Which Hair Extensions Are Right for You?

Which Hair Extensions Are Right for You?
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Hair extensions are an easy way to change up your look, but finding ones to fit your needs, lifestyle, and budget can be confusing—especially for a beginner. If you’ve been thinking about entering Rapunzel territory, check out our trusty guide before you book an appointment. We consulted with hairstylists at top salons to fill you in on the most popular hair extensions out there, along with everything you should know about them, including the cost, who they’re best for, and how long they last. Keep scrolling to find your perfect match!

If You Want Long-Term Extensions

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Fusion Bonds

What They Are: Extensions that come pre-tipped with keratin bonds. A stylist uses a heating element to attach it to the hair.

Who Should Get Them: Anyone who wants a more permanent look—as long as you have three or four inches of hair. “These are the most natural and you can hide issues like breakage or if you have really thin hair,” says Ryan Trygstad stylist at Sally Hershberger Salon in New York City. There are wefts (small strips of hair) available for all different textures and hair colors—ombré highlights included.

Application Time: 2-4 hours

Cost: $1800 and up

Lifetime: Fusions last between 3-6 months. Once they’re removed, they can’t be reused.

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Bead Wefts

What They Are: Strips of hair that are measured and cut into custom sizes. The pieces are then attached with small metal beads that lay flat into the hair, says Mylo, stylist at Rita Hazan Salon in New York City.

Who Should Get Them: They work on all hair types, from fine to thick.

Application Time: 1-3 hours, depending on the length and density of the hair.

Cost: $1800 and up

Lifetime: Can last up to 2-3 months, but require touch-ups every 4 weeks.

Tape-Ins

What They Are: Wefts that a stylist tapes to the root of the hair—no tools needed.

Who Should Get Them: They work on all hair types, from fine to thick.

Application Time: 1 to 2 hours

Cost: $1800 and up

Lifetime: Can last up to 2-3 months, but require touch-ups every 4 weeks.

If You Want Short-Term Extensions

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Clip-Ins

What They Are: A weft of hair attached to a clip. Clip-ins can be fully customized for color, length, and texture to create a variety of styles, from bombshell waves to voluminous ponies, says Lisa Richards, co-founder of RPZL in Manhattan.

Who Should Get Them: “This is great for someone was wants to try extensions, but has commitment issues, as this is not a ‘permanent’ product,” says Richards. “You can use them on-the-go, for traveling, special events and for both fullness and length.” They’re also ideal for brides.

Application Time: 40 minutes to an hour to have them blown out and applied.

Cost: $250 and up for a set of 16 clips

Lifetime: Can last for two years with the proper care. Remove at night and wash every 5-6 times of use, depending on product use.  

Halo Pieces

What They Are: One-piece extensions held on a lightweight wire around the crown of the head. They’re custom-made for the perfect match.

Who Should Get Them: “They’re great if you have really fine hair and if you want a little more length and volume,” says Trygstad. “You can add ombré to your hair without coloring it and have fun when changing it up.”

Application Time: A couple minutes to put in place.

Cost: $1000

Lifetime: Can last up to a year with proper care. Remove at night and gently wash and condition periodically.

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