If globs of hair glue are not your thing and you have no tolerance for strands of sewing thread running through your hair, tube hair weaving techniques offer another option. Like most hair weave methods, tube hair weaves last about three to four months. When it’s time to take the weave out, count on less mess and hair breakage with tubes.
Two types of tubes are commonly used for hair weaves. Micro-tubes, often referred to as flat tube extensions or micro-rings, are nothing more than tiny copper-silicone tubes that resemble drinking straws cut into 3.5-millimeter pieces. Shrink-tubes, also called shrinkies, are keratin-lined, thermal tubes that measure approximately 4 millimeters in diameter. Both types of tubes are available in black and clear to match light or dark hair colors.
When working with micro-tubes, you must part the hair neatly to avoid tangles. Thin pieces of hair are taken from each section, approximately 1/2 inch to 1 inch apart, and fed through a hair-extension-pulling needle. Once in the needle, the hair is pulled through a micro-tube, which comes to rest several millimeters from the scalp. A pre-bonded hair extension is then inserted into the micro-tube along with your natural hair and clamped flat with a pair of hair extension pliers to prevent slippage.
The shrinkies technique has a few similarities with and some differences from the micro-tube technique. Much like the micro-tube technique, the hair is parted and a thin strand is threaded through the hair-pulling needle. The hair is then threaded through a shrink-tube, and a pre-bonded hair extension is fed into the shrink-tube with the natural hair. Where the two techniques differ is in the clamping. Instead of clamping the tube down on the hair with pliers, the shrinkies technique requires a special heat clamp that shrinks the tube and melts the keratin, creating a bond.
A claw-like device that grips each tube and reverses the clamping process is used to remove micro-tubes. Once the clamp is opened, both the natural hair and the hair extension slide out freely. The shrink tube must be reheated with the heating tool before it can be removed. Once reheated, the hair slips out of the shrinky and any keratin residue that remains is simply wiped away with an acetone-based remover specifically designed for the purpose.