Hair extensions last from a few weeks to a few months depending on the type of hair extensions and your hair care routine. We know that’s probably not the answer you’re looking for, but multiple factors make a big difference for your extensions’ lifetime.

Hair extensions are an investment, both in time and money. It’s a fun way to experiment with different looks, lengths, and colors. Knowing how long hair extensions last is a big deciding factor on what type of extensions you choose.

To help you make that decision, we’re going over popular types of hair extensions, how they’re applied, how long they last, and how you can maintain them.

How Long Do Tape-In Extensions Last?

Tape-in extensions last about four to eight weeks. These types of extensions are applied by taping extensions on top of and under your natural hair. You’ll need to see your stylist every few weeks to adjust your tape-ins as your hair grows. Tape-ins are great extensions for thin hair since they’re lightweight and easy to adjust.

benefits of tape-in extensions

Benefits of Tape-In Extensions

  • Does not require heat to apply
  • Quick installation compared to other methods
  • Extensions are reusable if maintained
  • Works great with fine or damaged hair
  • More affordable compared to other options

To maintain tape-in extensions, brush or comb your hair when it’s dry. Your hair is weakest when wet, so you can potentially damage your hair or weaken your extensions if you start detangling after a shower. Look for hair extension-friendly brushes that gently detangle. You should also avoid applying heat and hair products directly on the tape since it can melt or weaken the tape. 

When you’re ready to remove your tape-ins, your stylist will use an alcohol-based spray to loosen the tape and remove the hair wefts.

How Long Do Sew-In Extensions Last?

Sew-in hair extensions last about six to eight weeks. The cost of sew-ins may be worth it if you’re looking for a long-term look. The type of hair you get for sew-ins can also add to your style’s longevity.

Before applying them, you or your stylist will need to braid your hair. After that, your stylist will sew the braids into your hair with a needle and thread. Sew-in extensions keeps your natural hair tucked away and protects it from the elements.

It takes a few hours and sometimes a couple sessions to install sew-in extensions. Sew-ins are considered “permanent” extensions, but it’s recommended to give your hair a break every once in a while. Sew-ins can eventually lead to breakage if your braids are too tight or you don’t take care of your natural hair underneath your extensions. 

benefits of sew-in extensions

Benefits of Sew-In Extensions

  • Long-lasting compared to other methods
  • Protects natural hair from everyday styling
  • Secure and not likely to slip off
  • Doesn’t require glue or heat

To care for your sew-in extensions, moisturize the ends, as well as your natural hair. You should also let your hair, braids, and scalp dry completely after washing or moisturizing. If not, mildew can grow on your scalp. We recommend going to your stylist at least every couple of weeks to get a thorough clean and to avoid any issues with mildew. If needed, you can also wash around your sew-ins at home.

When you’re ready to take out your sew-ins, your stylist will cut the threads in each weft. They’ll then unravel the thread to remove the wefts.

How Long Do Glue-In Extensions Last?

Glue-in extensions last about four to eight weeks. With this method, your stylist will apply hair balm directly to the hair wefts and apply it to your hairline. Some stylists even blow-dry the balm to speed up the drying process.

This sounds scary, but it shouldn’t damage your hair if the extensions are installed, cared for, and removed properly. However, you should consider avoiding glue-in extensions if your hair is thin or damaged. The application and removal may add too much stress and weight to your hair. Ask your stylist for their advice before you try out any extensions.

benefits of glue-in extensions

Benefits of Glue-In Hair Extensions

  • Extensions are reusable if maintained
  • Very affordable compared to other methods
  • Great for short-term looks
  • Works great for thick hair

To care for your glue-in extensions, avoid over brushing your hair and brushing the glued-in areas. You should also avoid using oil-based products since they can weaken the hair balm.

Your stylist will use an oil-based solution to take the extensions out. The solution will dissolve and loosen the balm so you can remove the hair wefts. You can potentially reuse the hair if you take care of it while it’s installed and during the takedown.

If you’re not a fan of gluing hair directly to your scalp, you can opt for a quick weave. These last about four to five weeks.

How Long Do Fusion Hair Extensions Last?

Fusion hair extensions last about three to five months. Your stylist will attach pre-bonded hair extensions to the root of your hair. These extensions have keratin protein bonds at the end and are normally less than an inch wide. To attach these extensions, your stylist will apply heat to the keratin bond to affix it to your natural hair. Application can take around three to four hours depending on how many extensions you’re applying to your hair. 

benefits of fusion hair extensions

Benefits of Fusion Hair Extensions

  • Long-lasting compared to other methods
  • Blends well with natural hair
  • Secure and not likely to slip off
  • Works great for thick hair
  • Lots of versatility for different styles

Avoid overbrushing, overwashing, and using too many heat styling products on fusion extensions to avoid damage. If you want to wear them for a while, you’ll need to get your extensions repositioned every few months to match your hair growth.

Removal is simple with fusion hair extensions. Your stylist will spray a keratin bond remover to loosen the keratin bond. They may also use a tool to break up the bond a little more. After that, they’ll slide the extensions off your hair.

You may be able to reuse hair from these extensions if you care for them when installed and your stylist is careful when removing them.

Microlinks last about three to four months. This method is also called micro loop and microbead hair extensions. The installation method varies based on the hair your stylist uses.

With I-tip hair extensions, your stylist will thread a microbead into a small section of your hair. They’ll then slip a keratin tip hair extension into the bead. Finally, they’ll crimp the bead with pliers. They’ll repeat this process for each strand.

benefits of microlinks

Some stylists may use a full hair weft instead of individual hair extensions. Application is similar, but varies from stylist to stylist. They’ll typically hold the weft to your hairline with their hands or hair clips, then thread a bead onto a piece of the hair weft and secure it near your scalp. Your stylist may layer a couple wefts for a fuller look. 

Benefits of Microlinks

  • Works great for fine to medium hair
  • Doesn’t add much weight to your hair
  • Blends well with natural hair
  • Doesn’t require glue, heat, or braids

Take extra care when combing your hair with microlink extensions. Extension-friendly brushes are great for microlinks so you don’t accidentally tug at the beads. You should also keep heat away from the beads themselves, especially if your stylist used keratin tip extensions. Heat can warp the beads and melt the glue.

Your stylist will remove microlinks by opening the beads again with pliers. After they’re open, they’ll slide the beads off then remove the extensions. This is also how they’ll remove the extensions to reposition them on your hair. 

How Long Do Clip-In Hair Extensions Last?

Clip-in hair extensions last about three to six months. They’re also the most temporary extensions available. These extensions come in strands with clips at the base. You just need to clip them in place into your hair.

These sound easy to install on your own, but we still recommend seeing a stylist to get your extensions customized. They can pick out extensions that blend best with your hair. Your stylist can also cut and color them to make the look natural.

benefits of clip-in extensions

Benefits of Clip-In Extensions

  • Great for short-term looks
  • Easy to remove and reinstall at home
  • Doesn’t damage hair
  • Long-lasting if taken care of

Caring for your clip-in extensions is like caring for your regular hair — keep it clean, don’t overbrush, don’t overuse hot styling tools, and keep it protected from heat and the elements.

You can wash your clip-ins less frequently than your natural hair to preserve them. To remove, you’ll just need to unclip the extensions from your hair. Store them lying flat so they don’t get tangled.

Keep in mind that all the times we listed are estimates. Your extensions’ longevity depends on the method used and how well you care for them. Set up a consultation with your stylist so they can help you find your best hair extension type based on your budget, lifestyle, and the look you want to get.

They can also give you a more accurate estimate of their longevity and can walk you through how your extensions work. When you’re ready to take out your hair extensions, you should also get help from a local Pro to safely get them out.