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If you want to get Hollywood-worthy locks, hair extensions can help. Stars from Jessica Simpson to Beyonce turn to extensions to make their hair gorgeous and camera-ready. Celebrities spend thousands on their extensions, but you don't have to break the bank for yours. Hair extensions come in all types and sizes, and you can find the type that best suits your budget and style.
Hair Extension Basics
Hair extensions are sections or strands of hair that are applied to the scalp or strands of a person's existing hair to add volume and or length. Extensions can give you a dramatic new look without the hassle of waiting months -- or even years -- to grow out your own locks. The hair can be applied in a variety of ways, including net weaves and strand-by-strand application. How your hair is applied helps determine the cost of the extensions.
Before you shell out your hard-earned dough for some hair extensions, learn about the type of hair used. Human hair costs more than synthetic hair, but it generally lasts longer. Synthetic hair is made from plastic and does not look as natural as human hair, and it cannot be colored or heat styled. Human hair comes in Asian, Indian and European forms, and some marketers sell "virgin hair," according to HairBoutique.com, which means the hair has never been colored or chemically treated and comes from one source. All hair is boiled and processed to meet U.S. import standards, however.
Cost of Hair
The cost of hair varies by type, length and amount. Synthetic hair is the cheapest, ranging from $50 to $85, according to HairExtensions.com. Synthetic hair needs to be replaced more frequently than human hair, as it lasts from one to three months, whereas human hair lasts about a year. Human hair costs from $76 to $400, with long, European or virgin hair costing the most. According to CostHelper.com, a partial head of high-quality human hair costs from $250 to $500, with a full head of the hair costing from $1,000 to $2,500.
Expect to sit for a while when you get your hair extensions. Extensions can be applied using wefts -- groups of hair strands sewn together -- or in strand-by-strand applications. Wefts are usually cheaper than strand-by-strand application and do not take as long to put in. In the strand application, the extensions are bonded with individual strands of the client's natural hair close to the roots. Some salons charge an hourly rate for extensions, and some base the rate on the application technique. A full head of hair extensions typically costs from $600 to $1500 or more, plus the cost of the hair, according to CostHelper.com. A partial head of extensions can range from $150 to $300, plus the cost of the hair. To determine the total cost of hair extensions, add the application cost and the price of the hair.