UTIPS Vs ITIPS Hair Extensions
When considering what Hair Extensions to have fitted we often get confused with all the different terminology that is used which in turn makes it hard to decide on what the right method to go for.
Here I will take you through the two most popular methods that are used around the globe and also what I find the most discreet and natural form of hair extensions to date.
Utips also known as ‘nail tip or pre-bonded’ is a type of hair extension that is applied to the hair by heating up the keratin tip that is found at the end of the extension.
The term Utip/Nail tip is simply describing the shape of the keratin on each strand of hair, they either look like ‘U shapes’ or a ‘nail shape’ it’s shaped like this to make the keratin melt quick to form a sealed bond.
Utip/Nail tip hair extensions are fitted by sectioning part of the hair and protecting the scalp with a heat shield. Then a heat connector is used to melt the keratin tip against the small section of the natural hair. This is then rolled together tightly with fingers so it forms a fully sealed bond and it cools down very quickly to allow easy fitting. Hair brands with Italian keratin are best as it contains a protein found in the natural hair which therefore is kind to the hair and will not cause damage.
Depending on the Hair Brand this method of hair extensions would be in your hair for 3-4 months before removing and reapplying a fresh new set or a re-tipped set of hair. Over the weeks and months the bonds will slowly start to slide lower down your scalp so you will know when they are ready to have their maintenance. If the hair has been looked after well and is in great condition then the keratin tips can be re-tipped ready for another use.
For removal of the Utip hair this needs to be done by a qualified professional to avoid damaging your natural hair. The bonds will need to be broken down one by one using an alcohol based solution.
The Utip method is highly recommended for people with finer hair as the bonds are very small and can be cut to a smaller size making them more discreet. It’s a strand by strand application enabling them to be attached very close to the hairline which means the bonds will be virtually undetectable giving natural results.
Itips also known as stick tip/micro ring hair extension is one of the newer extension applications and are made up of hair strands glued together at the tip. They are one of the safest methods available, when fitted correctly should cause no damage to the natural hair. They are applied without heat instead attached to the natural hair with a micro ring. An equal amount of the natural hair is pulled through the micro ring to the hairline by using a hair hook tool and the micro ring is then compressed around the hair with hair pliers.
The rings used will fit flat to the scalp and will feel weightless creating a very safe and secure attachment. The rings comes in all different colours to match your hair making them easy to blend giving a natural look.
I-tip hair can last for a long time if maintained well, as you wear them your natural hair will continue to grow and the rings will start to move lower down from your scalp. Hair maintenance is very important with I-tip hair every 6-8 weeks they will need the rings moving back up-to the top of your scalp which must be done by a qualified professional. After so many months you may decide to have the extensions removed this can be a lengthy process and requires a qualified professional. Each ring will be unclamped and once removed there will be a buildup of residue of shampoo/hair products that have been sat around the ring and then a build up of any natural hair that has shed which is totally normal after having hair extensions in for longer than a month.
The I-tip method is recommended for people with fine to thick hair but mainly thicker hair as it enables the rings to be more discreet. They are the most popular method as they are easy to maintain with regular maintenance appointments and it’s an easy and damage free application, if you worry about the heat application of the U-tips.