Oh hair extensions, how we absolutely adore them but also understand the confusion that comes along with choosing the hair extension method that is right for you. With so many techniques available on the market it can seem daunting to know which method is the perfect fit for your natural hair, lifestyle and budget. To add to this confusion, many hair extension companies are trying to market to consumers that one application method is a one size fits all. As a company that prides ourselves on transparency, we want consumers to know that this is far from the truth. Choosing a proper extension method for your hair is extremely important for the integrity of your natural hair. Choosing a method that is too heavy on your natural hair can lead to damage, which we never want. Here at West Label Hair we offer Hand-tied, Machine weft, Tape-in, Keratin tip, I tip and Nano Bead extensions to ensure a fit for most clients.
Hand-tied extensions are the thinnest wefted hair extension on the market. Hair is individually hand-tied onto a hand-sewn weft by an experienced technician.
Time Commitment: (2-3 hours)
Hand tied extensions are the most difficult weft to master due to the fact that hand-tied extensions can not be cut due to their delicate nature. Instead, hand tied extensions must be stacked and folded to fit to the circumference of the clients head. For this reason hand-tied extensions can take longer to install than other wefts. Expect appointment times to range from 2-5 hours depending on how many rows you are having installed.
Ease of application (most difficult)
As mentioned above, hand tied extensions take precision and experience to install. If you are a stylist who is new to the weft world, it may be a good option to get practice working with a Hand Tied weft first to gain confidence in the beaded row technique. If you want to dive right into hand-tied extensions this is fine too (and you may not have a choice if your client isn’t a fit for another weft), however keep in mind that flat wefts and machine wefts are easier to install.
Cost of Hair (most expensive)
The hand-tied extension is the most expensive weft on the market due to the extensive labour cost of sewing each weft by hand. This process takes extensive knowledge and time which leads to a more costly weft. For a volume application (1-3 packs) expect to pay around $400 for the hair itself. For a volume and length application (3-6 packs) expect to pay around $800 for the hair itself. Please note this is just an average and cost can vary based on how many wefts are used and the length chosen.
Cost of install and reinstall
Hand-tied install prices vary by salon, stylist and the amount of experience a stylist has working with hand-tied extensions. You can expect to pay an average of $350+ for installation depending on how many rows/wefts have been installed.
Best natural hair type for a hand-tied extension
Hand-tied extensions are great for all hair types whether you have extremely fine hair or thick hair. Due to how small the hand-tied weft is, they conceal extremely well in all hair types including ladies with very fine hair. Because they are so small and lightweight, they are the best suited extension on the market for fine or fragile hair.
Hand tied wefts are extremely flexible and the most flexible weft on the market. Flat wefts and machine wefts are more dense and the weft does not bend as effortlessly as a hand-tied weft does. This makes hand tied wefts the most comfortable and the easiest wefts to put into high ponytails and updos. However, due to how hand-tied wefts are produced, all hand-tied wefts have what is called “return hair”. Return hair is shorter hair near the top of the weft that is approx. 3” in length. Hand-tied extensions can not be produced without return hair. if there was no return hair the cuticle in the hair extensions would be running in opposite directions. For this reason return hair is an essential part of the hand tied production process. For clients with sensitive scalps, return hair can be itchy. For most clients return hair is not an issue, and will not cause sensitivity. However, it is always important to ensure your client is brushing inbetween the wefts to ensure the return hair does not get matted.
So why a hand-tied weft?
As we can see from this summary, hand tied wefts are the most expensive and take the most amount of time to install. So why should I get a hand tied weft? The answer is simple. If you are a client who is looking for a weft that will be virtually impossible to see, is extremely flexible and lightweight, this option is hands down the best for you. If you are a client who also has very thin or fragile hair, no other weft option will be a fit for you so you might as well stop reading now.
Flat Weft Extensions
The flat weft is ultimately a hybrid weft which provides the thin attribute of a hand-tied weft while allowing the weft to be customizable and cut like a machine weft.
Time Commitment (1.5-2.5 hours)
Unlike hand-tied extensions, flat wefts can be cut and customized. This allows for install times to take slightly less time than a hand-tied install. Expect appointment times to range from 1.5-2.5 hours depending on how many rows you are having installed.
Ease of application (Less difficult than a hand-tied extension)
Although easier to install than a hand-tied weft, flat weft installation still requires education and precision. If you are a stylist who is new to the weft world it may be a good option to get practice working with a flat weft first before hand tied extensions to gain confidence in the beaded row technique.
Cost of Hair (Less expensive than a hand-tied extension)
Flat wefts are less expensive than a hand-tied extension due to the fact they are sewn by a machine vs by hand. Therefore, they take less time to produce. Each flat weft is sold per 50 gram weft. For a volume application (1-2 packs) expect to pay around $300 for the hair itself. For a volume and length application (2-4 packs) expect to pay around $600 for the hair itself. Please. Note this is just an average and cost can vary based on how many wefts are chosen. At this time only one length option is available (18-20”). If your client Is needing a longer length then a hand tied option would be best.
Cost of install and reinstall
Flat weft extension install prices vary by salon, stylist and the amount of experience a stylist has working with hand-tied extensions. You can expect to pay an average of $250+ for installs depending on how many rows have been installed.
Best Natural Hair Type for A Flat Weft Extension
Flat weft extensions are best suited for ladies who have medium to thick density hair. Although, clients with fine hair but a lot of it could also be a candidate for a flat weft extension. We always recommend seeing a philocaly verified stylist for install.
Flat wefts are extremely thin and comfortable. Although not quite as thin and flexible as a hand-tied weft, it still provides the upmost comfort for clients. The flat weft lies extremely close to the scalp and allows for extreme comfort with no return hair. The flat weft being extremely thin also conceals nicely with no bulking.
So Why a Flat Weft?
As we can see from this summary, flat weft extensions are less expensive than a hand tied weft and take slightly less time to install. They also have the added benefit of having no return hair for clients who have sensitive scalps.
If you are a stylist who loves installing machine wefts yet are looking for a less bulky option, the flat weft is the best weft for you.
If you are a client who does not have any hair damage and has fine hair (but lots of it) or medium to thick density hair and are looking for a more affordable weft option, the flat weft may be the best option for you.
Machine Weft Extensions
Here at West Label Hair, we are always striving to offer the latest and best techniques on the market. The machine weft was the first weft to be offered in the hair extension market decades ago. Since this time, there have been many advancements in the hair extension industry and for this reason we have discontinued our machine weft offering and will not be bringing back this style of weft. Machine wefts really only have one benefit, that they can be cut to size. Beyond this we find the machine weft to be too bulky for most clients. The heaviness of a machine weft can lead to damage, especially for clients with fine hair. We feel this weft has been replaced by our new flat weft, which offers an extremely comfortable and thin weft with the advantage of being able to be cut.
How do I know if I am a better fit for wefts or tape-in extensions?
If you feel that weft extensions are too much of a time commitment, over your budget, or if would still like to look into another method, we recommend looking into our tape-in offering. Tape-in hair extensions are pre-taped 100% real human hair that gets taped-in between your own hair in sandwich like bonds. It is very important to ask yourselves the following questions when deciding between weft and tape-in hair extensions?
1) What is my budget? Tape-in extensions are more affordable than weft extensions. Expect your costs for application and reapplications to be about 50% more for wefts.
2) How long am I willing to spend at the salon? Generally speaking, tape-in extensions take less time to install than weft extensions do. Expect tape-in extensions to take 1-2 hours to install depending how many packs you are having installed.
3) How important are high ponytails and and top knots to me? Weft extensions undoubtable allow for easier concealment and allow for more styles without anything showing. However, if you already have below the length hair, tape in extensions can be placed to allow for ponytails as well.
4) How full of a look do I want? Weft extensions can allow for a fuller look. If you desire more than 120 grams of hair, it is a good idea to look into weft extensions.
If all of the semi permanent methods above seem to be too time sensitive or not price friendly enough for your budget, we recommend looking into our clip in extension line. Clip ins are great if you are looking for an extension that you can wear on weekends or special occasions vs daily wear.