What Are Bonded Hair Extensions?

If you’re thinking about getting hair extensions, one thing you’ll be met with right off the bat is the vast application methods. There are tape-ins, clip-ins, sew-ins, micro-links, and many others. But one tried and true method you’re likely to run across is bonded hair extensions.

Bonded hair extensions – which are also referred to as keratin hair extensions, u-tips, and flat tips – are a type of hair extension that is already bonded with a keratin tip. The stylist melts the keratin bond to the natural hair, securing the extension to your natural strands. They come with a wide range of pros and cons.

Are you thinking about getting bonded hair extensions? Before you take the plunge, you need to understand what bonded hair extensions actually are and whether or not they’re a good match for your natural hair, wants, and needs – and this article is here to help.

To learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know about bonded hair extensions, read ahead!

What Are Bonded Hair Extensions?

Let’s get the most important question out of the way first – what on earth are bonded hair extensions?

Bonded hair extensions are one of the oldest and most popular extension application methods on the market.

Unlike other hair extensions, the faux strands are pre-bonded together with a keratin tip, so there are no loose strands during installation.

How Are Bonded Hair Extensions Installed?

Bonded hair extension installation can last anywhere from three to six hours, depending on how many extensions are being applied and the experience level of your hairstylist. 

By the way, it’s recommended to go with professional installation, as bonded extensions require heat that can be damaging if not used properly.

Here’s how it’s done.

  • Natural hair is sectioned off to ensure proper installation
  • A small portion of hair is held next to the bonded hair extension
  • A unique heating tool is used to melt the keratin tip to your natural strands
  • The melted keratin is rolled between the stylist’s fingertips with your natural strands to create a cooled and secured bond
  • The process is continued until all bonded hair extensions are installed

How Are Bonded Hair Extensions Removed?

Removing bonded hair extensions is a little trickier than removing other types of hair extensions. That’s because specialty products must be used to loosen up the keratin bond, such as this adhesive remover. You’ll also need specific hair pliers.

Essentially, you’ll need to massage the adhesive remover into the bonded area. Then, use the hair pliers to “crush” the bond in the opposite direction, breaking it open so it can be removed.

Needless to say, this sounds pretty intense. And as you may have guessed, yes – a lot of things can go wrong when you try to remove bonded hair extensions on your own. If you’re not careful, you can do quite a bit of damage.

The better option is to have your bonded hair extensions professionally removed. It will minimize the potential for damage and ensure you walk out with hair you’re proud of. Oh, and don’t worry – it doesn’t cost too much to have them removed when you’re ready.

Pros of Bonded Hair Extensions

Are bonded hair extensions suitable for you? Maybe. Let’s take a closer look at the pros of going with bonded hair extensions.

1. Customizable

Bonded hair extensions instantly add length and volume – after all, that’s the whole purpose of hair extensions, whether you opt for bonded hair extensions or another type of hair extension.

However, one of the big perks of going with bonded hair extensions is that they are more readily customizable compared to other kinds.

Since the hair is attached in very small sections directly to your natural hair strands, you have the option to add different colors, highlights, lowlights, etc. With this type of customization, it’s easier to achieve your ultimate hair goals.

2. Long-Lasting

The average lifespan of bonded hair extensions is three months, which isn’t too bad considering some extensions need to be applied and removed every single day (we’re looking at you, clip-in hair extensions!).

If your bonded hair extensions are appropriately cared for, you can extend their longevity up to six months. Wow!

Oh, and by the way – these don’t require the same maintenance appointments as other extensions, meaning less time with your caboose in the salon chair. I don’t know about you, but that’s a significant perk to me!

3. Natural-Looking

Some hair extensions can be a bit tricky to conceal, or they may even be uncomfortable. But that’s not the case with bonded hair extensions.

Since bonded hair extensions are melted into your natural hair, you don’t have to worry about any clips, tape, or wefts making an appearance – even if you style your hair in different ways. 

Bonded hair extensions have the advantage of being extraordinarily discreet and natural-looking. Not only that, but many bonded hair extension wearers claim they’re relatively comfortable, especially since they do not have the added weight of other extension types.

4. Great for All Hair Types

Whether you have thin, thick, straight, or curly tresses, you can wear bonded hair extensions. They’re great for all hair types, so you won’t have to worry about finding the right match depending on your hair type.

Cons of Bonded Hair Extensions

While there are lots of perks to going the bonded hair extension route, it’s not all golden. There are a few cons we need to point out before you decide to have them installed.

1. Lengthy Application Process

One significant downside is that the original installation appointment will be long. Bring along a drink, a snack, and patience, because these appointments can take several hours (although the actual appointment length depends on many factors).

2. Requires Heat

Ok, so first and foremost, let me say that hair extensions are not inherently damaging, even if they require heat like bonded hair extensions.

However, some people simply aren’t fond of using heat on their strands. If that’s you, you might consider using a different installation method.

The other issue is improper application. Yes, bonded hair extensions require heat. If installed incorrectly, the heat can be damaging. Just make sure you’re going to a reputable and experienced hairstylist for these extensions, ok babe?


Bonded hair extensions? Yeah, they’re awesome and might be the right hair extensions for you. While you likely learned everything you wanted to know about bonded hair extensions, I’ve added a few extra FAQs to up your knowledge.

Do bonded hair extensions damage your hair?

Bonded hair extensions are not damaging to your hair as long as they are installed, maintained, and removed properly. Some of the best tips to remember for maintenance are: treat them with care, gently brush twice a day, use sulfate-free shampoos and conditioner, and avoid excess heat.

Can you put your hair up with bonded extensions?

You can definitely put your hair up with bonded hair extensions! The key is ensuring that your natural locks cover the bonds. Teasing your natural mane can make this easier. However, one of the perks of bonded extensions is that they’re very discreet, so you shouldn’t need to worry too much.

Do bonded hair extensions fall out?

Bonded hair extensions can and regularly do fall out. Yet, some people have zero shedding. While sometimes shedding “just happens,” other times it’s due to your hair’s natural oil levels and improper maintenance.

Bonded Hair Extensions Are a Great Option for All!

If you want to indulge in hair extensions, bonded hair extensions are an excellent option. They’re customizable, long-lasting, and provide a natural appearance that works for all hair types. However, they require heat for installation, so it’s best to have them professionally installed (and removed).

Do you like bonded hair extensions? Why or why not? Share in the comment section, ladies!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *