The Best Hair Extensions for Fine Hair

I woke up extra early to start this blog this morning because I have about four hours until I head down to the International Salon and Spa Expo in Long Beach.  I’m going to have a look at the newest products coming out in the esthetic industry, as well as hair – so I’ll be able to fact check this post.  One of my readers asked about hair extensions for fine hair and that is also my hair type so I’m going to write this post from that angle, but the information will be pretty applicable to most hair types.  I’m going to cover the hair extensions I have had as well as a few more that just wouldn’t work for me – for example a true “weave”, and I’ll tell you why.  I’ll also give you some do’s and don’ts!  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

 

About the Hair

But first, a bit of information on the hair.  Never buy synthetic – that means plastic and it doesn’t really blend with human hair.  Do you remember how ratty some of your Barbies’ hair became?  It’s like that.  Stick with the human hair.  You can get human hair extensions at a good price, I’m talking $35.  There’s no need to spend a lot of money on clip-ins because the hair is almost all the same.

I did the research and most human hair extensions are from the same source, with the exception of a handful of companies like Great Lengths, Woven Hair, and Just Extensions.  These three companies as well as Remy New York source their hair ethically, meaning they pay the donors (women in poor, underdeveloped countries) more.  Because these women are paid more for their hair – as they should be – the hair pieces cost more on our end.  Also that hair IS a better quality for several reasons, but I’m not going to get into those specifics today. 

 

Clip-ins  

Clip-in Hair Extensions

Clip-in Hair Extensions

When I was brainstorming for this post, I thought clip-ins would be my opinion of the all-around best option for hair extensions, and for the most part they are.  They are the least damaging of all the extensions, with the exception of one other alternative, the halo (I’ll get to that next).  Clip-ins are great because they are removed every day; please don’t sleep with these in your hair, they will cause damage.  I also like versatility of them, you can throw a row in at the widest part of your head and wear a low pony or a low bun, you throw a couple rows in and wear your favorite hat, or my favorite trick, you can put some of the single pieces at the top of your head, and make a top knot.  Just make sure you hide the evidence by backcombing YOUR hair that covers the clips.  Give it a little backcomb underneath (nothing crazy or it looks ratty), smooth the top and no one will ever know, unless a man comes up to lay one on you and runs his fingers through your hair (maybe guilty).  Choose the color that is most like your own and then take them to your hairdresser to perfect the color if necessary . 

PRO TIP:  I suggest choosing hair that is multicolored, multidimensional, because most peoples’ hair is more than one color – not everyone, but most.  Just keep that in mind when choosing your color. 

Top Knot

Top Knot

I looked at several different companies for the best option and this company has the best looking color options in my opinion and it is sold in a 70 gram pack, which is much better than a 120 gram pack.  The 120 gram pack is too thick and heavy and it would be very obvious.  Also, this company recommends that you buy at least two packs, I completely disagree.  One is enough. 

This is a link for a great how-to on applying clip-ins. 

 

The Halo

This is quickly becoming my favorite form of hair extension.  It’s not as versatile as the clips, but it’s even more gentle on the hair and probably the best option for you if you have VERY THIN, FINE HAIR.  I just went to the International Salon & Spa Expo yesterday and spoke with a halo company, and this is how I would customize the halo to my hair:

This is the best halo in my opinion because of the color, the grams and finally they have a clip-in option to help keep the halo in place if you want. 

Halo hair extensions with clips.

Halo hair extensions with clips.

My own hair length is considered long, so I would choose 16” – no shorter because I’m going to want to trim the sides and add a FEW layers to the back.  If I choose any shorter I would not have much length to work with.  I would also get the hair thinned out so it doesn’t look to “big” compared to my natural hair.

That being said, if you have a shorter blunt cut, like a bob, I do recommend getting a shorter halo (12 inches) if you’re purchasing it to get you through that awkward stage of growing out your hair.  Blunt bobs do not go well with a longer halo because there is too much of a noticeable difference in lengths.  It will give you a weird mullet.  Side note: mullets are coming back, mark my words – they are making a comeback. 

PRO TIP: Do NOT swing your hair back and forth, the halo fly off your head and onto the dance floor.  Ask Brittney Spears. 

 

I didn’t include links for any of the hair extensions discussed below because I believe you should have a professional consultation, as these can cause a lot of damage if done improperly. 

 

Tape

A lot of my friends swear by the tape, and I understand why; it lays flatter than most pieces, therefore it’s the least noticeable and because the wefts are wide sections, it doesn’t give you that spaghetti hair like the bonds or the beads do.  Also, you can easily pull your hair into a ponytail or bun with the tape in.

Imagine a sandwich.  Two pieces of bread, some mayo and a piece of turkey.  The extensions are the bread, the adhesive is the mayonnaise and your hair is the turkey.  That’s kind of how tape works. 

But let me be clear – it causes damage.  I don’t care what anyone says, I watched Kathy Hilton (yes that Hilton) get her tapes removed and replaced every few weeks and I watched a good portion of her natural hair come with it.  When your hair tech is removing two pieces of adhesive which are stuck to your hair, let me tell you, some of your hair is going to come out with it.  Another friend of mine gets the tape extensions and she says she can’t take them out because she’s too bald without them.  She has taped herself into a corner.  Just look up pictures of tape gone wrong, you’ll find plenty of results. 

 

Protein Bonds

Now listen, I’m not a hairdresser, but I am an esthetician and I’ve been around a salon of some sort for the last 15 years.  So while I may not know the chemical makeup of the bonds and what the tool is called that is used to heat up the protein stuff, I get the premise and that’s why you’re here.  I can explain it to you as if we are at the bar, sipping a chilly glass of chardonnay. 

Also, I put these in a girl’s hair once, so I know a little bit about them.  With the protein or keratin bonds, you get a “pack” of hair and you can buy anywhere from 25 to 100 tips.  These U tips cradle your hair like a little tiny taco (another food reference) and then your little heat clamper squeezes around the taco to soften the keratin, making it pliable enough to be worked around the hair.  Ladies, don’t try this at home.  It’s difficult.  And you will burn yourself. 

I also had some of these in my hair.  They ripped my hair out.  I never did it again.

 

Metal Beads

This is a great story; I used to work in a fancy schmancy hair salon in Beverly Hills 90210 and I worked with this wonderful, bizarre, and hilarious woman who was a mad scientist at coloring hair extensions.  She loved the hair.  She would hang it in trees in her back yard to get natural highlights from the sun, she would color different sections with different products, she would make bangs for J.Lo., and she had the best stories about old Hollywood and old LA. 

But we’re talking about hair today.  So this hairdresser had this really nice piece of hair that she wanted to use on me and she wanted to attach it with these metal beads, coated with silicon.  It looked very natural once she was finished, but the problem was, I couldn’t see underneath that weft to know that my hair was becoming ratted and dreaded.  I tried to brush it, but I couldn’t see what I was doing.  In the end another one of the hairdressers had to cut the weft of hair out of my head and remove the beads.  A lot of my hair was broken.  I never did it again.

Glue

Y’all I did this.  Can you believe that???  I remember, it was 2006 and I was sitting on Claude Welcome’s living room floor, rubbing globs of oil into my hair to try to break down the glue.  It’s like a bunch of strip lashes on steroids, stuck to the back of your head.  Thank you, next.

Weave

I’ve never had a weave because my hair is too slick and fine to hold the braids.  It would eventually slip out and all that tiny braiding would cause breakage.  See a theme here, ladies?  However, my friend Marissa used to get weaves all.the.time. and she would let me feel hers and look at how it was braided and weaved in.  They literally braided her hair in horizontal rows and then sowed the tracks into the braid.  Isn’t that genius?  One problem, actually two: she couldn’t put her hair into a ponytail, which is my own personal nightmare, and she couldn’t go swimming or get it wet because it took so long to dry because she ALSO HAD TO DRY THE HAIR UNDERNEATH THE HAIR.  Can’t. 

 

Do’s and Don’ts

 

Do

·        Wash the hair extensions or the hair pieces

·        Get the correct brush for hair extensions.  I still really like this one from my Healthy Hair Tips blog.

·        Hold your natural hair down with your other hand while brushing, this will reduce pulling your hair out and reduce breakage. 

·        If you get the halo or the clip-ins, I recommend getting this tool or this one to help dry and style your hair. 

·        Keep up with your hair extension appointments.  If you’re getting professional hair extensions, they must be kept up, just like nails, just like lashes. 

 

Don’ts

·        Don’t get the bun pieces or the ponytail pieces.  They’re kind of (very) obvious.  I know it’s practice but it’s best to work with the clip ins or a halo to perfect your bun or pony. 

·        Don’t sleep in your clip-ins or your halo.  The others you don’t really have a choice but I do recommend your brush and braid your hair at night before bed.  It will keep things smooth and healthy. 

·        Don’t get “curly” extensions, buy the straight ones and curl them yourself. 

·        I don’t recommend you buy the balayage extensions, the color job is not…ideal.

There’s so much more to hair than what I covered here, but I just went over what I know.  There are lace fronts and top pieces and a bunch of other methods I’ve never heard of.  But the thing I experienced the most was damage.  Almost all these methods caused damage to my hair.  Everyone says “you need to go to someone who is good with hair extensions.”  Well I did, and it still did damage, that is my honest review for hair extensions.  Some people have the extra hair to waste and they’re not bothered by some breakage, but I don’t have that luxury so fortunately I’ve come to really like my hair exactly as it is today.  The most I would do is a halo and I plan on ordering one as soon as I finish this post.