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As hair grows almost every person who wears hair extensions must replace some extensions or make adjustments for new hair growth.  Otherwise, there is a risk that the tip of the extension will become exposed and be seen peaking through the back of the natural hair.

How much work and effort goes into adjustments depends a great deal upon the method chosen to attach the applications.  Here are the challenges and benefits of adjusting four different types of application methods.

Sew-In Extensions

Sew-In extensions are tied directly to a cornrow or braid from your natural hair.  As long as the cornrow remains in-tack, the tip of the extension will never show.  However, anyone who wears braids needs to allow the hair to “breathe” and relax by undoing the braid and exposing the natural hair to fresh open air from time-to-time.

When braids are undone, extensions must be completely re-sewn into new braids and should be given a few days to recuperate from their tightly woven condition before re-braiding.  Shampoo, conditioning, fresh air, and sunshine are equivalent to sending your old braided hair to a day spa.

Tape-In Extensions

Tape-In extensions are easy for professional stylists to apply but preserving the quality of the tape when adjustments are made is a little different story.  We’ve all had occasion to try to re-use tape when we are positioning paper around a birthday present or re-gluing a postal envelope.  It works but not very well.

That is true with making adjustments to tape-in extensions.  If you can successfully get the tape undone and the adjustment made, then the tape will hold for a while but not to the same extent that it did when the tape was first applied.

Be careful not to give your client a high expectation that their tape-in extensions will remain secure after the adjustment.  We recommend that stylists and customers start from scratch with new tape-in extensions.

Bond or “Fusion” Extensions

A bond extension is sealed to the natural hair with heated keratin tips.  Adjustments are made by reheating the tip to liquefy the keratin and cleaning the area with a bond removal agent.

Fusion extensions can be re-applied and adjusted closer to the scalp by wrapping a small keratin “rebond” around the old tip and re-applying the tip to the natural stands.

The process is a simple process but it takes time to make adjustments and fill in spots where an extension may have come loose or grown out.  When making adjustments, build the cost of the adjustment into your original price for extensions or charge an hourly rate for the additional service.

Micro Beads

Of all the application methods, adjustments are easiest with micro beads.  Even though the bead has been crushed in the initial application, beads can be easily opened and the hair extension pushed back to its original position on new hair growth.

Beads made of aluminum will normally open and close again without breaking apart.  Occasionally, when the bead does break, just take an extra minute to pop on a new micro bead and reset the extension.

Logan is founder of Donna Bella Milan hair extensions and lashes and author of the Donna Bella weblog.