Over the last decade, wearing hair extensions has become more mainstream for multitude of reasons. Some women choose to wear weaves and wigs as a protective styling method to keep their natural strands safe from heat damage and breakage.
Celebrities such as Rihanna and Zendaya have been known to use hair extensions to create an array of red-carpet-ready styles. And thanks to digital beauty influencers including the likes of Patricia Bright and Peakmill, we now have access to YouTube tutorials that teach us how-to install, style and work our hair extensions into an array of glamorous looks like a pro. Whether you’re new to the wonderful world of weaves or are seeking for some expert knowledge before splashing your cash on bundles of joy, then our fool-proof shopping guide has got you covered in three simple steps!
“Shopping for hair extensions can be very challenging, but my top tip would be to invest in high quality hair,” says award-winning Afro Hair Stylist Michelle Thompson from the Francesco Group. “Extensions can be expensive and are costly to have them fitted too, so you need to ensure that the hair you buy is of a certain standard to save you from running back and forth to the salon for alterations,” explains Michelle.
At ASC, our bundles, closures and frontals are made of 100% Virgin Human Hair which will enable you to transform your tresses time-after-time without shedding or tangling - no matter what style you initially choose. If you haven’t got a hairstyle idea in mind yet, here is some inspiration courtesy of our current crown crushes! 😉
A tousled bob hairstyle is a classic look that never goes out of fashion. Forget the big chop and re-create this chic look like Kelly Rowland with a show-stopping sew-in. To mimic her mane, pick up three bundles of our Body Wave hair extensions and matching closure in lengths in-between 10 and 12 inches.
4. KINKY CURLS ROCK
For a natural-looking afro kinky curl, a full-head sew-in or a custom-made wig is the way to go. Treat yourself to 3 bundles our Kinky Curly hair extensions and top-off this playful look with a curly closure.
Once you’ve got a solid idea of your desired finish, you need to decide on your preferred application method, which will be your buying guide and help you work out exactly what you need to achieve this look. Here are a few things to consider before making that all-important decision:
- ARE YOU A REGULAR WEAVE WEARER?
If it’s your first time trying out hair extensions and you doubt that you will want to wear them every day, then it’s best to go for a more temporary application method. For a quick and easy style switch, clip-ins can be effortlessly applied the roots. Alternatively, you can use bonding glue to install your hair extensions, however this method may damage your natural hair so it’s advised that you consult with a professional stylist instead of going D.I.Y.
- WHAT IS YOUR LIFESTYLE LIKE?
If you consider yourself to be quite the style chameleon, then a custom-made wig might just be the solution for you. Wigs give you flexibility of tailoring your look to suit your lifestyle, while paying close attention to the condition of your natural hair. In other words, you can throw on your wig whenever you are in the mood to slay and slip it off when necessary. If you are an avid gym-goer than it’s probably best to go for a wig as this will allow you to keep your locks luscious for longer, as you can simply pop it off before an intense workout.
- HOW LONG WOULD YOU WANT YOUR INSTALLATION TO LAST?
There are various application methods for installing hair extensions, some of which can last for months, while others are more temporary and can be removed instantly. For a long-lasting look with minimal effort, we would recommend a sew-in weave, which involves hair extensions being stitched onto a braided base. When installed by an experienced professional and maintained with the utmost care, weaves can last for anywhere in-between 6 to 8 weeks. If you’d like to tuck your tresses away as a protective style, then the best option for you would be a full-head of weave - which is usually polished off with a lace front closure or frontal to mimic a natural-looking hairline and parting. Whereas, if you’re just after a bit of extra volume or a longer length, then it’s best to opt for a half-head of weave or sew-in a few rows (also known as tracks) for added flair – which will allow you to use your natural hairline to create a parting.
Product selection is probably the most crucial step when shopping for hair extensions. It’s essential that you choose the right products to seamlessly pull of the look that you have in mind. Here are a few things to consider:
- WHAT TEXTURE WOULD YOU LIKE TO GO FOR?
At ASC, you can decide whether you want to go for Straight, Body Wave, Kinky and Curly hair texture. Straight and Body Wave bundles can be styled into a plethora of sleek looks, whereas our Kinky and Curly textures are naturally bouncy and full of volume. Once you’ve chosen a texture that you like, you are ready to customise your purchase to suit your needs.
- HOW MUCH VOLUME WOULD YOU LIKE?
For a full-head of weave, it is advised that you use at least 2 bundles of hair and a lace closure or frontal to finish off the look. In this instance, you can buy a ready-made set of hair which includes a closure directly from our website or personalise your own set by mixing and matching products. On the other hand, if you’d prefer to blend your extensions in with your natural hairline, then 1 to 2 bundles should be more than enough to create a full look, with plenty of movement.
- WHAT IS YOUR PREFERRED LENGTH?
Depending on how long you’d like your hair to be, you can choose to go for a variation of lengths to create a more natural, layered look. For example, for a full-head of weave in a Body Wave texture you could go for a 14” lace closure or frontal, and bundles in the following lengths: 14”, 16” and 18”. If you are just adding a few tracks to your crown for volume and extra length, then it’s best to buy one or two bundles in the longest length that you’d like. Our lace closures and frontals are available in luxe lengths up to 18” and bundles can be purchased in up to 30”.
- WOULD YOU LIKE TO FINISH OFF YOUR LOOK WITH A LACE CLOSURE OR FRONTAL?
If you’ve got your sights set on a lace closure or frontal, then it’s vital that you purchase all hair in the same texture for the best finish. The main difference between these two products is that a lace closure can be parted freely within a limited section of your crown - which tends to be where you natural parting is – whereas frontals fall from ear-to-ear and give 360-degree coverage for the ultimate flexibility.
Now that you are clued up on everything you need to know about hair extensions, you are ready for the fun part – shopping!
Words by Sue Omar