Most Popular Hair Extension Methods: Pros and Cons

3 Most Popular Hair Extension Methods: Pros and Cons

Hair extensions give people the easiest way to have beautiful hairs of dreams. Many luxurious salons provide this service, which only take little time to add length, volume or even chemical-free highlights with hair extensions.

Since there are so many different hair extension options available on the market, choosing a hair extension method that suits you can be overwhelming. There are several factors to consider before choosing a method that works best for you, it includes installing type, lifestyle, and maintenance. 

According to the installing method of hair extension, there are three different types: weft, strand by strand and clip extensions. Below is the most complete comparison of different installing methods, including pros, cons and recommended maintenance.

Weft Hair Extension

A 2-4 inches wide hair weft is applied to the hair in rows, rather than as stand by strand. Hair wefts can be applied using tape-in or sew-in/weave method.

hair weft extension

Tape in Hair Extensions

The most popular and seamless method of extensions available on market is tape in hair extension. They are applied using either double or single-sided polyurethane(PU) tape. Clients with extremely thin hair, especially around the temples and side of the head, may need a single panel applied with single-sided tape.  


  • Fastest and easiest method of application. It only takes 20-40 minutes for volume applications and 45-60 minutes for full-length application.
  • No heat or tools required for an application.
  • Panels lay flat on the head, virtually undetectable. Suitable for thin, fine hair.
  • The safest method of hair extensions available, as the weight of the panel is spread out over a larger section, causing no damage to the client’s hair.
  • Reusable method of extensions, lasts between 6-8 months under proper maintenance.


    • In the first 24-48 hours after application, you can’t wash your hair or excessively sweat as the weft needs some time to cure and adhere properly to your own hair.
    • The panels will slip when any kind of silicone or oil based products are used directly on the adhesive.


    • Do not use any silicone or oil-based products at the root of the hair.
    • Brush hair daily from root to tip.
    • Style hair as normal.

    Sew-in or weave

    If you have coarse, curly or thick hair, then sew-in or weave extensions are ideal for you. The client’s hair is braided to create a base for the extensions, and then the wefts are sewn into the braids using a needle and thread.


    • Slipping will not occur unless the braids become loose, so you can use oil or silicone-based products for your hair.
    • Most suitable for thick, coarse hair.
    • No heat or glue is required for an application.


    • The application can take several hours.
    • If the hair extensions are not washed regularly, it could get dirty and cause infection.
    • Extensions may be uncomfortable and cause headaches after an application.
    • Limited hair styling options.
    • Tight braids can cause tension or traction alopecia.


    • Wash hair regularly.
    • Avoid over styling, as this can cause the braids to come loose.
    • Shampoo, blow-dry curl or straighten as you would with your normal hair. 

    Clip In Hair Extension

    As a temporary hair extension method, clip in hair extensions is a method where wefts of hair are applied using small pressure sensitive clips with silicon. If you don’t want to wear your hair extension on a daily basis, clip in hair extensions is a better option for you.

    clip in hair extension

    Clip-ins Extensions

    Most suitable for special occasions or parties when clip in hair extensions can be removed before bedtime.


    • Greater versatility by having the option to put in and take out the hair on a daily basis.
    • You have the ability to change your hair color or style often.
    • It’s easy to take in and out the hair extension by yourselves, no need to go to a licensed cosmetologist.


    • Clip in hair extensions cannot be attached to your own hair for long periods of time and must be removed before bedtime.
    • Not suitable for thin, fine hair as clips and base could be too bulky or heavy for the hair wearer.
    • Clip in hair extension could last a long time if used with proper care and maintenance.


    • Wash hair extensions as infrequently as you can and apply a deep conditioner if the hair becomes dry or dull. 
    • Better to use a wide tooth comb or Loop brush to comb extensions.

    Strand by Strand Method

    Applying hot or cold application techniques, strand by strand technique is where extensions with a keratin glue bond are attached to small pieces of your own hair. Strands of about 0.5 gram to 1 gram individual hairs can be attached with either a keratin glue bonded point or with a micro link. Most companies that offer a bonded strand by strand hair extension refer to this method as a keratin bonded hair extension.

    keratin hair extenion pros and cons

    Hot Fusion

    Keratin U-tip bonds are attached to the hair using a heating tool. Hairdresser uses a heating tool to melt the keratin glue, where your own hair is placed and sealed between the melt U-tip keratin. The bonds are attached close to the root of your own hair, leaving some space to allow natural movement of your hair. 


    • Most suitable for coarse, thick hair.
    • Most durable hair extensions, last up to six months with proper maintenance.
    • Look like your own hair, very natural.


    • Time consuming, the average application time is around 2-6 hours.
    • Hot fusion require heat to install hair extensions, which can not only be tough on the stylist’s hands but can lead to damage to the client’s hair.
    • Not reusable.
    • Some people may also experience discomfort or an itchy scalp within the first couple weeks after application.
    • Application requires a high learning curve for stylists, which may result in hair damage and breakage if not applied properly.


    Avoid any oil-based products or over-styling.

    Cold Fusion, Micro-Links or I-tip

    Hair extension method where small pieces of your hair are pulled through a small bead or lock and clamped shut with a hair extension pliers.


    • Individual strands could moves a little more naturally.
    • No heat or glue is needed for the application and hair extension can last up to six months.
    • Hair extension is reusable, and any extensions that may have slid down or off can be fixed in about an hour by an experienced technician.


    • Time consuming, the average application time is around 2-6 hours.
    • If beads or locks are not placed appropriately, they can be visible and will slip more easily than any other method.
    • Some people may also experience discomfort or an itchy scalp within the first couple weeks after application.
    • Not work for thin, fine hair as the beads or locks can be visible through your own hair.
    • Application requires a high learning curve for a successful application and removal of this method, and if done incorrectly can cause hair breakage and damage.


    Avoid use of oils or silicone-based products near the attachment.

    Above are 3 most popular hair extension on market, which hair extension do you use or prefer? Which one is best for your hair?

    3 hair extension methods comparision

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    3. Do tape-in hair extensions really damage your hair?