Hair Extension Methods, Which Is Right for You?

Contributed by Sarah Harris

Hair extensions are perfect for transforming and enhancing a woman’s beauty to that of a goddess. As a hair stylist, I’ve tried different types of extensions, and it can be quite confusing choosing a system that is suitable for you. There are so many factors to take into consideration, and it is best to know the different methods because not all hair extensions work for everyone; the results are determined on the type of extensions and the methods used to apply them. But with lots of options out there, how do you figure out what method is right for you?

Below are the hair extension methods, advantages and disadvantages from someone who has tried them all.


Sewn-in hair extensions are perfect for those with thick, coarse or curly hair that’s able to handle them.  They are cost-effective, easy to maintain and also stress-free to remove. Your hair is plaited tightly into braids to build a foundation for the hair extensions to be sewn and attached using a thread and needle. Not all hair types can withstand the stress from the braiding, so this method is not for everybody; most often there is a need to have the hair retightened which requires serious upkeep and salon visits throughout the four months of its durability.


  • Most appropriate for thick hair.
  • You can use silicone-based or oil  hair products
  • There is no need to use glue or heat when applying.


  • This method can take some hours to fix up.
  • Unless regularly washed, the extensions can get dirty causing health problems.
  • Due to the tight nature of the application, the extensions can be painful afterwards.
  • This method has limited options to style hair


Clip-ins are hair wefts that are attached to a clip. They come in many different sizes so they can be placed around the head and are ideal to use when you need an instant hair fix and can easily be removed. This method takes a short amount of time to fix and can add length and volume. Clip-ins can be washed and styled just like your hair.

Clip-in extensions are ideal if you use don’t use hair extensions every day.


  • With clip-ins, you can fix and remove them as you like.
  • You can quickly change your style or hair color often.
  • You can easily fix it yourself, no need going to a professional stylist.


  • This method of hair extensions are not ideal for fine hair because the clips might be too heavy to wear.
  • Clip-in extensions must be detached before bedtime as they cannot be fixed to your hair for long periods of time.
  • Only with proper maintenance and care can clip-in hair extensions last long

Micro links also known as micro locks or beads are gentle to fix and easy to remove. This is a process where your hair strands are pulled through microbeads or locks with a strand of extension and fastened shut with hair extension pliers.

This method doesn’t use heat or glue when applying. However, you should avoid using conditioner near the bead to prevent slipping of the hair extension.  This method lasts about four to six months so you will have to come in every couple of months to retighten your hair extensions. If you want to dye your hair extensions and use heat styling applications, this is probably the best option.


  • No glue or heat is used to fix the hair, and this method of hair extension is durable and can be used for six months.
  • It is reusable
  • Hair extensions that have fallen off can easily be reattached in some minutes to an hour by a professional stylist.


  • This method does not work well with thin hair because the beads and locks might be visible.
  • It takes within 2-5 hours to fix which is time-consuming.
  • Microlinks can be noticeable or slip off if they are not appropriately placed
  • There’s a tendency to experience itchy scalp or discomfort after application.
  • This method can cause hair damage and breakage if done wrongly with someone other than a qualified hair technician.


Tape-in is the most popular method of hair extensions that if correctly applied and cared produces incredible results with the added advantage of reusing it many times over.

Tape-ins takes a short amount of time to install the extensions and can add more volume and thickness. The hair extensions are applied with a heated appliance that heats up a thin strip of glue that is on the hair weft, and your hair is put between two wefts and fastened to create a seal. This hair extension method although costly can be used for up to 6 months without any serious maintenance work although you can choose to have them removed and reinstalled every six to eight weeks.

You also have to be careful using oils or heavy conditioners because that can cause your hair extensions to slip off.


  • This method of hair extension is suitable for Suitable for thin, fine hair as they are practically flat and unnoticeable.
  • Tape-in is the easiest and fastest as it takes from 30-60 minutes depending on the length and volume of application.
  • A very safe method of extension that doesn’t cause breakage or hair damage.
  • You can reuse your hair extensions using this method provided the extensions are taken care of properly.


  • You have to wait 48 hours before washing your hair as the weft needs some time to stick properly to your hair.
  • Avoid oil or silicon-based products as they can easily cause the extensions to slip off if applied on the adhesive.


Fusion extensions are one of the more costly extensions and are ideal for people looking to add more volume and length while they have hair extensions. This is done using keratin bonds and a heating appliance.  The hair stylist uses the heating tool to melt the keratin glue, and then your hair is placed and fastened between the melted keratin. To allow the natural movement of your hair, the bonds are fixed close to the root of your hair.

It takes about two to three hours to have a complete head of extensions and these can last about four months.  


  • This method of hair extensions is suitable for coarse, thick hair.
  • They are very natural looking
  • Durable and can last up to 6 months with proper care and maintenance


  • Fusion takes longer time for applications, with an average time between 2-5 hours.
  • Requires heat to install the hair extensions which can be risky for both your hair and the stylist’s hands
  • Not reusable.
  • Can cause itchy scalp or discomfort a few weeks after fixing an extension.
  • Must be done by a professional hair technician to avoid hair breakage or damage.

Above are some of the most popular methods of hair extension available, which hair extension method have you tried? Which one is most suitable for your hair?

Comments 3
  1. I don’t think these would be an option for me. I’m sure they are great for some hair types, but mine is too thin. Plus, I don’t think I have the patience to put 2 hrs. into using them.

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