While we’re all grateful for the luscious locks our mothers gave us, sometimes we just want to strut around flipping our hair about like Willow Smith while feeling like JLo. Our hair is often part of our identity and whether you’re going through a dark slick Kim K phase, you’re rocking the ever so popular honey toned balayage or your full on 2007 Britney, don’t worry girl we’ve got your back, (or should I say your head?) So, give yourself a little extra help in the hair department and throw some extensions in there. While not only adding some luxury length, it will also perk up the volume of your hair, meaning no more back combing until you’ve damaged every follicle on your skull before work. But what are the different types of hair extensions? What will work best for you and your lifestyle and how can you get that dream head of hair without having to spend precious sleeping time in the morning styling some life into your locks?

Human or Synthetic

First things first, hair extensions come in two different categories, human hair or synthetic hair. Before you start picking out the extra hair you need in your life its important to suss out the pros and cons of both these types of hair extension. While human hair wigs are significantly more expensive it will last much longer than synthetic hair and you can style it however way you like. As it’s human hair it will last up to around 12 months and can be dyed, straightened and treated like the rest of the hair on your head. They will also blend into the rest of your hair more easily and give a more natural look to your mane.

Synthetic hair extensions are far less expensive but only last between 1-3 months for a decent set. The synthetic hair is often coated in a silicon to give it a glossy shine which will look amazing in pictures, especially if you have a fancy occasion coming up but it will also mean you can’t treat it the same as your natural hair. The synthetic hair extensions will often melt under heat and no one wants to look like a Salvador Dali painting on a night out, so you’re best off choosing a style that fits with what you wear normally. The hair is already styled into place so while it may limit you if you like to do different things with your hair it can also last longer during the day than human hair would. Synthetic hair doesn’t fall or lose it’s bounce during the day the way human hair does so if you’re going on holiday and you know the heat makes you look like a drowned rat by the end of the night synthetic hair extensions might be the way to go.

Clip in hair extensions

These bad boys are perfect for a quick fix on a night out. Ok, so you don’t fancy spending half your wage on a completely new mane that will last 6 months but still want big sexy hair for the works do on Friday? No problem! These easy to apply hair extensions simply slide into your natural hair at the root and bam, you’re good to go. While these might not be the best option if you’re planning on wearing your hair up, as they may be visible if not under layers of your own hair, they’ll still provide you with that extra boost and some multidimensional layers into your look. These hair extensions aren’t always the highest quality compared to others as they are semi-permanent, and you probably want to take them out at the end of the night, but they come with an affordable price tag and are highly available, whether you buy them from a salon or a shop.

Micro link

These hair extensions are very popular and for good reason. The extensions work by looping the hair into the extensions and clamping down with a pair of pliers helping it stay in place and look fairly discreet under your natural locks. The process can be done pretty quickly at the salon, so you’ll be in and out and ready for a night on the town in no time. While they can give you a mane like Shakira and make you feel like the Queen Bey we all know lives inside of us, they can cause breakage to your natural hair through the application. The extensions can also slip down from time to time which can be an advantage if you fancy longer hair one day and thicker hair the next, but might get a bit annoying if you’re just looking for hair that stays in place and allows you to get up  in the morning and walk out the door without retouching your behead.

Weave

This type of hair extension is amazing for the blessed among us who have naturally thick and a hell of a lot of hair. They work by braiding your natural hair across your scalp in a corn row and attaching the extensions with a needle and thread. With the intricacy that goes into it, you know these hairy helpers aren’t going anywhere and will last until your stylist takes them out. They also don’t use heat in application, so you don’t risk breakage and damage. However, they can be applied too tight and feel heavy on the hair pulling at it and causing damage. But with a professional stylist and a naturally thick head of hair already, you can transform yourself into anything from Jennifer Anniston to Cher in a matter of hours.

Pre-bonded/ fusion hair extensions

If you’re looking for a head of hair that is definitely going to go nowhere, looks the most discreet and is going to make you feel like you had your own Khloe Kardashian transformation in 2018 then this is your man. Pre-bonded hair extensions are basically glued into your natural hair and therefore pre-bonded into your locks so hardly show up on your head and give you a sumptuous but natural look. However, you will have to sit in a salon chair for around 4 hours so if you can’t hold out the unbearable small talk with the stylist for that long or don’t have 100 terrible tabloid magazines at the ready with exciting titles like ‘my husband left me for my lesbian cat’ then these extensions might not be for you. It can also be a messy process and cause some damage to your natural hair with the adhesive glue involved, while having a hefty price and needing to be removed 6 months later by your stylist, so consider both the pros and cons before forking out for your fresh mane.

So, there you have it, a guide to the different hair extensions out there and the pros and cons that come with them. Think carefully before choosing your new head of hair as its not like fake tan, you can’t just scrub it off if it makes you look like a walking tiger bread. Make your hair part of your identity and find the locks that work for you. Because life is simply too short to not have sexy hair attached to your head.