Hair Extensions 101: How Long They Really Last for Every Hair Type.

Nothing gives us the freedom to play around with our hairstyles like hair extensions. They’re the best way to add length, volume or a brand new color to your hair quickly and easily.

But there is one question that always comes up – how long do hair extensions last? Good job we’re here with everything you need to know!

The first thing that needs to be said is that everyone has different experiences. Some people get them done regularly while others have only worn them once or twice before taking them out again because they didn’t like how they looked or felt wearing them.

Let’s face it, they’re a (pricey) investment in yourself and your appearance, so it makes sense that you would want to know how long they will last before purchasing them.

This guide will give you all of the information that you need on what type of hair extension lasts longest as well as what factors affect their lifespan!

Let’s go long hair lovers!

How long do hair extensions last?

  • Synthetic hair extensions last 2-4 months
  • Tape-in hair extensions last 4-8 weeks
  • Sew-in hair extensions last 6-8 weeks
  • Clip-in hair extensions last 3-5 months
  • Fusion hair extensions last 3-4 months
  • Microlink hair extensions last 2-4 months

What Are Hair Extensions?

Hair extensions are a type of hairpiece that can be added to natural hair to add length, volume, or color. They are typically made from human hair or synthetic hair (sometimes even tinsel!).

There are three main types of hair extensions, each with its own characteristics:

  1. Temporary Extensions
    • These include clip-ins and similar options. They’re easy to use and perfect for short-term wear, from a few hours to a whole day. Ideal for special events or a quick style change.
  2. Semi-Permanent Extensions
    • This category includes tape-ins, fusion methods (using glue or Keratin), and beads. These last longer, often for several weeks or months, and require more care than temporary extensions.
  3. Permanent Extensions
    • Weaves, tie-ins, and braided extensions are the most long-lasting. They need regular maintenance and care. The expertise of your hair extensionist plays a big role in how well these extensions work.

We love them for adding length, volume, and color to natural hair. They can also help create a fuller, more voluminous look for those with thin or limp hair.

They can even provide temporary coverage for bald spots or thinning areas! Use them as a temporary solution if you need some extra flair or a pop of color for an event or night out on the town.

Whatever reason you use them for, they can add sass and style to your life and give you a whole new you!

different types of hair extensions

Synthetic vs. Human Hair Extensions: Different Care, Different Wear

Broadly there are two types of fibers used to make hair extensions – Synthetic vs. Human Hair Extensions. Each type requires its own unique care approach and offers a different wearing experience.

Synthetic Hair Extensions: These are a budget-friendly option and can last between 3-6 months with occasional use. The key to their longevity? Proper care! ProHair labs tells us that synthetic extensions require gentle cleaning and minimal heat exposure. Remember, the less you wear them, the longer they last.

Human Hair Extensions: These are more natural-looking and can be treated just like your natural hair. If you’re wearing them daily, hair extensions experts Luxy Hair says you can expect a lifespan of 3-6 months. Regular maintenance, like gentle washing and careful styling, can significantly extend their life.

Expert Insights

“How long extensions last completely depends on the quality of the hair wigs. If you use remy human hair, it lasts less than one year. And at the same time, if you are using higher quality virgin hair, it will last at least 1-2 years.”

Olivia Jenn, Hair Stylist at Sinkor Hair

Hair extensions before and after.

how long do hair extensions last - brunette hair extensions before and after
how long do hair extensions last - blonde hair extensions before and after

How long do hair extensions last?

The lifespan of these extra hair wonders will depend on a few factors: how well they are taken care of, the type of extension, and the quality of the hair.

Expert Insights

“Depending on the ultimate hair extension goals, the type and quality of hair used, the method of attachment, how the extended hair is maintained and cared for as well as some other factors, hair extensions can last for only a short while or for many months.”

Karen Marie Shelton, Multi Media Magazine Consumer Hair Editor

Synthetic hair extensions – 2-4 months

Synthetic hair extensions are made of a special type of plastic fiber that looks and feels like real hair.

They come in a variety of colors, textures, and lengths to match your natural hair or add some fun flair. They are typically clipped into your hair and much more affordable than human hair extensions.

How long do syntheic hair extensions last?

While the lifespan of synthetic hair extensions can vary depending on how often they’re worn and how well they’re taken care of, they typically last anywhere from 1-3 months with proper maintenance.

The Hair Alchemist says they’ll last from 2-3 months if worn daily and maybe up to 6 months if you don’t wash them too often.

Tape-in hair extensions – 4-8 weeks

Tape-in extensions are applied at the root of the hair with a special glue and adhesive weft tapes. They can be fiddly as they need to line up with your hair right at the roots.

How long do tape-in hair extensions last?

Tape-in hair extensions will typically last 4-8 weeks, depending on how well they are taken care of.

The life of your hair extensions depends on how well you care for your strands and the type of product (i.e.shampoo, conditioner, mousse) you put in your hair.

If you use a lot of heat styling tools like blow dryers and curling irons, this will also affect the lifespan of the tape that holds them in place.

London Hair Salon Vixen & Blush mentions that tape-in extensions can last between 6-8 weeks when cared for correctly.

Expert Insights

“It depends on the type. Fusion and I-tip can last 3 months. Then you have to have them redone. The sew-in last a few weeks. The tape in kind don’t last as long.”

Allison Kosters, Hairstylist for 20+ years

Sewn-in extensions – up to 12 weeks

Full weave hair is usually when hair wefts are sewn with a needle and thread into the roots of your natural hair and typically requires a salon visit.

How long do sew-in extensions last?

Usually made from human hair, they can last up to 12 weeks when cared for properly. They can damage the growth of your hair if they’re left in for any longer than that.

If your scalp gets oily easily, it may be advisable not to go for sew-ins as they can cause irritation which could lead to shorter wear time.

Boston’s Dellaria Hair Salon says that sew-ins should be replaced every 6-8 weeks, any longer and they will damager your hair.

Clip-in extensions – 3-5 months

Clip them in and out when you want! These semi-permanent hair extensions are usually made from wefts of human hair or synthetic material.

They can be used for all types of looks (from short/long to curly/straight/peekaboo) and can be used multiple times.

How long do clip-in extensions last?

Clip-in hair extensions typically last 3-5 months, depending on whether they are made of human or synthetic hair.

They last a while as you typically wear them for special occasions rather than everyday like other hair extensions.

If you use heat regularly to style them, it will reduce the lifespan of the extension.

Nottingham’s Rock n Roller Hair Salon says that clip ins can last you anywhere between 3-6 months and sometimes even over a year. But again, like all hair extensions this depends on how well you take care of them.

Fusion hair extensions – 2-4 months

Aka pre-bonded or glue-in hair extensions, are typically made from real human hair, fused with a super-strong hot glue gun and adhesive to add length and volume.

These popular extensions not only do they look incredibly natural, they can last for up to six months with proper care.

How long do fusion extensions last?

Fusion hair extensions typically last between 2 and 4 months, although they can last up to 6 months with good care.

These you can treat as you would your normal hair. If your hair grows fast, you may need to get them repositioned more often.

Glo Extensions Denver says that keratin bonded/fusion hair extensions should last between 3-6 months. The better you treat them, the longer the hair and the bonds will last.

Microlink hair extensions – up to 4 months

Microlink or Microbead hair extensions are applied strand by strand to your natural hair with tiny silicon-lined beads, which creates a natural-looking flow.

They are perfect for those who want to add length, volume, or both without the use of glue or tape.

How long do microlink extensions last?

Microlink hair extensions are a great alternative to traditional sew-ins or clip-ins, giving you more flexibility and freedom to style your hair.

And the best part? They can last anywhere from 2-4 months with proper maintenance.

Vibrant Salon & Spa Fredericton tells us that mirco link or micro bead extensions would last you for 3-4 months depending on how well you take care of them.

Expert Insights

“Permanent hair extensions will need replacing after between 6 and 12 months, though you may want to give your hair a break from the harsh techniques used in these.” 

Dino Dondiego, Founder at InvisaBlend Hair Extensions

Lifestyle Choices Affecting Longevity: It’s More Than Just Hair.

Let’s chat about how your daily hustle and bustle affects those gorgeous extensions. It’s not just about how you care for them; it’s also about what you do when you’re wearing them. Here’s the lowdown:

  1. On the Move: Active Lifestyles and Your Extensions
    • Love hitting the gym or going for a jog? That’s fab for your health, but it might be a bit taxing on your extensions. Sweat and frequent movement can stress the bonds of your extensions, leading to a shorter lifespan. It’s like a love-hate relationship: you love staying active, but your hair extensions might not feel the same way!
  2. Take the Plunge: Swimming with Extensions
    • Who doesn’t enjoy a good splash? But here’s the thing: chlorine and saltwater are not the best pals of hair extensions. They can dry them out or cause tangling, leading to wear and tear. So, if you’re a mermaid at heart, consider wearing a swimming cap or thoroughly rinsing your hair post-swim.
  3. Chill Out: How Relaxing Extends Extension Life
    • On the flip side, if you’re more of a Netflix-and-chill person, your extensions are probably throwing a little thank you party. Less physical stress means they can live their best life for longer. It’s a win-win: you get to relax, and your extensions get to stick around a bit more.
  4. Occasional Glam: Less is More
    • If you reserve your extensions for special occasions, they’re going to last you a good while. It’s like that special dress you wear once in a blue moon – it stays pristine because it’s not in the daily grind. Treat your extensions the same way, and they’ll be your glam companion for months to come.

Remember, it’s all about balance. Treat your extensions like a dear friend – with care and understanding – and they’ll stick with you through thick and thin (or should we say, through workouts and lounging sessions!).

What type of hair extensions are best for long-lasting?

When it comes to finding the perfect hair extensions for long-lasting wear, glue-in extensions (also known as keratin bonds) are the way to go.

Not only are they versatile in their application, but they’re also ideal for those seeking a longer term solution to hair extensions.

These handy little hair extensions can be applied quickly and easily in a salon, making them the go-to option for many hair extension lovers.

With their long-lasting durability, keratin bond extensions are sure to leave you feeling confident and ready to conquer the day with your new, gorgeous new thicker hair locks!

Every hair type reacts differently to extensions.

For fine hair, lightweight extensions like tape-ins might be ideal. For thicker hair, sew-ins or clip-ins could provide better support.

Tailoring your choice to your hair type not only ensures comfort but also maximizes the lifespan of the extensions.

Watch and learn: All About Hair Extensions Everything You Need To Know!

Here’s a great video that tells you all you need to know about hair extension types, how long they last and the different types you can get PLUS tips on how to look after them properly.

Which hair extensions are right for me?

With so many types of hair extensions available, choosing the right hair extensions for your style, hair type, texture, lifestyle, and budget can be overwhelming.

Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with some essential tips and tricks for finding the perfect hair extensions that will complement your natural hair and elevate your overall look.

Hair type and texture

Before you decide what type of hair extensions to go for, you need to consider your natural hair type and texture.

Choosing the wrong hair extensions can result in an unnatural look that will not blend well with your natural hair.

Generally, hair extensions come in five different types which include clip-ins, tape-ins, sew-ins, microbeads, and fusion.

Each type of hair extension could work differently depending on your hair type and texture.

For instance, clip-ins are suitable for fine hair, while sew-ins work best with curly or kinky hair. Make sure to consult with a professional hair stylist to find out which hair extensions are perfect for your hair type as they can be pretty damaging if you get it wrong.

Your lifestyle

Your lifestyle can also impact the type of hair extensions that you choose.

If you are always on-the-go, you should get extensions that require minimal maintenance like clip-ins or tape-ins. These can be easily removed and put on without much effort.

If you want hair extensions that will last for a longer time, you can go for sew-ins, microbeads, or fusion hair extensions.

Your budget

How much hair extensions will set you back varies depending on the type, length, and quality of the hair.

Clip-ins and tape-ins are the most affordable options, while sew-ins, microbeads, and fusion hair extensions tend to be more expensive.

Keep in mind that quality hair extensions will look more natural, so it might be worth investing in a more expensive, longer-lasting option.

Hair color and texture

Lastly, it’s crucial to match the color and texture of your natural hair!

Hair extensions come in different shades and textures, and matching them to your hair can make or break your overall look.

Try to match the roots of your hair to the extensions’ base color and blend the hair extension highlights into your natural hair highlights.

Also, consider the texture of the hair extension. If you have curly or wavy hair, choose hair extensions that blend in with your natural curls.

How long do hair extensions last FAQs

Can hair extensions be permanent?

No, hair extensions are not permanent although some will last longer than others. So if you want a more permanent solution, be careful to choose the right ones for you.

Extensions that are applied using keratin or fusion methods can last a bit longer than those that are attached with clip-ins or weaves.

They’re also a great way of having the hair length you want, sooner. You can wear them until your real hair grows to the length you desire.
How long can hair extensions be left in?

How often do extensions need to be replaced?

Really, extensions should be removed and replaced every two to three months to avoid damage to your natural hair.

However they’re applied to your real hair, you’ll start to see them poking through as your hair grows with time.

So we wouldn’t recommend keeping them on for any longer than this. Have them replaced or repositioned if they’re still in good condition!

Can you shower with hair extensions?

If you’ve recently splurged on some luxurious hair extensions, you’ll want to make sure you’re taking care of them properly – and that includes hygiene!

So, can you shower with hair extensions? The short answer is yes, you definitely can.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure your luscious locks stay intact.

First and foremost, avoid using hot water as it can cause your extensions to tangle or slip out. Instead, stick to lukewarm or cool water temperatures.

Be gentle when shampooing and conditioning to avoid pulling on the added hair.

And if you’re really looking to be cautious, invest in a reliable shower cap to keep your extensions dry and protected during your wash.

As long as you’re gentle and stick to a good hair care routine, you’ll be able to confidently shower with your extensions without any fear of damaging your new ‘do.

How bad are hair extensions for your hair?

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to how bad hair extensions are for your hair.

It all depends on the type of extensions you get, how well they are applied and how often they are worn. If you get quality hair extensions and take care of them properly, they should not damage your hair.

However, if you get low-quality extensions or don’t take care of them properly, they can cause considerable damage to your hair – including split ends, frizzy hair and flyaways.

If you have weak or damaged hair, you might want to avoid using hair extensions, as they can put extra stress on your hair.

If you’re considering getting hair extensions, be sure to do your research and find a quality salon that will use high-quality products.

Also, be sure to ask your stylist any questions you have about the care and maintenance of your fabulous new extensions.

How to make hair extensions last for longer TOP TIPS!

Use a gentle shampoo and conditioner specifically designed for extensions.

Make sure to rinse all of the conditioner out of your hair, as leftover product can gunk up the adhesive and cause them to come loose.

Avoid using heated styling tools on your extensions. Instead, use a diffuser or indirect heat to style them.

Once a week, use a deep conditioning products to replenish and add moisture to your hair.

Gently brush your hair before and after showering to remove any tangles or knots.

Let your hair air dry as much as possible; avoid using a towel to dry it.

How do I remove hair extensions?

Whether you’re tired of your current hairstyle or you’re due for a new set of hair extensions, knowing how to remove them on your own can come in handy.

While it’s always best to seek professional help, sometimes life happens, and the removal process falls into your hands.

Here’s how to remove keratin microcapsules hair extensions quickly and easily.

Step #1 Gather the right tools.

You’ll need a pair of special pliers designed for hair extension removal and a liquid remover. You can easily purchase these tools from any salon supply store or online.

Step #2 Apply removal fluid.

You need to work on each small section separately, so take a deep breath and focus on one strand at a time. Start by applying the removal fluid on the capsule, then gently soften it with the pliers.

The capsule is made of Keragel, a type of polymer that creates a strong bond between your hair and the hair extension. Under the influence of the liquid remover and pressure, the Keragel capsule will start to break down, soften, and release your hair.

Step #3 Gently remove the extension

Now comes the fun part – gently pulling off the hair extension.

With one hand, hold the strand of your natural hair from above the capsule, and with the other hand, gently pull off the strand of donor hair.

Remember to be gentle and patient, as pulling too hard can cause damage to your natural hair.

Step #4 Repeat the process

Repeat the process until all your hair extensions have been removed.

Afterwards, treat your natural hair by washing it with a gentle, sulphate free shampoo and moisturizing it with a deep conditioning treatment.

Parting words

So, there you have it! Everything you need to know about how long hair extensions last. Be sure to take care of them properly and they will last much longer!

Loving your new hair extension look? Show it off! Share your fabulous hair photos on Facebook and Instagram and tag us @colouredhaircare. Let’s inspire others with your stunning transformation!

This article was written and reviewed by:

  • Nicola Freeman, Creative Director & Content Lead
    Creative Director & Content Lead

    With over two decades of passionate hair dyeing experience, I've experimented with nearly every shade imaginable. My journey began long before blogging; as an award-winning copywriter in London and New York, I shaped narratives for iconic brands. However, when friends sought advice during lockdown for at-home hair dyeing, I realized my true calling. Beyond being your hair color expert, I'm a mom of two girls, wife to artist Tony, and an avid soccer player!

  • Enza Piazza, Hair Stylist & Color Consultant
    Hair Stylist & Color Consultant

    I’m Enza Piazza, your go-to hair stylist and color consultant with over 23 years of professional salon experience bringing vibrancy and life to hair of all hues. My Italian roots from sunny Sicily infuse passion into every snip and color, a passion that’s been recognized with top honor awards including bridal and party hair at the National Hairdressers Federation’s Championships. After training in Surrey, UK’s most prestigious salons including Head Master Academy, I embraced the entrepreneurial spirit and set up Enza Hair Styling, offering tailored hair care for 13 years, and treating each client like family. Away from the salon, I cherish moments as a proud Nonna to grandson Joseph and as a playful companion to my Jack Russell, Bo.