Hair Extension Length Guide: How Long Do You Need

When it comes to purchasing hair extensions, there are lots of things to consider, from the type of application to the color. But another thing that you shouldn’t forget is the length. But how long hair extensions do you need?

As a general rule, you should purchase hair extensions four inches longer than your natural hair (you can go longer if desired, but it might not look as natural). You must also consider your height and your desired hairstyle, though. 

Are you wondering how long hair extensions you need? Don’t worry – you’re not alone! Choosing the right length of hair extensions is critical to your final look – and this article is here to lend a helping hand.

Keep reading to find out what length of hair extensions you need!

How Long Hair Extensions You Need – Things to Consider

Hair extension length is just as important as any other factor, such as the color or the application method. Needless to say, you don’t want to buy the wrong length. Here are a couple of things to consider when choosing the right length.

1. For a Natural Look, Go Four Inches (Or Less) Longer

The absolute best way to determine what length of hair extensions you need is to start by measuring your current hair length. Here’s how:

  • Put a measuring tape by the middle of your ear
  • Pull the measuring tape down to the ends of your mane
  • Those with curly or wavy hair will need to pull it straight to get the correct measurement
  • Write down how long your strands are

Then, you can buy hair extensions up to four inches longer. For instance, if your natural hair is ten inches long, you can go up to 14-inch hair extensions. 

Do you have super short hair, such as an edgy bob cut, and want to live out your long hair don’t care dreams? Don’t panic – it’s still possible. You can buy hair extensions that are more than four inches long compared to your hair, they just might not look as natural, and you’ll need to take extra steps to blend them.

2. Consider Your Height

Another thing you should consider is your height. I know it might sound odd – but it’s entirely necessary. After all, 20-inch hair extensions are going to look way longer on a short girl compared to a tall girl.

Here’s a basic rundown. Keep in mind; these aren’t strict rules – moreso recommendations,

  • Short women – Up to 18 inches
  • Average height – Up to 24 inches
  • Tall women – Up to 30 inches

3. Desired Hairstyle

Lastly, consider your desired hairstyle.

For those planning to keep their hair straight most of the time, you can stick with the four-inch rule. 

On the other hand, those who plan to curl their hair extensions regularly might add two to four inches. That’s simply because you’ll lose length when you curl your hair extensions – just as you do your natural locks. To ensure you have the length you desire, tack on a few extra inches.

4. Do What Your Hairstylist Tells You To Do

Okay, I get it – choosing the right hair extension length can be daunting, and you don’t want to make the wrong choice.

If you looked over my top three tips for hair extension length success and still aren’t totally sure what length to buy, you can always ask for help from your hairstylist!

Pro tip: If you’re going to ask your stylist about length, it won’t hurt to ask which color is right for your mane, too. You can even ask which type of hair extension will work best for your particular hair type. It’s a win, win, win!


Pretty simple – right? I bet you didn’t think you could narrow down the perfect length in three easy steps, but you did! Congratulations. But don’t run off just yet. Check out these frequently asked questions to ensure you don’t miss any important info!

What’s the most popular hair extension length?

Are you someone who likes to follow trends? Then you’re likely wondering what the most popular hair extension length is – 20 inches. 20-inch length hair extensions are great for almost all hair lengths as they add lots of length and volume. Perfect!

Is 20-inch hair considered long?

20-inch hair is not considered “long,” although it’s very close. 20-inch hair is classified as “medium-long.” “Long hair” is classified as strands longer than 20 inches. That said, it’s easy to see why 20-inch hair extensions are the most popular. They’re long, but not too long.

Do hair extensions get shorter over time?

Hair extensions don’t get shorter. However, after extended wear (over a year), they may appear shorter due to breakage. Just like your natural locks, the stress of using heat tools and environmental factors can weaken and damage the hair extensions, causing them to snap and look “shorter.”

Now You Know How to Choose the Right Length of Hair Extensions!

Choosing the right length of hair extensions is so utterly important, and now you can do it lickety-split! Generally, you’ll want to purchase hair extensions up to four inches longer than your natural mane. Yet, also consider your height and your desired hairstyle for your extensions.

What length of hair extensions do you plan to buy or have purchased already? Do you have any tips to share with other readers about choosing hair extension lengths?

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