How Much Are Hair Extensions? The Experts Weigh In

This summer, you may be interested in buying some hair extensions to elongate your tresses and give yourself a sassy surfer girl style makeover. However, if you're new to the hair extension world, you might be wondering: How much are hair extensions? Seeing as you'll be shopping for something you've never purchased before, you probably have no idea about the price ranges, which brands to buy, or the different types of hair extensions, unless you've done your research.

Although hair extensions may play into the beauty myth perpetuated by society and the media, that only feminine presenting women with long hair are traditionally attractive, there's much more to them than meets the eye. Aside from adding length to your tresses, hair extensions can be used to add volume if you want to rock thicker locks or even inject some colorful streaks into your barnet. They also work wonders with formal up 'dos, giving stylists way more to play with; hair extensions open the door to a myriad of fancy hairstyles that may not have been possible to achieve with your natural hair alone. That being said, they're particularly useful for gals getting married, who want an elaborately styled mane.

If you've made up your mind, but you're unsure how your hard earned cash translates into hair extensions, let the experts help guide you through the purchasing process, so you can pick hair extensions to suit your budget.

Max Gierl, Senior Stylist at Mizu New York tells me, “Extensions are a wide range of prices. Mostly it depends on the type.” For those who have a larger budget, Gierl recommends Fusion Bonded Extensions. Gierl explains, “Fusion Bonded Extensions are extensions you have to visit a salon to have put in. They typically last for 3 to 6 months and are then discarded. You brush, wash, dry, and style these very similarly than you would your natural hair, as they are bonded about a 1/2 an inch from your scalp and grow out with your hair.”

He explains the experience of having these extensions put in, “The benefit to these extensions is that they are almost invisible to the eye when properly installed and properly matched with your own color. Fusion Extensions are always priced on consultation. Determining the price is decided by the stylist on the look to be achieved, the time it will take to achieve it, where the stylist is starting from, and where you want to go. Typically a service will cost from $500 to $3,500.” Although this may seem pretty steep to some, Gierl explains why they're awesome, "The versatility with Fusion Extensions is great! Think: Color (super blonde highlights without damage,) volume without adding length, and length with added volume. Virtually anything is possible!” So if you've got the dollar, you might want to consider Fusion Bonded Extensions.

If you're looking for something a little lighter on your purse, Honey Artists Hairstylist Daven Mayeda says, "If you want some pre-made hair, check out Ricky's Beauty Supply for a good selection of hair extensions.” He explains, “If you have super fine hair or want super silky quality extensions, try going to The Hair Shop and getting their skin weft hair pieces with clips sewn in. These will run you around $300.”

Honey Artists Hairstylist Tyler Colton also recommends The Hair Shop, “I really like the hair from The Hair Shop; you can buy online or in stores located in NYC and Los Angeles. I prefer Indian hair and using clip-ins which can be put in and taken out easily.” Colton says, “I suggest only buying human hair which can range between $150 to $250 for a nice, quality set of extensions ranging between 14 to 18 inches in length. This cost is for a set of 7 clip-in extensions.”

At a similar price point, Gierl tells me, “One can get a set of clip-in extensions for about $100 to $350 depending on the density and length of the set. Check with your hairstylist to get a recommendation as to how long and thick would be appropriate for the style you are trying to achieve.” So it seems the middle of the road price for hair extensions is anything between $150 to $300.

JACQUES DEMARTHON/AFP/Getty Images

However, if your beauty budget won't stretch this far there are other options. Gierl tells me, “You can go on the really cheap by buying synthetic hair for one or two time use, just remember that you cannot heat style synthetic hair – check the package for limitations.” In addition to this, if you're a crafty gal, Gierl says, “You can make your own extensions from supplies at a beauty supply store for about $100 to $150. Then of course, you have to sew on clips and sew wefts of hair together to increase density, etc.”

Mayeda also explains how DIY hair extensions are a much cheaper option, “You can make your own extensions by sewing on clips and buying hair in bundles at your local hair store. This will cost you around $60 for 14 to 16 inches.” Thus, getting your craft on could actually save you a ton of money.

All that's left to do is assess your budget and pick your favorite shade. You'll be resembling Rapunzel in no time!

Images: shc9607 (2) /Pixabay; Suhyeon Choi (1) /Unsplash