7+ Best Hair Extensions for Short Hair & How Long Should Hair Be (2023)

How Long or Short Your Hair Must Be to Put and Install Hair Extensions?

7+ Best Hair Extensions for Short Hair & How Long Should Hair Be (2023)

If your hair is on a shorter site, either due to haircuts or accidental damage, we will do our best to answer the age-old question… Is your hair long enough to apply hair extensions? What’s the best hair extension type for your haircut anyway?

Not only that, but we will sort it all out in an easy-to-read fashion. To begin with, good news, an extremely short haircut is not a deal-breaker! These are the options that one must consider. What if you have no hair or balding? There are options for you too.

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7+ Best Hair Extensions for Short Hair & How Long Hair Should Be (2023)

Before we dive deeper into best hair extension types for short hair, we need to measure you first! There are many great and not so great to get an accurate number. Do you know your length already? Take a look to see if it wasn’t measured using the methods below.

Bad Ways to Measure Your Hair Length

  • Do not use hair that has been collected from a comb or any other place. Such a technique will not give you the correct measure.
  • We’ve seen women that lift a strand or two of their hair from the center and then measure with a ruler. That might sound like a great idea at first, but this will not give you an accurate and consistent number. You can have so many starting points that numbers can jump up and down like a deflating balloon.

Best Way to Measure Your Hair Length

  • Grab a tape and measure from your hairline aka forehead (where hair starts growing) to your back. This is the most accurate way to get a proper hair length since the starting point is always the same.

2 Short Hair Considerations

Short Hair Considerations

Just a heads-up before we dive into the world of hair extensions. Please keep these basic rules in mind.

Natural Hair Volume and Length

You need enough remaining hair thickness and length to blend in and conceal extension attachments to avoid detection.

Supplemental Length and Weight

Select a length and weight that are appropriate for your rooted locks’ shortest portions. Adding long, heavy bundles to very short hair can strain it. In the end, the enhanced look can appear artificial. Extensions that brush your shoulders with lower weights are your best options.

Color and Texture

Choose extensions that match your tresses for a neat, realistic look. Even minor shade differences, especially when lengthening super short hair, can make your additions obvious. They can form a line between your rooted and inserted locks.

To change your appearance or create dimension, add a few highlights, low light, or bright and funky colored strands. Coordinate your natural and supplemental texture so both are straight, wavy, or curly. Avoid drastic variations that can stand out as fake.

Hair Extension Types and Lengths

Micro Ring Loop Hair Extensions

Minimum Hair Length: 4 – 5 inches or 10 – 12 cm.

Preferred mostly by women with medium-short hair, micro ring loops require a hair length of 4 inches or 10 centimeters for rings to be fully covered. That’s the important part! You can install extensions on much shorter strands, but the loops could be visible, especially during strong wind.

Nowadays more and more women switch from micro ring loops to tape-ins. Why? It’s a slightly newer, faster, and much cheaper method (unless installing yourself). Whether you prefer tapes, tips or loops is up to you.

[See AiryHair’s Micro Ring Loop Hair Extensions]

Hair Weaves and Wefts

Minimum Hair Length: 3 – 5 inches or 7 – 12 cm.

The minimum hair length for sewed-in hair extensions is 3 inches or 7 cm. However, a highly-skilled stylist is recommended to properly conceal any work. Not exactly the best option for women with short hair. A safer bet would be to wait for your hair to grow longer or switch to one of many other fusion methods.

If you have short hair and have already ordered weft extensions, do not worry. Your hairstylist can transform them into clip-in, tape-in, or even more complex, strand-by-strand extensions.

[See AiryHair’s Hair Weaves and Wefts]

Clip-in Hair Extensions

Minimum Hair Length: 3 – 4 inches or 7 – 10 cm.

A minimum hair length of 3 inches (7 cm) is required to cover the clip base and properly attach clips without them making you feel uncomfortable. This is one of the best and easiest methods for beginners with short hair. If your hair is shorter than the absolute minimum, you can experience some hair pulling.

What does that mean? If you have short strands, the clips will either be attached too close to the roots or vice versa. If it feels like you have secured clip-in extensions properly and are still experiencing these issues, check the clips themselves. Some companies tend to do better than others. AiryHair coats all clips with a silicone layer, which prevents your real hair from sticking to the clip.

If you insist on buying clip-in hair extensions (without meeting the minimum hair length requirement), consider 1-piece strands. These tend to have slightly smaller clips. However, installation is too tedious and we do not recommend this option.

[See AiryHair’s Clip-in Hair Extensions]

Tape-in Hair Extensions

Minimum Hair Length: 3 inches or 7 cm.

Your hair will need to be at least 3 inches (7 cm) long to install tape-in hair extensions. Tapes are smaller than clips and are not as visible. Therefore, it needs slightly shorter hair to get all tapes properly attached. There are no other parts, just the tape. In addition to that, the tape can be trimmed or cut into smaller pieces to make fusion work too. Many stylists swear by them! These are the best hair extensions for short hair on a budget.

Please note: some companies sell tape-in extensions with standard tape. Maybe even at a lower price than in other stores. However, these extensions are not suited for women with shorter hair. It is important to go with the transparent tape, which means that the part that attaches to your hair blends perfectly with your own hair.

[See AiryHair’s Tape-in Hair Extensions]

Stick Tip Hair Extensions

Minimum Hair Length: 2.5 – 4 inches or 6 – 10 cm.

Stick or I-Tip hair extensions should be installed on hair no shorter than 2.5 inches or 6 centimeters. Slightly more flexible than tape-ins, these are strand-by-strand fusion extensions that rely on the cold-fusion method.

It’s one of the Keratin alternatives that were highly popular many moons ago but since then lost to tape-in and u-tip fusion types. If you are afraid of the heat and still want to use strands rather than tapes, this is a great option.

[See AiryHair’s Stick Tip Hair Extensions]

Keratin Hair Extensions

Minimum Hair Length: 2 – 3.5 inches or 5 – 9 cm.

Keratin or U-Tip hair extensions require a minimum hair length of 2 inches or 5 centimeters to be properly fused. Since Keratin extensions are attached using hot pliers, the range entirely depends on your hairstylist and applied technique. When it comes to the minimum length, U-Tip extensions are unbeatable. Simply the best for women with short hair. The installation is rather long though (2 to 4 hours) and very expensive.

Professional hair stylists can attach u-tips on very short hair. Hot fusion strands blend perfectly with short hair as there are no loops, tapes, or clips. Therefore, if attached properly, you can go from the shortest to the longest hair in your entire neighborhood.

There are two types of u-tip hair extensions, one with Keratin glue and one with regular glue. Both work about the same and while Keratin is praised for being a natural solution, strands don’t last as long as with glue. They are easier to remove though.

[See AiryHair Keratin Hair Extensions]

What if You Are Bald / Balding or With Very Short Hair?

If you have extremely short hair that is below hair extension recommendations, do not worry as there are still plenty of solutions to double your hair volume!

  • The first alternative is to use a human hair wig. It will give you some time to grow your hair back and reach the minimum height. Check our selection at AiryHair wigs for more details.
  • If regular wigs don’t work for you, a hair topper might do. It was designed for women with thinning hair or balding issues. These pieces are extremely light and durable.
  • If you have a few balding spots and still want hair extensions, go with the flip-in style extensions. They don’t add any extra pressure, making them perfect for your situation. For more details, see the explanation above.

Before and After for Short Hair

Instead of only daydreaming about your old Rapunzel hair, do something about it! You can quicken the process of your hair growth with these seven simple tricks. If you are like me and want to grow your hair if possible before Jack Frost comes to town, here are the ways to do it!

Massage Your Scalp

Massaging your scalp in the shower improves circulation to your hair follicles, making it grow faster! Furthermore, just like those scalp massages, flipping your head upside promotes more blood circulation to your head

Don’t forget to brush your hair from tip to root and be gentle about it. Ripping and pulling at your hair to get the knots out cause’s breakage!

Throw Away Cotton Pillowcase

Cotton causes friction that leads to the breakage of your hair! Go for a silk case to rest your precious hair on at night.

Try Multiple Nutrients

Massage your head with castor oil! Lousy with Vitamin E and fatty acids, this genie in a bottle promotes natural hair growth and reduces dryness.

Mask an egg yolk mask and let it sit for at least an hour before rinsing it out. Egg yolks are practically made up of only protein, the main component in hair.

Avoid Heat Styling Appliances

As simple as that. For some other tips on hair care, check our weave hair guide, which also works for straight or any texture hair.


You have plenty of freedom to transform into a mermaid-like girl or just a woman with medium hair.

If your hair is short, it should be at least 2-inch long (5 cm) to install hair extensions and wear them comfortably. The recommended length is 3 to 5 inches (7 to 12 cm).

The length of hair, or how long should it be for the hair extensions depends on the attachment type and your hairstylist. Personally, for short hair, I would go with either tape-in or clip-in extensions.

If you have short to medium hair, any of these methods will do. It’s all about personal preference and budget. Your options are pretty much endless. You can have the longest hair extensions without any trouble.


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