It’s true that there were times in the not-so-distant past when beauty products were deadly. Like those times when people added radium to creams and toothpaste. But most beauty treatments and products that we have now are all reasonably safe. They undergo rigorous testing and sometimes certification to prove it. Therefore, all types of quality hair extensions you can get today are safe.
That said, they aren’t all equal. And in some cases, you should avoid specific types or using extensions at all. Understanding these considerations will allow you to choose extensions that will enhance your beauty instead of damaging your natural hair.
Non-Permanent Hair Extensions: Clip-Ins and Tape
Many would consider non-permanent hair extensions to be the safest because you only wear them short-term. However, as it always is with extensions, the safety depends fully on whether you use them right.
Clip-ins are literally a type of hair clips that have hair attached to them. They should be perfectly safe if you put them in for a few hours and remove them carefully before going to bed. However, they can damage your hair if you fix them too tight, if you wear them too long, or if you pull them out without care.
Tape extensions of about 20’’ are the most popular and semi-permanent. This means you can wear them safely for 4-8 weeks. They use adhesive tape to fix the extensions to your natural hair. High-quality glue should be safe and non-toxic. Therefore, these extensions should be fully safe. But they can do damage if you use hot styling tools to attach them and burn your hair in the process. You might also rip out your hair by accident if you aren’t careful when combing and styling it.
Permanent Hair Extensions: Fusion, Weave, and Microlink
Note that “permanent” isn’t literal in the case of hair extensions. This simply means that you can wear these types of extensions longer. Usually, you can keep them for 2-4 months. After this, you’ll need to either take them out or to adjust them to account for the length of your natural hair that grew out.
A weave using 16’’ hand-tied weft extensions is one of the most popular options for this type. It’s a great type of hair extensions for adding volume to your hairstyle. They look natural, require little maintenance, and are safe. An important perk of hand-tied wefts is that you can use them for a permanent weave or as a temporary solution like clip-ins. The wefts have long threads attached at the top, so you can easily include them into a ponytail or a similar hairstyle. In this case, this is the safest type of hair extension ever.
Weaves as a permanent hair extension type aren’t as safe. They pull on the scalp and you’ll need to moisturize it constantly to reduce damage. You should also beef up your protein intake and use haircare products rich in protein. This will help reduce the weakening of your natural hair in the area of the weave.
It’s essential to remove the weave no later than after 4 months of wearing. Otherwise, it will affect your hair growth and might cause problems.
Fusion hair extensions are, in essence, wefts attached using glue. Therefore, they carry similar risks to tape extensions. They must always be attached by a professional. And heated glue that fuses the weft to your natural hair is somewhat damaging.
In fact, this is, possibly, the most damaging of all permanent hair extensions. Therefore, if you have safety concerns or thin hair or some issue with the scalp, you should avoid fusion extensions.
Microlink hair extensions use tiny beads to attach wefts to your natural hair. They are much safer than fusions because they don’t use chemical glue. They should also be safer than a weave because the bead is attached to your hair without pulling the skin of the scalp as the weave does.
16-20’’ microlink extensions are most popular but it’s essential that you maintain them right! Without proper care, your natural hair will get awfully knotted. To avoid this, you’ll need to have a maintenance session for your microlink wefts in about 1.5 months after you get them. You can wear them safely for up to 3 months total.
Talk to your stylist about how to maintain them in the meantime. You can’t use some types of conditioner and you’ll need to apply it very carefully. But apply it you must to prevent extreme tangling.
Overall, this type is the safest of all “permanent” hair extensions.