With all the different types of hair extensions available in the world, how can we sort through all of the information? One blog post at a time! Today we are going to talk about two “cold fusion” methods of hair extension application, micro loop hair extensions and micro ring hair extensions. This post will discuss the pros, cons, similarities and differences between the two application methods.
People often call our salon and ask for us to place micro loop hair extensions that they purchased online. These are a popular consumer-direct hair extension purchases because of the ease of application and the initial savings when purchasing hair. The ring used to secure the hair is already attached to the hair extension. A loop tool is used to thread the hair through the ring (or bead) and then the extension is clamped into place. The term “cold fusion” comes from this method involving no heat or chemicals, making this method more gentle on the hair. This is a one-size-fits-all application method. If you have thin and fine hair, this method is hard to disguise because the rings won’t be perfectly flat to the scalp like micro ring hair extensions. Refreshing and maintaining these hair extensions can also become tricky if the ring that is pre attached breaks, rendering the entire hair extension unusable. If this happens with numerous extensions, it drives up the cost of replacement hair. If the ring does not break, maintenance only involves unclamping the ring and moving the extension back up. The maintenance is quick and easy, but it does have a downside. The same natural hair strands are continuously under tension for months at a time, increasing the risk for traction alopecia. This is why micro loop hair extensions are not the preferred method for educated hair extension specialists.
Micro ring hair extensions are essentially the same as micro loop hair extensions except the ring is not pre attached to the hair extension. The ring is threaded through the hair first with the loop tool, and then the hair extension, known as stick tip or I-tip, is inserted into the ring and then clamped. With this method, the ring is able to lay flatter against the head for a more seamless and disguised finish. Flatter rings also lead to less slipping of the hair extensions. There are also customizable options for ring choice making this a more bespoke hair extension application. The ring can be tailored to the client’s hair density and root color. With the micro loop method, the ring often matches the color of the hair extension which is usually a bold contrast to the root color of the client. The micro ring hair extension application is initially more expensive, but the hair can be re used, even if the original ring breaks. Over the long term, this usually adds up to a savings. Micro ring hair extensions also take more application time due to having to manually thread the individual hair extensions into each ring. This also means that refresh/maintenance will be more expensive.
Both micro loop hair extensions and micro ring hair extensions have their place in the industry. With both methods, you can expect your appointment time to be 3-4 hours because the hair extensions are placed in small, individual sections. Depending on your goals, hair density, root color and maintenance budget, you will be advised of the risks and benefits of each method. As educated hair extension specialists, we never sugar coat the facts about hair extension wear. We understand the safest application methods for our clients and make our recommendations in writing. This always leads to informed client consent, better outcomes, and higher client satisfaction over long-term wear.