Hair Extensions Methods

There are many methods out there to get long hair, which method should you use for the look you want?

The comparison chart below is from many years of my personal experience with various methods of hair extensions. You can see all the methods side by side in the chart, or read the detailed description at the bottom of the page. You can also read the comparison chart of hair extensions companies that I have used here.

  • Style Longevity
  • Initial Price
  • Application Time
  • Looks Natural
  • Can You Swim With Them
  • Checkup Price
  • Checkup Time
  • Removal Price
  • Removal Time

Strand By Strand

  • 3 – 6 months
  • $800 – $3,000
  • 3 – 8
    hrs
  • star ratingstar ratingstar ratingstar rating
  • Yes
  • $100 – $300
  • 6 – 8 weeks
  • $200 – $400
  • 2 – 4
    hrs

Tape In
Extensions

  • 4 – 8 weeks
  • $600 – $2,000
  • 1 – 3
    hrs
  • star ratingstar ratingstar ratingstar ratingstar rating
  • Yes
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • $50 – $300
  • 1 – 2
    hrs

Clip
Ins

  • 1 day or event
  • $50 – $500
  • 10 – 15 mins
  • star ratingstar ratingstar ratingstar ratingstar rating
  • No
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • $0
  • 10
    mins

Glued
Tracks

  • up to 1 week or first shampoo
  • $100 – $700
  • 30 – 120 mins
  • star ratingstar ratingstar ratingstar ratingstar rating
  • No
  • removal price + application price
  • N/A
  • $50 – $100
  • 1 – 2
    hrs

Sown
Tracks

  • 4 – 8 weeks
  • $200 – $800
  • 1 – 3
    hrs
  • star ratingstar ratingstar ratingstar ratingstar rating
  • Yes
  • removal price + application price
  • 4 – 8 weeks
  • $50 – $200
  • 1 – 2
    hrs

Microlocks / Loops

  • 3 – 6 months
  • $900 – $4,000
  • 2 – 6
    hrs
  • star ratingstar ratingstar ratingstar ratingstar rating
  • Yes
  • $500 – $3,000
  • 4 – 8 weeks
  • $400 – $600
  • 2 – 4
    hrs

Skin
Graft

  • up to 8 weeks
  • $300 – $5,000
  • depends on size
  • star ratingstar ratingstar ratingstar ratingstar rating
  • Yes
  • depends on size
  • N/A
  • depends on size
  • depends on size

Laced
Wigs

  • up to 8 weeks
  • $500 – $10,000
  • 15 – 30 mins
  • star ratingstar ratingstar ratingstar ratingstar rating
  • Yes
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • $50 – $100
  • 10 – 30 mins

Strand By Strand

  • Style Longevity
  • Initial Price
  • Application Time
  • Looks Natural
  • Can You Swim With Them
  • Checkup Price
  • Checkup Time
  • Removal Price
  • Removal Time
  • 3 – 6 months
  • $800 – $3,000
  • 3 – 8 hrs
  • star ratingstar ratingstar ratingstar ratingstar rating
  • Yes
  • $100 – $300
  • 6 – 8 weeks
  • $200 – $400
  • 2 – 4 hrs

Tape In Extensions

  • Style Longevity
  • Initial Price
  • Application Time
  • Looks Natural
  • Can You Swim With Them
  • Checkup Price
  • Checkup Time
  • Removal Price
  • Removal Time
  • 4 – 8 weeks
  • $600 – $2,000
  • 1 – 3 hrs
  • star ratingstar ratingstar ratingstar ratingstar rating
  • Yes
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • $50 – $300
  • 1 – 2 hrs

Clip Ins

  • Style Longevity
  • Initial Price
  • Application Time
  • Looks Natural
  • Can You Swim With Them
  • Checkup Price
  • Checkup Time
  • Removal Price
  • Removal Time
  • 1 day or event
  • $50 – $500
  • 10 – 15 mins
  • star ratingstar ratingstar ratingstar ratingstar rating
  • No
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • $0
  • 10 mins

Glued Tracks

  • Style Longevity
  • Initial Price
  • Application Time
  • Looks Natural
  • Can You Swim With Them
  • Checkup Price
  • Checkup Time
  • Removal Price
  • Removal Time
  • up to 1 week or first shampoo
  • $100 – $700
  • 30 – 120 mins
  • star ratingstar ratingstar ratingstar ratingstar rating
  • No
  • removal price + application price
  • N/A
  • $50 – $100
  • 1 – 2 hrs

Sown Tracks

  • Style Longevity
  • Initial Price
  • Application Time
  • Looks Natural
  • Can You Swim With Them
  • Checkup Price
  • Checkup Time
  • Removal Price
  • Removal Time
  • 4 – 8 weeks
  • $200 – $800
  • 1 – 3 hrs
  • star ratingstar ratingstar ratingstar ratingstar rating
  • Yes
  • removal price + application price
  • 4 – 8 weeks
  • $50 – $200
  • 1 – 2 hrs

Microlocks / Loops

  • Style Longevity
  • Initial Price
  • Application Time
  • Looks Natural
  • Can You Swim With Them
  • Checkup Price
  • Checkup Time
  • Removal Price
  • Removal Time
  • 3 – 6 months
  • $800 – $3,000
  • 3 – 8 hrs
  • star ratingstar ratingstar ratingstar ratingstar rating
  • Yes
  • $100 – $300
  • 6 – 8 weeks
  • $200 – $400
  • 2 – 4 hrs

Skin Graft

  • Style Longevity
  • Initial Price
  • Application Time
  • Looks Natural
  • Can You Swim With Them
  • Checkup Price
  • Checkup Time
  • Removal Price
  • Removal Time
  • 3 – 6 months
  • $900 – $4,000
  • 2 – 6 hrs
  • star ratingstar ratingstar ratingstar ratingstar rating
  • Yes
  • $500 – $3,000
  • 4 – 8 weeks
  • $400 – $600
  • 2 – 4 hrs

Laced Wigs

  • Style Longevity
  • Initial Price
  • Application Time
  • Looks Natural
  • Can You Swim With Them
  • Checkup Price
  • Checkup Time
  • Removal Price
  • Removal Time
  • up to 8 weeks
  • $500 – $10,000
  • 15 – 30 mins
  • star ratingstar ratingstar ratingstar ratingstar rating
  • Yes
  • N/A
  • N/A
  • $50 – $100
  • 10 – 30 mins

Methods Descriptions

The comparison table above shows the methods of hair extensions side by side, but what does each method mean in detail and how will they affect your natural hair and your look?

Please note that these are only my personal experiences and opinions of each of these methods. Click on each tab to read the full description, and as always, if you have any further questions don’t hesitate to contact me.

Ever wonder what method all the celebrities get, well here it is! Strand-by-strand is the method of choice for most of my clients. Not only is it the most natural of all the extensions, it lasts three to six months! Individual strands of hair are applied to your hair and are held with a special protein bond, which allows the hair to move just like your own. You can wash and style it or even pull it back into a ponytail when you just don’t have time for anything else. The most natural custom way to create long hair. (Some brands are not recommended for people with fine or thinning hair.) Strand by Strand Extension hair is applied strand by strand with hot or cold fusion. The bonds can be made of a keratin based product or other natural-based products that can be very similar to the material that makes up the hair and nails and is considered to be non-damaging to your own hair, some will have bonds that match the color of the hair and some will be all one color or clear. Some companies will vary the amount of individual pieces of hair that are included in each strand. I.E. some will consider 20-30 human hairs to be one strand and the price will vary depending on the company. Most brands are pre-bonded hair can be cut to custom fit the thickness of each individuals hair strands. The application time depends on the amount of hair being added. For fullness anywhere from 1-3 hrs and for a full head of hair 3-8 hrs. They can last anywhere from 3-6 months depending on proper maintenance. Regular visits for check ups are suggested anywhere from 4-6 weeks. High end lines will have a hair extensions contract, maintenance guide, check list and guarantee.

Finally a seamless hair extension that gives the look of a full coverage weave, yet no bulk. It is also the fastest in comparison to the wefts. There is no stitching on the seamless wefts so they lay very flat. It requires no adhesives on the scalp, no weaving or braiding, no clips, no chemicals or messy removal. This system is ideal for people with thinning hair, who wants to just add length and/or volume, or for those who simply want to add highlights or lowlights without chemicals. This method is recommended to stay in for 3 to 4 weeks and remove using a solvent. The hair can then be reused.

Clip In Hair Extensions are clipped directly to hair with tiny hair clips. Clip in extensions are available with all types of human and synthetic hair. The higher the quality of human hair the more expensive it will be per clip in piece. This is an easy do-it-yourself solution to having temporary long hair or different hair style. The hair is purchased with the tiny clips already attached. Clip in extensions may be a great place to start if you are serious about getting hair extensions but not sure how you would look with long hair, if you would like a different look for a night or a special event, or even if you are looking for a cost effective solution for hair extensions. Great for photo shoots and fashion shows. BE ADVISED: Clip in hair extensions can be very dangerous for those who really want long term long hair and wear clip in extensions on a regular basis. The clips are usually made of metal, metal covered with rubber or softer material or plastic. If the clip in hair is left in the hair for long periods of time, clipped in too tight or the metal clips are thin and have sharp edges, you are risking bald spots where the clips are attached to your natural hair. They will either be cut by the metal clips or broken from the pressure and friction of the clips resulting in traction alopecia ( I’ve seen it one too many times on clients from other salons). When attaching clip in extension at home without a professional teaching you the proper placement (especially for women who have really short hair and purchase really long clip ins) it is very difficult to place them to have the clip in extensions blend with your natural hair. They have to be purchased or cut to the prefect layered lengths to blend well and look real. Clip ins come in several different widths of weft hair, pony tails, bangs and falls. Hair can be reused anywhere from a few weeks to years depending on the quality of hair, proper use and maintenance.

Wefts are available with all types of human and synthetic hair. The higher the quality of human hair the more expensive it will be per weft. A bonding glue or adhesive material is brushed onto the weft of the extension hair and then it is applied to the root of the individual’s hair. The extensions can be easily removed by a bonding remover. There are many types and variations of adhesives available, including waxes and medical grade adhesives. There have been women that have had an allergic reaction to the bonding material so always do a patch test on your arm. This method is for temporary extensions when you want you want to add some length or volume. Will last up to a week or until the first time you shampoo your hair. There is no need to create tracks on the head. It is a little longer lasting that clip ins. When attaching this type of extension (especially for women who have really short hair and purchase really long clip ins). They have to be purchased or cut to the prefect layered lengths to blend well and look real. They lack natural movement and can look bulky on the head if too many are applied in attempt to create volume. Hair can be reused depending on the hair quality and glue/bonding agent.

Wefts of extension hair are sewn into tracks created by cornrows, braids or stitched onto the head in either horizontal lines or circles. The extension hair is sewn into the knotted track with a needle and weaving cord. These extensions last from 4-8 weeks and can be wash and styled like your own hair. Wefts are re-usable and can be reused for up to 3-4 months depedning on the quality of hair. One of the oldest ways to achieve lengths and fullness. Tends to cause traction alopecia and tends to cause a very sore scalp for up to a week or two depending on your sensitivity. If done too tight will pull hair out of the head. Not recommended for anyone with fine or thinning hair.

Human extension hair is attached with tiny locs/cylinders or sleeve that can match your hair color or be clear. Some of these micro products are made out of specially formulated polymer materials. Others are made from flexible nickel or copper tubing that is squeezed shut to or molded to the hair to hold the hair in place. They are non-magnetic and do not rust. If you have nickel or copper allergies you will not be able to wear them. The micro locs and links (they say ) can be re-used sometimes up to three times. (NOT in my experience Once you close them it’s VERY difficult to unlock them and reuse them.) The hair has to be ordered in two sets and is said to be reusable as well. (once you put the hair in and cut it to the desired length are you going to label each piece to where it goes on the head?) The idea is that you would move them up instead of taking them out every time they grow out more than a few inches, but that is not realistic. The hair that the extensions are attached to will not be in the same neat section it was when you first put them in no matter how hard you try to keep it untangled. But after 6 months the hair (no matter how good the quality is) will not be in the best shape so this is why you get 2 sets. Once six months is up u take the 1st set out and send it back to the company to be refurbished (which is about half the cost of the original set of hair and takes a few months) then they attach the new set and you wear it while you wait for the first one to come back.

Skin graft hair extension is attached to a man-made skin and is then grafted to the scalp. Made for severely damaged hair, hair shedding due to medication, bald spots or see-through hair. The key points to know about this hair extension method is that while all the top anchors only to the hair; this method anchors to both the hair and the scalp . Therefore further eliminating the pulling and tugging associated with strand or weft extensions. This hair is reusable. The grafts can easily be trimmed from its original length to cover certain ‘bald’ areas. This is recommended to stay in the head for up to 8 weeks. This would be a good solution for people who have thinning hair and would like to have a non damaging solution. At this time I have not found a company that I feel comfortable working with and I’m still in the process of researching the good and the bad brands for this hair extensions method. More info to come, so check back soon!

The term “lace front wig” and “full lace wig” are virtually the same; A lace front wig, or other known as a full lace wig has a very natural front hair line and is constructed with fine lace in the front and a variety of materials in the back of the head. A full lace system is the ultimate system since it will look natural from every angle regardless of how the hair is brushed or styled. The object of a lace front wig or a full lace wig is to look beautiful and natural! You do not want anyone to ever think you are wearing a wig. A full lace system is usually preferred and is the ultimate in style, design, beauty and naturalness. It caters to individuals who wish to change their hair style without damage to their own hair, or to those who may have experienced hair lose or hair damage. Even if you would like to give your hair a break from daily styling without compromising your look, purchasing a custom lace front wig is for you. Wigs come in different lengths, colors, textures and densities. They can be synthetic, human hair and synthetic mix or 100% human hair. They can be purchased already made or custom ordered. They are attached with different types of adhesives. Several kinds of tape and glue. If left on too long or too tight there are chances of causing friction alopecia so wearing wigs for more than 6-8 weeks max at a time is not recommended.