If you’ve ever admired long, perfectly styled waves on your favorite celebrities (and also wondered how it managed to look so good even in extreme humidity), you’ve probably been fooled by hair extensions, which have become so advanced over the years, that it’s difficult to spot the difference between them and natural hair. In fact, most A-listers consider hair extensions a regular piece of their beauty routine nowadays in order to maintain a certain look, and we love seeing the transformation videos on social media when celebs are willing to share.
Not only can extensions “extend” the length of your hair, but they can also add texture and change your color. Many celebrities opt for the long, beachy wave options when they’re hair is too fine to hold a curl or they live in a warm-weather climate where humidity can wreak havoc on natural strands. However, there’s a science to how they work and which type is best for each individual’s hair, so finding a stylist who knows the ins and outs of the hair extension world is crucial. Here, we’ve got the details on some of the most popular hair extension methods right now, so you can find the best one for your strands.
Kristin Grip, founder of Tease Salon in Costa Mesa, CA, has mastered her extension skills—if you watched JoJo Fletcher’s season of The Bachelorette and her gorgeous hair, you’ve seen her work. “We make custom clip-in sets of hair where we can customize a client’s color, length and the width of the actual rows of extensions to fit their hair just perfect,” she says. “Depending on how often you wear them, they can last for years. Hair extensions don’t expire, they just wear out over time. If you have some old clip-ins in a drawer from five-plus years ago, they are still good. The only reason you’d want to replace clip-ins, is if they have become worn-out from hot tools, brushing, styling, tons of washes, etc.”
Average cost: $250–$350
Another clip-in brand that’s popular with the A-listers is Luxy Hair, which is known for its Clip-In Ponytails—think Ariana Grande’s vibe—and Seamless Clip-Ins that come in tons of shades (including balayage) and both 16-inch and 20-inch styles. Below, two Victoria’s Secret Angels Jasmine Tookes and Josephine Skriver flaunt their Seamless Luxy Hair strands (both styled by Ruslan Nureev), and Hailey Bieber sports one of the brand’s Clip-In Ponytails courtesy of stylist Amanda Lee.
According to Grip, these are also known as a “fusion method,” where each individual extension is a small gathering of hair with a bond/tip at the top holding all the hairs together. “The bond is placed against a small section of the client’s hair that’s equal in thickness to the extension, and then melted with a small hot wand. The bond melts and I roll it with my fingers around the client’s hair. The bond cools and cures, creating a sealed, long-lasting, durable bond. These steps are repeated to install an average of 150–200 pieces for a full head. I prefer to have clients come back in every three months for a new set to avoid damage to their natural hair, but I have seen women wear them up to five months.”
Average cost: $1,000+
Paris Hilton are her hairstylist Eduardo Ponce are fans of KmXtend Hair, which creates keratin tip extensions using 100-percent human hair in a wide selection of colors, styles and lengths that look super natural. Below, Hilton shows off the brand’s 24-inch TK. TikTok star Addison Rae has also been spotted flaunting super-long 28-inch KmXtend extensions.
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“I invented this method in my garage in 2004, and now I see them everywhere—it’s really popular at my salon too,” says Grip. “A hair extension ‘weft’ is a row of hair sewn together at the top, creating an even row or ‘curtain’ of hair. I take a horizontal part in the client’s hair and place a weft along the part. Then I take small sections of the client’s hair and weft hair and lock them together inside of a bead. The wefts lay super flat and can add a ton of hair quickly. An average full head is three to four rows, which I can install in about 40 minutes. Maintenance involves coming in every six to eight weeks to have them repositioned at your scalp.”
Average cost: $800–$1,500