A Breakdown of Different Methods of Installing Extensions – Part 1: The Sew-In And Tape-In Methods


woman with sew in weaveWhat’s so unique about hair extensions is that there are so many installation options available. Depending on your choice of installation, you have quite a few choices like the glue—in weave method, sew-in method and clip-in method, just to name a few. All of these methods have their own advantages and disadvantages. And before you make a decision on which installation method you’ll use, you’ll want to first take into account your personal preferences based upon your lifestyle. For example, if you like to change your hairstyle often and don’t have a lot of time on your hands, perhaps the glue-in weave method is the best method for you because it’s quick and easy to do. And regardless of whether you choose to do it yourself or use a salon stylist, it’s still one of the quickest ways to install a weave. However, right now I’d like to go into a bit more detail into the various methods available for weave installation.

There are many installation methods available, but here are the most popular ones commonly used today:

Braid-in/Sew-in Weave Method Using Hair Wefts – This method involves sectioning the hair into equal sections and corn-rowing the hair from the front of the hairline all the way to the back of the neck. Some hair may be left out at the front along the hairline and around the neck about an inch worth to hide the wefts and allow for ponytail styles. With hair left out the weave blends nicely with your own hair making it less detectable and giving you more versatility.

The weft hair extension is sewn into the braid using a curved needle with thread color close to your natural hair color, often black. Starting at the back and then working your way up. Once you arrive at the top, the weft is cut and glued at the end of the weft to stop any fraying hair and to seal the ends. The weave needle continues around and under the braid in continuous loops pulling the string with the hair so that it is tightly tied along the cornrow. A double knot is then used to secure the hair once each braid is completed. This method is better than the glue-in weave method as it allows the hair and scalp to breathe without any chemical substance, making it a healthier choice.

Tape-in Hair Extensions – The hair tape method of extensions is a quick process that takes approximately 2 hours to complete. Many women like this method because it does not keep them glued to a salon chair for hours at a time. This tape-in hair extension is very versatile and designed with a clear thin strip of adhesive tape on the edge of the hair extensions. This tape strip allows the hair to bond neatly and discreetly to your natural hair. Many women have turned to this method simply because it keeps your extensions looking natural and undetectable, while allowing you to change styles quickly and easily!

Caution: You must note that if you do decide to opt for the tape-in hair extensions, your application method is critical to the longevity and to the overall health of your hair once you decide to take them down. Always remember to only use about ¼ inch hair parts between each row of extensions that you apply. This is extremely important because if you apply the tape to too much of your hair, your extension will not be snug enough, causing it to fall out. Also if you attach too little hair, this could be detrimental to your hair’s health simply because the extra weight of the hair can cause extreme breakage and damage to your hair. So, using a quarter of an inch parting is best.

Proper handling and care of your extension weave is key to its longevity!

In part 2 we look at glue in, clip in and fusion extensions and in part 3 Skin Weft, Bonded & Quick Weave

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