6 Different Types of Hair Extensions & How Long They Last?

Clips-ins, tape-ins, fabrics, preadhesives, fusion, micro-linking... what does it all mean? There are so many different styles of extensions and terms, it can be overwhelming if you are new to the world of hair extensions. 

Although Babylon Hair Do’s hair extensions are 100% human hair clips, hair extensions are not limited to this particular type.

We are breaking down the different types of extensions to help clear up some confusion. 

The following article will provide you with clarity and help you make the best choice for your hair. 

So make yourself comfortable, tie up your hair and let's get started. 

Real Human Hair Extensions vs. Synthetic Hair Extensions 

clip-in human hair

Before entering into the different types of hair extension application methods, the first thing to know about hair extensions is that they come in real human hair extensions and synthetic hair extensions. 

What is the difference between them? 

HOW ARE HAIR EXTENSIONS MADE 

Human hair extensions are exactly as they are. They are made from real human hair, top to bottom, collected from a donor. 

Remy's hair means that all cuticles (the outer layer of hair) are intact, running in the same direction at the time of collection. 

This means that almost no tangles are created and ensures that the extensions remain smooth and silky smooth for life. 

Synthetic hair, on the other hand, consists of several mixed synthetic fibers and does not contain human hair.

These fibers are usually very thin, plastic fibers that are produced to imitate real human hair. 

LOOK AND FEEL 

Both real and synthetic extensions are available in many styles, colors and different application forms.

The quality of synthetic fibers may vary, but they are generally stiff and move differently than human hair, so they do not blend well with natural hair. 

Sometimes they feel tangled or thick. Real hair looks and feels real (because it is!) and therefore blends more naturally with hair.   

COLOURING AND STYLING 

clip-in human hair

Human hair extensions can be treated like your natural hair. You can straighten, curl, dry, color and apply hair products. 

With synthetic hair, you cannot color your hair because most hair dyes contain ammonia or bleach, which would destroy synthetic hair. 

Also, synthetic hair cannot be styled like real hair because heat can damage it, so curling irons, straighteners and hair dryers are useless because they melt or seriously damage the hair. 

Other factors such as sun, friction, or hard hair products can also damage synthetic hair extensions.  

THE QUALITY AND DURABILITY OF HAIR EXTENSIONS 

Synthetic hair is cheaper than real hair, but of course with this, comes compensation. 

Since they are made of synthetic fibers, they do not last as long as human hair, as they can be easily damaged by the above mentioned factors (sun, heat, etc.). 

In general, synthetic hair extensions last a few months, while human hair extensions can last more than a year if well cared for.

Babylon Hair Do’s remy human hair extensions last an average of one year. 

In short, human hair can be treated and styled just like your hair, and will look and feel more natural

It will blend easily into your hair and last much longer than synthetic hair.

Although they are cheaper than real hair, synthetic hair does not look as natural, cannot be styled with heating tools and does not last as long as real hair. 

Now that we have left out real and synthetic hair, let's move on to the different types of extension applications! 

  1. Clip-in Hair Extensions 

WHAT AM I? 

clip-in human hair

Clip-in wefts, also known as clip-in hair extensions, come in a bunch of shaped pieces, attached to the base with fabric or silicone. 

The clips are attached to this base and are ready to use, all you have to do is attach the pieces to your natural hair yourself! 

Each clip opens and closes with a simple click - see here how to attach them. 

Clip -in hair extensions are the least permanent style of hair extensions, because you can quickly remove them and put them back on again whenever you want. 

Unlike other hair extensions applications, clip in hair extensions usually take 5-15 minutes to apply at home. 

Clip on hair extensions are also the least damaging because they do not involve any chemicals, heat, pressure, or other installation methods mentioned above, they are simply placed with ease so as not to damage natural hair.

This is one of the many reasons why it is one of the most popular types of hair extensions. 

TREATMENT 

The same synthetic vs. real rules apply when it comes to a clip on hair extension treatment, as with any hair extension.

We will focus more on human hair extensions as this is what we recommend. 

Simply put, human hair extensions are very low maintenance and only need to be washed every 15-20 uses, or if there is a lot of product build-up to the point that they become unmanageable.

Just like your natural hair, simply brush, shampoo and condition your hair and let it air dry. 

See here for step by step instructions and tips on how to wash and care for clip on hair extensions.

In terms of styling, the human hair clips in the hair extensions can be styled just like your natural hair. 

They can be curled, straightened and colored, however it is always best to use a lower heat setting when heat styling, and to use a heat protector before heat styling. 

HOW LONG DO THEY LAST? 

Again, this depends on how well you care for them, the products you use and how often you use them.

With proper care and regular use, the clips will last from 3 to 6 months, up to a year and sometimes even longer. 

Don't know where to start? We're here to help. Read more to find the perfect set of hair extension clips for you. 

  1. Tape-on hair extensions 

WHAT AM I? 

Tape-on human hair

Tape-in hair extensions are exactly what they look like. The extensions are pre-tapped and then attached to both sides of the hair. 

Typically, a hairdresser would apply tape to you because you need to align them with the roots and they are applied with a heated tool that heats the glue. 

Also, you need to remove them (with a glue remover) and then reinstall them. Of course, when heat is applied to the roots and any adhesive products such as tape or glue, it can damage the hair. 

This process usually takes about 40 minutes - 1 hour to apply and if the extensions are in good condition, they can be reused. 

TREATMENT 

With tape extensions, great care must be taken when using conditioners or hair products, because this can cause the tape to become loose or slippery. 

This is a very common problem with adhesive tape, where the hair simply slips.

For this reason, hairdressers often recommend the use of special shampoos or conditioners and styling products that are less harsh and not so greasy as to ensure that the glue stays stuck to the hair. 

You can style them any way you want because they are made from human hair, but you have to pay attention to the roots where the glue or tape is. 

HOW LONG DO THEY LAST? 

Tape-in is considered semi-permanent. They usually last from 4 to 8 weeks before you have to remove and reapply them.

Like all other hair, however, it depends on how well you treat it and how fast it grows. 

  1. Sewn hair/weave extensions 

WHAT AM I? 

Sewn hair/weave human hair

The sewn weave is applied by first braiding the natural fleece on the corn rows and then using a needle and thread to sew the fabric into the braid or corn row. 

Woven hair extensions are mainly used for people with thicker hair because of the way they are applied. 

In general, the application of the fabric is a very long process (usually several hours.) 

The narrow application method often puts a strain on the scalp and can be very heavy or uncomfortable, so it does not work well even with fine or light hair. 

This method is applied by an experienced hairdresser, as it is a very technical and difficult application that must be sewn by a professional. 

The seams also have the shape of a wig, which is sewn into the rows of corn in the same way, however, the hair comes in one piece instead of separate weaves.

This type of hair extension is popular because it is the most permanent and seamless because the hair is literally sewn into your hair and cannot come off. 

TREATMENT 

If you have a handkerchief, you should moisturize your scalp, nape and hairline at least once a week and make sure you use deep conditioning products. 

Another popular recommendation for people who have tissue is to wash their hair with a special protein product to minimize hair damage and thinning. 

When it comes to styling, the same rules apply for real hair against synthetic hair - usually the tissues come in real hair because of the time they are maintained. 

HOW LONG DOES IT LAST? 

It is recommended to remove the tissue every 6-8 weeks, especially if it is your own hair. The maximum time a complete tissue stays on the hair is 4 months, as it affects the natural growth of the hair. 

  1. Fusion and pre-bonded hair extensions 

WHAT AM I? 

Fusion and pre-bonded human hair

Fusion hair extensions (also known as gluing or pre-bonded) are fused with natural hair using different adhesives such as glue. 

The application of pre-bonded hair extensions takes about 3-4 hours and are also applied by a hairdresser.

Fusion extensions may not be suitable for all clients as this type of application is very harmful to their natural hair, so your hairdresser may also advise against this method. 

The application involves a machine that looks like a hot glue gun, which essentially attaches the hair to single strands of natural hair. 

Another type of application for pre-adhesive hair extensions uses a heat clip to melt the glue into the natural hair. 

TREATMENT 

The fusion/weight application is handled and treated in the same way as your real hair. You can use the same products you normally use, however, the extensions must be repositioned every 2-3 months as your natural hair grows. 

In addition, due to the many chemicals present in the glue, this method can cause hair loss, breakage and irritation to the scalp. 

HOW LONG DOES IT LAST? 

They are considered semi-permanent as they remain on the hair for up to 4 months. However, like all other types of hair extensions, this varies depending on your hair type and growth. 

  1. Microlink hair extensions 

WHAT AM I? 

Microlink human hair

Microlink hair extensions are also known as beaded hair extensions or microlink hair extensions. 

They are applied by attaching small wefts of hair to small sections of natural hair with a small bead lined with silicone. 

A special tool is then used to attach the bead to the hair and squeezed to hold it in place. 

Although this method does not use heat or glue, if not installed properly by a professional, microconnected hair extensions can be harmful to the hair. 

The pearl can be too tight, causing pressure and pulling the roots, and if not removed properly, the hair can be pulled out.

This method takes about 2-4 hours to apply. 

TREATMENT 

You can wash them the same way you would wash your natural hair and use the same styling products.

Just like fusion hair extensions, microlink hair extensions should be transferred every 2 or 3 months as natural hair grows and beads move away from the scalp.  

HOW LONG DO THEY LAST?

Microlink hair extensions are considered semi-permanent and generally last up to 4 months. 

  1. Wigs and hair 

WHAT AM I? 

Wigs and hair  human hair

Wigs and locks of hair have different shapes and are applied to the hair topically. Long, full wigs are made to cover the entire head (funny fact: wigs used to be called "head liners" for this reason). 

This also includes wigs that are called "lace fronts" or "net", which are just methods for making wigs. Wigs act as a substitute for hair and are intended to cover the entire head.

Wigs can be worn for many reasons, such as hair loss, baldness, or simply to change your appearance.  

The parts of the hair are slightly different and often have the shape of a sandwich, ponytail or hair clip, so you can place them on your own hair. 

The strands of hair can be used if a specific area of the head is thinning and you need to place the hair over this section, or they can simply be used to create a different hairstyle, such as a super long ponytail and complete with a single piece to add thickness. 

TREATMENT 

Wigs and hairpieces can be a bit difficult to wash, and depending on whether they are real or synthetic you have to be very careful.

As you usually stick whole locks of hair to a plastic or other material, you have to change the way you wash and treat the hair.   

HOW LONG DOES IT LAST? 

It depends on whether they are real or synthetic and, again, the way you treat them also has a significant impact on their durability.

In general, real human wigs can last up to a year if you take care of them.

 Smaller pieces are usually synthetic and generally don't last more than a month. 

Still confused? Take our short questionnaire below to find the perfect set of hair extensions for you. 

And that's it! We hope we have given you all the information you need to make an informed decision about what type of hair extensions will be right for you, your hair type and your hair goals.

We would love to hear about your experiences with hair extensions, but please leave us a comment to.