Different Types of Hair Extensions

Hair extensions are ideal for those who have trouble committing to a style because of their versatility. You can instantly transform your length, volume, and color into the look of your dreams with just a few bundles of hair. But how do you pick the best extension installation method for your needs?

The demand for new methods, styles, lengths, and colors has increased as the beauty industry has grown. It’s no surprise that cosmetologists and beauty experts alike are curious about the various types of hair extensions available and which method is best for them.

There is no quick or easy answer, but these are some of the most popular hair extensions:

  • Microbead 
  • Tape-In
  • Fusion
  • Clip-In
  • Sew-In

Clip-in Hair Extensions

Clip-in wefts, also known as clip-in hair extensions, are made up of a strand of contoured pieces that are held together by fabric or silicone at the base. This base has clips attached to it that are ready to use. All you have to do is clip the pieces into your own natural hair! 

Clip-in hair extensions are the least permanent type of extensions because they can be taken off and put back on at any time. Clip-ins, unlike some of the other hair extension methods mentioned above, take about 5 to 15 minutes to apply at home. Clip-in hair extensions are also the least damaging because they don’t require any of the above-mentioned chemicals, heat, pressure, or other installation methods—they simply clip into your hair with ease, causing no damage to your natural hair. One of the many reasons it’s one of the most popular hair extension types is because of this.

Tape-In Hair Extensions

Hair extensions that are taped in are a semi-permanent option. Tapes are the quickest and easiest hair extension method to apply and remove after clip-ins. Unlike clip-ins, this method of temporary hair extension requires the assistance of a trained, professional stylist.

Tapes are usually 1 inch wide and are adhered to the hair with adhesive glue. Tape-in extensions do not cause as much tension and breakage to natural hair as other permanent extension methods because they are applied to such a large amount of hair.

Tape-ins are the most popular semi-permanent method used by celebrities and top stylists because they are the easiest to apply and remove while maintaining a natural and discrete appearance. Tape extensions are frequently used by stylists to thicken a short bob around the front of the hair, giving the face a blunt frame.

Tape-ins are suitable for most hair types and are known to cause the least long-term damage to your natural hair when applied correctly.

Treatment

When using conditioners or hair products on tape-in hair extensions, be cautious because this can cause the tape to come loose or slip off. The hair simply slides off tape-ins, which is a very common problem. To ensure the glue sticks to your hair, hairdressers usually recommend using a special shampoo or conditioner as well as styling products that are less harsh and less oily. Because they’re made of human hair, you can style them however you want, but keep an eye out for the glue or tape at the roots.

How Long Do Tape-Ins Last?

Tape-ins are a type of semi-permanent installation. They usually last 4–8 weeks before needing to be removed and reapplied. However, just like any other hair, it is dependent on how well you care for them and how quickly they grow.

Sew-In Hair Extensions/Weave

The L.A. Weave or Micro-ring method is commonly used to apply sewn-in hair extensions or ‘Weaves.’

Weaves are a long weft of hair sewn to layers of your natural hair, similar to a clip-in extension. The hair is either braided and sewn with a needle and thread, or it is applied with a micro-ring.

Weaves can cause too much tension in fine or previously damaged hair, so this hair extension method is only suitable for those with thicker hair. Weaves are a great option for your extension choice if you have thick or heavily textured hair.

Treatment

If you have a weave, make sure you moisturize the scalp, nape, and edges of your hair at least once a week and use deep conditioning products. Another popular recommendation for people with weaves is to use a special protein product to wash their hair to prevent damage and weakening.

How Long Do Sew-Ins Last?

The weave should be removed every 6–8 weeks, especially if you’re trying to grow your own hair. Because it will affect the growth of your natural hair, you should only wear a full weave in your hair for a maximum of four months.

Micro-Link/Cold Fusion Hair Extension Methods

I-tips, Nano beads, and Micro rings are all terms for extensions that require the same aftercare and technique to fit to the natural hair.

Individual hair extensions tips are attached to tiny wefts of hair with micro-link extensions. A micro-ring or nano-bead is clamped to each individual tip with a specialist hair plier. The beads are colored to match your natural hair and the tips are patterned in neat rows around the head. This method of application does not use heat or adhesive glue to bond the extension to the hair and, when done correctly, can be a very safe and discrete method.

Nano beads are typically copper beads that are better suited to people with thicker hair. Because they are 90% smaller than micro rings, they are the most discreet method of hair extension. Micro rings, despite their size, are a discrete method that is often faster to apply and remove. It is recommended that you only use silicone-lined beads or rings, regardless of the method you use; the silicone will protect your natural hair and prevent slipping.

Individual tips would be recommended for you if you frequently tie your hair up because individual bonds allow your hair to move around more freely.

Treatment

You can wash them and style them in the same way that you would your natural hair. Microlink hair extensions, like fusion hair extensions, must be repositioned every 2–3 months as natural hair grows and the microbeads move away from the scalp.

How Long Do Micro-Link Hair Last?

Microlink hair extensions are considered semi-permanent and can last up to four months in most cases.

Fusion & Pre-Bonded Hair Extensions

A pre-adhesive extension tip is fused to small sections of hair using a heated clamp to attach fusion bonds or keratin bond extensions to your hair. For those with finer hair, pre-bonded hair extension methods are often a better option because they do not put as much strain on the root of your natural hair as other permanent hair extension methods. Your hairdresser may advise against fusion bonds if your hair has been damaged by over-processing or heat styling; hot-fusion will risk further damage to your natural hair and discourage healthy hair growth.

Treatment

Fusion/pre-ponded applications are managed and treated similarly to natural hair. You can use your regular products, but the extensions will need to be re-positioned every 2–3 months as your natural hair grows. This method can also cause hair loss, breakage, and scalp irritation due to the numerous chemicals in the glue.

How Long Do Fusion Hair Last?

They’re considered semi-permanent because they can last up to four months in your hair. This, like all other types of hair extensions, is dependent on the type and growth of your own hair.