Are Hair Extensions Bad for Your Hair?

Anyone dreaming of long, thick, and luscious locks should consider hair extensions. They’re the quickest way to get your hands on your dream hairstyle. Yet, when some people hear the word “extensions,” they run for the hills, thinking it’s terrible news for their natural strands.

Are hair extensions bad for your hair, though? Not at all. As long as they are correctly installed on strong locks, removed appropriately, and cared for properly, there is little to no risk involved with hair extensions. And no, it doesn’t matter what type of hair extensions you wear or your natural hair type.

If you’re thinking about getting hair extensions but are concerned about the potential damage that can be inflicted, you’ve come to the right article. Today, I’m discussing why hair extensions aren’t bad for your hair and how you can stave off any risks.

Let’s dive in!

Are Hair Extensions Really Bad for Your Hair?

Hair extensions do not automatically equate to damage. In fact, 99% of the time, hair extensions will cause zero damage to your natural strands. Whether you opt for micro-beads, fusions, tape-ins, or another popular installation method, you shouldn’t fear damage.

However, that doesn’t mean you’re entirely out of the woods. There are some situations where hair extensions can and will cause damage. 

1. Improper Installation

When it comes to hair extension installation, it’s almost always recommended to have them applied by a professional and experienced hairstylist. They know the correct way to install hair extensions, which is critical, as improper installation can easily lead to damage.

Incorrect application can cause damage to your natural strands in many ways. For example, if the extensions are applied too close to the roots or an excessive amount of extensions are installed, this can cause undue weight and stress on the scalp, leading to discomfort and hair loss.

Another issue is how the extensions are installed. Take keratin hair extensions, for instance. Keratin hair extensions are applied with heat. If installed incorrectly, you may apply too much heat to your natural hair, causing weak strands that can break. 

2. Improper Removal

Another issue is removal. Just as hair extensions should be installed by a professional, they should also be removed by a professional. It’s not like your set of fake nails, which will eventually pop off. Hair extensions will gradually move down the hair shaft rather than falling out.

When it comes to removal, special tools and products must be used. For instance, micro-bead extensions must be removed by gently squeezing the beads in the opposite direction with a pair of specialty hair pliers. If you’re too rough with the beads or don’t use the correct tool, you can inadvertently cause damage during the removal.

3. Weak/Damaged Hair

It is essential to install hair extensions on healthy and strong hair – for obvious reasons. Applying extensions to weak and brittle strands isn’t a good idea. They will likely crumble under the pressure of the extensions, causing further undesirable damage.

How to Prevent Damage with Hair Extensions

The goal of hair extensions is to create an envious mane – not one that’s riddled with breakage, damage, and other issues. That said, here are a few quick tips to ensure you don’t end up with any damage from your extensions. 

1. Strengthen Your Mane

If you know your hair is brittle and weak, it’s clearly not ready for hair extension installation. (And a professional hairstylist likely won’t install hair extensions to begin with.)

That said, take a few weeks to get your hair back into tip-top shape. Consider buying high-quality hair treatments, such as this one, consume a healthy diet with plenty of water, and ditch the hot styling tools for a while.

2. Have Them Applied Professionally

While some girls easily consider themselves hair extension gurus who can apply extensions on their own, the same isn’t true for everyone. If you’re concerned about the application and don’t want to risk it, have your extensions installed by a professional and experienced hairstylist.

3. Have Them Removed Professionally, Too

When it comes time to say sayonara to your hair extensions, it’s best to leave the removal to the professionals, too. While you can probably remove them on your own, going the professional route is always encouraged if you’re concerned about damage.

Oh, and by the way – if you don’t want to have them removed anytime soon, remember that you need to visit your hairstylist for “move-up appointments.” Here, the hairstylist will remove and re-apply your extensions so they’re appropriately situated on your mane – reducing the risk of damage.

4. Take Care of Your Hair and Hair Extensions

Hair extensions must be cared for properly. Proper care will not only ensure that there is no damage, but it will also keep your hair extensions looking flawless

One of the best ways to keep your hair extensions (and natural mane) in great shape is to use a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner. This set from Remysoft MoistureLab is an excellent choice. 

You should also perform weekly conditioning masks, such as this treatment from OGX. Just keep it away from the bonds, as conditioners will weaken the adhesives, which can cause the extensions to slip or fall out entirely.

Lastly, avoid using heat unless you’re using a good heat protectant. Always style your hair into a braid or low ponytail before slumber, or opt to toss your locks into a satin shower cap or scarf. 


Anyone thinking about getting hair extensions will be thrilled to know that the risk of damage is low – if not nonexistent. If you want to learn more about this topic, I’m sharing a couple of frequently asked questions below.

Can you shower with hair extensions?

If you have semi-permanent (or “permanent”) hair extensions, then yes, you can shower with them. Keep showers to a minimum (two or three times per week), switch to cooler temperatures, and use sulfate-free products. Do not shower with temporary extensions like clip-ins or halos.

How long do hair extensions last?

How long hair extensions last is determined by the type of hair and method used. For example, if you purchase high-quality, 100% Remy human hair and opt for tape-ins, you can re-use the hair for up to a year (with move-up appointments every two months).

How often should you oil hair extensions?

Unlike your natural strands, hair extensions do not produce their own oil. So, it’s up to you to replenish the oil in your extensions. You can apply oil to your hair extensions once or twice per day. This will keep them silky smooth and frizz-free for an extended period.

Hair Extensions Are Not Bad For Your Hair!

Although there are plenty of myths surrounding hair extensions and their potentially harmful effects, the truth of the matter is that there is little to no risk involved with extensions. As long as they’re installed correctly on strong hair, appropriately removed, and taken care of, they will not cause damage.

Did you know that hair extensions didn’t cause damage to your hair? Are you super excited and ready to go get some extensions installed? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comment section below!

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