August 5, 2021

How Long Does Hair Have to be to Get Hair Extensions?

how long does hair have to be to get hair extensions

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A quick answer to this question is, hair can be anywhere from 2-7 inches in length for hair extensions to be applied properly. However, there are different lengths needed for different types of hair extensions though! Let’s dive into it.

There are several factors to take into consideration when it comes to your natural hair length and hair extensions. Your natural hair’s required length will vary depending on how long you want your extension hair to be.

I’m Katy, and I’m an avid user and appreciator of fine hair extensions. High-quality hair extensions can be a great option to add volume and length to the hair you already have. But just how long does your natural hair need to be to make that dream a reality?

Perhaps you got a haircut that didn’t turn out the way you wanted, and you’re desperate for long hair again, or you’re having a hard time growing your natural hair out and want to speed up the process and go straight to long locks.

Bottom line: Different hair extensions need different lengths to make it happen. Let me break it down for you!

How Long Does Hair Have to be to Get Hair Extensions

Depending on the type of hair extensions you want, your hair will have to be of different lengths. This is because the installation process of each type of hair extension is unique and has its own requirements.

I’ve listed out popular hair extension types that people get, so you can pick what’s right for you if you choose to take that particular path to glorious hair.

Clip-In Hair Extensions

Clip-in hair extensions are a great, easy option to give you a boost in volume and length. This type of hair extension is best for hair that is 6-7 inches long. This length will typically fall around your shoulders and is about as short as the hair can be while still being able to blend the hair extensions naturally.

Of course, you could physically clip them into hair that is much shorter, around 3-4 inches, however, you may have a more challenging time blending the extensions with your own hair. If you have very short hair, clip-in extensions may not be right for you.

If your hair is short, and you still want to try out clip-in hair extensions, a good tip to try out is getting hair that will fall around your shoulders, or just past them. Trying to blend extremely long hair extensions into very short hair can be challenging and leave your look a little more choppy and a little less glam.

If you do want to try it though, here is a great tutorial that you may want to watch.

Tape-In Extensions 

If you have super short hair, tape-in extensions are a great option for adding moderate length and volume. Your natural hair only needs to be 3 inches long to successfully attach these to your hair. 

Because tape-in extensions are less bulky than some other types of hair extensions, you won’t need as much of your natural hair to get these in and get the good hair days goin’!

Bonded Tip Extensions

To get any kind of bonded tip extension, like I-Tip or U-Tip extensions, your hair needs to be at least 2-3 inches in length. This allows enough room between your scalp and the end of the hair, for a bonded tip hair extension to be attached. 

Sew-In Extensions

In order to get sew-in hair extensions, commonly referred to as a weave, your natural hair needs to be at least 3-5 inches long. Having hair this length allows it to be braided which is necessary for installing the sew-ins. 

As long as your hair is long enough to braid, it’s long enough to get sew-in extensions!


Let check out some quick answers to the most commonly asked questions about natural hair lengths and extensions.

Can I Get Hair Extensions with a Pixie Cut? 

Yes! Even with hair as short as a pixie cut, hair extensions can be a reality for you! Through either tape-in or bonded tip extensions, you can add moderate length and volume to your hair. 

How Can I Grow my Hair Faster to Get Hair Extensions? 

Growing your hair starts from the inside out. A healthy diet, plenty of water and maybe a boost from a well-known hair-care supplement, Biotin, you can grow your hair out at an even pace. With consistent healthy hair habits, you’ll reach extension qualified hair length in no time!

How do I Blend Hair Extensions if I Have Short Hair?

If you have short hair and wanted to add some length, try to wait until your hair is at least at your occipital bone. Save yourself from a Google search, and let me just tell you now, your occipital bone lines up with the bottom of your ears. 

By waiting until your hair is this length, you can avoid the dreaded mullet look. You know, party in the back, business upfront? If you’re working with hair that hits your occipital bone, you can typically add length down to your shoulders. More than that gets into tricky territory. 

Be sure to add face-framing pieces as well as thinner hair extensions so you don’t end up with a choppy look. You don’t want Billy Ray Cyrus coming after you because he wants his mullet back. 

Another great technique for blending hair extensions into short hair is to pin up the bottom layer of your natural hair and place extensions over it. By clipping up the bottom layer, you get rid of short hairs poking through and giving away your hair secrets. 

Bottom Line

Regardless of the type of hair extension, you want to get, work with the hair you’ve got and go from there! Fortunately for you, hair extension techniques have come a long way. 

Think about how many celebrities you’ve seen jump between super short looks and long, luxurious locks. 

Let’s go and get some beautiful hair done!


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