Figuring out what to do with your hair for your wedding can be stressful. One option is using hair extensions to give you the length and volume you’ve been dreaming of. Adding in extensions can help you achieve more dramatic updos, longer hairstyles, thicker braided styles, or even generally fuller looks.
Whether you’ve experienced stress-related hair loss due to wedding planning or the pandemic, there should be no shame in your game if you want to add more hair to feel more confident. Between clip-ins and more permanent hair extensions, despite your hair texture, there’s an option, and Zola is here to help you determine which one will work best for you.
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You’ve probably seen wedding hair extensions on social media for added length or volume. But should you try it for your own wedding? Extensions can offer a quicker way to get the style you want versus waiting for hair to grow out.
The biggest thing to consider when making the decision to get hair extensions is what will make you feel most confident on your wedding day. “There are different types of both permanent and temporary extensions. One needs to consider the desired style outcome versus the current amount, length, and type of hair on her head pre-extensions,” says Megan Garmers, founder and director of MG Hair and Makeup.
But if there’s a certain look you’re trying to achieve, hair extensions can help. “I would recommend a bride get hair extensions if they're looking to make their hair appear fuller and longer, or achieve a certain style they couldn't otherwise with their natural hair,” says Eden Fabbo, hairstylist and makeup artist at Love Lane Salon + Love Lane Brides.
For many brides, picking a hairstyle for the wedding is just one of many stressful decisions to make during planning. There’s no shortage of options when it comes to styles and even wedding hair extensions. But the good news: Zola has your back. Here’s a breakdown of the types of hair extensions to consider:
Clip-in hair extensions are pieces of hair with small clips that you can fasten to your own hair. The best part is you can customize your look, because there are various sizes and colors to choose from. “Finding the perfect match for your hair can be daunting. Some people end up coloring their hair to match the extensions to make that step easier,” says Ghanima Abdullah, cosmetologist and hair expert at The Right Hairstyles.
Halo hair extensions are another option. They come in a half-circle shape with a clear nylon string to hide them. To apply, tie your hair up into a half knot, leaving some hair in the front, then place the cord around the top of your head, so the extra hair sits in the back of your head, then fasten the clips to your own hair and brush your hair down to hide the cord. “These are the perfect choice if you want long waves or loose curls for your wedding and just want to jazz it up a bit with added length and volume,” says Abdullah.
You can’t do updos—including ponytails and buns—with halo extensions. If you’re hoping for an updo, this isn’t the option for you. “The halo extension can slip out or fall off,” says Garmers.
From clip-in ponytails to buns for brides-to-be dreaming of a bold updo, these extensions can help you reach your hair goals for your wedding. Place the comb at the top of your own ponytail and wrap the extra piece of hair around your elastic for a polished glam updo. “If you want a romantic updo for your big day, but you don’t have enough hair for the look you want, consider updo extensions,” says Abdullah.
If you’ve been wanting longer locks, your wedding is the perfect time to try out permanent hair extensions. These can be sewn, glued, or taped to your hair and last anywhere from a month to six months.
Your wedding hairdo should already be factored into your budget, but if you’re considering hair extensions, you might need to adjust that number. The price of hair extensions varies based on your choice of synthetic or human hair.
Experts say it’s best to stick with human hair, not synthetic, for your big day. Remy hair is the highest quality and the best option to ensure it looks natural. While synthetic extensions may be tempting for the low cost, sacrificing quality may not be what’s best for styling purposes.
Often, human hair is more costly, but it can withstand heat and is more amenable to styling. This is because human hair has various lengths and thicknesses you can choose from, in addition to color. Remy extensions come from the same donor and the cuticles are kept intact, so that the hair flows naturally in one direction and doesn’t get tangled.
Plus, you can cut and color human hair. “Human hair is generally best, because you can use hot tools (curling irons, etc.) on it to curl it or style it like your regular hair. It also blends well, because it is human hair like the hair on your head,” says Garmers. Human hair also acts just like the hair on your head.
“It’s usually pre-color treated, so a second color treatment might ruin it. The humidity will affect it, so if you get caught out in the rain, and your own hair has been modified to match the weave, you might end up with two textures of hair,” says Abdullah.
Synthetic hair extensions are created from artificial fibers and have a shiny unnatural finish. “There are specific types of synthetic hair that can be heat treated, but just remember when mixing it with your own hair, it will photograph differently if a flash or other bright light is used, because it reflects light differently than human hair,” says Garmers. “Stay away from synthetic hair unless you're going with box braids or camouflaging them entirely by using them as stuffing,” says Fabbo.
Here’s a breakdown of how much money your new style could cost:
The longer the hair, the higher the price tag. Remember, it’s best to consult a stylist to see what type of hair would work best to keep your hair healthy. Before committing to any kind of extensions, work together to come up with a plan that will have your hair looking wedding day ready and keep your budget intact.
There is an extension option for everyone, no matter the length, texture, or condition of your hair. “Best options are generally not by hair texture but by the desired style and length of time you want to keep the extensions in for,” says Garmers. However, if your hair is fragile or thin, it’s best to consult with a stylist about finding an option that won’t cause any damage.
Any type of extension works for straight hair, except sew-ins. “Sew-ins were created for thick, textured hair. Sew-ins tend to cover all of the natural hair, and in that way, are like a good wig. The difference is that they require more maintenance, although you can sleep in them,” says Abdullah. But she says if you have a relaxer in your hair, it behaves differently than naturally straight hair. “The hair in the extensions can easily be differentiated from relaxed hair just a day or two after the install, which can make it look poorly done.”
Abdullah says sew-ins work well with textured hair, because they blend well. Fabbos says permanent extensions are best in very coarse hair.
Curly or Kinky Natural Hair: Tame those curls with a sew-in. “Sew-ins are better for super curly hair textures. “If you have natural kinky/curly hair, using permanent extensions is usually not the best idea, because your natural hair will get curly and the extensions would most likely be straight,” says Garmers.
To narrow down exactly what look will work best for your hair and face for your wedding hairdo, it’s important to find some inspiration to help you with your decision.
Pro Tip: Use certain descriptive words when scouring the internet for inspiration like curly, braids, halo, beach waves, updos, casual, and natural, to name a few.
Remember: Your hair is your crown and however you decide to adorn it is totally up to you. Whether you add to your hair with clip-ins, a sew-in, updo, or halo hair extensions, or if you decide to stay natural, it’s your day. Ultimately, you decide what makes you feel beautiful and confident. Zola is here to help you every step of the way from finding the right look and how to achieve it, so that you look your absolute best on your wedding day.