Hair Extensions Pros and Cons- Got Hair?

I am obsessedddd with hair extensions, no really, can’t live without em. I have pretty nice hair without them, but there is just something awesome about long, full, flowwwwyyy hair. Just like a tan, extensions make everyone better. I have posted about extensions before, but I wanted to do a recap of the types of extensions, the PROs & CONs as well as the cost comparison. There are affordable, minimal damage options out there, take my word for it :) I also attached a readers email with specific questions at the end if you’re looking for even more info.

Types of extensions:

1. Clip in hair extensions:

Clip in hair extensions are amazing if you want a temporary style change, they are extensions that are clipped into the hair to create a temporary hair effect, as you can easily create the length that you desire, as well as the volume with these types of hair extensions. There are a few ways to get clip in hair extensions:

A. You can have a local salon make them for you. In San Diego I can suggest Hair Unlimited in Mission Valley, they will match them exactly to your hair.

B. You can buy the hair and clips from a local hair supply store and make them yourself.

C. You can order them online pre-made. I can recommend Milani hair extensions. Below I am wearing her 24 inch, 3 piece clip in’s, but please keep in mind I already have pretty long hair. I would suggest the shorter length, 7 piece kit, if you do not already have long hair to begin with.

Hair Extension brand: Milani Hair
Length: 24 inches

Color: 1B (Off black however I dyed it to match my hair perfectly, the 1B was a bit lighter then my hair but the black was too dark.)

Milani hair extensions

Cost: Free to insert. $100.00- $190.00 depending on the brand.

PROS:

* No damage

* No cost to put them in

* Instant style change, removable when you’re done wearing them.

CONS:

* You cant wear a high pony tail, clips will show

* A bit uncomfy to sleep in them a bit, feels like you’re sleeping with bobby pins in your hair

* Temporary

* You can get them wet, swim, shower but they might fall out if you’re too rough.

2. Sewn in hair extensions:

My favorite! A teenie tiny braid is formed using your real hair and synthetic hair, tracks of hair are then sewn onto that braid. I love this method the best because it attaches sturdily with little to no damage. My girl here in San Diego, Kimberly, does an amazing job and she’s very affordable. To schedule an appointment you can call her, just let her know you’re my friend. Kimberly Adams- 858-776-0281

Cost: $25-35 per track to insert. $60.00- $150.00 cost of hair, depends on brand and amount you want. I use the Outre Euro Premium hair, 20 inches.

PROS:

* Little to no damage. The only part of your real hair being effected by the extension is the row the hair is attached to. A synthetic braid is created horizontally across your head and extensions are sewn onto this braid.

* They stay on nice and snug, you can wear high pony tails, swim, shower, it’s as if it’s your own hair.

* CHEAP! I have a girl who does them SO cheap, $20.00 a track. I have 3 in so your only cost is $20 a track plus hair cost. My hair cost $80.00 so my TOTAL for extensions was $140.00. SOOOOOO cheap for long flowy, minimal damage, hair extensions.

CONS:

* Can get messy if you don’t brush your hair daily

* Some thinning can occur if you tug down too hard while you brush. The better you care for them the less damage you will have. I have had 0 damage so far but I baby them.

3. Fusion hair extensions:

These are the individual hair extensions fused on with special tools. I personally would never get these kinds because they attach to hair all over your head which means hair loss overall, vs. sewn in hair extensions you can only experience slight hair loss from the tiny braided area, not all over.

Cost: Anywhere from $500.00- $2,000.00. You must buy special fused hair, depends on brand and amount needed.

PROS:

* Fuller hair all over. Good option for someone with really short hair.

* Lasts longer than most extensions, up to 3 months.

* Can style in many ways, up do’s, pony tails, however the beads do show at times.

CONS-

* I always see the metal beads poking through girls hair.

* EXPENSIVE! Most fused extensions are over 1k. No thanks!

* They also fall out often

* They say there is no damage but every time you brush/style your hair, you’re pulling down on the bead that is attached to your real hair which causes hair loss.

* These are also near impossible to brush since you have a metal bead attached to your scalp.

Ok I think I’ve dissed these kind enough :)

4. GLUE in extensions:

Idk why anyone would GLUE hair into their head. Unless you don’t care about your hair what-so-ever, glue in extensions seem awful. Sure they’re cheap and a quick fix but in the long run, not worth it to me.

PRO: All I can think of as a pro would be that you temporarily get long hair?

CONS:

* The glue that is used to apply the hair extensions is definitely going to damage your natural hair by causing breakage and split ends. It is likely that you will require a trim after you remove the hair extensions. The glue will be tugging on your real hair, causing thinning.

Yuck.

Overall my favorite hair extensions are sewn in hair extensions or clip in hair extensions. If you get hair extensions that damage your hair, it defeats the entire purpose of an extension… you want long hair right? Then don’t damage your real hair :) Hope this helped clear up any hair extension questions, email me if you have any more! Happy hair hunting :)

UPDATE: Email from reader-

“Hi Amanda! I love your blog and have been reading it for awhile now! I’m in S.D. and I have some questions about hair extensions. I’ve been thinking about getting them for awhile and your post has helped to push me towards taking the plunge!”

Q1. How long is your hair without extensions? I have shoulder length hair and am wondering if sewn-in is even an option for me.

A1. My hair is about 5 inches longer than my shoulders but I cut all my hair off one night years ago and regretted it. I had almost ear length hair and managed to shove extensions in. Def possible, you would just add more tracks to add fullness.

Q2. Is the process for sewn-in extensions painful? I’ve heard that the process is and just wanted to know what your experience is.

A2. It does not hurt me at alllllll. If you are tender headed just let the person know, they know how to adjust their grasp and pull to make it ok. You do have an occasional tugging but it feels like a tug. I also have her not do mine too tight, if its too tight omg yes it hurts. Just be very vocal about your concerns. My girl Kimberly did it perfect this time, tight enough but not painful.

Q3. Do you buy your extensions at hair unlimited and then take them to your stylist or do you get them thru her?

A. I purchase my own hair at Beauty Supply Warehouse. I get the Outre brand, not the most expensive/nicest, but NEVER get the worst. Pointless, nappy hair. Mine are shiny and nice, 100% human hair and were around 80. I got 22inches.

Q4. Are you able to re-use your extensions when you get them re-done? How often do you have to replace them? How often do you get them re-done?

A4. I don’t keep mine sewn in too long, I don’t want long term damage. Usually I will wear clip ins for a few months and then sew them once every 6 months. I keep them in about 2 months, they begin to grow out and get annoying by then. You have the option of re doing them once a month if you want them tight, but I don’t want that much pulling on my hair. I wore my clip in hair extensions for about 2 months and then cut the clips off and sewed it in. you can re-use the hair as much as you like, depends on how well you take care of it. I still have extensions from a year ago, but I baby mine. So in a perfect world I would buy hair, sew it in and after 2 months take it out, give your head a break, and sew clips on to the same hair and use as needed. OR you can get it redone once more, won’t be bad for your hair, but I wouldn’t leave them in more than twice personally.

Q5. Are the extensions at hair unlimited easy to style? I bought some clip in ones that were HORRIBLE, even though they claimed they were easy to style!

A5. I love styling my hair :) I got a nice brand though which is important! Try the Outre brand or ask the girls for the BEST brand and they will give you their suggestions. I had good luck with Outre tho. I believe this is the exact type of Outre I use. I overly use Moraccanoil though, as well as rarely wash them, so keep them away from stinky areas. I find after you wash them they’re never really the same. Of course if you have them sewn in you have to wash them, but most the time I will wash only the top/real part of my hair to keep the extensions as untouched as possible if that makes sense.

Any other questions? hehehe

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There are 113 comments for this article
  1. Amanda Dryden at 2:27 pm

    Thank you soooo much for this information. I have been looking at getting sew-in extensions and really needed more information on how to do so. Can you tell me what type of Outre extensions that you get and would be most natural on a fair skinned blonde? Thanks and LOVE your blog!!!

  2. Amanda Dryden at 2:55 pm

    Ok great well that gives me a point to start from…So the premium collection yaki is the type you use? because for some reason I have been under the impression that ‘yaki type’ extension or hair is for women of color..I could be wrong though, I am new to this…Thanks again!

  3. amandajo Author at 3:24 pm

    yeah idk why they market it that way, def makes it look like that but its 100% human hair so color makes no diff! thats def the kind i got in the purple packaging…. they have the velvet or european line too but i havent tried that!?

  4. Anonymous at 9:25 pm

    dumb question…can you dye hair extensions???

  5. Anonymous at 7:49 pm

    So I am thinking of going from blonde to black. I see that you did this and it looks great! How easy is it and can it be done in one sitting?

  6. Anonymous at 7:51 pm

    So I am thinking from going blonde to black. I see that you did this and it looks great! How easy is this process and can it be done in one sitting. Also I DEF plan to go to a salon/color specialist to do this, but wanted your opinion as you have done it!

  7. amandajo Author at 7:55 pm

    I did a few dark highlights first just to see how my hair would hold it, plus i was scared… was blonde my entire life but then I did it all and it held just fine after one setting! was pretty easy. going BACK to blonde seems to be the hard part. was thinking of going lighter again but dont want orange hair! you should be totally fine at a salon tho :)

  8. Anonymous at 8:24 am

    If you don’t mind me asking, what color is your hair? Raven black? really really dark brown? And what color extensions do you buy? luv the blog:)

  9. amandajo Author at 10:19 am

    my hair is dark dark brown. 3N… I buy the one BEFORE black for hair ext… i dont know the color exactly i think it’s 1B?

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  11. Amber at 12:16 pm

    Hi Amanda! I was wondering do you know of anyone in Las Vegas who does good hair extensions? I am interested in getting the single-braid sewn-in ones. It will be my first time so I want to go to someone good. Also, when she sews your extensions it, does she cut your real hair or the extensions to blend it all together? Thanks for writing this article- it was so helpful!!

  12. amandajo Author at 10:57 pm

    idk anyone in vegas unfortunately… just my girl out here in sd! i dont have her cut my hair but most girls can… my hair is the perfect length to not have to cut it… it just looks layered bc its my real hair mixed w the extensions! i do cut a few pieces around my face but i do that on my own ahah

  13. Krystal at 3:08 pm

    Okay, i really want sewn in extensions. i had clip ins, but i cant use them cause their black and my hair is now blonde. But also, where does your friend work? Is it in washington, or are you in another state.

  14. Melissa at 5:11 pm

    Im interested in getting hair extensions to avoid having to dye my natural hair, do you think its a good idea? (Im trying to avoid dyeing my natural hair so I can keep my natural highlights)

  15. amandajo Author at 6:45 pm

    Hey girl… a bit confused, you want to just add more colors to your hair without dying your hair? What about clip ins?

  16. Leanne at 8:54 pm

    Hi, are the outré hair extensions clip ins? If not how did you make them yourself? I really want extensions and would like to start with clip ins as they wouldn’t damage my natural hair.

    Thanks

  17. Alexandra at 10:07 pm

    Hey I live in San Diego I just want to make sure Kimberly still is workin and accepting new clients

  18. bianca at 3:12 pm

    Hi first time reading your blog but i like it:) i wanted to kno does the sew in hair extensions hurt when your sleeping or give you headaches bcuz they’re to tight?? (dont work well with tight hair)

  19. amandajo Author at 3:13 pm

    It does hurt if your girl does it super tight, I ask for them not too tight and its fine :) if its too tight it will feel like a super tight pulling braid and it sucks…. but if you ask she should be able to not do it too tight!

  20. bianca at 4:32 pm

    ok, iv been wanting to get them for a while now but since its my first time ever i dont know what kind of extensions to look for or anything like that,there’s just so many diff. types.

  21. Jesa at 12:13 am

    I was just wondering if you can use your clip in extensions for sew ins?

  22. Jesa at 10:53 am

    Hmm Im not sure if it does….lol I just got them last week and have never used any before so I am new to everything.

  23. Taygan at 8:07 pm

    I was wondering if this is an option for someone who has pretty fine just past the shoulders hair?really don’t know what to do with my hair, it always looks terrible and I have to back comb it to have any normal fullness for it.will the sewn in extensions be see in fine hair? I have clip ins but they shoe through my fine hair :,( I feel ugly and need advice please!

  24. amandajo Author at 8:20 pm

    Well the clip ins and sew ins would show the same because they are the same kinda tracks just different methods of putting them in :( Maybe put them lower? If your hair is that thin I am not sure what methods are best because you will see them all :( Maybe just get some sort of hair thickening shampoo or try biotin? Those vitamins help it grow thicker and fuller!

  25. Taygan at 8:29 pm

    Thank you for the quick reply! That’s so sad this mighT not be an option for me :(
    I have used everything under the sun to try to help with my crap hair and nothing works :( I am currently taking biotin,omegs,hair and nails and glucosme but nothing’s helping yet and it’s Been a few months :(
    Thank you again for your help. This post is wonderfully helpful!!

  26. Allison at 9:44 am

    I am getting sewn in extensions this week and was wondering if there is anything I need to do before my appointment- like should I wash my hair so it’s fresh or not was it so the braid doesn’t slip out?

  27. amandajo Author at 9:14 am

    I would wash your hair before yes! The braid will be fine clean :) Nothing special just wash and go!! GL!

  28. jessica at 7:48 pm

    Hi I was wondering if i get them done just one and leave them in for a month can it cause bald patches?

  29. amandajo Author at 9:09 am

    Hmmm well everyone’s hair/scalp reacts different. I could not say you will not lose hair because I dont know your hair type! But I do not have any bald spots at all and have had them in for years :)

  30. Steph at 7:47 am

    So I just got a hair cut by a lady that got a little scissor happy…well actually VERY scissor happy, and probably just got the worst hair cut I have ever had in my 21 years of existence. With that being said, I went from full thick hair, to thin short layers. Sew in extensions are what I am looking into now, but before this mishap..I was looking into going lighter with my hair for the summer with highlights. Do you recommend I get the extensions in and then get my hair colored? Or how would I go about this?

  31. amandajo Author at 7:59 am

    Where do you live? If you live in San Diego there is a great place that will make them for you, match your identical hair color… called Wigs Unlimited in Mission Valley… (http://www.hairunlimited.net/) if you don’t live locally, what I did when I had blonde hair was just bought two colors of hair and made my own tracks. Sewed in brighter blonde highlights. Dying the hair is possible but it never looks as good unless you buy super nice hair?

  32. Steph at 8:21 am

    I actually live in Mission Valley, so that works out perfectly, thanks a bunch! I will probably take a drive over there tomorrow with it being so close. Since they match your hair identical, how long do they typically take to be ready for you? Days or weeks? Do they come as clip ins or with out? Thanks so much Amanda!

  33. amandajo Author at 8:57 am

    Oh wow perfect! It’s about $190.00 my gf just did it the other day but they match literally identical to your hair so I would get it dyed first then go in. They measure your head and then make the tracks. They can sew them onto clips or just leave them sewn as tracks and you can take them to get sewn in. Prob cheaper that way!!! Not sure how long they take w out clips, a few days with clips tho… not weeks. 3 days I’d say

  34. Steph at 10:35 am

    I was too impatient to wait to get my hair colored, so I just went in yesterday to Hair Unlimited and had them match me extensions to my current hair color, and even got some wings at Hooters afterwards! They were great and super patient! They had me write down where I got the referral to come there, so I wrote down your blog. I will be picking up my new babies(extensions) tomorrow morning. So just wanted to say thank you, and I have just one more question. Do you tip the girls there after they do your extensions? Or are you supposed to?

  35. amandajo Author at 12:22 pm

    hmmmm no i dont think so but Im not sure? I wouldnt… but thats just me maybe being rude lol. I feel like you pay for the service in the cost :)

  36. Chelsea at 9:20 am

    Hi there. I chopped off my hair and realy like it but my fiance really wants me to grow out my hair and I told him I would, plus I want long hair for my wedding. But I do not want to wait a year for it to grow out. Currently it is a little bit past my chin. Would it be long enough for sew in hair extensions? Also I have a reddish brown hair. How do I find my exact hair color?

  37. amandajo Author at 12:25 pm

    Yea it would be long enough but you would have to get your hair cut to blend the pieces. To match your hair you must go to a beauty supply store that sells hair in person. It is tricky. If you live in San Diego there is a place called Hair Unlimited in Mission Valley that does everything for you, cuts and matches…. just find a beauty supply store by where you live and stop by!

  38. jessica at 7:01 pm

    Hi I forgot to mention my hair type when I asked about the bald question lol my hair is on the thin side and its wavy. Also I’d like to know, itts it hard to wash your hair? Do you need to blow-dry your braid every time for it to dry? Thx

  39. wig supplier at 6:27 pm

    You’ve done a very good job!Thank you soooo much for this information. Really needed more information on how to do so.Waiting for you more articles!Well done!

  40. Melinda S at 11:53 pm

    As I’ve gotten older I noticed my hair is thinning and tends break more often, so much so that the front is constantly shorter than the back. I’d love to get the braided extensions. Does anywhere have a recommendation or two for someone like Kimberly in the greater los angeles/san fernando valley area? Found your blog when I goggled hair extension pros and cons! Thanks for all of the terrific information.

  41. amandajo Author at 11:15 am

    You can just google sew in weaves or even people on Craigslist do do it. Just ask their method. Tell them you want a thin braid, with synthetic hair braided into the real hair to make the damage less on your own hair… GL!

  42. Naomi Allen :D at 7:17 pm

    really its true that u can damage ur hair with glue, but that’s why u’re supposed to use a cap, and some people even double cap it so that the glue never touches ur scalp and when its worn out enough it lifts up xD i never had tracks at all but my mom uses them all the time

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