Expert stylist debunks seven common hair extension myths

The history of hair extensions dates back to ancient civilisations such as the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. While the desire for longer, fuller hair is timeless, the techniques, styles and materials used have evolved. 

Whilst hair extensions are incredibly popular worldwide, myths and misconceptions still exist, leaving those who are considering a hair enhancement confused or concerned.  

Industry-leading expert Louise Bailey from Beauty Club London, who has two decades of experience as a hairstylist specialising in extensions, has debunked seven of the most common myths surrounding hair extensions. 

Myth: Hair extensions always look fake 

Whilst there are many examples of poor-quality and carelessly applied hair extensions in pop culture, particularly looking back at the early naughties, the myth that hair extensions always look fake is certainly not true.  

Poor colour matching, bad application, and low-quality extensions can be to blame for this misconception. To get a natural, seamless look where extensions blend into natural hair, it’s important to work with an experienced professional who has access to high-quality hair to create that seamless look. 

Myth: Hair extensions damage natural hair 

While this may be true for low-quality or improperly applied extensions, it’s not the case with professional-grade extensions installed by skilled stylists.  

A stylist should always prioritise the health of natural hair. Gentle techniques can minimise stress on hair strands but it’s also important to apply top-tier products to nourish and protect both natural hair and extended locks.  

In fact, when high-quality extensions and products are used alongside professional techniques, extensions can actually protect the natural hair avoiding split ends and reducing breakage leaving the natural hair healthy and often longer.  

Myth: Hair extensions are high maintenance 

While it’s true that hair extensions do require some maintenance to keep them looking their best, it’s not as time-consuming or complicated as people might think. Contrary to popular belief, hair extensions can actually simplify your hair care routine when you choose the right type and quality, so it’s important to seek consultation from a professional stylist to find the right product for your needs. 

You can choose between tape-in, clip-in, or bonded hair extensions, depending on the level of upkeep and maintenance you’d like to commit to. 

  • Tape-in extensions are designed to be semi-permanent, meaning the reusable hair you purchase must be re-fitted every 6-8 weeks. How often you wash and how you care for your hair will all determine how many times your new tape-in extensions can be re-fitted. 
  • Clip-in hair extensions are a temporary way of adding volume and length to your hair for events and nights out. The extensions are attached to your natural hair using small clips positioned close to your scalp.  
  • Pre-bonded hair extensions are one of the more traditional hair extension methods, where the extensions are “bonded” to the client’s natural hair using a keratin formula. Pre-bonded hair cannot be reused, so after 3-4 months of wear, they will need to be replaced but depending on how often you wash your hair and how you care for your extensions, keratin hair extensions can last up to four months before they need to be removed. 

Myth: Hair extensions limit styling options  

Hair extensions don’t restrict your ability to try out different hairstyles, and with longer and thicker hair to play with, people often find they can try new styling options. Extensions are strategically positioned enabling you to switch between low and high ponytails to ensure you’ll have a natural finish no matter what style you choose. 

High-quality human hair extensions are incredibly versatile and can be heat styled, coloured, and treated just like your own hair so you can easily go from straight and sleek to curly and bouncy.  

Myth: Hair extensions are uncomfortable  

When installed correctly by experienced professionals, hair extensions should feel comfortable and natural, not irritating.  

This myth is born from poor quality and synthetic extensions and poor application. Certain application methods can cause ‘over direction’ which puts tension on the scalp causing irritation or itching but with professional application and high quality, light-weight hair, this isn’t the case. 

For most, when hair extensions are applied correctly, the discomfort felt is similar to when you’ve had your hair in a ponytail for a long time. Any itching, burning or pain is unusual and should be looked at by your stylist.  

Myth: Hair extensions are only for length 

While extensions are indeed a fantastic option for adding length to shorter hair, they offer so much more than just extra inches. Extensions can also enhance volume, thickness, and even colour, providing endless possibilities for hair transformation. 

Whether you want to add subtle highlights, create a dramatic ombre effect, or simply boost your natural volume, extensions can help you achieve your desired look with ease either on a temporary basis such as an event or evening out, or semi-permanently for an everyday confidence boost. 

Myth: Hair extensions can’t be worn in the water 

It is understandable to be concerned about what you can and can’t do while wearing hair extensions.  However, it’s perfectly safe to go for a swim with tape or bonded hair extensions fitted.  

To keep them in perfect condition, however, it’s important to follow care instructions such as rinsing them with tap water after you’ve finished swimming. Chlorine and salt can cause the bonds or tape-in adhesive to break down and even discolour the extensions (and your natural hair) when left in the hair for long periods of time. But as long as the extensions are washed, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy a swim. 

It’s best to remove clip-in extensions before swimming, especially as it’s such an easy process to apply and remove. 

 

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