How to Put in Hair Extensions

If you’re dreaming about long, luscious, full-bodied locks, then something you might want to consider is hair extensions. Hair extensions instantly spruce up dull, lifeless manes, transforming them into Instagram-worthy tresses everyone will want to copy.

But one thing that might stop you dead in your tracks is the application process. Certainly, something like a sew-in extension or keratin glue extension should be done by a professional hairstylist, right? What about clip-ins and tape-ins?

Girl, don’t stress. I’m sharing some of the must-know facts on how to put in hair extensions. By the end of this, you will be one step closer to that mane you’ve always wanted.

How to Put in Hair Extensions

First and foremost, you need to understand that every hair extension is installed using a different method. However, the root of the application is technically the same. Whether you go for tape or beads, you (or a stylist) will section off the hair and apply the extension.

I will tell you something else, too. A lot of these methods should be done by a professional. Why? Because some of the techniques are very technical and time-consuming. While you might not mind the time, it will be almost impossible to do the method independently.

Others are home-friendly, such as clip-ins and halos. The best way to know which ones you can do on your own and which ones should be professionally applied is to keep reading, queen.

Types of Hair Extensions and How to Install Them

Let’s dive into all of the different types of hair extensions and how they’re installed!

1. Keratin Hair Extensions

Keratin hair extensions are so, so popular. That’s because they take around an hour to apply (by a professional) and can last for four to six months. Not only that, but the application is fairly gentle on your locks, as long as you have somewhat thick and healthy strands.

How to apply: Keratin hair extensions, also known as fusion or glue-in extensions, are designed with glue at the tips. The stylist will section off your hair and melt the adhesive using a heat gun at your natural roots. As the bond begins to cool, they will close off the tip around your root for a secure fit. 

With an impressive bond, keratin hair extensions are one of the most long-lasting extensions on the market. Of course, since this application method utilizes heat, it’s best if an experienced hairstylist performs it to avoid potential damage.

Here’s a great video showing how it’s done: 

2. Sew-In Hair Extensions

Sew-in hair extensions are another popular, long-lasting option that should be done by a professional. These extensions can easily last up to four months and are typically sewn into braids or cornrows. However, in this day and age, this is no longer a requirement.

How to Apply: Sew-in hair extensions are applied exactly how it sounds – by sewing. The stylist will section off the hair and use a needle and thread to sew the wefts into the natural hair. This type of extension is best for thicker-haired gals as the weight of the weft can be damaging.

Check out this video: 

3. Micro-Link Hair Extensions

Micro-links (also referred to as microbeads and micro rings) are hair extensions that a professional should definitely do. Not only is it a peculiar application, but it can easily take up to three hours. Who has time for that? The good news is, they can last up to six months.

How to Apply: Micro-link hair extensions are designed with a ‘link’ or bead at the end of each strand. These strands are attached to your natural hair using a special clamping tool. It’s a very time-consuming process, but the results are fabulous, and the hair looks and acts like your real hair.

Here’s how it’s done: 

4. Tape-In Hair Extensions

Ah, beloved tape. Whether you’re taping up a birthday present or adding hair to your natural mane, tape is always going to be an easy-peasy and delightful option. The best part is, tape-in hair extensions are so easy to install you can do them from home (or by a professional – your call!).

How to Apply: Tape-in hair extensions are designed with a special hair tape that will stick to your hair and additional extensions. To install, clip up your hair and grab a small, thin portion of your mane. Apply the tape-in underneath this section of hair. Then, apply another tape-in on top so that the hair is ‘sandwiches.’ Continue this process until you’re satisfied.

Pretty simple, right? You bet. Not only is it a breeze to install tape-ins on your own, but tape-ins are gentle on your hair. They’re great for gals with thin hair that can’t handle a lot of weight but want to add some killer body to their rather unimpressive locks.

I love this video that shows how to apply tape-in hair extensions: 

5. Clip-In Hair Extensions

Come through, temporary hair extensions! I love clip-ins because they allow for quick switches to your look. Are you going out for a fancy occasion? Use clip-ins. Want to look stellar for a party? Clip-ins. Want a little more length for school days? Clip-ins to the rescue, again!

Not only are clip-ins great for temporary switch-ups, but they’re also super easy to install and won’t post any risk or damage to your natural locks.

How to Apply: All you need to do to apply clip-ins is to section your hair and apply the wefts using the clips. As the name suggests, you’re literally just going to clip in the hair. When you’re done, unsnap them and remove them. It’s that simple.

Here’s a quick and easy follow-along video for clip-in hair extension application: 

6. Halo Hair Extensions

If clip-in hair extensions weren’t easy enough, let me introduce you to halo hair extensions. These lovely extensions act like halos and are the downright simplest to apply. Since there are no attachments involved, they’re extremely gentle and great for all hair types.

How to Apply: The application is simple. All you have to do is place the band (also referred to as a wire) around the crown of your head. Then, style your locks, so the wire is no longer visible. Now, some halos come with clips, so at this point, you would want to attach the clips to your natural mane like you would a clip-in.

This is a wonderful, in-depth look at how to apply halo hair extensions: 

Final Thoughts

Some hair extension methods are more intrusive than others and should be performed by a professional for the best results. However, extensions like clip-ins, halos, and tape-ins are easy enough to do right from home. 

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  • Jessica

    Thanks a ton for sharing these awesome tips. I wear tape-ins and found the step by step guide along with video instructions super helpful. If you ever have chance to visit Maryland, let me know 🙂

    • Avatar photo

      Awesome, thank you Jessica.