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How are Hair Extensions Attached?

This chapter covers some of the more popular ways to attach hair extensions today. In this chapter we are covering the basic attachment process and what tools, chemicals, products are used.  The methods chapter will go into more detail about each specific method.


How are hair extensions attached?

There are many different ways to attach human or synthetic fiber hair extensions. Below is a list of the basic methods and description. Many of these methods are referred to by several different terms.

Attachment of hair extensions, regardless of method, should never hurt in any way (other than financially of course!)

Fusion, Infusion, Strand by Strand

Extension hair is applied strand by strand (Infusion) with a hot or cold form of adhesive. The adhesive can be a keratin based product or other natural-based products that can be very similar to the material that makes up the hair and nails and is considered to be non-damaging to your own hair. Some companies will vary the amount of individual pieces of hair that are included in each strand. I.E. some will consider 20-30 human hairs to be one strand.

There are many types and variations of adhesives available, including waxes and medical grade adhesives. Extension hair applied in wefts is called fusion and extension hair applied strand by strand is called infusion.

Generally speaking, fusion refers to both strand by strand and weft attachment. Fusion is a more permanent technique that can last anywhere from 3-5 months. Be advised that there are some stylists and professionals in the hair extension industry that stress that no hair extensions should be left attached to your hair for more than 8 weeks, as they will cause permanent hair loss if left on longer. (Called traction alopecia)


A Bonding glue or adhesive material is brushed onto the weft of the extension hair and then it is applied to the root of the individual’s hair. The extensions are easily removed with a bonding remover. There have been women that have had an allergic reaction to the bonding material. Many companies offer bonding kits with do-it-yourself instructions. This method is a more temporary solution that will last a few weeks.

Micro Links, Micro Sleeves, Micro Shells or Micro Locs

Human extension hair is attached with tiny links, sleeves, locs or shells that can match your hair color or be clear.    Continued


There are many different ways to attach hair extensions.  Some stylists are trained and certified to attach hair extensions for several different methods.  Other stylists are trained to attach only one method of hair extensions.  What if the best type of hair extension method for your hair is (for example) Method A, and you go to a hair stylist that only offers Method B.  Then, you will never find out about Method A unless you schedule more than one hair extension consultation.

Hair Extensions can be expensive, so you must do your research and select the right method for your hair type.  Always be sure to get second and even third opinions, even if you have to pay for the consultation.


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