Dating as far back as the ancient Egyptians, women have been constantly searching for the most effective ways to obtain long, beautiful hair. We will try keratin treatments, special shampoos and even dietary changes in hopes of speeding up the growth process. For those with a little less patience, the “hair gods” invented hair extensions.

Extensions go by several different names, ranging from weaves to clip-ins to tracks. One common misconception is that all of these names mean completely different things, but the name simply explains the method used to adhere the extension. Almost all kinds of extensions can come in straight, wavy and curly. Extensions are not only used to add length, but also to replenish volume that has been depleted by hair thinning.

Don’t be afraid if you are new to the extension scene. With the help of Ashley Walker at Primp and Blow, Salon Owner Donte Cassese at Donte’s of New York in Scottsdale, Salon Owner Stacy Ghazi at Vanity Blow Out Bar and Marney Schoenfeld at Zolton’s Salon and Day Spa, we have created a step-by-step guide on selecting which type of extension is right for you.

Different insertion methods

Beads: Micro bead extensions are attached with a small loop at the end of the extension that fastens onto your existing hair. Schoenfeld explains that this method is ideal for a natural appearance because the beads are easily concealed.

Beads are best for women who want a long-lasting look and can keep up with the maintenance, because the beads must be readjusted every six to eight weeks depending on how fast your hair grows, according to Walker.

Weaving: A weave is created when the natural hair is braided onto the scalp, forming a crown on top of the head, and then the extensions are sewn into the braids.

According to Cassese, the weave method is common for ethnic hair types because this hair type is stronger and can withstand the pulling that the process entails.

Clip-in: Clip-ins do the least damage because the hair is attached with clips. Vanity Blow Out Bar uses a special type of clip-in (the halo) that is placed around the head, which adds length and only takes minutes to apply. Ghazi calls the halo method an “up-and-coming trend.”

Clip-ins are ideal for a night out, hot date or any other special occasion because they are designed for short-term periods.

Each of these salons stressed the importance of a consultation, because extensions are not a “one-size fits all” deal. All you need to know is how much you are willing to spend and how long you want to keep your extensions. The stylist will assess your hair type and decide which method is suitable for you.

Watch Marney Schoenfeld at Zolton’s Salon and Day Spa remove and insert hair extensions.

TIPS FOR NATURALLY LONGER LUSCIOUS LOCKS From Citrine Natural Beauty Bar Owner Melissa Lenberg

VITAMINS: Vitamins C, A, and E are antioxidants and fight free radical damage, which can boost hair growth and slow damage.

ESSENTIAL OILS: Try coconut oil, rosehip oil and evening primrose – your hair will smell amazing too! If you want thicker hair, try rosemary. Lavender is great for balancing your scalp’s natural oils and easing inflammation.

MASSAGE: By stimulating the circulation, the improved blood flow delivers nutrients and oxygen to the hair, encouraging growth. Work the essential oils into your scalp massage for a greater benefit!

SALMON: An omega-3 deficiency can lead to dry scalp, so load up on salmon so your hair and skin get their fix.

DARK GREEN VEGGIES: Spinach, kale, broccoli, and Swiss chard are great sources of Vitamin A, Vitamin C and iron which all help your body produce sebum, the body’s natural hair conditioner.

OYSTERS: Oysters are loaded with Zinc – a powerful antioxidant that has hair-stimulating abilities.