When it comes to the business of hair extensions, there are so many industry words to understand that it can be quite daunting and confusing when getting started.
Here we shall be focusing on one stick tip/i-tip/micro ring hair extensions, to gain a deeper understanding of what this method involves, how and where it is used, and what it looks like.
What does stick tip/i-tip/micro ring hair extension mean?
A stick tip/i-tip/micro ring hair extension is a method of fitting that involves the use of a fixture, such as a micro ring or micro tube, to keep the hair extension in place without the use of heat or glue. Stick tip/i-tip/micro ring hair extensions are considered to be one of the safest methods available, and when fitted correctly should cause no damage to the natural hair.
Are stick tip/i-tip/micro ring hair extensions different things?
The terms stick tip/i-tip/micro ring are used interchangeably, but do essentially refer to the same thing, with the exception of a “micro loop” which is often also associated with this type of fitting. The method gets its name from the shape of the hair extension bond, which could be compared to the end of a shoelace, where a hard cylinder shape is found at the top of each strand to allow the hair extension to be inserted into its fixture to stay in place. Depending on what you have read online, where you have done your training, or friends who have had hair extensions fitted, you will find a lot of confusion regarding whether micro ring hair extensions are the same as stick tip or i-tip, and the short answer to this would be yes, with the exception of a “micro-loop”.
What is a micro loop hair extension?
A micro loop is also a term used to describe the same type of hair extensions as those listed above, however unlike stick tip/i-tip/micro ring hair extensions which are all the same, a micro loop does have a small difference. A micro loop hair extension will come with the fixture already attached to the hair, and a plastic loop inserted inside to aid the fitting process. The extensions are fitted in the same way, however there tends to be a difference in the quality of the fitting when micro loops are used, and these are often considered to be a less professional method, often chosen by those not qualified due to the ease of application. As the micro ring/tube comes already attached to the hair, this takes away the opportunity to custom select your ring colour, again lowering the quality of the overall fitting and outcome.
How are stick tip/i-tip/micro ring hair extension fitted?
Stick tip/i-tip/micro ring hair extensions are fitted by taking a section of an individual’s hair, threading either a micro ring or micro tube onto the hair using a pulling needle, and then securing the hair extension tip inside by using a pair of pliers to press on the ring/tube to close it and seal the hair and bond inside.
To perform a hair extension fitting with stick tip/i-tip/micro ring hair extensions you will need the following items:
- Stick tip/i-tip/micro ring hair extensions
- Sectioning clips
- Micro rings/tubes
- Pulling needle
How are stick tip/i-tip/micro ring hair extensions removed?
This type of hair extension is very easy to remove, which is what makes it such a popular method. To remove you would simply use your pliers to squeeze the ring that has been pushed flat during the fitting process in the opposite direction so that it opens and the hair extension can slip free.
What’s the difference between a micro ring and micro tube?
A micro ring or micro tube is the type of fixture you will need to fit stick tip/i-tip/micro ring hair extensions. Unlike the term stick tip/i-tip/micro ring hair extension, micro ring and micro tubes are in fact different items, but they are used for the same purpose. The use of either a micro ring or tube for a fitting will come down to your personal preference as to which you prefer the look of, and also the suitability for your hair type. You may also find fixtures referred to as “locks” or “beads”, however these are all variations of the classic micro rings, and all perform the same job.
Do you need to be qualified to fit stick tip/i-tip/micro ring hair extensions?
Yes, to fit this type of hair extension you must be qualified as this is a professional only product. Fitting this type of hair extension without the correct knowledge can lead to incorrect placement which could cause the wearer discomfort. For advice on finding someone qualified to fit your hair extensions, please click the link.
Are stick tip/i-tip/micro ring hair extensions safe?
As the stick tip/i-tip/micro ring method involves no heat or glue, they are considered one of the safest forms of hair extensions currently avaiable on the market. When fitted correctly, stick tip/i-tip/micro ring should cause no damage to the natural hair.
Are stick tip/i-tip/micro ring hair extensions comfortable?
Yes, when fitted they are a comfortable form of hair extension fitting. Having said this however, many do notice some slight tenderness during the first few days of their fitting whilst their scalp is adjusting, however this is deemed perfectly normal and should ease off within a matter of days. If you have had hair extensions fitted and have found them to be uncomfortable for longer than a few days it would be worth contacting your fitter for an assessment to check your scalp and help you improve this so that you can enjoy your hair extensions.
How are stick tip/i-tip/micro ring hair extensions suitable for?
Stick tip/i-tip/micro ring are one of the most versatile methods, as they are suitable for the majority of hair types. They are suitable to both fine and thick hair types, and have a very high success rate in terms of security and slippage.
Will you be able to see these extensions?
Again when fitted correctly, stick tip/i-tip/micro ring hair extensions are generally very discrete. The great benefit of this type of hair extension is that you can custom colour match not only the hair, but the ring as well to ensure it blends perfectly. This is practically useful for those blondes out there that have slightly darker roots. This method allows your fitter to use blonde hair to match your overall colour, and a dark ring to match your roots ensuring the hair extensions are as discrete and natural as possible.
To read more about other types of hair extensions available, please visit our articles page.