Microlink (i-tip) refers to a hair extension that latches onto your natural hair using flattened microbeads.
My name is Jane, a cosmetologist with more than five years of experience. Over the years, I have worked in salons and have done numerous i-tip installations.
After reading this article, you should be able to get a better understanding of what microlink (i-tip) hair extensions are, their pros and cons, and installation and maintenance.
Keep reading to learn more!
What are Microlink (I-Tip) Hair Extensions
Take a look at the below section for useful information regarding microlink (i-tip) hair extensions.
Microlink Vs. I-Tip Hair Extensions
Microlinks and i-tips are very similar as they both are attached with microbeads to your natural hair; however, they do differ. I-tips use individual pieces that are attached to your natural hair with a cylindrical bead that loops around the i-tip and your natural hair.
Alternatively, microlinks are created with a wefted track, where the microbeads are attached just below the weft to your natural hair.
Microlinks typically use 1-2 bundles of hair since they are made from wefted tracks. I-tips can allow up to 3-5 bundles of hair since there are about 50 i-tips per bundle. A full head will require around 250 i-tips.
They both offer more versatility to the hair than would a traditional sew-in or wig would allow. You can wear your hair in ponytails, have easy access to your scalp, and allow your real hair to breathe.
Both microlinks and i-tips can be worn for longer periods of time with the proper maintenance.
If you are interested in getting microlinks or i-tips, I would suggest getting microlinks first. It is usually more affordable than i-tips and will allow you to get used to the look and feel of the extensions.
I-tips are great but usually require more maintenance and need to be handled with care.
Usually, if you go to a salon and ask a professional to install i-tip hair extensions for you, your hair will only face a minimum amount of damage because no glue, heat, or tape will be used.
If appropriately applied, with proper care and maintenance, i-tip extensions can last for an extended period, like two to three months. Although, it depends on how fast your hair grows.
According to my experience, the lifespan of i-tip extensions are also comparatively longer than tape-ins and glue-in hair extensions.
For beginners, the best way to install i-tips is to go to a salon that specializes in i-tips and inquire about the installation from a professionally licensed stylist.
Normally, a good hairstylist will check your hair first to tell you if you are a good candidate and then advise you on the total bundles needed to achieve your desired hairstyle.
However, if you have a set of proper tools, a good friend with patience, great knowledge, and skills, you can install i-tip extensions at home too.
You will require a different number of bundles depending on your desired volume. According to my experience, for a full head, you need around 200-300 i-tips.
If you choose to do a half head or ¾ head, 100 and 150 microlinks would be good enough.
The home maintenance for i-tip extensions is easy, you only have to wrap or pin-curl the hair regularly. It is advisable you visit the salon after 4-6 weeks to get the cylinders opened to remove the dead hair (i.e., bead maintenance).
Again, because no glue or heat was needed, it minimizes the harm to your hair and requires less repair too.
You need to be very careful while brushing and washing your hair because of the beads, so prepare to spend more time on your daily hair care routine.
Also, it may be difficult for beginners to install these extensions. If the installation is not done correctly, it’s easy to put too much tension on your hair and scalp.
Are You Suitable for Microlink (I-Tip) Hair Extension?
If you want to install i-tip extensions, you should have healthy, even length hair, which means it has not been treated with chemicals such as perms or relaxers.
These chemicals will cause damage to your hair, making it fragile and dry. I-tip extensions will add weight to your natural hair and cause it to weaken. Sometimes, it may destroy the roots too.
If you have used a relaxer, it is better to give your hair a break before installing i-tips. Usually, three months would be enough time for your hair and roots to grow back.
Are Microlink Hair Extensions Damaging?
The extensions cannot damage natural hair since the installation does not use glue or heat. However, anything done to your hair improperly can damage it.
Therefore, seeking a professionally trained and licensed stylist to install the microlink hair extensions can minimize the damages.
How Do You Sleep with Microlinks?
I recommend a loosely tied ponytail and a scarf when sleeping with micro links. This restricts the movement of the hair while you are sleeping, which keeps the bonds from being disturbed.
When the bonds are not disturbed, they can last for a longer period. The hair will tangle less too.
I tip hair extensions are a protective style that can last up to 8 months with proper maintenance. Please leave your comments or questions about the article or your personal experience with micro link (i tip) hair extensions.