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Hair Extensions 101

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Because we weren’t all born with it.

There’s something funny about celebrity hair. One minute, for example, Jennifer Lawrence is photographed at the Oscars with her signature pixie cut. Then, two weeks later, she miraculously has a bob. Selena Gomez is another star who’s known to play with her length—her real hair falls just beneath her collarbone, but she’s frequently spotted with cascading locks.

Rather than sit back and wait for your hair to grow, you can make like an A-lister and cheat your way to long strands with extensions. But this can often be a confusing process—where do we even begin? We talked to a couple of our favorite stylists to get the skinny on big hair. Welcome to Extensions 101—class is now in session!

LONG-TERM EXTENSIONS
Let’s walk through the basics. There are extensions that last months and extensions that last days. The three types of long-term extensions:

BONDED EXTENSIONS:

These are fused by a stylist to natural hair with a heat-activated keratin-based polymer.
Lifetime: Up to five months
Cost: Upwards of $1,000
We like: Great Lengths

SEW-IN EXTENSIONS:
Commonly known as a weave. A stylist cornrows a section of your hair, then sews the hairpieces to the cornrows (also called tracks). It takes several hours to do the whole head.
Lifetime: Six to eight weeks
Cost: About $1,000

Photos: Shutterstock

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