My hair is my crown. My glory. My hair reflects my soul and inner power. Extensions help me visually express my power. Whether I’m rockin a big, bold look or 24 inches of Egyptian waves, the versatility that extensions provide allows me to satisfy one element of expression, embrace change and let’s mama have a little fun. For those that may be a little green around the hair department, extensions are hair pieces that provide length to your natural hair. It is done by weaving synthetic or human pieces of hair into your own hair. There are 3 main ways to add extensions: Weave, Partial Weave or Braids. Each method has its benefits and things to consider. When done right, you can switch between the methods, giving your natural hair an opportunity to grow.
Full Extension aka Weave: A full weave is when all your hair has been braided up and hair is applied over your own. This is most often done using a sewing needle and thread. However, there is a new trend that everyone is loving, including me, called Crochet weaving. Braids, Locs, Curly or Straight hair is woven into your hair in a sewing pattern, similar to how you would crochet a scarf or hat.
Benefits: This is the easiest and quickest to install and typically only takes an hour or two. Your hair is protected from heat and when you wake up in the morning you can just get up and go with minimal additional styling needed. You may need to lay your edges but again minimal work. One quick tip: make sure you get human hair for the full weaves, this helps your weave last and look more natural.
Considerations: Some may say that the full extension looks “less natural” but #IMOO the quality of hair sold these days is amazing. I recommend 100% Virgin or Remy hair. It is the best hair on the market because the hair cuticles are kept intact, doesn’t tangle and can last up to a year. Virgin hair is non-processed or dyed whereas Remy hair can be dyed or processed to get the specific coloring effect needed. They both are also the most pricey but worth it when wearing a full weave. Aside from the fact that you will be rocking the same look for a few weeks to a month, there are no cons in my book.
Partial Extensions: This is when parts of your own natural hair are left out and blended with the extensions. In most cases, the part of your hair that is left out is in the front but you can also leave hair that is in the back and sides of your hair out, especially if you are looking to rock a pony.
Benefits: Because your hair is left out it gives a more natural look than the full extension, you can change up your style by doing the ponytail or switching your parts. This process also takes one to two hours, however, additional time is needed to style the hair that is left out, especially if you are rocking a straight weave. Be sure to have a good flatiron too.
Considerations: Styling and potentially using a flatiron depending is definitely a must. This can cause your hair to get heat damage. Be careful and use this method sparingly.
Braiding: The process of interweaving strands of extensions into your own hair, one braid at a time.
Benefits: Because the style uses individual sections of your hair, it lasts the longest, approximately a month or two. If you plan on keeping the braids in for two months, I would recommend that you have your stylist re-do the “edges” (the outer parts of your hair, specifically around the hairline). This style is very versatile. You can wear your braids down, up in a ponytail, or even in a top bun. This gives your natural hair a “break” there is no additional styling or heat needed.
Considerations: This style takes about 4-8 hours. It varies depending on the length and the size of the braids. Do not grip your edges tight. If this is done it can cause hair loss.
No matter what method of adding extensions you choose, the fun part is you can do whatever you want! If you want color, add color. Choose the style: whether it be a cute bob, flowing tresses, china bangs, or a rocking Afro, do you boo! If you need some inspiration, check a few of my own looks on my Instagram.