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Hair Extensions 101: Types of Hair Extensions

Hair Extensions 101: Types of Hair Extensions

A hair extension procedure is so much more than just hair extensions - it’s one of those situations where everything matters.

In this article, we are going to give you a quick overview of types of hair extensions methods for everyone who is looking to get beautiful, silky locks and is browsing what types of hair extensions are there.

If you are a beginner hair extension stylist, you might also find this material useful for learning different types of hair extensions and how they are applied.

What Are the Different Types of Hair Extensions?

When it comes to beauty, hair extensions have got to be one of the best things humanity has come up with so far! Women now can finally stop dreaming of longer, fuller hair and actually get it. All it takes is a relatively quick procedure. What’s even greater about hair extensions is that you can choose not only the color, length, texture, and density but also the extension method that works best for you.

The latter is really important since it plays a major role in the way your hair is going to look after the extension procedure and also how long this procedure will last and how comfortable it will be to wear hair extensions.

Different types of hair extensions

Let’s talk about what are the different types of hair extensions that you can find on the beauty market today, what their characteristics are, and which type of hair extensions methods is right for you.

Types of Permanent Hair Extensions

If you are planning to change your hair length or density but don’t want to go through the everyday chore of removing/attaching clip-in hair extensions, we suggest you consider these types of permanent hair extensions first:

  1. Hot fusion
  2. Cold fusion
  3. Tape-in
  4. Sew-in (machine or hand-tied wefts)

Once you’ve styled them right, these hair extensions will last you months and months provided you follow all the recommendations from your hairdresser.

Let’s take a closer look at all of these types of permanent hair extensions and learn about their pros and cons so that you could choose the one that is perfect for you.

Hot Fusion Extensions Pros and Cons

Despite sounding somewhat “sciencey”, this type of permanent hair extensions is one of the oldest extension methods. It is highly popular among celebrities due to its seamlessness (no one will be able to tell your own hair from extensions).

The way the hot fusion technology works is rather simple: 

  • hair extensions are applied to your own hair in small strands, each covered with special glue at the end
  • an extensions iron is used to melt the glue and solidify the keratin bond
  • the temperature required to melt and apply bonds properly is around 200-220°C, which is why hair stylists use special shields to protect the client’s scalp from heat

Hot fusion hair extensions method

Hot Fusion Pros
  1. You can wear them for up to 3 months before the next correction procedure.
  2. Extensions blend seamlessly with your own hair creating a natural look.
  3. If the extension procedure is done right, the keratin bonds are barely visible.
  4. Ultra-comfortable to wear.
  5. You can tie your hair in a ponytail.
Hot Fusion Cons
  1. The extension procedure may take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours (or even longer depending on the amount of hair and the number of bonds).
  2. You can’t use certain hair care products like oil or masks since they can damage the keratin bonds or simply make hair extensions slip down.
  3. Some people may experience slight discomfort or even headaches as a result of excessive tension on the strands due to incorrect application.
  4. Use the hair iron with caution as excessive heat may cause damage to your hair extensions and reduce their service life.

Fusion hair extensions micro bonds

Cold Fusion Extensions Pros and Cons

Cold fusion is somewhat similar to the hot fusion method we have mentioned above. The difference is in the way extensions are applied - instead of hot iron, tiny metal links lined with silicone are used to attach the extension to your natural hair.

Arguably, the most popular type of Cold fusion extensions is Microlink.

  • first, you pull a tiny amount of your natural hair through the links and then add the extensions
  • to create a bond, you clamp-close the link
Cold Fusion Pros
  1. As with the hot fusion method, you get to wear beautifully styled hair for 2-4 months.
  2. Looks neat and natural.
  3. The micro links used in the extension procedure are almost impossible to spot, which means no one will know about your little secret:)
  4. No need to expose your hair and scalp to extreme heat.
  5. If done with Microlink and done right, cold fusion is one of the most effective hair extension methods.
Cold Fusion Cons
  1. The extension procedure might take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours.
  2. You can’t use certain hair care products like oil or masks since hair strands may slip down.
  3. Some people may experience slight discomfort or even headaches as a result of excessive tension on the strands due to incorrect application.
  4. Use the hair iron with caution as excessive heat can cause damage to your hair extensions and reduce their service life.

Tape-In Extensions Pros and Cons

Here, you’ve got pre-taped strands covered with a medical-grade adhesive material, each weft is typically 1 inch wide. The way they are attached is sometimes called the “sandwich” method: one weft of your natural hair goes right in the middle between two tape-ins on top and bottom.

Tape-In Pros
  1. One of the easiest to perform hair extension procedures - takes less than an hour!
  2. Tape-in hair extensions can be reused multiple times
  3. Completely harmless for your natural hair
  4. Tape-ins are super-comfortable to wear
  5. Works well with thin hair
Tape-In Cons
  1. Tape-ins are more visible than fusion extensions
  2. Tape-ins will last you 6-8 weeks max. After that, you will need to do a reapplication procedure
  3. Sometimes incorrectly applied tape-in wefts may fall off
  4. If a tape-in weft is applied too close to the follicle, you risk damaging your scalp

Sew-In Extensions Pros and Cons

So what exactly is sewn here?

  • You’ve got a weft that is sewn into your natural hair on a row created with braids - that’s why it’s called “sew-in”
  • There are two main types of wefts: machine weft (provides more density and volume) and hand-tied weft (usually thinner and more delicate due to the handicraft involved)

As you can guess from the name, machine wefts are produced using special equipment, which results in a thicker, heavier weft. Due to this, machine wefts can be easily cut to increase durability and sturdiness.

Conversely, hand-tied wefts are made by hand, which provides for a thinner texture and makes them less visible after application.

Sew-In Pros
  1. Completely harmless for your own hair since no polymers or extreme heat are used.
  2. Comfortable to wear.
  3. Unlike other methods, you retain the length of your hair extensions since they are not cut off but rather untied and then tied back in.
Sew-In Cons
  1. Not uncommon for these extensions to get tangled around the follicle area.
  2. Takes quite a long time to apply - from 2 to 4 hours. Plus, a lot of time has to be spent on detangling the hand-tied weft.
  3. Improper application may cause damage to your natural hair.

Types of Temporary Extensions

If you are not planning to wear long locks on a regular basis but still want to add a bit of style and flair to your everyday look, then temporary extensions are exactly what you need.

You can choose from three main types of temporary extensions:

  1. Clip-ins
  2. Ponytails
  3. Halo hair extensions

Clip-Ins Pros and Cons

Clip-in hair extensions are ideal for women who are looking for a quick way to change the length and texture of their natural hair and get an original, flashy hairdo for a special occasion or everyday life.

This type of temporary hair extensions is super-easy to use - all you have to do is simply clip the wefts to your natural hair using tiny clips attached to the base of a weft.

Clip-in Pros
  1. Instant effect! Takes no longer than 15 minutes to apply.
  2. No need to use a professional hairdresser.
  3. Comfortable to wear.
Clip-in Cons
  1. May become visible, especially if you attach them incorrectly.
  2. May slip and fall off due to poor clip-in fixation.
  3. Does have that “like real hair” feel that you get with permanent hair extensions.

Ponytails Pros and Cons

This is one of the types of temporary hair extensions that would be an ideal option for women who are looking to get a nice, thick, and long tail. Ponytails pros and cons are almost identical to the ones we mentioned for clip-ins.

There is one thing you have to keep in mind though - this hair is designed to be worn as a tail and is not supposed to be let down. Yes, you can make braids out of these extensions but that’s about it. Also, you might want to use a textile or silk scrunchie to cleverly conceal the attachment point. 

Halo Hair Extensions Pros and Cons

This type of temporary extensions is quite similar to clip-ins except for the way they are attached. 

Halo extensions are attached to the top of your head via a nylon wire custom fit to your head size. On each side of the halo, there is a clip located around 1.5 inches from the end of it.

Halo hair extensions pros and cons are also the same as for clip-ins. One thing you have to make sure of is that you’ve got the right size that fits your head.

What Type of Hair Extensions Looks the Most Natural?

If you are going after the seamless look, you should pick fusion extensions and hand-tied wefts. Both types of hair extensions look the most natural:

  • For the fusion hair extension method, tiny keratin bonds are used to match your natural hair color
  • Hand-tied weft is a weft crafted by hand that is tied to your natural hair using a tiny braid

These two types are currently the most popular ones in North America.  

What type of hair extensions looks the most natural?

What Type of Hair Extensions Lasts Longest?

Such types of hair extensions as tape-in, fusion, and microlink get shorter with every reapplication procedure. This happens because, during this procedure, a hairstylist has to cut the tape (or bond) thus cutting some hair as well, after which they prepare new tapes or create new bonds.

If this is a major factor for you, try going with one of the options below - the following types of hair extensions last longest:

  • All types of temporary extensions - you simply need to release the clips and take them off whenever you like
  • Hand-tied weft - during the correction procedure, the hairdresser unties the attached wefts and then ties them back into your hairdo.

One great thing about these types of hair extensions is that you get to keep the length and volume of your natural locks. With proper care, these hair extensions will last you really long.

Real Human Hair Extensions vs. Synthetic Hair Extensions

When it comes to hair quality and client satisfaction, most beauty salons and hairstylists prefer to work with natural hair only. And your services are geared towards the luxury segment, virgin Slavic or Russian hair extensions are the de-facto industry standard.

Real human hair extensions vs synthetic hair extensions

Synthetic hair is exactly what the name suggests - artificial, not real, and - most of the time - cheap and unreliable, rarely lasting more than one procedure. Plus, you can’t use a hair iron with synthetic hair to style it - unlike real human hair extensions.

For more information on the difference between Real Human Hair Extension vs. Synthetic Hair Extensions, please see this article from our blog.


Now that you know everything about the specifics of different types of hair extensions, you can make your choice easier and help your client to get the right hair extensions as well.

If you have any questions, please let us know in the comments - our hair experts will be happy to answer them for you. Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to get useful information, facts, tips, and tricks on Slavic and Russian hair extensions.

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