We all have heard horror stories from friends or friends of a friend about how these or those extensions have damaged someone’s hair to the point it was almost unfixable. Are these rumours true? From our 12 years experience with hair and extensions we can say YES! You have to be very careful which hair extensions you choose, depending especially on your hair health and thickness this decision can be crucial!

Hair extensions add volume and length to your natural hair, making it look full and healthy. We all have dreamt of those kilometric locks and sighed, wishing our hair could some day look like that. And lately, thanks to shows like Geordie Shore and numerous celebrities like Selena Gomez or Kylie Jenner, the use of hair extensions have been normalised and celebrated.

However, with this raise in popularity comes hand in hand with a raise in salons and ill-informed hair stylists a piece of the cake. Our first advice, no matter which extensions you choose to wear, is that you do your research first, especially on the salon or professional that is gonna install them. How much experience do they have? Are they adequately trained? Is the salon equipped with the necessary tools? All these answers play a really important part on how your head of extensions will turn out and the possible risks your hair will take.

From blinding headaches, to patchy hair loss and sometimes permanent damage, searching for the perfect extensions can sound a bit exhausting. But worry not, we have done our research and will break it down for you.

Weave damage. This always comes first for us and we will never get tired of repeating it: weaves are a no-no! This technique consists of braiding your hair very tight and close to your scalp and then weaving hair wefts to it. Sounds simple, right? Truth is the weight and tension of the extensions places strain on the wearer’s hair follicles, which are stretched to a point that the hair simply falls out. Known as Traction Alopecia, this can cause permanent damage to hair follicles and prevent hair regrowth.

Beauty queen Amanda Jones, 26, tried hair extensions for two Miss Virginia competitions. She states: ‘That was the most painful experience of my life,’ Miss Jones said. ‘I had them in for maybe three weeks. My scalp was red and bleeding. I lost a lot of hair.’

Keratin bonds and micro rings are not much better. Okay, the methods are much easier and some of them can be a bit cheaper, this again depending on the salon, but the upkeep and the risks are something to take into account. First, the glue. What could go wrong with glueing hair to your natural hair? There are two dangerous stages here: installation and removal. If not properly installed, the hair can snap, break and take so much heat damage it’s unbelievable. If not properly removed, or if you wait too long to have them reapplied, they will mat and fuse together. We have seen cases in which the glue could not be removed and had fused all together. Nightmarish.

Micro rings on the other hand, thin and break your hair quite easily, it is metal constantly brushing against your hair after all. This leads to mat if worn for longer than a couple of weeks. To avoid that, you have to go through and isolate the bonds every day, which can be quite time consuming.

All of these risks made Kia Styles, KiaKnots Art Director, research and try many different solutions. She wanted to achieve the amazing looks we see everyday on the catwalks and red carpets, but always with you in mind. Eventually we came up with our own twist on Brazilian knots. A technique that doesn’t involve glue, machines, bonds, chemicals, heat, metal or damage of any kind. All it involves is thread and our expertise! The knots are secured to your hair with elasticated thread, allowing your natural hair to grow healthy and thick underneath. It’s true, you will watch it get stronger!

Maintenance is recommended every 2-3 months, which consists of taking your extensions off, which will now be further lower as your hair grows, and reattaching them to your roots. During this refits you will see for yourself how your hair has not taken any damage.

Even if you forget your maintenance or leave them be for a bit longer than recommended, your hair will not take any damage, it is the safest choice you can make.