How Long Does My Hair Need To Be For Extensions?

by Hope Donaldson
Do Hair Extensions Damage Hair?

How Long Does My Hair Need To Be For Extensions?

The harsh reality is that our hair will never grow as quickly as we want it to. However, that should never stop us from achieving the luscious, lengthy locks that we’re dreaming of. Read this blog to see if your hair is long enough for hair extensions…

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According to a Harvard study, about 1/3 of women experience hair loss, and as many as 2/3 of women suffer with hair thinning or bald spots. 

But that may not be you. Maybe you got an impulsive haircut that you instantly regretted? Or perhaps you've decided to switch up your look at the last minute?

Sometimes, despite how much we wish it would, our hair just will not grow how we want it to and it can have a major impact on our self-esteem. At Stranded Hair Group, we know that a good hair day can make a world of difference, especially when it comes to your confidence and how you feel about yourself.

Hair extensions are a quick and easy way to elevate your style and extend your length, which may be exactly what you’re needing right now. However, with a vast range of different methods offering different results across the market, it’s hard to figure out which one will be best for you and your hair needs.

At Stranded, we are proud to be your hair industry experts! We write a multitude of blogs, just like this one, so that you can educate yourself on everything to do with hair and extensions - ensuring you make the best choice for you, always.

In this blog, you will learn about the different types of hair extensions, how long your hair needs to be for each, what to do if your hair just isn’t long enough for extensions and our favourite top tips to promote hair growth. By the end, you will feel ready to take on the world and get that dream hair you’ve been searching for!

  • What are the different types of extensions?
  • How long does your hair need to be for clip-in extensions?
  • How long does your hair need to be for halo extensions?
  • How long does your hair need to be for tape extensions?
  • How long does your hair need to be for microbead extensions?
  • How long does your hair need to be for pre-bonded extensions?
  • How long does your hair need to be for weft extensions?
  • What if my hair isn’t long enough for extensions?
  • Top tips to help your hair grow

What are the different types of extensions?

In the hair industry, there are two different types of hair extensions, each with a variety of different installation methods. These two types of hair extensions are commonly known as temporary extensions and semi-permanent extensions.

Temporary extensions

Temporary extensions are extensions that you have to remove at the end of the day. These extensions are placed in the hair, either for daily use or for special occasions, and then removed afterwards. There are two methods of temporary extensions, clip-ins and halos, which are both widely available in both synthetic fibre and human hair.

Clip-in extensions
Clip-in extensions are as the name suggests - clipped into your hair. Clip-in extensions are incredibly versatile, as they’re available in a multitude of styles and pieces, such as; one pieces, multi pieces, ponytails and buns.

At Stranded Hair Group, we are proud to exclusively stock clip-in extensions, due to this versatility and how they can elevate any look in an instant - no matter what type of hair you have.

Halo extensions
Halo extensions are relatively new to the hair industry market. Halo extensions are one piece extensions that attach to the hair using a thin, plastic wire that sits by the crown of your head and is typically secured using clips.

Semi-permanent extensions

Semi-permanent extensions are hair extensions that are installed into the natural hair by a professional, lasting from 6 weeks upwards before needing to be refitted. Semi-permanent extensions always come in human hair, as the actual extensions can last you up to a year with proper after and are praised to behave just like your own hair does.

Tape extensions
Tape extensions are human hair extensions that are ‘taped’ into your natural hair. The taping process involves two strips of extensions with medical-grade adhesive strips on the top, which form a sandwich around a slice of your natural hair.

Microbead extensions
Microbead extensions are human hair extensions that are attached to your natural hair using small plastic beads. Strands of the extension hair are installed into strands of your natural hair by pressing a small plastic bead closed around the two.

Pre-bonded extensions
Pre-bonded extensions are human hair extensions that are bonded to the natural hair using ‘U-tips’. These ‘U-tips’ are used to attach strands of the extension hair to your natural hair, by pressing and melting the bond into bonds.

Weft extensions
Weft extensions, also known as sew-in extensions, are tracks of human hair that are sewn into a braid of your natural hair. These tracks can be installed in one piece, or they can be cut up and installed in smaller sections (quite like a one piece vs a multi piece clip-in hair extension).

How long does your hair need to be for clip-in extensions?

As previously mentioned, clip-in extensions come in a variety of styles. As such, the amount and length of hair you need to install them also varies.

For your regular clip-in extensions, like one piece and multi piece extensions, your hair needs to be a minimum length of 8 inches. This is because the clips need something to grip to, but also enough hair to blend the extensions into.

However, we recommend avoiding one piece extensions if your hair is that short, as they would be incredibly difficult to blend. Instead, we suggest using human hair multi piece extensions, such as our 16” Luxury Four Piece Clip-in Human Hair Extension (RRP £115), as these can be professionally cut by a hairdresser to meet your desired length.

If you’d like to wear a clip-in ponytail, your only length requirement is ensuring that your natural hair can be pulled into a ponytail or tight bun before installing, as this is what the extension attaches to.

As ponytail extensions completely disguise your natural hair, you also aren’t limited by what length of extension you would like to install. We love our 24” Synthetic Fibre Wand Wave Ponytail (RRP £30).

Like with ponytail extensions, if you are able to pull your natural hair into a bun, then you’ll be able to install a bun extension. For a really natural-looking bun, we love our Super Easy Clip-in Mum Bun (RRP £19).

How long does your hair need to be for halo extensions?

As halo extensions are one piece extensions, we do not recommend using them for extremely short hair. We would suggest that your hair needs to be at least collarbone length (around 10 to 12 inches), for it to blend.

If you’d like to try halo extensions, we recommend purchasing one made of human hair, that can be cut to your desired length by a hairdresser. We never recommend cutting synthetic fibre hair - even our Stranded Clever Fibre! Check out Luxy Hair 12” Human Hair Halo Extensions (RRP £200).

How long does your hair need to be for tape extensions?

To have tape extensions installed, your hair needs to be a minimum of 6 inches in length. However, the beauty of tape extensions, along with all methods of semi-permanent hair extensions, is that they are made of human hair which can be cut to your desired length.

If you’re considering tape extensions, we recommend checking out North Professional Hair Tape Extensions!

How long does your hair need to be for microbead extensions?

For microbead extensions, your natural hair needs to be a minimum of 4 inches in length for them to be installed. Like with all semi-permanent hair extension methods, microbead extensions are made of human hair, which can be cut by your hair professional to your desired length.

Think microbead extensions could be for you? We recommend checking our BeautyWorks Celebrity Choice Nanobond Extensions!

How long does your hair need to be for pre-bonded extensions?

Some claim that pre-bonded extensions require the least amount of natural length to be installed - only a minimum of 2.5 inches! If so, this would make pre-bonded extensions the most accessible extension method for extremely short hair, and by being made of human hair, they can be completely customised to your desired length.

However, blending a natural length of 2.5 inches could prove to be very difficult. Instead, we recommend having a natural length of between 4 to 6 inches (between microbead and tape extension length) to help support a more seamless blend.

Fancy trying pre-bonded extensions? We recommend Foxy Pre-bonded Flat Tip Extensions!

How long does your hair need to be for weft extensions?

For weft (or sew-in) extensions, the length of natural hair you need can be a little complicated. Whilst you may only need 3 to 4 inches of your natural hair braided, to sew the extension in, you will actually need 8 to 10 inches of length for the extensions to blend (similar to clip-in extensions). However, the extensions can be cut to your desired length.

Did you know that Stranded also stocks 100% human hair weft extensions? Check out our Original Weft (Unclipped Hair Extension) - available in 14 and 18 inches.

What if my hair isn’t long enough for extensions?

Whilst there are a variety of hair extension methods to choose from to extend your natural hair length, they may not always work for you. Whilst, on paper, 2.5 inches is the minimum length you need to get hair extensions, there is a chance that your hair is not thick enough or it won’t blend naturally.

So what should you do?

Wigs are a great option to disguise your natural hair whilst you are growing it out. Depending on what you are looking to achieve with your hair, half wigs may be all you need, but full wigs provide the most coverage and can completely transform your look.

Are wigs your best option for now? We recommend checking out Annabelle Wigs for a variety of full and half wigs in synthetic fibre hair and Estelle Wigs for human hair full wigs!

Top tips to help your hair grow

Waiting for your hair to grow can feel like such a painful process, especially if you’re feeling self-conscious about it. Whilst hair extensions and wigs can help disguise your natural length, here are our top tips on what could help your hair grow in the meantime:

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What now?

You came to this blog looking for a way to extend your natural hair’s length, without waiting months for it to grow. Perhaps your hair was cut just a bit too short or you’re experiencing hormonal hair loss? Whatever the reason, you want longer hair and you want it now.

Since reading this blog, you have learnt about temporary and semi-permanent hair extensions and how long your hair needs to be for each installation method they offer, along with information on wearing wigs and top tips to help your hair grow.

But now what?

At Stranded Hair Group, we know that not only does having good hair make you feel good, but having the autonomy and education to make the best decisions for your hair makes you feel confident! We are committed to making our customers feel confident, and that is a huge reason why we write blogs - just like this one.

Found this blog helpful?

If you found this blog helpful, you can find more information in our ‘Guide to Hair Extensions For Short Hair: Everything You Need To Know’.

Check out our Stranded Blog for more hair-related content, including a selection of blogs specifically written to help you choose the best hair extension method for you! These blogs include; ‘What Is The Best Hair Extension Method?’, ‘How Long Do Extensions Last?’, and ‘How Much Do Hair Extensions Cost?: Your Ultimate UK Guide’.

Could clip-ins be the one for you?

Are you thinking about purchasing a clip-in extension? Take a look at our website for our wide range of synthetic fibre and human hair clip-in extensions, including one pieces, multi pieces, ponytails and buns!

Did you know that we also offer free expert colour matching? Take the hassle out of finding your perfect shade and get colour-matched today!