How Much Do Hair Extensions Cost in a Salon?

Hair extensions are a great way to add length and volume to your locks. This is especially helpful for people who have thin hair or lack the time needed to grow long, healthy tresses from scratch.

My name is Bianca and I have been wearing hair extensions for about 15 years. Over that time I’ve tried, tested, and experimented with almost every method of wearing extensions. Some with great success and some an epic fail!

So, what do hair extensions cost? Well, that depends on what system you decide to go with, the quality of the hair, and the maintenance. Prices can also vary wildly depending on the salon, the extensionist, and the length of the hair you get installed.

As a general guide, hair extensions cost between $100 – $1000. That’s around $100 – $500 for temporary extensions such as clip-ins or halo rings and $200 – $1000 if you get a more permanent system such as tape-ins, microlinks, sew-ins, or I-tips.

However, that is just the initial purchase price. In the name of transparency, we should look at maintenance and how long the extensions last! Because at the end of the day all these factors should be considered in understanding how much extensions truly cost.

Keep reading to get a better view of what you’re in for in the pursuit of glamorous hair!

How Much Do Hair Extensions Cost in a Salon?

We will talk about the cost of different types of hair extensions in a salon in this section.

Sew-Ins

Sew-in extensions are placed by braiding your natural hair to your scalp kind of like a cornrow, then sewing wefts of hair to this braided track of hair in your head.

Sew-ins are an affordable option as if you have good quality hair which is well-maintained these can last for up to two years. As the maintenance appointments are further apart this means they add extra value there too.

A great option for those that can wear this style!

  • Initial Purchase Price: Around $300
  • Maintenance: Every 8-12 weeks they will need to be removed.
    This appointment includes removal, washing, and styling the extensions, washing, styling, and braiding your hair, and reinstalling the extensions.
    This should be $100 – $300 so let’s assume $200 as an average.
  • Lifespan: 12-24 months
  • Total per year: $300 + $1040 = $1600

I-Tips

The I-tip system is very similar to the microlink system. The only real difference is the I-tip is bonded by heat and the microlink is bonded by a link or ring. This does mean that the maintenance is much less on an I-tip system, you only really have to go every 3 months.

The maintenance appointment itself is painless and relatively quick. Without color, it’s about 3 hours from start to finish.

  • Initial Purchase Price: $300 – $900
  • Maintenance: Every 12 weeks they will need to be moved up by a stylist.
    This appointment includes removal, washing and styling the extensions, washing and styling your hair, and reinstalling the extensions.
    This should be $100 – $300 so let’s assume $200 as an average.
  • Lifespan: 9-12 months
  • Total per year: $600 + $800 = $1400

Microlinks

The microlink system is ingenious as it doesn’t use glue or braiding to install the hair. A fine bead of hair is attached to your natural hair by pulling both of them through a tiny ring and then pushing the ring flat to hold the hair in place.

This system does take a little getting used to. I found that whenever I had microlinks installed I had a tender scalp for at least 3 days afterward.

The maintenance appointment for microlinks is not as intense as tape-ins and is relatively quick. Without color, it’s about 3 hours from start to finish.

  • Initial Purchase Price: $300 – $900
  • Maintenance: Every 8 weeks they will need to be moved up by a stylist.
    This appointment includes removal, washing and styling the extensions, washing and styling your hair, and reinstalling the extensions.
    This should be $100 – $300 so let’s assume $200 as an average.
  • Lifespan: 9-12 months
  • Total per year: $600 + $1’300 = $1900

Tape-Ins

Now being a little blonde woman with lots of baby-fine hair, these beauties are my current go-to. I love tape-ins.

Tape-in extensions are the perfect solution for fine hair, as the bonds are almost seamless and can be worn in a variety of styles comfortably.

Your stylist will take a small section of hair and “sandwich” it between two tape-in extensions by the keratin tape at the top. As the additional hair is fairly light and the amount of hair it is bonded to is appropriate, your natural hair and scalp aren’t pulled by any excess weight.

The worst thing about tape-ins is the maintenance, it does take a while to get the glue to dissolve so that they can remove the tapes from your hair. And sometimes it can be uncomfortable when they are trying to remove the glue.

What I’ve found works best for me is when I split my maintenance appointment into 2. I’ll go one afternoon and get the tapes removed and a color touch-up. Then I’ll go back the next morning, once they’ve rebonded the tape and washed my extensions. Otherwise, it can take about 5 or 6 hours in total.

However, by splitting the appointments up, after the first 3 hours, I can go home, put an overnight treatment on my freshly colored hair, go back in the morning for a blowdry and install, and that only takes about an hour to 90 minutes.

  • Initial Purchase Price: $200 – $1’000
  • Maintenance: Every 6 weeks they will need to be moved up by a stylist.
    This appointment includes removal, clearing the glue, washing and styling the extensions, washing and styling your hair, reapplying the tape, and reinstalling the extensions.
  • This should be $150 – $350 so let’s assume $250 as an average.
  • Lifespan: 9-12 months
  • Total per year: $600 + $2250 = $2850

Clip-Ins and Halo Extensions

This seems like an odd inclusion to this list, however, if you are serious about wearing a Halo ring every day or Clip-Ins for special occasions, it is a really good idea to save up and get the best quality hair that you can. 

This way you can take the extensions to a hair salon and get them cut, colored, and styled correctly.

The hairdresser will also show you how to wear your extensions and where the best place to position your clips or halo ring on your head is.

FAQ

Here are quick answers to commonly asked questions regarding how much do hair extensions cost in a salon.

Are Hair Extensions Worth It?

Not everyone can naturally grow thick and gorgeous mermaid hair. I certainly can’t. Hair extensions allow me and many others the experience of having long, luscious locks in an instant without the heartache of trying unsuccessfully to achieve the look on my own.

Which Hair Extensions Last The Longest?

Technically speaking bonded hair extensions such as I-Tips will last the longest as the beads will stay in place for about 4 months. However, as your hair grows out quite a lot within that time frame you will need to go to the salon by about 12 weeks to have them moved up.

Will Extensions Help My Hair Grow?

If they are removed and installed correctly and gently, and you go for your maintenance at the recommended times then yes. Extensions will help your hair grow longer.

Wrapping Up

When you’re looking for hair extensions, it can be difficult to know where to start. Hopefully, this article has made your decision a little easier by delving into the time and cost of extensions.

The cheapest extensions are easily the sew-in hair extensions. The most expensive, with the most intensive maintenance routine is the tape-in extensions. 

However, having worn most of these systems I stand by tape-ins as my personal system of choice because they are the most natural-looking, and the most comfortable to wear.

What is your favorite hair to wear? We love to hear from you! Let us know in the comments below!

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