Great Hair 2012: The Scoop on Hair Extensions

Thanks to extensions, everyone can get in on the long and lustrous fun. Here's the breakdown on extensions for every budget.

By: Kate Bennett

If you’ve ever envied the hair of a Hollywood starlet, wishing yours had the same fullness and bounce, take heart—most are faking it. Thanks to extensions, everyone can get in on the long and lustrous fun. Most extensions are just like your own hair: You can wash, brush, style, even color them, and they don’t require much maintenance. Here’s a look at some of the options.


$ Inexpensive

Hairdo by Jessica Simpson and Ken Paves and Effortless Extensions

How they work: The Simpson line is clipped in or wrapped around a ponytail. You put the fishing-line-like end of Effortless Extensions atop your head and cover it with your own hair.

Pros/cons: These are great do-it-yourself options for those who want to try something new for a night out but not commit. We like the fun of the bangs and the insta-length of the thick Effortless Extensions. But both products are made from synthetic hair, so they feel and look a little fake.

Cost: From $24 for the clip-in bangs to $39 for a clip-on ponytail from Jessica Simpson. Effortless Extensions are $79.95.


$$ Moderate

Luxy Clip-In

How they work: Attached by a firm metal clip, the extensions are 20 inches long and come in separate wefts of real hair instead of one piece, to blend with natural hair better.

Pros/cons: While you can learn to put in these extensions—Luxy provides tips and video tutorials on its website—they're best left to a pro. You'll at least want a stylist to attach, cut, and maybe color them before your first use. Because the clips get uncomfortable, most women leave them in for only a day or two.

Cost: Luxy Clip-Ins start at $119.95. They can be reused as often as you want.


$$$ Expensive

Great Lengths and She by So.Cap.USA

Both products, made with human hair, are bonded to your hair in small sections using heated polymers. They're semipermanent, so they must be removed with a special gel.

How they work: The Simpson line is clipped in or wrapped around a ponytail. You put the fishing-line-like end of Effortless Extensions atop your head and cover it with your own hair.

Pros/cons: These are the most realistic-looking. Hair is attached almost directly to the scalp and grows out as your hair grows, lasting about four to six months. The bonds can be uncomfortable for a few days until you get used to them. We've also found that the longer the length, the more they tend to tangle.

Cost: They're expensive. Plan on spending $800 to $3,000, depending on the amount of hair, each time you want them put in.

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