Do Hair Extensions Cause Hair Loss?

If you want instant volume, length, or both, the easiest solution is hair extensions. And while they’re undeniably magical little strands that can transform your appearance, some people outright refuse to get them because they fear hair loss. But do hair extensions really cause hair loss, or is that a myth?

Hair extensions don’t automatically equate to hair loss. Many hair extension wearers will experience zero hair loss. Yet, that doesn’t mean it’s not possible. If extensions are incorrectly applied or removed, or if one is already struggling with thinning or weak hair, hair loss is a possibility.

If you’re thinking about getting hair extensions installed but are concerned about potential hair loss, you’re not alone. The last thing you want to do is to end up with less hair in the end. To put your mind at ease, keep reading this article.

Let’s discuss hair loss, shall we?

Can Hair Extensions Really Cause Hair Loss?

Hair extensions don’t cause hair loss on their own. Essentially, hair extensions are not a surefire gateway to exponential hair loss. 

However, that doesn’t mean it’s not possible. Certain situations and circumstances can lead to hair loss from extensions. The good news is that these situations are entirely avoidable. And, in the off-chance you start losing hair from your extensions, it can be reversed if caught early enough.

How Do Hair Extensions Cause Hair Loss? 5 Ways

To be frank, there is a very slim chance your hair extensions will cause hair loss. However, as I’ve already mentioned, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. There are five main reasons why you might end up with hair loss from your extensions.

1. Incorrect Application

The main reason why people end up with hair loss from their hair extensions is that they were improperly installed. This is especially true for weaves, micro-links, and fusion hair extensions, as these must be applied relatively close to the root.

Improper application can cause hair extensions to be too tight or close to the scalp, putting undue stress on the roots. Over time, this will lead to hair loss. Luckily, improper application can typically be noticed and rectified immediately, as the wearer will experience persistent discomfort.

2. Improper Care

When it comes to hair extensions, you shouldn’t “set it and forget it.” Proper care is absolutely essential to your hair extensions. Not only will adequate care ensure that your extensions remain silky smooth and frizz-free, but they’ll also prevent undesirable hair loss.

3. Weak Hair

Hair extensions and weak strands don’t mix. Thankfully, your hairstylist won’t work on this type of hair anyway. Needless to say, brittle strands won’t be able to handle the weight and adhesives of hair extensions, which can leave you with hair loss.

4. Thinning Hair

Are you currently struggling with thinning hair? Then hair extensions will only exacerbate the issue. Before you even think about getting hair extensions installed, seek treatments to combat your thinning locks. 

5. Treated Hair

Lastly, hair extensions might not be the best move for overly-treated hair. For instance, if you’ve recently permed and colored your locks, you need to give your mane some time before you try to install hair extensions. 

Your natural strands will be weakened from the treatments, and adding hair extensions to brittle locks is a no-no.

How to Avoid Hair Loss from Hair Extensions

Hair loss is one of the biggest nightmares for many women – myself included. But don’t think you should avoid getting the hair of your dreams out of fear of hair extensions causing hair loss. Here are some of the top tips for fending off hair loss and enjoying your new, lush ‘do.

1. Have Them Professionally Installed

If you’re opting for semi-permanent/permanent hair extensions, such as tape-ins or micro-beads, then you should consider having them professionally installed. Experienced hair stylists will know how to install your chosen extensions properly. Not only that, but if something goes awry, they should fix it for free.

Don’t want to sit in a salon chair for several hours? Not keen on spending an exuberant amount of money on a professional to have extensions installed? You can also opt for temporary, easy-to-use options such as clip-ins or halos.

2. Take Good Care of Them

Proper care is critical for fending off hair loss. It will also keep your extensions looking fab. There are three essential things to keep in mind when it comes to proper care and avoiding hair loss:

  • Don’t overwash. You should only wash your hair up to two times per week. Additional washes can put extra stress and weight on your extensions, leading to hair loss. Oh, and by the way – opt for sulfate-free shampoo and conditioners!
  • Don’t brush too hard. When brushing hair extensions, you need to be extra gentle. Brushing too hard will tug at the extensions, which may cause hair loss. Give this video a look if you’re unsure how to brush your extensions correctly.
  • Tie hair back before bed. Did you know that your hair undergoes a lot of tugging and friction while you sleep? Avoid this unnecessary friction on your locks by braiding or pulling your hair into a low ponytail. You can also wear a satin or silk shower cap or scarf.

3. Start With Strong Locks

Hair extensions are not recommended for weak and/or thinning strands. That said, take the time to get your hair in tip-top shape before installing extensions. You can take many measures at home, such as taking a supplement, ditching hot tools, and utilizing hair repair masks.

If you think that your brittle and/or thinning mane is caused by an underlying condition, it’s imperative to see a doctor right away to get the help you need. Always consult your doctor before starting a new supplement, too.

4. Give Your Hair a Break

Wearing extensions for too long can wreak havoc on your natural hair, ultimately causing hair loss (in some individuals). It is always recommended to give your hair a break in-between installations. 

Don’t worry – you don’t have to wait years, months, or even several weeks. Taking as little as a one to two-week break in-between applications will give your scalp some time to “breathe,” repair, and gear up for the next set of extensions. 


Hair extensions don’t typically cause hair loss; only certain situations can lead to this debacle. If you want to learn more about this topic, I’ve added a few frequently asked questions to check out.

What are the side effects of hair extensions?

There aren’t too many side effects of hair extensions – except for lovely and envious locks. As long as they’re installed correctly, there should be minimal pain during the first few days after installation. However, some people may need their extensions removed or maneuvered if continued pain or signs of an allergic reaction are present.

Why does my hair feel so thin after extensions?

It’s likely not because you experienced hair loss. Instead, you’re feeling your hair without the added weight of the extensions and the extra strands. This can make your natural mane feel somewhat thin, but it’s nothing to be concerned about.

Will my hair grow back after hair extensions?

On the off chance, you struggle with hair loss due to hair extensions, you’ll be happy to know that your hair will grow back. You may need to perform some extra steps to get there, though, such as using specialty hair masks.

Hair Extensions Don’t Cause Hair Loss

Hair extensions, on their own, do not cause hair loss. The main reason for hair loss from extensions is improper application or care. That said, have your extensions installed by a professional and take care of them. Take breaks and ensure your natural mane stays healthy and strong!

Did you suffer from hair loss due to your hair extensions? What happened? How did you fix it?

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