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In the mood to switch up your hairstyle? Add instant volume, body, and length with hair extensions. But with so many options out there, it's hard to sift through and choose the right ones for your desired style and budget.
Thankfully, there are ways to narrow it down from the get-go. According to celebrity hairstylist César Ramirez, the first choice you'll need to make is whether the look you want requires tape-in extensions, which last around six to eight weeks, or clip-ins, if you prefer to switch it up. From there, you'll need to decide if you want synthetic hair (which is less expensive but tends to be lower-quality), natural human hair (which is pricier but can be styled with hot tools as well as dyed), or a mix of both. FYI, if the highest-quality option is what you're after, choose Remy hair, which is human hair that has its cuticles intact and has never been dyed or processed in any way. (Pro tip: Ramirez suggests having your extensions cut along with your hair by a stylist.) Yes, it's a lot to think about, but we got you—we researched the top options on the market for every hair color, type, and texture.
Read on for the best hair extensions available now.
Best Overall: Bellami
Who else recommends it? Today and Cosmopolitan both picked Bellami.
We bet you’ve heard this name before—and with good reason. In the world of hair extensions, Bellami has long been a household name due to the fact that it offers both 100 percent certified Remy hair as well as high-quality synthetic hair, which is often difficult to find. The strand quality is top-tier, and there are options for every styling need: bangs, ponytails, and long-length clip-ins, as well as sew-in, tape-in, and other bonded types of extensions. There are also roughly 20 available colors per product, which is extensive when you consider you’re working with uncolored hair.
Best Budget: Vario Clip-In Hair Extensions
While the general rule with hair extensions is that you get what you pay for, you can find quality that’s a little more affordable. While Vario might not have the varied options of some of the more expensive brands, the brand still offers the high quality, double-weft human hair. So, go on, whip your new hair back and forth while you save some pennies.
Best for Thick Hair: The Hair Shop
An industry favorite, you can count on The Hair Shop for an excellent product time and time again. If you have thick hair and are looking to turn up the volume further, opt for the naked or skinny clips-ins—they're easy to install and not too dense. But before you proceed, factor in this advice from Ramirez, the celebrity stylist: “Anyone with thick hair should avoid starting from a blunt bob or short cut when trying to achieve a long length and avoid a choppy-looking extension. The best way to blend in extensions is to razor-cut or thin out ends.” Roger that!
Best for Fine Hair: Glam Seamless
If you’ve heard Glam Seamless mentioned in the same breath as Bellami, that’s because the comparable brands are leading the competition. Glam Seamless hair is known for its smooth, silky quality and longevity—the brand's tape-in and sew-in extensions can last up to 12 weeks, and are able to be reused three times. Just ensure that you’re taking care of your extensions the same way you would your real locks.
Best for Natural Hair: Kinkistry
It can be tough to match texture down to the exact curl pattern, but never fear, Kinkistry is here. The Black-owned brand offers weft hair wigs, clip-ins, and ponytails ranging in curl pattern from 2b to 4c. Also, it's all 100 percent virgin hair, so treat it well and watch how long it lasts.
Best Natural Human Hair: Indique Hair
Everyone from Oprah to Jorja Smith is singing the praises of Indique Hair, including stylists like Ramirez. “The hair is actually natural unprocessed human hair,” he confirms. “The brand is very honest and knowledgeable about the hair it sells.” With wigs, clips, bulk, and wefted hair all on offer, you can find the style, shade, and texture that suits you best. If you’re not convinced, go in and touch the hair for yourself—the brand has brick-and-mortar locations across the country.
Best Quality: Richy Hair
What began as a family business has since become a global brand due to Richy Hair’s world-famous output. The company is known for hand-selecting Russian-Siberian virgin hair and soaking it in a cold, protein-infused bath for at least four weeks to naturally prepare it to be dyed. The result is softer and less damaged hair that will most likely arrive—and remain—in twice the condition as your own (sorry!).
Best Ethically Sourced: Great Lengths
While dressing up your natural hair with extensions may just seem like a bit of fun, the extensions industry has a dark underbelly of unethical harvesting. Great Lengths is beloved by consumers who want to know exactly where, and from whom, their hair is coming from. Their 100 percent Remy raw hair comes from India via donations to Indian temples (which in turn use the proceeds of the hair sales to support local charities) and is bundled in Italy, with each bundle coming from just one head to ensure the same texture throughout.
Best Tape-Ins: Hotheads
Another industry favorite, this brand is particularly beloved for its longer-lasting extensions—they're fast to install, don't damage your hair, and are easy to maintain. Available in more than 40 colors, Hotheads is a great option for you to give long hair a good go.
Best Range: True Indian Hair
Just a quick scroll of True Indian Hair’s social media will give you an idea of the kind of star power that invests in the brand. Sourcing from Brazil as well as donors at Indian temples, the brand's extensions come in various textures, colors, and styles, as well as several different closures. No matter what your hair vision looks like, True Indian has the tresses to match.
Best Clip-Ins: Cashmere Hair
Since the invention of clip-ins for temporary length or fullness, the process of securing extensions has been a source of slight discomfort. Not only do the innovative clip-ins from Cashmere Hair eliminate this issue, but the silicone-adhesive base means no more teasing the roots—and thus, no cuticle damage to your own strands. A win-win.
Best Locs: Boho Locs
Everyone knows growing locs takes a whole lot of time and energy, so if you want to achieve the look without all the hassle, there’s a simple solution: Boho Locs. Handmade from synthetic Kanekalon hair, the locs are light enough to not pull out your natural hair. Otherwise, the texture, curl, color, and thickness are all up to you to decide. Oh, and length, of course.
What to Look for in Hair Extensions
Human Hair vs. Synthetic Hair
The type of hair extensions to choose depends on the look you want to achieve and whether or not your extensions will require any styling. For short-term looks that won’t require styling, synthetic extensions could be the way to go. But if you want something more long-lasting that can take the heat from curling and flat irons, human hair is the better option. “Human hair looks natural and real, whereas synthetic hair has an unnatural feel, so it’s always important to use high quality, lightweight hair,” says Elena Hachaturianc, founder of Beauty & Melody salon. “You can decide between human and synthetic hair on the basis of some factors like price, longevity, styling, maintenance, and feel.”
Hair Color and Texture
Matching your extensions to your own hair color and texture ensures that they’ll blend seamlessly with your natural strands. Try to find an exact match when possible, or consult with a hairstylist who can professionally match your hair.
Type of Fastening
Determine how often you foresee yourself switching out your extensions and consider your hair type as well. “If you don’t often wear extensions or aren’t ready for semi-permanent extensions because you’re unsure if you’ll like the result, clip-in hair extensions are a great place to start,” says Hachaturianc. “Tape extensions are also a longer-lasting option that doesn’t require glue or heat, and are very light but can achieve a lot of volume.” For curly and coily textures, sew-in weaves, keratin bond extensions, and micro rings are recommended.
How do I care for my hair extensions?
Whether you opt to use sew-in, tape-in, or clip-in extensions, Hachaturianc advises using a sulfate-free shampoo to wash them. And in the case of sew-ins and tape-ins, avoid placing oily masks or conditioners on the scalp area, as this can loosen the band. “Try to brush your hair twice a day using a special brush for hair extensions,” Hachaturianc says. “For tape extensions, I would wear them in a loose ponytail or braid when you go to sleep to ensure they are not getting tangled.”
How long do hair extensions last?
While clip-ins can be removed daily, sew-in and tape-in options last anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks depending on how quickly your hair grows.
Can I wear my hair extensions every day?
Certain types of hair extensions can definitely be worn every day, especially if they’re taped or sewn in, but Hachaturianc advises against wearing clip-ins daily. “I wouldn’t advise wearing them on a daily basis as they are quite heavy and can pull hair,” she says.
6 stylist-approved extensions for long hair without the wait. Today. https://www.today.com/shop/10-best-clip-hair-extensions-according-celebrity-hairstylists-t139612
15 Best Hair Extensions of 2022: Your Official Guide to Fake (and Real) Hair. Cosmopolitan. https://www.cosmopolitan.com/style-beauty/beauty/g28834906/best-hair-extensions/