In this article we'll explore the average cost of hair extensions, and expose the hidden costs, to help you decide which method of hair extensions best suits your budget.
Because when most people think about hair extensions, they think about having the long, thick, luscious hair of their dreams.
But most people won't consider the REAL cost of hair extensions.
The average cost of hair extensions may not be as high as you think. As it turns out, you can get top-shelf hair extensions without having to pay top dollar.
As with anything, the average cost of hair extensions depends a lot on the type of extensions you are looking at and the hidden costs associated with each.
So let's drill down and find out how much are hair extensions, and figure out which ones might suit you best.
Read next: The best hair extensions for thin hair
How much are hair extensions?
As much as I hate to admit it, it's one of those "how long is a piece of string" questions.
So let's simplify as much as we can, so that we can make an informed decision.
While some hair extensions can cost as little as $20, or as much as $3,000, there are certain factors that will influence the cost.
- What's the hair quality? (What is Remy hair?)
- Is it ethically sourced hair or non-ethical?
- Is it human hair or synthetic hair?
- Where is it sourced from?
- And so on...
And the hair extensions you buy would likely depend on what you're intending to use if for.
For instance, if you're planning on using it for a Halloween party this year, then find yourself the cheapest plastic hair you can find! (Although, please do consider that plastic hair doesn't recycle).
Or if you we born into the British Royal family, or you're an oil Baroness, then go to the higher end - why not!
But, if you're a regular woman with thin hair who wants to experience thicker, longer, natural looking hair...
Then I would avoid either side of the extremes. Your natural home is somewhere in the middle.
And you're in luck! Because the rest of the article written just for you.
The Real Cost Of Extensions
Going forward we're assuming that you're looking for a decent set of hair extensions that will blend well with your own hair. And that you want these hair extensions for ongoing daily use.
So to simplify things and to make sure we're comparing apples with apples, we're going to assume that all hair extensions fit the following basic criteria:
- Remy or ProGrade Remy Human Hair (good and great and quality for every day use).
- Ethically and sustainably sourced.
- European texture (to blend well with natural hair).
With that said; let's get down to the nuts and bolts:
The average cost of good "non-permanent" hair extensions is between $150 - $600. Non permanent hair extensions include The Halo Hair Extension or clip-in extensions, and are classed as 'DIY' hair extensions, meaning you don't need a specialist to install them into your hair. In other words, they're easy to put in and take out.
Whereas professional/permanent hair extensions usually range between $700 - $1,500 for a good set. These require a professional (normally a trained hairdresser) to install and remove them, as well as perform maintenance on them.
Yup, they get pretty expensive.
The thing is; the average cost of hair extensions in both categories will also vary greatly depending on several factors, including:
- The type of hair extension you're after.
- The amount of hair you need.
- The method of application.
- And the ongoing need for maintenance (associated with permanent hair extensions).
Recap On Costs Of Hair Extensions:
We've covered a lot in the first sections.
But before we move on to the next section, just to make sure we're on the same page, let's quickly recap on what we've learned:
- Each hair extension method has a different price point.
- And each method comes with different associated costs that add to the total price.
- Each method is categorised into two categories; permanent or non-permanent hair extensions.
- Different hair qualities affect the price as well, but we're focusing on Remy and ProGrade Remy hair.
Now that we're all caught up, in the section below we'll go into each type of hair extensions, and explain in detail what costs you need to consider before making a decision.
Also read: Halo vs Clip-ins: Which one to choose?
How much are permanent hair extensions?
Like I mentioned above, permanent hair extensions are applied by a hairdresser. So the real question is "How much are hair extensions at a salon?"
Let's look at this...
Permanent hair extensions include:
- Weave ins
- And fusion extensions.
The average cost of permanent hair extensions varies. And the cost depends on:
- The method (manufacturing of the hair extensions)
- What your stylist/hairdresser charges for installation.
- How fast your hair grows. The faster your hair grows the more often you need to have them maintained.
If your hair extensions are not well maintained your hair will grow out and your extensions will start to show.
Therefore, every 4-6 weeks you'll need to visit the hairdresser to have the hair extensions brought back up closer to your roots again.
To calculate the average cost of permanent hair extensions, see our market based estimates below for each method:
How much are Tape-In hair extensions?
The average cost of tape in hair extensions ranges between $200-$600 (average of $350). Plus installation at the hairdresser, which is about $200.
And they'll need to be adjusted and moved up every 4-6 weeks or so depending on the rate your hair grows. The cost of maintenance will depend entirely on what your hair extensions technician charges. But this could set you back around $150 each time.
So while on first inspection the cost of tape-ins may seem like an effective option, the overall cost outweigh their initial appeal.
Total cost of tape in hair extensions over 12 months:
- $400 for the hair hair extensions
- $200 for installation at the hairdressers
- $120 for maintenance x 8 per year = $960
- TOTAL: $1,800 per year
And every year you will need to buy new hair since the old hair starts to get old and matted.
This is a factor for all permanent hair extensions, because you will sleep in them, gym/pilates in them, etc. That's the nature of permanent hair extensions; they don't come out.
How much are fusion/keratin hair extensions?
Fusion hair extensions installation will set you back between $300 - $1000 (average of $550) plus the cost of the hair which is roughly $350. And they have to be reset at the hairdresser every 3 months or so (add another $550 every 3.5 months).
There's also the option for cold-fusion hair extensions, these will last you even longer. They are better for your hair. However the average cost of these hair extensions is between $1500 - $3000, so let's not focus on those for now.
Needless to say this is one of the priciest options when it comes to permanent hair extensions. This is because of the technology they use, and how good they look.
If you do prefer permanent locks then fusions extensions are probably worth dropping some dollars on.
Here's how fusion extensions work in a nutshell:
These extensions are bonded to your hair using keratin bonds. The keratin bonds have a molecular structure which is the same as your own hair, so it literally fuses to your own hair (kind of like welding hair onto your own hair...).
This means there is no hardness or hair damage which can be caused by the glue from other permanent hair extension methods.
The only thing to remember is if your hair is sensitive, the weight of the bond might cause hair loss from simply having the pressure on your hair.
This is a real issue with any permanent hair extensions; a constant pulling weight on your hair follicles can cause hair loss for girls with sensitive and fine hair. Which isn't ideal.
Total cost of fusion hair extensions over 12 months:
- $350 for the hair hair extensions (assuming average quality hair).
- $550 for installation at the hairdresser.
- $550 for maintenance 3.5x per year = $1,925.
- TOTAL: $2,825 per year.
And, same as with all permanent hair extensions, every year you will need to buy new hair.
How much are weave in hair extensions?
The average cost of these hair extensions is around $300 - $600 (average of $400) plus the cost of installation of about $150, and the ongoing maintenance which involves;
- The weaves being undone
- Your hair washed
- And then the wefts woven back into your hair again.
This will normally set you back about $150 per session (every 6 weeks).
Weaves traditionally involve hair being attached to braids. However, the weft hair extension is sort of a modern evolution of this.
Wefts are one of the quicker hair extensions methods because it doesn't involve strand by strand application. But rather, a weft, or more often, several layers of wefts, are woven into your hair.
Keep in mind that the weaves are very uncomfortable when they're freshly woven in. The tight wefts can cause headaches. And the constant pulling on your hair can lead to long term hair loss.
Total cost of weave in hair extensions over 12 months:
- $400 for the hair.
- $150 for installation by the hairdresser.
- $150 for ongoing maintenance x 8 per year = $1,200
- TOTAL: $1,750 per year
And every year you will need to buy new hair.
How much are microlink/bead hair extensions?
Microbead hair extensions will set you back between $300 - $600 (average of $400) plus installation at the hairdresser which costs about $450. And ongoing maintenance every 6 weeks at $150 per session.
These can be a great option. However, like all permanent hair extensions, the constant pulling on your hair can cause hair loss for some women. And this isn't ideal.
Total cost of micro bead hair extensions over 12 months:
- $400 for the hair.
- $450 for installation at the hairdresser.
- $200 for ongoing maintenance x8 per year = $1,600
= $2,400 per year
And every year you will need to buy new hair.
How much are non-permanent hair extensions:
Non-permanent hair extensions are hair extensions that don't permanently attach to your own natural hair.
Therefore they're easy to put in. And take out. And you can do it all yourself, from the comfort of your own home.
The cost tends to be a lot lower because you don't have to pay for;
- And maintenance
Here are our market estimates for non-permanent hair extensions (clip in hair extensions and halo hair extensions):
Watch: why I love non-permanent hair extensions:
In this video Taryn and Jordy talk about why they love non-permanent hair extension (among other things).
Image: Clip in hair extensions
How much are clip in hair extensions?
The average cost of clip in hair extensions is between $200 - $500 depending on the length of hair. And they will last 6-12 months, depending on how much you wear them.
The major upside of clip in hair extensions is the impermanence factor; you can put them on and take them off at home, within mere minutes.
The major downside of clip in hair extensions is that although they're often advertised as "causing no damage" by the marketing companies, they are in fact known to cause severe damage to your own hair.
When you hear stories about how some poor girl has bald spots from hair extensions, it's clip in extensions she's referring to. If you need verification on this, just google "clip in hair extensions bald spots" to find endless stories...
This is because these extensions are applied to the same spots in your hair, day after day. And over time, the constant pulling on those follicles will stress the hair follicle, causing the hair to fall out. Which leaves hairless spots on the scalp of the wearer.
So the cost of recovering your hair is a long term factor that needs to be considered too...
Total cost of clip in hair extensions over 12 months:
- $350 for the hair.
- $75 for an initial cut in at the hairdresser.
- $300 for hair treatment to fix damage caused by clip in extensions.
- TOTAL: $725 per year
Then add to this the cost of the next set of hair extensions you pay for to replace your clip ins once you notice how much they're damaging your hair.
Clip in hair extensions can last 6-12 months before they need to be replaced.
Image: Halo Hair Extensions
How much are halo hair extensions?
The average cost of these hair extensions is between $150 and $600 for a good quality, 100% Remy or ProGrade Remy Hair Halo.
Halo hair extensions are well worth the price because they're super low maintenance, easy to wear and easy to style.
The price of halo hair extensions will vary depending on the thickness of the product. Here at Sitting Pretty we offer three Halos; a FINE, MEDIUM and THICK option to suit all hair types.
And, call me biased but Halos are truly the holy grail of non-permanent hair extensions. (And hair extensions in general!)
Think about it:
- No finicky clips.
- No regular visits to the salon.
- No damage to your own hair.
Isn't that the dream? 😂 They're super easy to put in. They blend beautifully. And look absolutely natural.
Total cost of clip in hair extensions over 12 months:
- $300 (hair)
- $75 (initial cut in at the hairdresser)
= $375 per year
And the best part? These will be the last hair extensions you ever use. Once you've tried halo hair extensions you won't look back.