How much are hair extensions?

Updated April 17, 2017

Having hair extensions is addictive. Once you have them and you see how great your hair looks, you will be willing to sell your soul to keep them. Hair extensions do amazing things to thin, fine, lifeless hair. You can opt for the clip-ins, but professionally applied extensions will become like your own hair and you will soon forget that they are even there.

Where is the hair from?

Human hair extensions come from India. According to Hair Extension Resource, the Vankasatwara Temple in Southern India, makes £3,900,000 a year from selling hair.

The best hair comes from women who offer their hair as a sacrifice at the temple. This is considered remy hair. These women receive no money for their hair. The remainder comes from hair that is sold by women for profit. Because the hair is not collected in a specific manner to keep it neat and straight, it is considered non-remy. This hair tends to tangle and mat more than remy hair. You will pay more for remy hair than non-remy hair.

At the other end of the spectrum are synthetic extensions. Synthetic hair can not be heat curled or straightened and the colour will appear shinier than real hair. It might be OK for an evening out on the town, but in the daylight it may be detected as fake. The pricing for synthetic is significantly less.

How long will my extensions last?

Remy hair extensions can last three to six months, while lesser quality hair will last a considerably shorter time. Your extensions will last longer if you brush them carefully to keep them from tangling. It is also a good idea to either braid your hair or pin it back at night to keep it sleek. Another consideration is the method of attachment. Keratin bonds do not slip or break down as quickly as glue. Keratin is also made from the same protein as hair, thus it will not cause as much damage as glue or metal bonds. Hair that is fine or thin would probably be better off with a keratin bond. Keratin bonding is also more expensive than glue or metal.

How many extensions do I need?

It is advisable to seek out an experienced, certified stylist when it comes to extensions. If they are put into your hair incorrectly, they can fall out or the weight of the extensions can cause your own hair to break. Bald spots are not uncommon in women who have had the wrong stylist attach their extensions. Many companies require certification in order for a stylist to apply their extensions. Make sure the salon you use has experience. Extensions generally come in bundles. It will take anywhere from six to 12 bundles to do a full head of hair. You can opt for volume, length or both. Extensions come in various lengths. All of these variables enter into the cost. If your hair is very fine or thin, request that the bundles be cut in half. This will keep your hair from breaking under the weight and it will look much more natural in a head of fine hair.

How do you remove extensions?

When your own hair has grown a few inches, your extensions will need to be taken out. At this time, depending on your stylist and the type of extension, you can either opt to have them put back in or start over with new hair. Moving them up will cost you about half the price of new. Old extensions will not last as long because the bond will be weaker. Do not attempt to remove the extensions yourself. Salons have the proper tools to remove extensions and prevent hair damage.

It costs what?

There is no way around it, human hair extensions are expensive. If you opt for remy hair, be prepared to spend £520 to £1,300. Non-remy hair can run £260 to £390. Synthetic hair extensions will run about £52 for the hair and £195 to have them applied. There is also a fee to have the extensions removed. Most stylists charge by the hour for removal, unless you are getting new extensions put in at the same time. All fees vary depending on location. Extensions in New York City are likely to cost more than extensions in Wichita, Kansas.

What you need to know

High quality extensions can last for six months or longer, however you will still want to have them removed or moved up long before then. Companies that sell extensions will tell you that they will look good for months. Don't believe it. As your hair grows, the extension's placement falls lower and lower on the scalp. Eventually hair is difficult to style and the bonds may begin to show. So while your extensions may be in great shape your hair will not be.

Be sure to use shampoo and conditioner recommended by your stylist. Not every product is suitable for extensions.

Don't forget to add in the expense of a tip. The going rate is 15 to 20 per cent. Find out what the cost of applying the extensions are minus the actual fee for the hair. Tip on the application, not the cost of the hair.

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About the Author

Joanie Willard's writing experience spans ten years as an editor and reporter. She currently is a columnist for, She was also Features Editor for St. Louis County News and reporter for West County Newspaper in St. Louis. She has a Bachelor of Science in journalism from SIU and received two writing awards for feature writing.