My Experience With Hair Extensions
Ever since I was 12, I have been using a variety of different extensions to manage my hair.
For as long as I can remember, people told me that my natural hair would be too difficult to maintain. People told me that my hair was also “rough” and because of this, I decided that protective styles were the best way to handle my hair.
I didn’t realize that there were different types of extensions until I was 17. After I realized that I could do my hair in a style other than braids, I tried everything in the book. I tried getting a weave, wigs, clip-ins, and crotchet.
I did all of this because I was under the impression that my hair would be more expensive to take care of, and would require more work than extensions.
Making the Comparison
When I turned 20, I decided to make a comparison.
I wore my natural hair for six months and then transitioned to hair extensions for the remaining six months. During that time, I spent significantly less money on my natural hair than on my extensions. I did this experiment to see if extensions fit within my lifestyle.
At the time, I was a transitioning college student and had to budget my money wisely. I had never thought about whether hair extensions fit into my lifestyle because I had utilized them my entire life.
Asking yourself why you shouldn’t invest in hair extensions is valid and necessary, especially when so many parts of everyday life can make or break your hairstyle.
We’re here to tell you all the pros and cons of investing in hair extensions.
Why You Should Invest In Hair Extensions
As we’ve mentioned before, there are plenty of pros of investing in hair extensions.
Hair extensions are various and can provide different types of hairstyles. Everything from weaves, braids, wigs, and clip-ins can give you that versatile look that you need.
If you’re someone that’s looking to add length to your hair without waiting for your hair to grow, hair extensions can help you. Need volume and not length? Extensions can help you with that as well.
Extensions are also used to add color to hair. Dyeing hair can be harmful, especially when the color is vibrant and requires bleaching to achieve. Hair extensions can curb that damage by giving you the color that you desire without the use of harsh chemicals.
Hair Extensions for Protective Styles
Protectives styles are used by individuals that want to protect their natural hair from the harshness of everyday life.
Natural hair can be damaged if not taken care of properly, and some people don’t have the time or effort to take care of their natural hair. Protective styles are versatile and fun when installing correctly.
Protective styles range from braids, a personal favorite of mine, to lace fronts and they can give you the instant gratification of having your hair how you want it without waiting.
Another advantage of having hair extensions is that they can be low maintenance. Good hair extensions can last up to four months, and you can style them however you want.
If your natural hair is a tricky texture, then hair extensions can alleviate the difficulty of managing that every day. So far, the pros of hair extensions sound convincing, but sometimes the advantages are too good to be true.
Why You Shouldn’t Invest In Hair Extensions
There are plenty of reasons why you should invest in hair extensions, but have you thought about why you shouldn’t? There are just as many reasons, if not more, why you shouldn’t:
The most common con when it comes to hair extensions is the damage they can do to your hair.
Hair extensions are great for protective styles, but too much of anything can be damaging. The scalp is durable and can support all kinds of hair, but it can be damaged when not properly maintained.
Also, the scalp needs time to adjust to the weight of hair, which means that if you add a lot of hair at once, your scalp can be damaged. Too much hair can pull on the scalp causing damage and irritation.
Extensions that require glue or adhesive can cause damage to the scalp by pulling on the skin.
Glue or adhesive can burn the scalp, and weaken the hair shaft. Too much glue can remove hair from the perimeter of your hair which causes balding around the edges.
Problems like dandruff and other flaky scalp syndromes can occur if you don't moisturize your hair while covered up. Tight braids can also cause breakage at the roots which can also cause balding around the edges of the nose.
The amount of breakage depends on how they are attached to your head. The damage that can occur is only one con of getting hair extensions.
What About Cost?
Another major con of hair extensions is the cost.
Nowadays with the popularity of hair extensions, the price has risen. The quality of hair extensions can usually be broken down into two different categories: synthetic and real.
You can use synthetic hair for extensions such as braids or crochet braids. Twists can be costly depending on the type of braiding style you’re looking to get. If you’re looking to get something more exciting than regular straight-backs, expect to spend more than $100.
Braids are trendy, and stylists know this. Usually, the price can be negotiable, but if you live in an area where the number of stylists is limited to a few, then expect them not to budge.
They know they’re valued, and without the necessary competition to move their price, they usually won’t budge.
Crochet braids are an up and coming hairstyle as well.
Crochet braids are a bit cheaper than braids but if you don’t know how to do them yourself, expect to spend about $100 or more achieving a look you like.
Consider Synthetic Hair
Luckily, synthetic hair is cheap and requires less maintenance than a human hair. However, you cannot style synthetic hair as much as human hair. In fact, synthetic hair typically can’t be designed with dyes, or heat without completely being damaged after.
Synthetic also doesn’t last as long as human hair. The alternative to synthetic hair is human hair. Human hair is typically costly.
It lasts much longer than synthetic hair but requires more maintenance.
Human hair needs as much maintenance as natural hair, if not more. If you want your human hair extensions to last you for six months to a year, you’ll need to take care of it. Due to this, human hair can be ridiculously expensive.
Some of the best human hair extensions range from $100 to $300 per bundle. I don’t know about you, but that’s expensive, even if I do have the money. Purchasing the hair is only one portion of the cost.
After buying the hair, and acquiring a hairstylist, you could be looking at a couple hundred to thousands of dollars spent on your hair. All of this depends on the installation methods, how much hair you use, and the market in your area.
It Takes Time
I used to love getting extensions until I realized how long it takes to put them in.
I remember the first time I ever got my hair braided and I had to stay still and sit down for over six hours. Sitting down for longer than four hours with no break is the worst.
A major con of getting extensions is the installation time. Installation time may seem like a minor con, but some people don’t have four or more hours to spare out of their day. If you don’t know how to do your hair, then expect the time to do your hair to be longer than four hours.
Why? Hairstylists usually have an appointment after appointment to fill their days. Sometimes these arrangements can overlap and cause waiting times that cut into your appointment time. It can take hours depending on what kind of extensions you’re getting.
As aforementioned, if you’re getting your hair braided, expect to receive over three hours. If you’re getting a weave or wig installations, plan to take about three hours. If you’re getting crochet braids, expect about two and half hours of installation time.
All in all, hair extensions can take time.
Think About Your Lifestyle
When it comes to hair extensions, it’s important to think about the kind of life you live, and whether your natural hair or your extensions will be able to accommodate that experience.
Let’s go over some lifestyles that are terrible for hair extensions.
Are You An Athlete?
If you’re an athlete, keeping up with hair extensions can be extremely difficult.
I’m not a professional athlete, but I do workout training, and keeping up with my extensions is difficult. Keeping up with them can be difficult because of the amount of sweat that’s involved with being active.
When wearing extensions, sweat can often be your worst nightmare. Why? Well, sweat can damage the quality of hair you decide to wear. If you sweat excessively usually, your braids will unravel much quicker than usual.
If your braids can’t withstand sweat, then most extensions won’t stand a chance either.
Now, I know plenty of people that maintain their extensions even while sweating throughout the majority of their day, but those people always complain about how often they have to change their extensions.
Got the time and the money to replace your hair often? Then don’t worry about sweating, but if not, then you might want to look into ways to maintain your natural hair.
Natural hair as an athlete is more comfortable to support if you’re sweating a lot because you’ll have quick access to it which means you can wash it whenever you need to.
Is Hair Health Important To You?
Hair health is critical to me.
Ever since I did my research on extensions, especially those that require glue, or adhesives, I’ve stayed away from extensions that I think will harm my hair.
If you’re someone that cares about the health of your natural hair, then getting extensions may not be the best decision. As previously mentioned, hair extensions can be damaging. Your natural hair can suffer when you use hair extensions too much.
Hair extensions require that you care for your hair while it’s covered up, and that can be difficult.
Do You Have A Sensitive Scalp?
Scalp sensitivity is a significant factor when it comes to getting hair extensions.
If you have a sensitive scalp, getting extensions isn’t the best decision. Each installation method can affect your scalp. If you’re getting braids, you can damage the scalp by pulling too much on your hair.
Getting extensions that require glue, or adhesive, you can destroy the scalp by tugging at the skin around the perimeter of your hair. If you suffer from a scalp syndrome that increases your need to keep your scalp clean, getting extensions will only get in the way of that.
The health of your scalp is essential to having a great hairstyle!
Think About It
It’s important to think about all the factors when deciding on getting extensions.
Remember that while there are some benefits to getting extensions, there are also just as many disadvantages. We always suggest rocking a hairstyle that fits you, and some of those hairstyles will require extensions.
However, it is essential to think about your lifestyle and whether extensions fit into that lifestyle. Remember that each installation method can affect your hair differently.
Your hair health should be your primary priority when deciding whether you should get extensions.
Do the proper research and know that Private Label Extensions got your back!