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The Vogue Arabia Definitive Guide to Hair Extensions

Photographed by Nicolas Moore for Vogue Arabia, April 2017.

Hair extensions have the instant ability to transform lengths from short to luscious in a flash. Whether left in loose in waves, or secured into a swishy ponytail, the result is natural to the naked eye. Celebrities including Kim Kardashian West and Beyoncé (and some who would never admit it) tote hair extensions, and with the use of real (not synthetic) hair, extensions are completely undetectable. Today, those craving lustrous lengths have an array of different options to choose from when it comes to faux lengths, which can leave one overwhelmed when deciding what type of hair extensions to opt for. We enlisted the expertise of Karl Warner, a senior stylist and BeautyWorks Master Extension Specialist from Pastels Salon at the Ritz Carlton in Dubai. Here, the hair guru breaks down the different types of extensions, their pros and cons, and reveals his beauty secrets.


What it is: Tape in extensions are pieces of hair that are sandwiched together using medical grade tape over the client’s natural strands.
Pros: They are super lightweight and stick flat to the head, which makes them nearly undetectable when in the hair. They are also quick to apply— a full head takes just 45 minutes— plus they are reusable.
Cons: They require more maintenance, and require re-application every 6-7 weeks.
Who should opt for it: Tape ins are perfect for someone with fine strands who is looking to add more volume and thickness, and a little length to their natural hair.
Beauty tip: Avoid oils anywhere near the tape area as this will make them slip. Also keep up-to-date with maintenance.
Price: Starting from AED 1,290. Actual price per person is determined upon consultation.


What it is: Also known as micro bead extensions, these are individual stick tips of hair that are attached strand by strand using a tiny, copper ring to secure them in place. To apply, a section of your own hair along with a strand of extension hair is looped through a plastic ring. The ring is pulled up to the scalp, and secured in place using a set of pliers.
Pros: They are reusable. They don’t require heat or glue, or other chemicals that may irritate the scalp, ensuring that no damage is done to the hair. Micro ring extensions can also last up to three months with the proper care and maintenance.
Cons: They can be visible if someone has very fine hair.
Who should opt for it: Someone who is looking to dramatically change their length from short to long and doesn’t mind spending that bit more time in the salon. They can also be used to fix a bad haircut, or to add color in the form of highlights.
Beauty tip: Always brush your hair in sections and sleep with a loose braid to avoid twisting and matting of the micro ring.
Price: Starting from AED 1,180. Actual price per person is determined upon consultation.


What it is: A track of hair that is sewn onto either a row of micro rings or a braid.
Pros: Weaves offer extreme volume and length.
Cons: They can be visible if the hair is too fine, and they can be bulky and weigh the mane down.
Who should opt for it: Weaves are ideal for anyone who wants extreme length and volume but has a low maintenance approach to styling their hair.
Beauty tip: Treat your extensions as you would treat your own hair. This includes washing and conditioning them regularly, as well as protecting them from heat when using styling tools.
Price: Starting from AED2320. Actual price per person is determined upon consultation.


What it is: One or multiple wefts of hair in varying widths that can clipped–in or out in minutes.
Pros: Clip ins are non-committal. They can be applied and removed as you like, and you have more freedom to play around with different lengths and styles.
Cons: They can feel heavy on the head, as well as cause breakage to your natural hair if not clipped on and off carefully.
Who should opt for it: Clip ins are ideal for those who want to instantly transform their hair from short to long in a flash. They are the easiest way to experiment with different hair styles as clip ins come in the form of ponytails, fringes, headbands, and different colors.
Beauty tip: Don’t sleep with the extensions in your hair—it will only hurt your head. Comb them through when wet and moisturize the hair with an intense masque—this hair has been colored and may need some special attention.
Price: Actual price per person is determined upon consultation.

You can book a consultation with Karl Warner at the Ritz Carlton in Dubai Marina by calling 04 399 5016.

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