Tracee Ellis Ross once said, “I love my hair because it’s a reflection of my soul. It’s dense, it’s kinky, it’s soft, it’s textured, it’s difficult, it’s easy and it’s fun. That’s why I love my hair.”
As Queens our hair has always defined us. We aim for perfection, demand a unique style, and bask in our glorious crowns. So when it comes to achieving a protective style such as a complete sew-in or natural hair extensions we face the challenge of getting our hair just right.
In this post we look at how many bundles of natural hair extensions you need to pull off certain looks. We also briefly touch on the types of hair extensions available today.
Packs vs. Bundles
When choosing a new natural hairstyle for your crown you first need to decide on your budget and hair goals. Packs of hair extensions are affordable but often not reusable. Pack extensions are also more likely to shed, tangle easily, and cannot be altered in anyway successfully.
Bundles of hair extensions will likely cost you a bit more, however, these extensions can lasts for years with proper care and quality installation by an experienced stylists. Bundles are popular options because they are versatile and styling tolerant. For example, bundle extensions can be treated just like your natural crown including color, cuts, and highlights.
Bundles are available in a variety of textures and density. Some natural hair extension bundles look more natural than others. When choosing your hair extensions you must first decide between synthetic or human.
Synthetic hair extensions are available for very affordable prices because it is plastic blend. The blends hold hairstyles very well because of the memory fiber it is made of. The downside to synthetic hair is that it cannot have direct heat applied to it because it will melt and change the texture of the hair. Therefore, various other methods are used to style it such as heated water or roller sets.
Human hair is more commonly used for sew-in weave hairstyles. There are many types of human hair extensions such as Brazilian, Malaysian, Indian, and Peruvian. It varies greatly in color, thickness, and texture. Prior to settling on human hair extensions we recommend that you see and feel the texture. This ensures it is exactly what you want as well as gives you the most natural looking hairstyle possible.
How to Wear Hair Extensions
One of the best ways to install your bundles is to get a sew-in. Sew-ins are great protective styles that are versatile and easy to maintain. With sew-in hairstyles your natural hair is braided into cornrows, then a dull needle is used to sew your bundles onto your hair. This method of installation ties the extensions to your natural hair, without any heat damage or side effects other installation methods can cause.
A sew-in can last for for up to six months and takes approximately three or four hours to install and style on average. It is often more affordable than other methods.
Other methods of installation include glue and tape methods. These methods use adhesives to attach the hair extensions to yours. The glue in method applies the adhesive directly to your hair, and if it is not applied correctly or removed incorrectly, it can cause bald spots. The tape in method requires one to two wefts with double sided tape to be attached to the hair. The extensions form a “sandwich” around your natural hair.
Before getting a sew-in or other hair extension style one of the most common questions asked is, “how many bundles do I need?”. The number of bundles you actually need depends on many factors such as style, volume preference, and bundles themselves. As a general rule you can expect to use between 2 to 4 hair extension bundles.
How Many Bundles Do You Need?
The type of hair affects how many bundles you need to achieve your desired natural hairstyle. Straight hair is usually less dense than curly hair, so you’ll need more bundles for a fuller look. Be sure to consider the length you want as well. As a general rule the longer the length of your hair extensions the more bundles you will need because bundles of less hair contain a shorter weft, also known as the track.
The reason bundles contain shorter wefts is because most bundles weigh between 3.5 to 4 ounces. When hair is longer, typically over eighteen inches, that weight is in the length of the hair, not the width of the weft.
Another huge determinant in how many bundles you need is your preference and the style you want. If your prefer a full and thick look, then you will need 3 or 4 bundles. If you want a thin, more tamed hairstyle, you will likely only need 2 to 3 bundles.
Select natural hairstyles also affect how many bundles you need. For example, if you want layers, you will typically need 3 to 4 hair extension bundles, because the top layer will be cut. So the style will require more layers from one bundle to keep it from looking thin and unnatural.
Alternatives to Full Bundles Style
If the hair extensions you choose are a bit tough on your budget, ask your stylist about a partial sew-in instead of a full sew-in. A partial sew-in simply leaves sections of your natural hair out, usually in the front or in a “horseshoe” shape toward the front of your hairline.
Sometimes the back is also left out. Partial sew-in styles require less hair than a full sew-in hairstyle. Partials can take as little as 1 to 2 bundles. However, it is recommended to always order at least 2 bundles to avoid running out of hair and to give your stylist more flexibility.
How to Care for Your Bundles of Hair
Your bundles of hair is a welcomed beauty investment. With proper washing and styling, your hair can be reused after you decide to take your hairstyle out. Keep the hair detangled to avoid excessive tangling and shedding. Moisturize your bundle just as often as you would your natural hair is very important.
Use a moisturizing shampoo or co-wash to keep the hair from breaking off or becoming damaged. Also consider a simple homemade leave-in-conditioner. If you purchase virgin hair then you may bleach or dye the hair. If you do decide to dye the hair then deep condition the hair to ensure the hair does not receive excessive permanent damage.
When you decide to get a sew-in, it’s important to take into consideration your hairstyle, hair texture, length, and whether your sew-in is partial or full. If you take all of this into consideration then you’ll have enough to get your dream hairstyle that’ll last your for months, and with proper care, you’ll have your bundles for years to try other styles in the future.