Hair extensions last from a day to four months, depending on the type of extensions and your hair care routine. While hair extension timelines are individual to each person, after reading this article, you’ll have a better idea of how long your hair extensions will last.

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 significant 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 hair extensions last?

Types of hair extensionsHow long they’ll last
Tape-in extensionsFour to eight weeks
Sew-in extensionsSix to eight weeks
Glue-in extensionsFour to eight weeks
Fusion extensionsUp to three months
Microlink extensionsThree to four months
Clip-in extensionsUp to one day

There are several factors that affect how long hair extensions last, such as:

  • Hair extension material (natural vs. synthetic)
  • Natural hair type and scalp health
  • Hair growth rate
  • Installation type
  • Extension aftercare

Fusion, microlink, tape-in, and clip-in hair extensions can be reused for multiple installations if you and your stylist are careful. For other extension types, your stylist should use fresh extensions at each install.

How long do tape-in extensions last?

Tape-in extensions last about four to eight weeks. They’re applied by taping extensions on top 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.

Image shows of tape-in extension application with text summarizing their benefits.

Benefits of tape-in extensions

  • Doesn’t require heat to install
  • 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 directly 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.

To install sew-in extensions, your stylist will first braid your hair close to the scalp in cornrows. After that, your stylist will sew the braids into your hair with a needle and thread. Sew-in extensions keep your natural hair tucked away and protect it from the elements.

It can take anywhere from a few hours to a couple of 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. 

If you don’t take a break, sew-ins can eventually lead to breakage. This is especially true if your braids are too tight or you don’t take care of your natural hair underneath your extensions.

Image of stylist sewing in extensions with text below summarizing sew-in extension benefits.

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, make sure that both your extensions and natural hair are well-conditioned. You should also make sure that your hair, braids, and scalp dry completely after washing or moisturizing. 

If your extensions stay wet for too long, 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 potential issues. 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 glue directly to the hair wefts and your hairline. Some stylists even blow-dry the glue 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.

Example of sectioned off hair with glue-in extensions drying. Text below summarizes 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, particularly 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 adhesive so they can remove the hair wefts. You can potentially reuse the hair if you take care of it while it’s installed and during removal.

If you’re not a fan of gluing hair directly to your scalp, you can opt for a quick weave, where extensions are glued to a wig cap instead of your head. These last about four to five weeks.

How long do fusion hair extensions last?

Fusion hair extensions last up to three months. To install fusion extensions, your stylist will align pre-bonded hair extensions to your roots. These extensions have keratin protein bonds at the end and are normally less than an inch wide. Your stylist will then apply heat to the keratin bond to attach it to your natural hair. Application can take around three to four hours, depending on how many extensions you use. 

Image of stylist fusing hair extensions to client with keratin beads with text below outlining benefits of fusion 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
  • Versatile for different styles

To avoid damage, stay away from over-brushing, overwashing, and using too many heat-styling products. If you want to wear these extensions for a while, you’ll need to get them 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 assist with breaking the bond. After that, they’ll slide the extensions off your hair.

You may be able to reuse hair from these extensions if you take good care of them when they’re installed and your stylist is careful when removing them.

Microlinks last about three to four months. This method is also called microloop, microbead, or tie-in hair extensions. The installation method varies based on the type of hair your stylist uses. I-Tip hair extensions are a common type of microlink extension.

With I-Tip hair extensions, your stylist will thread a metal 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 small section.

Some stylists may use a full hair weft instead of individual hair extensions or layer a couple of wefts for a fuller look. 

Image where client’s hair is sectioned to show visible metal microlink beads with text below summarizing benefits of microlink extensions.

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 keratin.

Your stylist will remove microlinks by opening the beads again with pliers. After they’re open, the stylist will slide the beads off and 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 for up to one day. You can use clip-ins daily for several months before replacing them. These extensions come in strands with clips at the base. You just need to clip them in place into your hair.

It sounds easy to install them 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 more natural.

Example image of stylist installing clip-in extensions after dyeing them to match client’s hair with text below describing clip-in benefits.

Benefits of clip-in extensions

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

Caring for your clip-in extensions is like caring for your regular hair — keep them clean, don’t overbrush, don’t overuse hot styling tools, and keep them 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. Then, store them lying flat so they don’t get tangled. Always wait until they’re fully dried to brush or comb them.

Hair extensions FAQs

Can you shower with hair extensions?

You can’t shower with clip-in extensions, but you can shower with permanent or semi-permanent hair extensions such as:

  • Tape-in extensions
  • Sew-in extensions
  • Glue-in extensions
  • Fusion hair extensions
  • Microlink extensions

Certain types, such as glue-in extensions, might require a special kind of shampoo to maintain the bond. If you wear clip-ins, you should always remove the extensions before showering and reinstall them into dry hair.

For all extension types, you should be very careful when washing, brushing, and styling your hair to prevent damage. It’s important to make sure your extensions and scalp dry completely every time to prevent mildew and scalp irritation.

Are hair extensions worth it?

It’s worth giving hair extensions a try if you want to add length or volume to your hair. Because there are so many different types, you can find an option for your specific hair type and budget. 

Are hair extensions a lot of upkeep?

Microlink hair extensions require the least amount of upkeep. You just need to be careful about not using too much heat at your roots or brushing out the beads.

Clip-ins are lower maintenance regarding installation because you can do it yourself. However, you need to take care between wears to keep clip-ins looking as natural as possible.

Which type of hair extension lasts the longest?

Glue-in, tape-in, and sew-in extensions last the longest between installations. Clip-in extensions are the most reusable with proper care.

Do hair extensions cause damage?

With proper installation and care, hair extensions shouldn’t cause significant damage. As with any hair style, extensions will cause damage if they’re not taken care of or kept in for too long. 

To keep your hair as healthy as possible, consult with a professional to discover which extension type works best for your hair and lifestyle.

How often do hair extensions need to be replaced?

Human hair extensions typically last longer than synthetic, especially if they use virgin hair. Some signs that it’s time to readjust or reinstall your extensions include:

  • You can easily see how they’re attached to your hair
  • They’re no longer blending with your natural hair
  • There’s significant hair growth
  • Some or all of the extensions are falling out

Some signs that you should retire your extensions for a fresh set include:

  • Excessive frizziness
  • They become difficult to style
  • There’s visible damage or split ends
  • They’re tangling more often

Keep in mind that every situation is different, so there’s no definite answer to how long your hair extensions will last. Your extensions’ longevity depends on how they’re installed 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.

A stylist 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 stylist who specializes in extensions to safely get them out.

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