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Best Hair Extensions

Updated October 2018
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 23 Models Considered
  • 8 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 142 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best hair extensions

    Last Updated October 2018

    Whether you’ve gotten a questionable haircut or just have hair that’s a little thinner than you’d like, a good set of hair extensions can give you the locks of your dreams.

    Choosing the right hair extensions is key, though. If you don’t get the right type, length, weight, and color, the hair extensions will look obvious rather than seamless. With so many faux tresses on the market, how do you find the right extensions for your hair?

    Ready to buy hair extensions? Take a look at the matrix above for our top recommendations. For more on how to choose and wear hair extensions, just keep reading.

    By using clip-in extensions that are lighter or darker than your hair color, you can add highlights or lowlights to your hair without coloring it.

    Benefits of hair extensions

    • Temporary

    Unlike sewn or glued salon extensions, at-home hair extensions use clips or pins to attach to your natural hair, which means you can put in your extensions and take them out in a hurry. You can wear your extensions one day, then go back to your natural hair the next.

    • No damage

    With sewn or glued hair extensions, you can experience breakage and thinning. Clip-in extensions don’t cause any long-term damage to your natural hair.

    • Low maintenance

    Clip-in extensions are easy to put in by yourself, so you don’t have to visit a salon to get your hair styled.

    • Added length and thickness

    With clip-in extensions, you can add several inches of length to your hair to totally change your look. On the other hand, if volume is a problem, you can go with shorter extensions that add thickness and fullness to your hair instead.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    To keep your hair extensions in good shape, use the hair care and styling products that you use in your own hair.

    Types of hair extensions

    Full wefts

    Most hair extensions are full sections of hair, known as wefts. Each set of hair extensions typically has a variety of wefts in different sizes, with some for the back of your head and others for the sides. Full wefts work best for adding length and thickness to your hair.

    Hair pieces

    Some hair extensions are specific hair pieces to create certain styles. Ponytails and buns are the most common hair pieces, but you can also find clip-in bangs that instantly transform your look.

    EXPERT TIP

    When you’re applying a set of full weft hair extensions, start with the smallest wefts at the nape of your neck and use progressively wider wefts as you move up the back of your head. Remember to save some smaller wefts for the sides of your head.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    What to consider when buying hair extensions

    Hair length

    Hair extensions are available in a variety of lengths, so you can create a wide range of looks. Shorter extensions typically work better for adding thickness.

    • 10” to 12”: extensions hit above the shoulders.

    • 14” to 16”: extensions hit between the top of the back and the bra strap.

    • 18” to 20”: extensions hit between the mid- and lower back.

    • 22” and longer: extensions hit the tailbone or lower for major drama.

    To prevent your hair extensions from getting tangled when you’re not wearing them, keep them in a protective storage case. Many extension sets come with a storage pouch or case.

    Hair type

    Hair extensions are made from either natural or synthetic hair.

    Natural hair extensions blend better with your own hair. They can be colored and heat styled, and they are less likely to shed and tangle.

    Though natural hair extensions are usually more expensive, for the most durable, natural-looking hair extensions, it’s best to invest in those made with natural hair.

    Inexpensive synthetic hair extensions don’t blend as easily with your hair, and they usually can’t be colored or heat styled. They also tend to shed and tangle fairly easily.

    For the highest-quality hair extensions, look for sets made with natural Remy hair. Remy hair is the highest grade of human hair available, so it has the most natural look.

    Hair weight

    If you’re using hair extensions mainly to give your hair volume, weight is an important feature to consider. The weight of hair extensions is measured in grams, and you can find extensions that weigh as little as 30 grams and as much as 200 grams.

    • 30g to 70g: Extensions of this weight typically work best if your hair is very thin. Otherwise, they might not offer enough thickness to cover your whole head.

    • 70g to 80g: Extensions of this weight work well if you have thin or fine hair and want to add length or volume.

    • 90g to 120g: Extensions of this weight are a good option if you’re not sure what weight to get. They can work for anyone with thin or average hair who wants to add length and volume.

    • 130g to 190g: Extensions of this weight work well for those with average hair who want to make their hair look longer or dramatically thicker.

    • 200g or More: Extensions of this weight are typically too heavy to wear comfortably, and they can actually pull on your hair and scalp.

    For the best results, wash your hair extensions every 10 to 15 times that you wear them.

    Clips

    At-home hair extensions have clips for attaching the pieces to your head. For the most secure extensions, look for:

    • Snap clips, which you slide into place and then snap to secure.

    • U-shaped tines, which grip hair more effectively than straight tines.

    • Silicone lining on the clip’s cross bar to protect your natural hair and provide a stronger grip.

    Color

    The trickiest part of choosing hair extensions is often selecting the right color. You’ll typically have more success with a brand that offers a large shade range. That way, you’re more likely to find a color that matches your natural shade.

    However, if you can’t find a perfect shade match, you can opt for natural extensions and have them dyed to match your natural hair.

    It’s not a good idea to sleep with clip-in extensions in your hair. The extensions may get tangled or the clips may bend.

    Number of pieces

    Hair extensions with full wefts of hair typically include more than one piece. Sets can vary in their number of pieces from as few as three to as many as 10.

    In general, if you’re only looking to add thickness, three or four pieces are usually enough to do the trick. If you want to add length, though, you’ll likely want as many pieces as possible, so an eight- to 10-piece set is a better bet.

    Texture

    When you’re choosing hair extensions, match their texture to your natural hair. If you purchase straight extensions and your natural hair is curly, you won’t be able to blend in the extensions as easily. You can find extensions in three main textures:

    • Straight

    • Wavy

    • Curly

    CAUTION

    It’s a bad idea to swim with synthetic extensions in your hair, but feel free to hit the pool or beach with natural extensions. Just pull your hair up into a ponytail first.

    Hair extensions prices

    Hair extensions vary in price based on the type of hair used, the type of extension, and how long the extensions are, but you can typically expect to spend between $5 and $200.

    • Budget-friendly

    For single-piece hair extensions made of synthetic hair, you’ll usually pay between $5 and $18. For full weft hair extensions made of synthetic hair that are 27 inches or shorter, you’ll usually pay between $10 and $25.

    • Mid-range

    For single-piece hair extensions made of natural hair, you’ll usually pay between $25 and $60. For full weft hair extensions that are made of lower-quality human hair and are 22 inches or shorter, you’ll usually pay between $25 and $75.

    • Expensive

    For full weft hair extensions that are made of high-quality natural hair and are 14 inches or shorter, you’ll usually pay between $75 and $125. For full weft hair extensions that are made of high-quality natural hair and are 16 inches or longer, you’ll usually pay between $125 and $200.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Some synthetic hair extensions are heat-resistant or heat-friendly, so they can be styled with light heat.

    Tips for using hair extensions

    • Clip-in extensions hold in your hair more effectively if there’s some texture for them to grab onto. Tease your hair at the root where you plan to attach the extensions, so they’ll grip your natural hair more easily.

    • If you’re having trouble blending full weft extensions with your natural hair, consider trimming the extensions to match your hair. If you’re not comfortable cutting the extensions yourself, have your hair stylist do it.

    • To make shiny synthetic extensions blend more seamlessly with your natural hair, add a shine or gloss spray to your hair before you put in the extensions.

    • While you can style natural hair extensions with heated tools, always apply a heat protectant first to prevent damage. Use a low or medium heat setting, too.

    • Never use heat styling on synthetic hair extensions unless they’re specifically marked as heat-friendly. Otherwise, you can melt the hair.

    With proper care, hair extensions can last anywhere from six months to two years.

    FAQ

    Q. How long does it take to put in hair extensions?

    A. It depends on how many extension wefts you’re using, but many people can apply clip-in extensions in as little as five minutes. If you’re new to the process, it may take as long as 10 to 15 minutes at first. When it comes to taking out extensions, you can typically remove them in as little as one to two minutes.

    Q. What type of care do hair extensions require?

    A. Just like natural hair, hair extensions should be washed periodically to remove residue from styling products, as well as dirt and other debris. Remove any tangles from the extensions with a comb, and then dampen the extensions with cool to lukewarm water. Massage a mild shampoo into the extensions, rinse them thoroughly, and then treat them with a detangling conditioner. Rinse the extensions again, and lay them out on a towel to dry completely.

    Q. Does my hair need to be a certain length to wear hair extensions?

    A. For full weft hair extensions, it’s usually best if your natural hair reaches at least the nape of your neck. That allows the extensions to blend more easily with your own hair. The shorter your natural hair is, the shorter your extensions should be to get the most natural look.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Katherine
      Katherine
      Editor
    • Melinda
      Melinda
      Web Producer

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