The Skinny On Hair Extensions

Over the weekend, Britney Spears was snapped on her way to the salon to get her extensions fixed up. Embarrassing! (Not that Brit is easily shamed.) We had to wonder…do people still get hair extensions? Apparently so. Unfortunately, it’s people like Spears and Paris Hilton that give the hair treatment a bad rep because their manes never look normal, and always look fried.

That said, hair extensions do offer a certain magic, allowing you to change your appearance drastically in a matter of hours. Find out if they’re right for you…

The Pros::While most women opt for hair extensions to get insta-long hair, they can also be used to add highlights to your hue, increase volume, or fake a different texture than your natural hair. There are several different techniques:

  • Gluing the extra/synthetic hair to your real hair. (Tends to bulk up and stick together.)
  • Clamping tubes. Hair comes attached to small tubes. Hairstylist threads your own hair through the tube, and clamps it down to secure the two together. This method is great for adding streaks of color.
  • Invisible braiding or couture hair extensions. This is the most elaborate (and best) of the processes. Extensions are woven into cornrows of your natural hair without glue. One of the most reputable salons to do this is Angelo David in New York, where stylists take samples of your hair and send them to Europe to find precise matches of your texture and color.

The Cons: Obviously, hair extensions are extremely high maintenance, so you should really know what you’re getting into before you commit. First off, you need time. Not only to go to the salon for hours at a time to re-jigger the bonds every six weeks or so, but also to style it at home. Since you’ll have more hair, a lot more hair, it will take longer to brush, wash, and dry. It’s also costly. For a new, full mane, you’ll have to buy the hair first, and you’ll probably want human hair, not synthetic, which is more expensive.

So is it worth it? Depends on the individual, but for having the long hair you always dreamed of, or getting the perfect style for an important occasion like a wedding, you shouldn’t shy from experimentation. As for your scared thoughts, er, leave Britney alone! Just make sure you go to a reputable salon, and don’t over treat your hair in the meantime.