Hair Extensions – What You Need to Know

Often times when we see celebrities, we quickly notice how great their hair looks, and shortly after, ponder how we too can achieve a similar picture-perfect mane.

What we sometimes don’t realize though, is how unreal their hair can be. That perfectly-curled hair that reaches down to their back? Most likely not real. It may or may not come as a shock, but most celebrities have damaged hair, and need hair extensions to make their hair look the way that it does.

If you’ve never thought about hair extensions before, there are some great benefits to using them. For instance, they can make thin hair look fuller and more voluminous, and they can make short hair instantly longer. For anyone who has trouble growing their hair out, hair extensions can be a great solution to the constant battle of debating over whether or not hair has actually grown or not.

However, one thing to consider is that hair extension damage is a common issue, so it’s important to understand what you are getting yourself into before you take the plunge. For one, hair extensions are not cheap, and once you start using them, it can be hard to go back to the hair you had before you started using them.

We’re here to help you decide if hair extensions are right for you, and also guide you through what to do if your hair has already been damaged by extensions.

Let’s start with the basics…

Types of Hair Extensions

There are five main types of hair extensions, and it is usually a matter of preference combined with the type of hair you have that determines which hair extensions are right for you.

1. Clip In Extensions


If you’ve never tried extensions before, clip in extensions might be a great way to dip your toe in the water. They are temporary extensions that you can put in and take out whenever you want, and you don’t have to have a professional put them in your hair. They’re also great if you’re on a budget, as most extensions can cost anywhere between $275 to $2,500! Clip in extensions on the other hand, are usually in the $50-$150 range. Even though we said you don’t need a professional to put in clip in extensions, if it’s your first time, it might benefit you to bring them to your hairstylist and have him or her cut them and show you how to apply for the first time. Then, when you’re ready to trade them in for new ones, you’ll already be a pro at clipping them in!

For more information and tips on how to get the most out of your clip in extensions, read Cosmopolitan’s article on, “10 Tips for Wearing Hair Extensions.”

2. Fusion Extensions


Fusion hair extensions are on the other end of the spectrum from clip in extensions. They are one of the most popular methods of extensions, and also one of the more traditional. They are sometimes referred to as “hot fusion,” or “glue-in,” although not all hair professionals use glue to apply them. The extensions feature a keratin protein bond at the top, which is solid until melted with a hair extension tool. The hairstylist will then shape the melted keratin around the hair, and when it cools, the keratin hardens and creates a durable bond. This type of extension can last anywhere from three to six months and needs to be removed by a hair professional. It’s also a great hair extension method to use if you have fine or thin hair!

3. Micro Link Extensions


Another great option for someone who has fine or thin hair and wants extensions are micro link extensions. Micro link extensions are applied strand by strand to hair and contain a coating on the inside that helps the link grip the hair. The coating is perfect for thin hair because it makes sure the links do not slip once they’re attached to hair. A professional stylist needs to apply these extensions, and they will weave your real hair into each link, along with the fake hair. You will have to get these adjusted every six weeks or so to accommodate hair growth, so remember to take that into account when thinking about which hair extensions you want to get.

4. Hair Weft Extensions


A hair weft, sometimes referred to as a hair curtain, is another type of hair extension. It is commonly known as a hair curtain because of the way that it looks. It is usually seen as long sections of hair glued to the scalp or attached in another manner, (for example, braiding). Most hair wefts cover a limited amount of area, so four to six wefts are usually needed to create a uniform appearance.

5. Tape In Extensions


Tape in extensions are a relatively new method of extensions, and seem to be getting pretty positive reviews. You can be in and out of the salon in about an hour, and there’s no stress on the scalp because the tape lays flat and isn’t uncomfortable. They are also a good compromise in size between the large clip in extensions and the small micro link extensions. The one unfortunate piece is that these extensions aren’t ideal for high buns or ponytails because the tape has to go in horizontally, and therefore can usually be seen if you put your hair up high enough. They are known as the best way to prevent damaged hair from extensions though, so in the end they sound like a win-win to us.

Can Hair Extensions Damage Your Hair?

While hair extensions can be a major confidence booster, they can be damaging to the overall growth and health of your hair if not properly cared for.

One thing to avoid when getting hair extensions is making sure that the hair extensions aren’t heavier than your own hair. If the extensions are too heavy, they can cause your hair to break off. Hair extension damage can also happen when the extensions are attached too tightly. This combination of weight and strain on the hair follicles can cause the hair to fall out, which is officially known as traction alopecia. When hair is frequently pulled, either by braids, extensions, or very tight ponytails, the hair around the hairline begins to recede, and permanent hair damage can occur.

To prevent traction alopecia from occurring, it’s important to make regular trips to your salon when you have hair extensions in, so that the extensions can be removed and replaced as necessary. Even more crucial, is taking hair extensions out the moment you see they are causing damage to your hair.

Everything in moderation, right? There’s a right and wrong way to getting hair extensions, and as long as your hair stays healthy, hair extensions don’t have to be damaging to your hair in the long run.

Solutions for Damaged Hair

If you do find that getting hair extensions causes damage to your hair, there are different ways you can treat or hide the damage, so don’t worry!

If hair has broken off and is damaged around the front hairline, a great cover-up to use on any thinning areas is Toppik Hair Building Fibers. These Hair Fibers look like powder but are made of keratin protein, the same type of protein that is found in hair. The Hair Fibers will cling to existing hair and make hair appear fuller and thicker. To make sure the hairline looks natural, use the Toppik Spray Applicator along with the Toppik Hairline Optimizer to target the part line and create the most natural-looking front hairline.

Learn how to get thicker hair using Toppik Hair Building Fibers and create a natural look around the hairline.


If the hair extension damage is greater than just around the part line or hairline, try a hair concealer that can cover larger areas of hair loss. Toppik Colored Hair Thickener is available as a spray formula, and comes in five colors that match almost every hair color. Simply spray the formula where you would like to cover thinning hair or hair loss, and the area will blend in with your existing hair and cover the area of hair loss until you need to wash your hair. This is a great way to cover any damage while hair is growing back.

One of the best hair thickening products for thinning hair, Toppik Colored Hair Thickener is a color spray solution designed to disguise areas of thin or thinning hair, scalp show-through, bald spots, and root regrowth between color appointments.


Remember to take care of your hair and watch for any signs of breakage or damage so that you can keep your hair healthy and beautiful while using extensions!

Have you ever tried hair extensions? Tell us if you’ve tried them before and what you did to keep your hair healthy in the comments section below.

Stay In the Know

Next week is November, and that means Movember has arrived! We’re giving you a chance to win free Hair Fibers for a year, so check back with us next week to see how you can participate and win!

If you want to be the first to know about new posts to the Hair Toppiks Blog, sign up for the Toppik VIP list to receive an email a couple times per month or check us out on Facebook!

Contributed by: Lindsay, a content marketing and social media guru. Specializing in hair loss education, hairstyling and all things beauty related.

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23 Responses

  1. Pingback : What Brush Is Best For Hair Extensions? – Bescord

  2. My sister is getting married in a few weeks and I want to get hair extensions for the big day. Thank you for pointing out that fusion hair extensions are one of the most popular options. I’ll have to look into finding the best salon in my area that can give me these extensions.

  3. Hello I am so thrilled I found your webpage,
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  4. Amy

    HELP! I have had tape in hair extensions for 5 months now. One recently ripped out of my head. I literally have a bald spot. I’m also just finding out about traction allopicia. I hope it’s not too late , I’m only 22 and I don’t want to go bald. ;(

  5. Hi there! This post could not be written any better!
    Reading through this post reminds me of my previous room mate!
    He consistently kept talking about this.
    I will forward this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read.
    Thank you for sharing!

  6. These are really awesome techniques to hair extensions. I have been surfing online more than 3 hours about hair extensions today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the net will be a lot more useful than ever before.

  7. Claire

    Just wondering on how the Keretin fibres interact with hair extensions, as in using Toppiks to cover the thinning on the top of your scalp, whilst you have sewn in wefts. I only ask because keratin is something you are supposed to stay away from with human hair extensions.. Not sure! would love to be able to use both

  8. Liza

    My hair has always been my pride and joy. I figured since it is pretty damn healthy, it could deal with some bleach damage. And I figured the master stylist who did all the color-corrections would know how much would be too much. I was wrong, and now I want to burst into tears every time I look at my hair or touch it. I just don’t know what to do. my hair has also NEVER been shorter than this and it breaks and falls out. What should i do to regrow hair?

    1. Lindsay Mundell

      Hi Liza,
      Sorry to hear about your experience. the most important thing that you can do for your hair right now is to moisturize! Since your hair is in such a fragile state at this time, you will need to nurse it back to healthy by using extra moisturizing conditioners and deep treatments. You could also try using supplements like Toppiks Hair Nutrition 2-in-1 Capsules to help promote healthy hair growth. Thes Capsules contain Keratin and Biotin that help strengthen hair from the inside out.

      Thank you,
      Lindsay, Toppik

  9. Ames

    I recently removed my microbead extensions after 6 months. My hair is damaged and I has been breaking off where the beads were crimped down on the hair shaft. I could not notice this damage when the extensions were in my hair but it is very obvious once the beads are removed. Now I have months of re growing ahead of me. Beware extensions.

  10. Can hair extensions really damage your hair? I know plenty of people with them and they seem to be okay. Then again, you are right that you do have to care for your hair properly when using the extensions. If you don’t, then you can damage the growth of your hair.

  11. Hair Extension Woman

    Hair extensions are a great way to give hair a natural look. You have shared various types of hair extensions in your article that will lead people to choose the right extensions according to their needs.

    1. Hi Loretta – Our Hair Toppiks blog contains tons of information on hair loss and other hair-related questions, and each product page on our website contains everything you need to know about Toppik products. Was there something specific we can help you with?

    2. Ag

      I was using dreamcatcher extensions. Same system as the micro ring extensions. The hair and service was very expensive. I dod did notice the has had broken ends. I would not recommend dreamcatcher extensions based on my experience.
      I did get three bundles totalling 75 strands at 20 inches. It’s recommended to get the extensions moved every 4 to 6 weeks. I took the extensions out at 8 weeks. Almost half of my hair came out loose and had terrible knots. Not sure if this was due the way they were put in or the way I brushed and took care of the extensions. Perhaps both. There’s so much damage I can’t wear them or put them back in. Be careful how you brush, straighten the hair. Pulling on it will cause hair to fall out. The weight I think really matters too. If you have thin hair, be careful how you brush and style. Get them taken out and put back in only if they aren’t damaging your real hair. They do look beautiful.

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