July 25, 2024

Styles Extension

A Touch of Style, Undeniable Elegance

The 15 best hair extensions of 2023, per experts

9 min read

For some, the best curling irons and wands will do the trick to achieve luscious, long, full locks. For others, going the hair extensions route is necessary.

Whether you’re off to a wedding (read: the best cocktail dresses and wedding guest dresses), back to the office (perhaps with a pair of work pants or wide-leg bottoms) or attending prom (if so, order your dress ASAP), some luscious locks could be the key to completing your look.

Luckily, we pieced together a go-to guide for the best hair extensions to buy. We also consulted Priscilla Valles, celebrity hair extensionist, who gave us the 411 on all things clip-ins, tape-ins and more.

“When it comes to extensions, you really pay for what you get,” Valles told the New York Post. “If an extension seems on the cheaper end it’s probably not the best quality of hair and you will be stuck replacing your sets pretty often — so it’s best to invest in a good quality set of extensions.”

Valles also has her own hair extensions line with Glam Seamless, should you covet the celebrity haircare offering.

What’s more, we wear hair extensions ourselves and, after years of use (from pageant experience and formal occasions), so we know them through and through. Long story short: they’re surely worth the investment.

Ahead, find our complete list of this year’s best on the market. Plus, check out our FAQ for styling and maintenance tips.

Click to jump to the best hair extensions:

Table of Contents

How are hair extensions made?

“Extensions are made several different ways, a lot of companies use hair from India because women give up their hair for religious beliefs,” Valles explains. “However, hair comes from all over the world depending on your vendor and the quality of hair you want to use.”

After, the hair goes to manufacturers to get colored and then bonded, which is done in a variety of ways.

How to apply clip-in hair extensions

To ensure your hair extensions stay in place all day, Valles shares a go-to guide:

“You properly apply clip-in extensions by starting with clean sections using a rat tail comb [like this set of three for $6],” she begins. “If the comb is a teasing comb, that’s even better because you want to backcomb your section. Then, put hairspray on the backcomb section and clip the extensions in; this is the way to properly apply them to ensure they are secure.”

To avoid seeing the clips — especially on thinner hair — make sure you have enough coverage hair (the section on the crown of your head) that lays on the extensions, she adds.

How to care for hair extensions

After wearing your extensions, clip the clips closed, brush the extensions out, put a little dry shampoo on the root and brush through them, according to Valles. “I like to keep mine in a silk bag or even a zip lock bag,” she adds. “Washing them every six to 12 weeks depending on how much product is being used when you wear them.”

Best Hair Extensions

1. Best Overall Hair Extensions: Barely Xtensions 18″ Ultra-Seamless Clip-in Hair Extensions, $200

Blonde woman with long hair extensions.
Sally Beauty

Whether you’re regretting that summer chop or simply need a change, the Barely Xtensions 18″ Ultra-Seamless Clip-in Hair Extensions are worth a try. As their name suggest, several reviewers report hardly feeling the hair piece, making them pretty and comfortable in our book! Available in multiple colors, they have a micro-thin skin weft and are made with multidimensional Remy hair. Wear down to whoa or style up for an amazingly full updo.

Review: “I’m obsessed with these extensions. My hair has thinned out so much over the years, and these really help to add volume and boost my confidence. They’re so seamless that you can’t even tell where my real hair ends and the extensions start!”

2. Best High Quality Hair Extensions: Luvme Straight Clip In Hair Extensions, $140, original price: $234

Clip on hair extensions with close up of clips.

Not everyone is born with their dream head of hair. Some of us want Rapunzel-length, while others want thicker strands. Both are possible with the Straight Clip In Hair Extensions from Luvme. First of all, they’re made with real human hair, so you’ll enjoy a natural look with lots of movement. Secondly, they have lots of length options, starting at 16″ and going up to 24″. The clip in style is beginner friendly and while we love the natural black color that they come in, you can dye it if you want. One happy customer who gave this item a five star review labeled them the “best clip in extensions EVER!!!” Here’s what another had to say:

Review: “I love that these extensions are great quality and blend very well with my hair. The wefts are covered so that it blends seamlessly with my hair. I’ve [tried] four different types of hairstyles (high and low buns, french braids, and a pony tail), and they all looked amazing. Would definitely recommend buying.”

3. Best Halo Hair Extensions: Hidden Crown Halo Extensions, Medium Brown, $275

Woman combing her blonde extensions.
Hidden Crown

If your hair is on the thinner side, you’ve probably heard of Halo Extensions and how easy they make adding thickness and volume. They don’t use clips but a wire and micro beads that help to secure the hair to your head. The benefit of this is that the extensions stay put without you having to fuss with a lot of clips. Available in a variety of lengths and weights, they’re a quick way to glow-up your look for fancy occasions.

Review: “I absolutely love my Hidden Crown. I have naturally fine hair and I have not been able to wear extensions without it being obvious — until now! The color match is perfect and the Halo is so easy to put on. The length and texture blend in well.”

4. Best Reviewed Hair Extensions: Goo Goo 18″ Clip-In Hair Extensions, $95, original price: $115

Goo Goo 18" Clip-In Hair Extensions

If you prefer clip-in hair extensions to control how much volume and length you’d like for an occasion, pick up Goo Goo’s Clip-In Hair Extensions. For less than $100, they’re some of the best quality we’ve seen that are available straight on Amazon, coming in multiple colors. More than 9,000 folks give them a five star rating!

5. Best Lightweight Hair Extensions: Donna Bella 14″ Clip-In Human Hair Extensions, $130

Donna Bella 14" Clip-In Human Hair Extensions
Sally Beauty

Donna Bella has some of the sleekest clip-in hair extensions that look natural, so we think they’re 100% worth the grab at Sally Beauty. Paired with the retailer’s best hair products, you’re golden. According to one reviewer, these are good option if you have shorter length hair and want to add some volume.

6. Best Curly Hair Extensions: True+Pure Texture Jasmine Coil Clip-In 12″ Extensions, $165

True+Pure Texture Jasmine Coil Clip-In 12" Extensions
Sally Beauty

For textured hair, you can’t go wrong with True+Pure’s Texture Jasmine Coil Clip-In Extensions. They’re some of the most authentic we’ve come across, they’re ideal for that zig-zag, curly texture that’s difficult for most hair extensions to attain. Also, look at that volume!

7. Best 20 Inch Hair Extensions: Irresistible Me Clip-In Hair Extensions, $70, original price: $140

Irresistible Me Clip-In Hair Extensions
Irresistible Me

If you want bouncy curls without the high price tag of sewn-in extensions or packs that cost upwards of $300, Irresistible Me has a lovely set that makes your hair look full and gorgeous. They’re made of 100% human hair, too, and can dye or apply heat tools to them for styling. Hair extension lengths start at 14″ and go up to 28″.

8. Best Synthetic Hair Extensions: LullaBellz 22″ Clip-In Hair Extensions, $17

LullaBellz 22" Clip-In Hair Extensions

For maximum length, LullzBellz has 22″ Clip-In Hair Extensions that are just shy of $50. With 11 shades to choose from, you can heat these five clip-ins of luscious locks up to 180 degrees for effortless styling.

9. Best Ponytail Hair Extension: Insert Name Here 18″ Ponytail Hair Extension, $45, original price: $59

Insert Name Here 18" Ponytail Hair Extension
Insert Name Here

Finally — hair extensions Ariana Grande would approve of. This bouncy pony instantly revs up your hairstyle, able to be swooshed into a bun if you’d like a full top knot, too. Not to mention, the clip-ins are fairly priced and fully loaded locks.

10. Best Bellami Hair Extensions, $170

Before and after of model with hair extensions.

Give your hair a break from excess dyeing and frying. These Bellami hair extensions are luxurious and available with highlights and/or lowlights, so it looks like you’ve just come from the salon. Regardless if you want something jet black or silvery grey, they have an option at a variety of lengths and weights. Made of 100% Remy hair, you’ll love how easily they blend in with your own tresses.

11. Best Hair Extensions for Short Hair: Luvme Blonde Highlights Hair Extensions, 2+1 Clip In Set, $35, original price: $59

Black woman with short bob with blonde hair extension pieces.

May you don’t care about length but simply want to switch up the look of your bob or shoulder length hair. If so, try these easy two-piece clip in hair extensions from Luvme. They offer a balayage style without the dye and are made with 100% virgin hair. You can even add them to wigs like this happy customer did!

Review: “I love the highlights. It appeared that I had a totally different wig.”

12. Best 18 Inch Hair Extensions: Locks & Mane 18″ Clip-In Human Hair Extension, $195

Locks & Mane 18" Clip-In Human Hair Extension
Ulta Beauty

Conveniently offered at Ulta Beauty, Locks & Mane has fabulous hair extensions for less than $200 that make a tangible difference to your hair’s look and feel. The shade range is generous, too, made of 100% human hair with no backcombing required.

Review: “Love these extensions. Bought them a few weeks ago for a wedding and haven’t stopped wearing them. They look natural and are really comfortable. Upside down clips seemed strange at first but now I like them better this way.”

13. Best Affordable Hair Extensions: Deethens 20″ Clip-In Hair Extensions, $16

Deethens 20" Clip-In Hair Extensions

For just $22, we don’t really have to see you on Deethens’ 20″ Clip-In Hair Extensions. The ends have this beautiful, natural wave for everyday wear, too, and also come in multiple shades to match your natural color. Since they’re synthetic, you won’t be able to do as much as with real hair extensions. However, for the price, they’re a great option and let you get comfortable with installing.

Review: “Good quality for a great value. I haven’t tried any other, since these are my first [and there’s] not much to compare to, but I love them. Important to Brush and store properly after use to keep the quality.”

14. Best Hairband Hair Extensions: Sarla 18″ No-Clip Hair Extensions, $10

Sarla 18" No-Clip Hair Extensions

As a No. 1 Amazon best-seller, Sarla’s 18″ No-Clip Hair Extensions are simple to apply and stay put, giving your hair much volume and definition. Available in every hair color shade you can possibly think of, these extensions are also customizable to 12″ to 22″ in size.

15. Best Microlink Hair Extensions: Ugeat Micro Loop Human Hair Extensions, $41

Woman with long, black hair and two close ups of micro bead extensions.

We know some of you are DIY hair gurus and can install extensions like pros. Here’s our pick for you: Ugeat Micro Loop Human Hair Extensions. They’re affordable and have micro beads that make it easier for the faux hair to get closer to your scalp. It’s recommended to reclamp hair a week for best results. More than 1,000 happy Amazon customers give them five stars. Here’s how one takes care of hers:

Review: “I love this hair. It’s absolutely beautiful! I didn’t cut it at all and it lays nicely. Just make sure to brush gently with a boar brush, use oil and braid every night. Use cleansing conditioner at least a couple times a week, and use a clarifying hard water shampoo once a week for hard water. I bought the micro loop and overall the installation was easy! I had a friend install my whole head (used 130 individual pieces; there are roughly 50 pieces per box) and had at least 20 to spare if I had a rogue piece come out. Worth it! Amazing customer service.”

What are the different kinds of hair extensions and how should you choose what’s best for you?

There are many types of hair extensions to choose from and each have their own set of benefits.

Clip-in extensions offer a temporary and quick way to lengthen and thicken hair. They’re more affordable than other types of hair extensions and require less maintenance.

Tape-in extensions work by attaching wefts to sections of your hair with adhesive tapes. They are semi-permanent and lay flat against the scalp. They’re a good option for those with fine or thin hair.

If you’re already familiar with extensions, you know about weave or sew-in extensions. In comparison to other types of hair extensions, they’re more labor intensive to install, generally taking a few hours. They’re applied to the hair through braiding and sewing, and require more maintenance. They’re also more costly. However, they allow you to have the glamorous volume and length for 6 weeks or longer.

Another longer lasting hair extension are fusions. For this method, a stylist bonds individual pieces to your hair using an adhesive or keratin. Similarly, micro-links or micro-bead extensions use very small metal rings. Some believe this to be more gentle on real hair.

When considering which type of hair extensions are best for you, factor in cost, maintenance and your hair texture. While sew-ins can be a great option for those with thicker, curlier hair, they may be too heavy for those having a fine texture. In contrast, for those seeking a quick and non-comital change to their look, clip-ins may be the way to go.

How long do hair extensions last?

High-quality human hair extensions can last 6 weeks or longer. It all depends on your hair growth, maintenance and the type of extensions you have.

Synthetic extensions tend to last around 1 to 3 months. Tape-in, fusion or micro-links may require more upkeep to reposition the hair pieces. The better you take care of your hair extensions, the longer they will last. This may not only include brushing, shampooing and conditioning, but visiting a stylist periodically for upkeep.

How much do hair extensions cost?

The cost of hair extensions varies based off the type of extensions you go with. Some clip-in extensions, for example, can be purchased for under $20. In contrast, weave extension installation can cost up to $600, depending your location and salon.

How are hair extensions maintained?

Clip-ins are relativley easy to maintain, generally requiring basic brushing and gentle handling. For longer term extensions, the upkeep is slightly more intense.

Brushing them with a wide-tooth comb or a special extension brush can help maintain their appearance and get out knots. If washing them, use a sulfate-free, moisturizing shampoo, gently focusing on the roots. Conditioning is also recommended but it’s important not to work the product into the attachment. This can help avoid dislocation.

Like with real hair, air drying is recommend. Although you can heat style real hair extensions, it’s still suggested to keep it to a minimum — don’t forget a heat protectant.

For activities like swimming, other sports or sleep, try braiding the extensions or wearing them in a ponytail to prevent excess tangling. Many hair extension brands give care directions, so don’t forget to check them out. Speaking to a stylist is also helpful.

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