Clip-In vs. Microbead Extensions
With wedding season right around the corner, brides and bridesmaids alike are scrambling to find options for longer, fuller hair. The perfect solution? Hair extensions!
Hair extensions are a wonderful solution to short hair or hair that’s lost its vitality, luster, or volume. They can add length, make your hair seem fuller, and help present the appearance of youth. But there are lots of options out there, from tape to weaves to actual wigs, and it can be hard to pick through all the options. We’ll compare two of the most popular options–clip-in and microbead extensions–and see how they perform in different categories of quality.
First, what are clip-in and microbead extensions? Clip-in extensions are one of the most common types of extensions, and feature wefts of hair that are secured to the head via horizontal pressurized clips that can be removed whenever the person chooses. Microbead extensions use small silicone-coated beads to attach to the head, and can only be taken out by a hair stylist.
- Clip-In Extensions: These extensions can generally last up to a few days attached to the client’s head if taken care of, which includes sleeping with a nightcap and refraining from wetting or styling your hair. If the hair extensions are high-quality virgin human hair, they should be able to be used with heat styling tools like curling irons and straighteners, but in order to prolong their longevity, they shouldn’t be styled more than once every few days. To really prolong their life, take the clip-in extensions out every night in order to keep the hair as undamaged as possible and prevent tangles. If you take the extensions out every night and they are high-quality virgin human hair that isn’t styled more than once every week or so, they can last up to a year.
- Microbead Extensions: Based on your hair’s density, curl pattern, and thickness, microbead extensions can last anywhere from six weeks to six months. Touch-ups every six weeks are recommended, since some beads typically fall out over time.
- Clip-In Extensions: Depending on the quality of hair, clip-in extensions can range from $20-$200.
- Microbead Extensions: Because microbead extensions can only be applied by a professional, expect to pay around twice the amount you would for clip-in extensions.
- Clip-In Extensions: The quality and appearance of clip-in extensions can vary widely because of their popularity. Since they’re so common, it’s possible to buy very bad acrylic hair that feels like doll hair, and does not look real or beautiful. In order to purchase the best quality hair, look for hair that’s human, preferably virgin (undyed), and with the cuticle still intact. These will be much more expensive than acrylic hair, but are much easier to style, wash, and look much more realistic on the head.
- Microbead Extensions: Although the chances of finding acrylic microbead hair are much lower than in the clip-in extension market, there are still bad sellers out there, so make sure to look for the same qualifiers as those we mentioned in the clip-in extension segment: look for human, virgin hair with the cuticle still intact.
Overall, some people find microbead extensions to look much more natural because of their “row” like pattern on the head instead of attaching in larger wefts like clip-in extensions. However, this often boils down to the application process and skill of the applicant.
Remember, your best bet is to ask your stylist what you think would work best with your hair!