Do Hair Extensions Damage Your Hair? How Bad Are They? (2023)

Are All Hair Extensions Bad for Your Hair?

Do Hair Extensions Damage Your Hair? How Bad Are They? (2023)

From hair loss to headaches, be it for thin or thick hair, there is an underlying opinion that hair extensions are not safe. People say that they are bad for your hair. However, before holding into this opinion, one must first find out, if the actual extensions damage your hair! Or maybe it’s the incorrect and poor fusion methods that are to blame? Some women add hair strands that weigh as much as 300 grams or even more! Others ignore the general advice, which is the number one reason why this belief is so ingrained into our minds.

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Do Hair Extensions Damage Your Hair?
Why Maintenance Is Important?
What Are the Safest Hair Extensions?

So, don’t be so quick to trust those articles! Yes, those that try to scare you that extensions are bad for your hair. Usually, they are one-sided and what we have decided to do is look at the whole “damaged hair” experience from the other side.

Do Hair Extensions Damage Your Hair? How Bad Are They? (2023)

If extensions have been properly attached, they will not damage your hair. It’s like anything else in life, technique is important. Even applying makeup on your face can damage your skin. Yes, there are some chemicals. However, if you are not going over the top, then there is nothing you should worry about.

What Can Cause Hair Damage?

The biggest issue with hair extensions is not the extensions but the people that are handing them. Be it from inexperienced stylists that damage your hair or from super heavy hair sets that do indeed cause headaches/scalp pain and even hair loss. For more on which weight hair extensions you should get, please see our buying guide. What’s the magical number? The weight should not be more than 200 grams.

Also, damage from hair extensions can occur when someone is trying to install extensions themselves. DIY installation can easily go wrong when someone doesn’t know what they’re doing! Especially if we’re talking about more complicated methods like hot or cold fusion. If you’re not a professional or at least have some experience with those methods, there is a big chance that you’ll do something wrong and end up damaging the extensions or your natural strands. So again, it’s not the fault of extensions, but bad installation jobs. Anybody who is not confident in applying any extension type at home should contact a hair professional with a lot of experience.

Damaging Hair Extensions by Design

Now, some methods will “damage” your hair by design. For example, keratin hair extensions, that one attaches with the help of melted hair protein (keratin). These will certainly leave a mark on your hair but as far as we are concerned, the damage is by design, like gluing fake nails.

There is no real damage that we count as damage. In other others, you won’t suffer from hair loss or thinner hair. Most of the time it’s a direct result of applying various chemicals onto hair to remove the extensions.

Hair Extensions Maintenance Cost

Another reason why some girls end up with damage to their locks is avoiding hair maintenance or not doing it properly. Each extension type has some maintenance requirements that should be followed to keep them and your natural strands healthy and beautiful.

Those who ignore those rules might end up in a mess. For example, if you don’t brush your hair, your natural strands and the extensions will get all tangled up. Creating dreadlocks and there will be no other way to remove the extensions than by forcefully pulling them out, or even worse, cutting the hair.

This may sound extreme to you, but unfortunately, not all girls take maintenance advice seriously and end up causing harm to their locks. Washing can also be problematic if not done properly. Hair is always more sensitive when it’s wet, so if you tug or pull on the extensions, or scrub very aggressively, you might cause harm to your hair. Therefore, we always advise our customers to care for their extensions and be more careful.

Another thing to consider is sleeping with extensions. Before you go to bed with your new hair, first check that you can sleep with your hair extension type. For example, you can go to bed with hot fusion, cold fusion, and tape-in extensions. On the other hand, we do not recommend all night’s sleep with clip-in or flip-in extensions.

Also, don’t forget to get your extensions refitted if you’re using any of the semi-permanent methods like keratin extensions, microbeads, or tape-in.

What Are the Safest Hair Extensions?

The safest hair extensions that we recommend and that have the lowest amount of “risk” are clip-ins.

You don’t even need a stylist to apply them and in case you decide to go with highest quality clip-ins (from AiryHair). You can always pick just the correct weight, from 50 to 200 grams.

The application of clip in extensions does not involve any chemicals, glue, tape, heat, beads, or anything like that. It consists of wefts with clips that can be safely and easily installed. You can do it at home, and even if you don’t get it right the first time, you can always remove the wefts and start again without doing any harm or putting any strain on your locks.

Do Hair Extensions Cause Headaches?

What if you don’t feel comfortable wearing them and are getting headaches? This could be due to the improperly attached clips or too much hair. For the first solution, all you need to do is spend a few more minutes adjusting them and the issue disappears. Another thing to avoid is sleeping with clip-in extensions. This is not a permanent method and you should not sleep with clip-ins. That’s by design. Doing so can cause harm not only to the extensions but to your hair as well.

If you have read our hair extension guidelines, one should never attach more than 200 grams of hair extensions. Unless you have long-term experience and your head is used to extra weight!

What if you need a 100% safe method that is more permanent? Go with the cold fusion, also known as micro ring extensions. These will fuse your strands with tiny rings or beads. There is no heat nor do you need any glue. Microbeads are also easy to remove while causing no harm. The hairstylist simply opens beads and the extensions come right off. Just to be extra safe, we recommend that you hire a hair professional to attach the beads.


Hopefully, you now have a much better understanding of whether hair extensions are safe to use and whether they damage your hair.


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