Hair Weave Extensions, 2016 Style: Beyond Braids And Sew-Ins To Micro-Beads, Micro-Links And Hand-Tied Wefts

Hair extensions have certainly come a long way since the days of old, when wigs and hair extensions were rather basic. Lace front wigs and other human hair wigs left a lot to be desired when actresses like Countess Vaughn revealed her allergic reaction to the lacefront wig adhesive, as reported by Jezebel, that left the 1990s sitcom star with sickness.

Other types of hair extensions have involved the “sew-in” extension, whereby a person’s hair is generally braided in tight corn rows as wefts or tracks of hair extensions are sewn onto the braids. There are also crochet braids, box braids and all sorts of various ways to extend the length of a person’s real hair, but the desire for discreet ways to wear hair extensions have caused terms like #microlinks to enjoy 18,127 posts on Instagram.

Also called micro-beads or micro-rings, the process generally involves a small plastic or aluminum or copper ring that has hair threaded through it — both the real hair and the hair extension hair — that is then clamped tightly shut in order to hold the hair extension in place. On Instagram, the #microrings hashtag is even more popular than the microlinks hashtag, with 25,284 posts showing micro-ring photos.

The sheer popularity of hair extensions are witnessed by the #hairextensions hashtag, which has a whopping 1,059,654 posts on Instagram as of this writing. A journey through some of those posts gives a visual representation of the various styles of hair extensions, including photos and instructional videos and promos from hair salons touting the process of installing hair extensions. With so many new types of hair extension procedures — including micro-rings, micro-links and nano-rings — the process can be an interesting journey to figure out.

One warning about using certain micro-links or beads made in part of metal is that they might set off metal detectors in airports.

On Facebook, Laura Faulkner, a hair extension technician explained the process and added photos of the various hair extensions process, as well as an explanation of the three ring types.

“The difference between Micro Ring, Nano Ring & Mini Locks?

“Micro Ring hair extensions are the celebrity’s choice, no glue, no stitching and no pain, resulting in the most realistic hair extensions available on the market.

“Mini Lox Extensions are identical to Easi Locks. 30% smaller than Micro Rings the involve attaching the extension to the hair using a tiny, color-matched.

“Nano Rings are the newest and most advanced hair extension system! This system is specifically engineered to provide the smallest reusable nano ring hair extension procedure. The nano ring is up to 90% smaller and less detectable than any other ring system.”

Plenty of the hair extension procedures feature individual clumps of hair that are already separated and perhaps pre-bonded with keratin and ready for installation. If not installed tightly enough, the hair extensions run the risk of falling out. It’s likely due to this reason that trends like #weftbeading have come about, with 133 posts on Instagram right now. That process involves the same beading technique seen with the individual hair extensions, but with hair that’s linked onto the real hair via hair extensions on a weft, not on an individual basis.

Speaking of hair wefts, those are changing, too. Instead of big clumpy hair extensions that are sewn onto wefts of fabric that are thick, some places offer hand-tied hair weave extensions, which feature hair tied by hand onto a lighter weft. One such place that offers such hair is Wagman Hair, a long-time hair extensions provider. Perhaps, other hair extension retailers will begin to offer hand-tied hair as the demand increases.

All the new ways that hair weaves and extensions are being offered prove that the desire for almost indistinguishable hair extensions is a demand that’s growing well beyond 2016.

[Image via ShutterStock]