Many women today long for gloriously, beautiful hair but may suffer from thinning or lack of length. Though extensions may not grow out of the scalp, they provide a natural look that is unnoticeable, yet touchable. U-tip hair extensions, also known as “hot fusion” extensions, are a popular way to enrich existing hair with added volume, length and texture. Pretreated with keratin tips, u-tip extensions are to be applied with a hot hair extension iron. Aptly named for the u-shaped curve at the tip of each extension, u-tips may also be used on any hair type, including fine textures and comes in various hair colors for a seamless finish and is easy to remove. Here are some benefits and techniques to consider before booking your next appointment with your stylist. Techniques and Use Application of u-tips takes about an hour and may last up to 2 months on healthy hair. Prices vary from $500 to $1,500, so if you are taking the very best care to ensure your hair is clean and strong, u-tips may last a bit longer. Before applying the extensions, your natural hair must be freshly washed, preferably with a clarifying shampoo as a way to clear the hair of any residual chemicals and particles. This step also ensures that the bonds grip the hair, without sliding off. Hair is then sectioned into small V-shaped sections about a ¼ inch away from the scalp to prevent burning from the hot fusion applicator, which also melts the keratin. After the hair is placed and the keratin is cooled, your stylist will usually roll the hardened keratin to seal the bond even further. It is recommended to not use a sulfate shampoo while wearing the extensions because this can prematurely break down the bonds. U-tip extensions are not very low maintenance and brushing daily is necessary to avoid tangled hair. Benefits The benefits of u-tips are added length, volume, and luxurious mane, but unlike other types of extension, u-tips are the most popular and oldest method because of their unnoticeable capabilities, which allow the hair to move and flow naturally. Other benefits of this treatment are the use of keratin, the protein that bonds to the hair. Keratin is a fibrous protein naturally found in human hair, which forms its main structure. This method helps to ensure that the hair is easier to remove and is most gentle. Additional benefits include: • Long-lasting wear • Added length and volume • Hair can last up to 4-6 months, with proper care • Precise and easy application • Little application time • Customizable fits to match thickness of hair As with all hair extensions, there are also risks to be considered, such as the use of heat to bond the hair, the utilization of an acetone base to remove the bonds and the hardened feel of the bonds, but the benefits far outweigh any drawbacks. Removal All u-tip extensions are either dissolved in an acetone solution, baby oil, or alcohol. After the bond has soaked for a bit, your stylist may use a tool to loosen and slide the bond off. Don’t be alarmed if you notice some shedding, as this is a natural process of hair. Typically, everyone loses about 100 hairs a day, so if you’ve worn your extensions for a while, then you may loose an ample amount of shed hair. U-tip extensions are here to stay. Done professionally, the look can give you the chic head of hair you’ve always craved without long grow out time. If you are considering getting u-tip extensions, then do your research. It is always advisable to obtain a professional consultation when applying extensions so that you get the most out of them without unexpected damage.