keratin micro-bonds which are a top of the line uber-beautiful but expensive extension system. Then I started doing Hotheads tape extensions which are beautiful and very easy to do.

Here is a little breakdown of different kinds of hair extensions that are out there on the market.







Tape in extensions are strips of hair that are adhered together with a very thin and sticky tape. They are taped together into a strip of your hair and lay nice and flat. Pros are that they don’t take long at all to put in. Cons are that they don’t stay in as well as the others. They will last for 2 months tops, but often come out one by one over time.

Micro-keratin extensions are tiny clumps of pre-bonded hair that you attach to tiny clumps of your own hair using a heat clamp. Pros are that they are very hard to see, and so they blend beautifully.They can stay in your hair for up to 6 months!  Cons are that they are very expensive, take a long time to put in, and take a long time to remove. They can also be a bit harsh on the hair and need to be pampered so that they don’t dread up.

Glue in tracks are amazing for people who want to rock a new look for a week at a time. Pros are that they are inexpensive, easy to put in, easy to take out, and not too hard on the hair. Cons are that they can be messy, and are kind of bulky and they limit your styling options because the track shows. They are best for ladies who like to wear their hair down.

Bead bonded extensions are awesome because they can add more thickness and body than the keratin bonds. Pros are that they are more reasonably priced, pretty easy to put in and super quick and easy to remove. They can last up to 4 months. Cons are that they can be a tiny but bulky and uncomfortable.

Adhesive extensions are fun if you want to add a chunk of color here or there. I wouldn’t recommend them for adding length because they can cause shedding of the hair if they are not put in just right. They can be bulky and uncomfortable and they don’t stay in very well. Pros- They are great for trying out a little color, I often use them on kids. Cons-They just don’t stay in very well, they are messy to put in and hard to remove.

Any extension questions? Shoot em at me. Want to try some out? check out these gorgeous additional lengths clip-in hair pieces.


Not Your Average Feather Hair Extensions

If you ask me, feather hair extensions went down the wrong path fast. As soon as those genetically modified rooster feathers hit the market, people all over the place made a mad dash to their nearest salon to get as many of those suckers attached to their heads as they could.

At first, it was novel and fun. But then it got played out. When your strip mall chain chop shop starts advertising ’em, you know its time to leave the chicken pluckers behind. Unfortunately we didn’t see many people experimenting with different feathers and feather arrangements beyond the rooster feathers.

5 years ago, at the Oregon Country Fair, way before the feather hair extension craze exploded, I noticed people getting into feather earrings. I loved it! I love feathers and had often marveled at the similarities between feathers and hair and how well they go together.

I’d spent some time that year experimenting with coloring hair to look like feathers, with great results. After the glorious, colorfull and whimsical country fair was over, I made it a goal to find a good feather source and start playing more with feathers. While searching online I stumbled upon and dove in headfirst.

By the next summer, I had figured out an easy way to blend feathers into the hair using a couple things that we all have laying around our houses……Thread, (nylon if possible for durability)  a dab of glue (I love Ecoglue, but good old Elmer’s will do the job), and your favorite feathers (, or your local crafting store, or perhaps in your backyard.)

These things were an instant mega-hit! Because I was braiding them in and attaching the feathers at the end of the braid instead of the clamp bead at the root, I had the freedom to experiment with all kinds of feathers, in all shapes and sizes and arrangements in a way that looked beautifull and lasted! I had some people whose feathers lasted 3 months!


Want to try ’em yourself? Check out this little demo and if you want the full length tutorial, become a premium subscriber.BTW, if you are feather-inspired, check out a sustainable source for hair feathers, and also go to the vain blog and look at Kelly’s feather hairdos! super unique and beautifull.