I’m thinking about getting hair extensions for my wedding, but my hairdresser kind of discouraged me, saying I wouldn’t “look like me.”

— Natalie

Dear Natalie:
Hair extensions are getting really popular for special occasions like weddings and proms. As far as looking artificial, or like someone else — that’s not a very accurate way to describe today’s technology. Today’s extensions are actually very natural-looking. You can’t tell that all that luscious hair didn’t grow right out of your head.

 

The Long and the Short of It

 

If you’re thinking about extensions just for your wedding day, then you’d probably want the temporary methods for adding hair. Bonding is temporary, but involves applying a special glue to your hair. And I’ve heard of some damage that comes along with removing these types of extensions.

Another thing to consider is the trial run: every bride wants the security of a trial run before her big day. You won’t want to wait until right before your wedding to do the bonding; what if it doesn’t look right? But if you did your trial run a month or two before, then you’d have to cover the cost — and possible damage — of putting them in, taking them out, putting them in. Ugh.

 

You can choose from more permanent hair extensions, like So.Cap.USA, Great Lengths or Hair Dreams, and these will last you anywhere from two to six months, but they all cost a lot of clams … $2,000 to $4,000 on average for a full head treatment. They all can potentially damage your hair, too. I just read a press release today quoting Jennifer Anniston as saying that extensions are the quickest way to ruin your hair.

 

So one of my favorite options for brides is neither the short-term or long-term glued-on extensions, but temporary clip-ins. For myself, I have a whole set of long and luxurious clip-in extensions made out of real human hair from www.garlanddrake.com. www.hairuwear.com also has a brand-new line. I haven’t quite gotten the knack of putting them in myself, but an experienced stylist can — and so can some women with especially nimble fingers.

 

You’ll Be “Clipping” With Glamour …

Good clip-ins aren’t cheap. You won’t want synthetics for your wedding. Depending on how long and full you want your hair, you could spend anywhere from $200 to $1000. Then you might spend a little more taking them into your stylist and having them custom-dyed to exactly match your own glossy locks. Plus, most women find it easier and more effective to have a professional weave in their clips rather than do it themselves, and there are some costs with that. But unlike adhesive-based extensions, the big money with clip-ins are all up front. Once you buy them, you can use them again and again for any event that’s formal or where you just want to ooze with extra glamour.
So for peace of mind, you could order your clip-ins about three months before the wedding, take them to your stylist about a month or two before for any custom dying and a trial run, and then go in once more the day of the wedding for the final positioning.

 

That was pretty long, so here’s a quick breakdown of the pros and cons of your three major choices.

 

Getting Extensions for Your Wedding (Any Method):
Your hair will look fabulous. You’ll look at your wedding photos for years to come and be reminded of how gorgeous you looked that day. You could damage your hair (if the extensions aren’t applied and removed properly), or face added stress from the damage potential.
Your stunning appearance might literally draw gasps from your guests. As always, beauty comes at a price.
Bonded Hair Extensions:
Costs less than permanent ones. They can damage your hair when removed.
You can opt for cheaper, even synthetic, hair since you’ll only wear them for a short while. You’ll need to do a trial run weeks if not months before the wedding. You might even have to remove and reinstall them.
Permanent Hair Extensions:
The trial run isn’t a problem — you can have them put in a month before the wedding and keep them in. Extensions aren’t for everyone. Sometimes the only way to find out they’re not for you is to try them. I get tons of email from women who say extensions ruined their formerly healthy hair.
You’ll have time to get used to your saucy new tresses. Extremely pricey (costs can range from $500-5,000 on up — not including the hair.)
Addictive — once you get used to extraordinary hair, you won’t want to go without it.
Good research is paramount — don’t just trust your hair to anyone.
Clip-In Hair Extensions:
They cause little or no damage, and you can remove them yourself. You’ll need a stylist who’s skilled at putting them in.
All costs are up front, and they’re cheaper than permanent hair extensions. They’re cheaper than permanent extensions, but they’ll still take a chunk of change out of your glamour bag.
You can re-use them whenever you want.
Peace of mind, and convenient for trial runs.

 

 

The Expert

 

Perriann Rodriguez is the founder of Hair Resources and author of the E-books, Wedding Hair Styles, and Hair Extensions — The Complete Consumer’s Guide to Getting Hair Extensions.

 

 

For more information on Hair Extensions, refer to our many resources available at www.hairresources.com, www.hairresources.net and www.hrhairextensions.com and our Hair Extensions Blog Another great resource for hair extensions is the Hair Extensions Forum at Hair Boutique.
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20 Responses

  1. monika

    I am getting married on january 2011….Would love to do extension clip-in…they dont damage your hair…Anyone knows very good hair dresser in Chicago or suburbs???HELp!!1

    Reply
  2. Krissy

    Definately go for the sewn in extensions they are actually great for your hair because your hair is braided underneath and braiding can help your hair to grow also as gross as it sounds the natural oils in your scalp build up a bit which promoted hair growth and a healthy shine because we actually wash our hair too much stripping the hair of its essential oils…make sure to match the color and compare the hair texture to your own those two factors are very important ! Don’t listen to what anyone else says your hairdresser is not going to have to look at the wedding photos for years to come get the look you want …its YOUR big day!

    Reply
  3. Jewels

    I have trialled hair extensions for my wedding and they are absolutely wonderful! I had bonded extensions and they were brilliant in my thick, blonde hair. They were two toned, natural hair and they blended really well – looked completely natural. I was a little worried at first that my hair colour would be difficult to match as it is about three/four colours of blonde but it was fine. I’m going to be putting some new ones in a week before my wedding. I wouldn’t suggest putting them in much later or much earlier. When the hair is first put in, it takes a few days to settle. A month later, i found that the hair was getting a bit tatty on the ends and I was doing a treatment EVERY week. I would definately trial them.
    The advantages of extensions are they make you look slimmer, covers shoulders in a flattering way, and they look incredibly glamourous. I have put some of my friends onto extensions and they have ALL loved them.

    Reply
    • Ivanka

      I just had hair extensions clipped in, threaded through a tiny bead. They are the safest extension system & the hair is reusable! I was going to get the bonded hair extensions but its so damaging to your natural hair. I’ve had these extensions in for the past 6 months & absolutely love them. I’m able to do everything & anything to my hair & the extensions lay flat. You would never notice I had them in. Anyone in the NY or NJ area should visit http://www.hairgoddessofny.com & try these extensions. Tell them you were recommended by Ivanka, because Christina will give you a discount.

      Reply
    • claudia

      go to davis bridal task for the 99 dollars dress is a great thing u could find ur dress 😉 😉 😉

      Reply
  4. danielle

    hi i am a hairdresser and i would definately tell u to either go for the jessica simpson hair do’s ( the real hair) which will set you back bout $500+ or the sewn in hair weft extensions. one of the girls at my work has those and they are fabulous. so easy! they actually leave the hair thats braided really healthy bcoz of the oils on your scalp. I also wear the hair do’s which are really good if you dont want permanent extensions… good luck and congrats on the engagment xx

    Reply
  5. Amber

    How about trying the Jessica Simpson Hair extentions? I have them and they are awesome totally removable and you do it yourself. I have short hair and in the picture I have the extensions in and in the other is my natural hair. So easy, you can get them through your hair salon.

    Reply
  6. adrienne

    Alesha I did the same thing and cut off all of my hair!!! 13 inches to piss off my ex and i regret it so much! But I have done just about everything to my hair u can imagine. FIRST of all if you get extensions get the wefts (hair) sewn in onto tracks (little cornrows across your head) with thread and a hook needle. If your hair is thicker you may only need a partial head done which is what I do and I love it. I only do 3 or 4 rows at a time. They look totally real and I treat it just like my hair and I have no damage done to my hair either!! SECOND, make sure you get reall 100% human hair, the best is italian hair because it is more for caucasians. Asain hair gets frizzy after 5 washes, authentic hair is plastic (NEVER USE THIS or mixed), and russian is no better than italian so dont pay the extra for it. If you get them sewn in you have to get them redone every 5-8 weeks depending on how fast your hair grows and the italian hair you can get 1 pack for about $160 but if you get a full head done then you will need 2 pack, and some need 3 packs and usually you can find someone to put them in for about $75-100. DO NOT get extensions bonded in they are usually about $2,000 and some slide out, some rip your hair out, some you have to cut out, and if u accidently hit it with a iron or curler it melts and wods your hair into big knots!!! any questions feel free to contact me

    Reply
  7. Alesha

    This is me with short hair! i hate it! I have had long hair my whole life and my cousin talked me into cutting it. DON”T DO IT! I have been looking at hair extensions for at least two months now and i want to get them my husband wants me to go back to my long hair and it seems like it doesn’t grow. At this point he is asking me to give him my long hair back for his birthday which is in “APRIL” I need to know everything there is about them! HELP ME!

    Reply
    • anna roberts

      hi im getting married next aug, sep my hair has been coloured n had bleach on over the years, my hair is shoulder length, dark brown with a few blonde highlights, i really want to have hair extensions but my hair is very dry, would i still be able to have extensions? i would be grateful for your opinion.

      Reply
  8. sandy

    get a wig. hair extensions damage your hair. unless you can afford to get a big chunk cut off your ends when they are removed. if you decide to get them knowing the risks then just make sure you get them removed by the same person who applied them.

    Reply
    • stacey

      or just get the clip on ones that way it wont b painful n u can reuse them ne time

      Reply
  9. Laura

    😛 i have hair extensions and i love them, i had them put in the braided sewing way. But so far they look totally real and i treat them just like my normal hair. I would tell anyone to go for it. They are worth the money

    Reply
  10. amc

    get them! i am… might as well make urself look just the way u want on ur big day

    Reply
  11. Lindsay

    I am getting hair extensions done for my wedding as well. They have a brand called hairlocs that can be clamped onto your hair. It doesn’t have any glue or sewing so it doesn’t damage your hair. It’s a little pricey but you can reuse the hair for up to a year maybe even longer if you take really good care of it. You just have to go in every 3 month to have the clamps moved up. It also doesn’t take as much time to have them put it as other techniques do.

    Reply
  12. Christine

    😀 Well im getting married next weekend and just talked to my stylist about getting them and she said go for it but im still afraid its going to damage my real hair and knowing my luck it would happen so if anyone has better advice or any at all plz feel free to say whatever and im only 19 and never had them before

    Reply
  13. cristina

    They are great. Of course its not gonna “look like you” i’m sure you have been with your fiance long enough to where he knows exactly how you look!! besides its not every day that you get married and dress up as you do on your wedding!! Go for it they look great.

    Reply

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