How to Apply Micro Loop (I-Tip) Hair Extensions

Micro-loop hair extensions are undeniably one of the most popular types of “permanent” extensions. They’re relatively easy to maintain and very discreet, which means you won’t have to worry about clips or pieces of tape playing peek-a-boo. They’re also really comfortable!

However, micro-loop hair extensions aren’t cheap (up to $500), and the time spent in the salon can be quite extensive (up to three hours). If you’re looking to cut down on costs and enjoy your lengthy installation in the comfort of your own home, you might consider doing them yourself.

Well, if you’re looking for the premier guide on how to apply micro-loop hair extensions yourself, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we’re focusing on installing micro-loop hair extensions from home.

What are we waiting for? Let’s transform those tresses, baby girl!

How to Apply Micro Loop Hair Extensions

Before we begin, you’ll need to purchase a set of micro-loop hair extensions. Make sure you have a good pair of hair pliers to clamp your extensions. This set is an excellent idea because it comes with pliers, a crochet hook, and a loop for installation. (Note: You won’t need the crochet hook for this technique.)

1. Wash, Dry, and Straighten Your Mane

You never want to try and install micro-loop hair extensions on dirty or curly hair. 

That said, wash your hair and dry it thoroughly before attempting to install your micro loop hair extensions. Avoid using conditioner, as it can cause your strands to be too slippery. If you must use a conditioner, keep it on the ends.

If you have curly or wavy hair, you need to straighten it before installation. This is not an unnecessary step that is optional. Straight hair will be infinitely easier to work with when trying to install your micro-bead hair extensions.

Brush your hair to ensure there are no tangles or knots standing in the way of your micro-loop extensions.

2. Section Your Locks

Now, it’s time to section off your strands. 

Start by separating your hair in half. Toss the upper half of your hair into a bun or ponytail, or simply clip it using alligator clips. You won’t be installing extensions to the upper portion of your mane, so the goal is to keep it out of the way.

Then, you can section the lower portion. Comb out a portion of hair about an inch or two from the nape of your neck. Then, clip the remaining hair out of the way. 

3. Grasp a Bundle of Natural Hair That Matches the Size of Your Extensions

Now, you will want to section off a bundle of hair with the same diameter as your hair extensions. For instance, if your hair extension is half an inch wide, you will need to grasp a half-an-inch wide bundle of natural hair. 

Make sure that the hair bundle is at least an inch away from your hairline. You don’t want to put it too far outward. Otherwise, it will be far more noticeable.

4. Place Your Hair Through the Loop and Pull

Now, you will need to slip your natural mane through the loop. Bring the loop up until it’s about half an inch away from your scalp. Once situated, pull the end of the loop, so your natural hair is brought through the ring. Don’t let go of the ring yet, though, as it is not yet secured.

5. Fasten the Ring with Pliers

Now that your micro-loop extensions are in the place you want them, it’s time to fasten them onto your natural strands. Use your handy set of pliers to clamp the ring. It will flatten easily, creating a secure bond.

For those that need a little visual help, here’s a great video where she shows how to get it done:

6. Continue With the Rest of Your Mane

Now it’s time to move on to the rest of your mane! You will follow the same procedure for each hair extension. Make sure that the extensions are placed half an inch apart from each other. 

When you’re finished with the first row of hair extensions, grasp another bundle of hair an inch above the first portion. Using a rattail comb can make this entire process much more straightforward, allowing you to section hair more easily.

7. Enjoy – And Care – For Your Extensions

There you have it, doll! A lovely new set of hair that even Queen Kim would be jealous of. Go ahead – flaunt those new locks all over Instagram and reach the top of the charts for people searching for #hairgoals.

Of course, you need to make sure you’re caring for your hair extensions correctly. Otherwise, you won’t be flaunting your new locks for too long. Here are a few quick tips to keep in mind post-installation:

  • Don’t wash your hair for 48 hours. As a general rule for all extensions, avoid washing for 48 hours. Give the extensions some time to settle before disturbing them.
  • Limit washing. You only need to wash your mane once or twice a week.
  • Use sulfate-free shampoo. Any sulfate-free shampoo will work wonders at keeping your extensions clean and vibrant!
  • Leave the beads alone. Never apply any type of conditioner or oil to the rings, as this can cause slippage. Use conditioner and oil on the midshaft and below, though, to keep your locks glossy and soft.
  • Braid before bed. Braid your tresses before bedtime. This will cut down on tangles and snagging that can adversely affect your micro-loop hair extensions.


Wow! I bet you didn’t think applying micro-loop hair extensions yourself could be so simple (albeit time-consuming). Want to learn more about this topic? Here are a few frequently asked questions that you might find interesting.

Can you do micro bead hair extensions yourself?

You can definitely do micro-bead hair extensions yourself! Sure, it will be a little tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be flying through your set of extensions in no time. 

How many micro loop strands do I need for a full head?

Not sure how many micro-loop strands to purchase for installation? The only number you need to remember is 100. You need at least 100 strands for a full head of hair. However, plenty of gals opt for more than 100 as they want to increase volume. 

How long does it take to put in micro-loop hair extensions?

It can easily take up to three hours to install micro-loop hair extensions. Although, you may need even more time if it’s your first time applying micro-loop hair extensions on your own. Lots of practice will equate to a speedier installation, though, so keep going!

Applying Micro-Loop Hair Extensions Yourself is Relatively Simple

You can successfully install micro-loop hair extensions yourself. All you need is the extensions, pliers, and a whole lot of patience. It’s worth it, though, when you end the process with a set of gorgeous locks beyond your wildest dreams.

Have you ever installed micro-loop hair extensions on your own? Do you have any tips to share with other viewers? We’d love to hear from you!

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