The 5 Most Common Types of Hair Extensions (and Which is Best for Hair Health)

In the world of hair extensions, there are two main types you’ll encounter: human hair and synthetic hair. Both have their unique advantages and considerations.

Furthermore, the methods of application also differ greatly, adding another layer of complexity to your hair extension decision. This article will help you navigate through these different options to make an informed choice that best suits your lifestyle and hair needs.

Human Hair vs Synthetic Hair Extensions

The primary difference between human hair and synthetic hair extensions lies in the material they’re made from.

Human Hair Extensions

As the name implies, human hair extensions are made from real human hair collected from donors. This type of extension blends naturally with your own hair, offering an authentic look and feel.

It can be dyed, styled, curled, or straightened just like your natural hair. However, the cost of human hair extensions is generally higher than synthetic counterparts due to their superior quality and versatility.

Synthetic Hair Extensions

Synthetic hair extensions, on the other hand, are made from artificial fibers designed to mimic the appearance of human hair.

While they can’t withstand heat styling and may not blend as seamlessly with your natural hair, they are less expensive and require less maintenance than human hair extensions. This makes them an attractive option for those on a budget or who want a low-maintenance solution.

Different Styles of Hair Extensions

Once you’ve chosen the type of hair extensions you want, the next step is to decide on the application method. Here are the most common types:

1. Clip-In Extensions

Clip-in extensions are the easiest to apply and remove, offering a quick and simple way to change up your look.

Clip-in extension application

They attach to your hair with small clips that are sewn onto the weft of the extension. This type is ideal for occasional use and doesn’t require a professional stylist for application or removal.

How long do clip-in extensions typically last?

Clip-in extensions are not designed for prolonged wear and should be removed before sleep. With proper care, they can last anywhere from 3 to 6 months or even up to a year or longer.

2. Sew-In Extensions

Sew-in extensions are commonly also known as weave hair extensions where the extensions are woven into the hair.

Sew-in extension application

Sew-ins are applied by braiding your natural hair into cornrows, then using a needle and thread to sew the extensions into the braids. This method is usually favored by those with thick, coarse hair and can last for several weeks. However, sew-ins can be quite heavy and may put pressure on your scalp.

How long do sew-in extensions typically last?

Sew-in extensions can last up to 8 weeks, but this can vary depending on how well you take care of them.

3. Tape-In Extensions

Tape-in extensions are pre-taped and then taped or glued along your hairline or roots by a professional. They lie flat against the head, providing a more natural look. They’re lightweight and less damaging to your natural hair but require regular maintenance and reapplication.

Tape-in extension application

Tape-in extensions come in wefts with a pre-taped adhesive strip at the top. A professional stylist applies them by sandwiching sections of your natural hair between two extensions. This process typically takes about 1-2 hours.

How long do tape-in extensions last?

They are semi-permanent and should be re-applied every 6-8 weeks. With proper care, these extensions can be reused multiple times and can last for up to a year.

4. Fusion or Pre-Bonded Extensions

Fusion or pre-bonded hair extensions are attached to your hair using a keratin adhesive.

Fusion or pre-bonded extension application

A professional stylist uses a heating tool to melt the adhesive onto your hair. This method offers a highly natural look and the extensions can be treated just like your own hair. However, the application process is time-consuming, and the heat involved can damage your natural hair.

How long do fusion or pre-bonded extensions last?

Fusion hair extensions are considered permanent and can last up to 4-6 months with proper care.

5. Microlink Extensions

Microlink, or microbead extensions are applied by attaching tiny wefts of hair to small sections of your natural hair with a silicone-lined bead.

Microlink extension application

For microlink or microbead extensions no glue or heat is used, making this method less damaging to your hair. This process can take 2-4 hours to complete. The beads are small and match your hair color, ensuring a natural look. Regular maintenance is required, but the extensions can be reused multiple times.

How long do microlink extensions last?

Microlink extensions should be moved up every 2-3 months as your hair grows, but with proper care, they can be reused for up to a year.

What is the best type of hair extension?

With so many different ways to apply hair extensions, which application method is the best? For some, it may come down to preference and for some, the reason for wanting hair extensions may determine the best type.

At Bronde Blvd Salon, our preference for hair extensions is microlink extensions which we sew directly onto existing hair. Using our own brand of hair extensions, these microbead extensions are sewn directly into your existing hair resulting in the least amount of potential damage to your real hair. The application is also less detectable than something like tape-in extensions. For this reason, we use microbead extensions at our salon.


In conclusion, the choice between human hair and synthetic hair extensions, as well as the method of application, largely depends on your budget, the desired look, your lifestyle, and how long you plan to wear the extensions. It’s important to consult with a professional stylist to understand what would work best for your specific needs. Remember, whether you’re aiming for length, volume, or a splash of color, hair extensions can provide the transformation you’re looking for!

Hair Extensions