Hairpiece & Hair Extension Attachment Methods
The fashion world has embraced "add-on hair" like never before. It seems that just about every stylist out there adds hair to complete a look -- just as they would use any other fabulous accessory. If you are interested in topping off your look with hair extensions or a hairpiece, understanding the various attachment methods is a great place to begin.
When manufacturers determine how a hairpiece or extension will attach, they consider how it will affect and compliment the final look of the hairstyle. While some are quite simple to use, others require more skill and practice.
Pressure Sensitive Clips:
Small metal clips that you bend in one direction to open, and in the other to close, are referred to as pressure-sensitive clips. This attachment method can be found in most types of clip-in hair extensions or hairpieces; they are small in size, lightweight and easy to attach. To apply you simply slide the "teeth side" of the clip into your hair and press on the outside edges till you hear or feel a small "snap" signaling the clip is closed and attached to your hair.
These are two straight combs designed to secure in the hair by locking together. Most commonly used in ponytails or up-do hairpieces, the combs slide underneath the existing ponytail or bun, lock together, then lay flat and flush with the head to achieve a natural silhouette.
A straight comb attachment has one row of "teeth" designed to slide easily into hair. They are most commonly used in conjunction with a secondary attachment method. Some hairpieces, half wigs and falls, for example, use both a straight comb and pressure sensitive clips to properly secure the piece. To apply a straight comb you first create a bun, ponytail, or teased section in the hair. Then you slide the comb between the attachment and your head. Some people prefer to also add a few bobby pins around the attachment for added security.
A hair wrap is hair attached to an elastic band. A hair wrap can be used around a ponytail or bun that has been pre- fastened with a ponytail holder, or it can be worn by itself. Hair wraps are easy to apply and make quick and simple up-dos or ponytails. Some people prefer to add a few bobby pins to help secure the hair wrap in place, especially if the hair wrap is being added to a special occasion hairstyle.
A drawstring attachment is most commonly found in ponytails and bun hairstyles. It becomes tighter and more secure around the hair when pulled taught using an adjustable and flexible drawstring. A drawstring is most commonly used in conjunction with another attachment method such a straight comb or pressure sensitive clips. To apply, you first position the hair using the straight comb or pressure sensitive clips then gently pull the drawstring until the hair becomes securely attached. To conceal the drawstring you simply tuck it under the hairstyle and add a bobby pin if necessary. The technique may require some instruction and practice to perfect.
A claw clip (also commonly called a jawclip or butterfly clip) is two rows of "teeth" or combs that held in position by a spring. They are easily operated and quite commonly used in ponytail and up-do styles. To apply a claw clip you first create a ponytail, bun, or teased section in the hair then simply squeeze the clip together to open the combs, apply over the existing hair, and release.
These techniques use wefts of hair designed to be affixed using a braiding and weaving technique or extension glue. Weaving involves first creating a series of braids or "corn rows" in the hair, then use of a needle and thread to secure the individual wefts to the braids. Bonding involves creating a clean section in the hair, sizing the weft to fit the section, then attaching the weft using special hair extension glue. Both techniques require careful removal. Weaving and bonding are advanced techniques and require skill and training.
A braid attachment is loose hair that is designed to be integrated into natural hair using a braiding technique. Braiding hair can be used as a way to "bulk up" and thicken broad braids, fishtails, up-dos as well as dreadlocks, micro-braids, or cornrows. Braiding involves first creating sections in the natural hair and beginning a three-strand braid. As the braid is created the loose hair is integrated in creating a thicker and longer braid than what would have been achievable using only natural hair. Braiding is an advanced technique and requires skill and training.
- Xuewei Yu