This article will take a closer look at how long different types of hair extensions last.
If you have been dreaming of beachy waves and waist-length summer locks, hair extensions may be exactly what you are looking for! Hair extensions can change, switch up, or just add volume to whatever style you are rocking at the moment. With careful color selection and placement, you can add highlights, volume, length or a balayage effect without ever putting bleach on your own hair.
So who am I? I’m Bianca, and I have been wearing hair extensions since 2006. Upon my hair extensions journey, I have tried microbeads, micro links, I-Tips, wefts, tape-ins, clips ins, and many others. I have also learned how to install and uninstall a variety of extensions, too.
So let’s go through the various extension methods and discover exactly how long extensions last.
Ready to start unpacking this question? Let’s get started!
How Long Do Temporary Hair Extensions Last
Temporary extensions can be defined by any extension you can put in and take out quickly and easily within a day or two.
Clip ins, halos, and ponytail extensions all work in much the same way. A weft of hair (synthetic or natural), has clips sewn on, and the clips attach the weft to your scalp.
These are great extension methods if you want to switch up your hairstyle occasionally or have a particular event like prom or a wedding.
How Long Do Clip In Extensions Last?
However, synthetic extensions, on the other hand, tend to last about 13 wears, but they are very affordable, and if you only want them for a specific event, they can be a brilliant option.
How to Extend the Lifespan of Clip In Hair Extensions?
Depending on what style you wear your hair in and how often you use your temporary extensions will define how best to store them.
I like to wear curled hair extensions, so I tend to curl them up, spray some leave-in moisturizing mist on them, and leave them in a circular tin. That way, I never really have to heat style them.
If you prefer to wear your hair straight, I recommend the extension hangers you can purchase. They usually come with a little bag that you can zip up and keep your extensions safe, even while hanging in your clothing closet.
Halos and ponytail clip in extensions can be stored in exactly the same way.
How Long Do Semi-permanent Hair Extensions Last
A small strip of natural hair is “sandwiched” between two skinny strips of extension hair with keratin glue strips attached. The two glue strips and natural hair fuse together to form a bond that is about 2 inches wide, with the hair usually ranging from 14 to 24 inches long.
They take about 45 minutes to an hour to install and can be left in place for up to 8 weeks.
How Long Do Tape In Extensions Last?
Tape in extensions must be refitted every 4-6 weeks, depending on how quickly your natural hair grows.
My natural hair grows quite quickly, so if I leave it any longer than five weeks I can see edges start to pop through, and the bonds will try and turn. So I personally refit my extensions at around four weeks. This makes sure that I don’t damage my natural hair.
I also use the finest quality Russian hair to augment my natural blonde locks, so as it hasn’t gone through much processing, I can usually reinstall the hair for up to 9 months. If you choose darker hair extensions or Virgin Brazilian hair, you can reinstall the hair for up to 2 years with proper care.
How to Extend the Lifespan of Tape In Extensions?
Tape in extensions is installed by sandwiching your natural hair between two keratin glue strips, forming an air-tight and water-tight seal.
The best thing to do is when washing your hair, shampoo your scalp gently, rinse until clear, and then condition the mid-lengths through to the ends.
This is the same for when you add serum or heat protectors.
Another thing to be careful of is swimming in chlorine or salt water. Make sure to rinse your hair with normal water as soon as possible.
When your hair is wet, make sure to dry your bonds off first, before you start to brush your hair. This will help your bonds stay put and not slip.
How Long Do Permanent Extensions Last?
Permanent Extensions are extension methods that can last up to 4 months before needing to be reinstalled. Some methods use heat, some methods protect natural hair from allowing it to grow, and some methods use no heat or glue.
- Cold Fusion Extensions: Micro loops, micro rings, I-Tips, and nanorings.
- Heated/Fusion Extensions: Pre-bonded keratin extensions e.g. microbeads
- Protective Style Extensions: Various braids, cornrows, twists, knots, and sew-in weave extensions (We have written an individual article about how long do sew-in extensions last, check it out!)
Cold Fusion Extensions
No, when I say “cold fusion” extensions, I don’t mean hypothetical nuclear-powered hair – it just means “fused without heat.”
Some examples are micro loops, micro rings, I-Tips, and nanorings.
They all work in much the same way. A tiny strip of hair is pulled through a little ring, and the ring is then clamped down by force with pliers.
How Long Do Cold Fusion Extensions Last?
These extensions can happily sit in your head for four months, but you’d probably want to get them moved up about every 2 – 3 months, depending on how quickly your hair grows.
The type of hair you choose to install will define how long your extensions can be refitted for. Virgin natural, or dark Remy hair can be used again and again for over a year. Light blondes will be lucky to get a year of use out of them.
How to Extend the Lifespan of Cold Fusion Extensions?
As cold fusion extensions are attached by the root, that’s the part you need to be most careful with. Only brush your hair gently with a Tangle Teezer. Start from the bottom first and work your way up to the roots.
Never tug and never get oils or conditioner in the bonds – that will lead to your extensions slipping off.
An excellent example of these is pre-bonded keratin extensions like microbeads or flat tip extensions.
Strand-by-strand extensions (very thin hair pieces) are fused to your roots with keratin glue using a machine that works similarly to a hot glue gun.
How Long Do Fusion Extensions Last?
As these tiny beads are relatively undetectable, you can wear them for about four months. But when I was wearing these, I could never really get past three months as I have naturally fine, blonde hair.
How to Extend the Lifespan of Fusion Extensions?
Again, these tiny little bonds hold a long strand of hair to a thin strip of your natural hair. This means those bonds add extra weight to your roots, and you have to be extra careful when brushing, styling, or putting heat anywhere near the keratin bonds.
Keep conditioners, oils, and serums strictly to your mid-lengths and ends. Make sure to use a soft and forgiving brush (I love my Tangle Teezer and, at this point, will probably be buried with it as it is always on me).
And finally, do NOT tug on your hair.
Protective Style Extensions
Very textured hair needs extra-special love and care to help it grow. Protective hairstyles with extensions can give the wearer super long hair in an instant while nurturing their natural hair, and allowing it to look healthier afterward.
Braids, Cornrows, Twists, and Knots work by braiding/twisting your natural hair with extension hair (usually kanekalon hair) to get your desired finish.
There are a myriad of BEAUTIFUL styles and braid patterns, twists, kinky twists, passion twists, and so many more – Pinterest is your best bet if you’re looking to be inspired.
Sew-in weaves work by braiding your natural hair into a suitable pattern and sewing wefts of hair in. The wefts can be anything from synthetic hair to Virgin Brazilian hair, depending on the desired outcome.
How Long Do Protective Style Extensions Last?
Protective styles with extensions can last 1-2 months, but proper maintenance and care can easily keep for three months.
Be gentle with your scalp, and make sure to give your head a break between installations, as too much tension on your scalp from braids or sew-in weaves can provide you with alopecia in places.
How to Extend the Lifespan of Protective Style Extensions?
A protective style is considered one that protects your natural hair from sun, heat, and being overly manipulated. So try and choose a protective type that doesn’t require too much manipulation itself either.
Regularly moisturize your hair with deep penetrating ingredients such as coconut, olive, or jojoba oil.
And lastly, either wear a satin bonnet or invest in a satin pillow to keep your hair looking lovely for longer.
So there you have it! A little educational article on how long hair extensions last.
Remember, no matter which extension method you choose, the quality of the hair will define how long the hair CAN last. And your treatment of the hair defines how long the hair WILL last.
For example: Virgin Brazilian hair CAN last two years, but if I mistreat it and heat style it without ever putting a single product or treatment on it, I’ll be lucky to get six months out of it.
Treat your extensions well to get the best out of them for the longest time.
Do you have a question about hair extensions you would like me to answer? Let me know in the comments below!