The 10 Best Hair Extensions
This wiki has been updated 28 times since it was first published in April of 2015. If you’re bored with your look but don’t want to wait for your hair to grow out, you can give yourself a brand new style in no time with a high-quality set of extensions, which come in a wide variety of colors and in both straight and curly options. They’re designed either to be clipped in or worn like a headband, making them easy to put in yourself or with the help of a friend. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. If you'd like to contribute your own research to the Wiki, please get started by reviewing this introductory video.
May 05, 2020:
Whether you’ve got your heart set on some waist-length beachy waves, just a little extra volume, or a fuller ponytail, there are extensions for you in a variety of colors and attachment options. The majority of the ones on our list come attached to clips that, in turn, attach to your own hair. One such option is the newly added Vario Double Weft, which consist of real human hair that comes from Brazil. This selection is designed to last up to 12 months and can be styled as you like with a blow dryer or a curling iron. The clips are covered in rubber for your comfort. This piece is very easy to wash and has a soft and realistic feel.
The Full Shine Seamless, another new addition, also is made of human locks from Brazil, and they hold up well when washed with a gentle shampoo and air dried. The clips are made of stainless steel and are resistant to rust and are easy to attach and detach. You can choose from six lengths between 12 and 22 inches. The Hair U Wear Invisible also joins the list, and it consists of a single piece full of strands can be curled or flat ironed to achieve the style you want. Unlike the clip models, this one has a clear piece of elastic that attaches to your head similar to a headband. Just place it on your head and lift your own hair up over it.
For a stylish, trendy look, check out the DevaLook Ombre, which we added in to round out the list. It starts out a darker color at the roots and becomes lighter around half-way down. It’s a highly affordable way to change your style without any long-term commitment or hefty price tag. It’s a single piece with high-quality, synthetic hairs. Note it’s not meant to be curled or blow-dried. Leaving the list in this update are the Yameena Remy Clips, the Feshfen One-Piece, and the Jinren Body Wave 5 Piece, to make room for thicker choices that are easier to style.
If you have a sensitive scalp and are wondering if hair extensions will irritate it, be sure to clip the extensions about an inch down from your roots, so they’re not pulling directly on the scalp. If you worry about the extensions weighing your hair down too much, you can start out wearing just a few of the pieces that come with your set, and add in more as you feel comfortable.
Invisitab Tape-In Tabs These 1-1/2-inch-wide tabs feature a keratin bond with surgical adhesive. They’re comfortable and lightweight, and won’t cause damage to your hair. They’re easy to apply without extra tools or chemicals. One application can be done in under 30 minutes, and one package contains 40 pieces. They’re available in many lengths, in either European hair or Remy hair. invisitab.com
Cashmere Hair Ponytail This luxuriously thick piece can be worn by wrapping it around an existing ponytail to add length and fullness. You can have it completely cover your existing hair or blend right in with it. It’s made with a comb that can be placed underneath a hair tie. Then just wrap a section of hair around the top of your ponytail to conceal the holder and the attachment. Simply secure it with a few bobby pins as needed, and you’re done. It can be heat-styled, cut, and curled. cashmerehairextensions.com
Bellami Clip-In Ombre Extensions Made from 100% Remy human hair, these locks feature darker roots that gradually blend into light ones. They can be styled easily with thermal tools, and are available in a wide range of colors, lengths, and weights. They’re designed to blend naturally with your own hair. bellamihair.com
RPZL Clip-In Extensions These extensions are available in a wide range of colors, and they provide a high-quality texture with a natural feel, so many stylists choose them for their clients. They’re made of 100% virgin hair and available in lengths of 16 and 18 inches. Choose from bright blonde, chestnut, ash brown, dark chocolate, black, and more. rpzl.com
How Hair Extensions Work
A more affordable option uses mono-fiber, which is a lightweight plastic.
Hair extensions provide a semi-permanent alternative to wigs because they attach to the wearer's existing hair, rather than sitting atop of it. Extensions are typically applied in horizontal rows below the surface layers, so as to remain discreet and allow for an authentic appearance. One of the most popular and long lasting extension types are those made from human hair because these can be washed, dyed, styled and treated just like one’s own natural hair.
Human hair versions are typically attached through the use of an adhesive that is safe to put near the scalp. This is the most expensive option and can take several hours to complete, but the extensions can last between twelve and eighteen months without needing to be replaced.
A more affordable option uses mono-fiber, which is a lightweight plastic. A stylist will use the mono-fiber to attach small sections of hair to the person’s root, securing it with a heat seal. Unfortunately, if a person has their extensions applied in this manner, the use of high heat appliances like hair irons or dryers are not recommended, as they can cause damage and lead to shedding.
It’s important to have a hair professional attach one’s extensions. Individuals who want fuller hair, but have a small budget should consider the cost of the actual extensions, as well as the price a stylist will charge to attach them. Finding a professional who is experienced in extension application can prevent problems like the hair coming off of the scalp, tangling easily, or causing skin irritation.
The History Of Extensions
Cleopatra was one of the first famous figures to use hair extensions. False hair was a staple of the many iconic fashion trends of Ancient Egyptians in 3400 BCE. People during this time would wear tufts of human hair that had been sewn or braided onto their own. They also attached dyed sheep’s wool to their heads when they wanted to change the color of their hair. Resin or beeswax - similar in texture to the adhesive seen today - was used to attach the extensions. The Egyptians favored bright extensions like gold and red, but Cleopatra’s favorite hue was peacock blue.
Resin or beeswax - similar in texture to the adhesive seen today - was used to attach the extensions.
Europeans and Americans in the 1700s attached extensions to wigs rather than their own heads. Depending on the color and style, wigs indicated social status. When King Louis began to lose his hair, he wore a popular style at the time called the Perukes, which was a white powdered variety used by noble and high ranking members of society. At the time, the trend among royalty was wigs that were teased and styled high, like a bee hive. Wire or other stiff materials were bent into a shape that could sit on the head. This frame was filled with horse hair or wool, and hair extensions were attached on the outside.
The Romantic era ushered in the use of Apollo knots. These were tight curls attached near the scalp. By the early 1900s, clip-in extensions were on the hair product market in a wide range of prices. They were known as switch weaves and were extremely popular with consumers because of how easy they were to remove. Style icons of the 20th century took to the Pompadour look. It wasn’t until the 1940s when more natural-looking extensions, meant to be worn for months at a time, became popular.
Tips For Taking Care Of Extensions
Extensions and their application can be expensive, which is why one should take great care of them to prolong their life. Similar to how extremely tangled natural hair has to be cut out, so to do knotted extensions, which is why brushing them regularly is crucial. Soft bristle or professional style Looper brushes are best for detangling extensions because they rarely break or damage hair.
Extension wearers should be particularly careful around the extension bonds because if these break they can lose a tuft of hair.
It’s also important to wash one’s extensions regularly to prevent matting or a buildup of product that can cause knotting and deterioration. Some shampoos are designed with extensions in mind. One should use a wide-tooth comb on their hair after rinsing out the shampoo. Leave in conditioners can further help prevent tangling, but one should look for light, non-greasy products so as to not make their extensions look dull and weighed down. All styling and washing should be done gently. Extension wearers should be particularly careful around the extension bonds because if these break they can lose a tuft of hair.
Heat is just as harmful to extensions as it is to one’s own hair, so wearers should refrain from using flat and curling irons when possible. These tools can damage and break the hair, which may be okay when it’s one’s own hair that will grow back, but can become expensive when it happens to extensions.
People who use clip-in styles should properly store any extensions that are not in use. This includes carefully combing out the extensions and placing them in an air-tight container. Exposing loose extensions to air could cause them to grow mold. All unused extensions should also sit in a dark room because too much light can alter their color.