The Complete Guide to Choosing Your Perfect Hair Extensions

Are you looking for your first hair extension bundle? We get it… sometimes it can be overwhelming to look at all the options. There are almost too many choices!

Choosing the hair extensions that are right for you doesn’t have to be stressful. We have everything you need to know about the different types of extensions and the hair they’re made of. If you want to find your perfect hair bundle, just keep reading!

Types of Extensions

There are so many different kinds of extensions! They vary in price, convenience, and longevity. If you know what you want in a set of hair extensions, it should be a little easier to figure out which ones to purchase.

Clip-On Extensions

If you’re not quite ready to commit to long-term extensions, you might consider clip-ons. These extensions will last throughout the day, but they aren’t permanent. Some people use them every day, while others get them for special events.

Clip-ons are easy to insert all on your own, which means you don’t have to visit a salon. The extensions are attached to combs that you simply slip into your hair. The result is instantly longer, thicker hair. You can put them on in the morning and take them off before bed – it only takes a few minutes.

These extensions can dramatically vary in price depending on the quality you purchase. You might be spending just $30 or even up to $1,500. Because you only wear them for one day at a time, they don’t need any kind of special maintenance.

Glue-In Extensions

Another option for short-term extensions is glue-in extensions, which must be applied by a professional stylist. The stylist secures these hairpieces to your hairline using a special liquid glue. These extensions should last you a few days, but you will have to care for them. Gently comb through the hair instead of using a brush. You should also be careful while you wash these extensions, making sure to get shampoo in between the wefts but never scrubbing.

Although glue-ins have a longer life than clip-ons, they can sometimes be cheaper. They generally run from $150 to $500. Because of their more inexpensive price tag and easy maintenance, this is a great option if you enjoy changing your look up on the regular.

Sew-In Extensions (Weave)

If you’re wanting a more long-term style change, sew-in extensions are a great option! Getting sew-in extensions starts with your stylist putting your hair in cornrows. Then they sew in the hairpiece to blend with your natural hair. Just the process of getting sew-in extensions is a commitment. You should expect to spend several hours getting your full head done.

Caring for sewn-in extensions is easy. You just have to be a little extra patient with the drying process. This kind of extension looks very natural, and it will protect your natural hair. Keep in mind that you will need to get them retouched regularly. Generally, these extensions will cost around $1,000 and last for up to two months.

Bonded Extensions

Another more long-term option is bonded hair extensions. These also require a stylist’s help. The professional stylist will use a heat-activated keratin-based polymer to bond these extensions with your natural hair. The process can take anywhere from one to four hours, depending on how much hair you have.


Do keep in mind that these are one of the more damaging types of extensions. If your hair is already damaged, these may not be the best choice for you. Because the bonding process can sometimes cause scalp irritation, you should also pass over these if you have a more sensitive scalp.

This special treatment will cost you. Bonded extensions can cost $1,000 and up. However, they should last you up to five months with proper care. In general, you can treat bonded extensions like your natural hair and style them as you please.

Tape-In Extensions

With tape-in extensions, you have to go through a professional. The application process consists of the stylist taping small strips of hair to your own roots. If your hair is extra fine, this is a great option for you. Tape-ins won’t damage your natural hair.

You can wear these extensions while you swim or workout. The adhesive outlasts your sweat. As far as long-term extensions go, this option isn’t very pricey. You can expect to spend around just $650 for these extensions. With the right care, you can usually get your tape-in extensions to last for up to two months!

Halo Extensions

This is the newest type of extension on the market and it’s unlike any other. With these extensions, the hair that is connected to a thin wire (a halo) that’s shaped to your head. You can install the extensions yourself by applying the halo of hair to the crown of your head. They are easy to put in but also long-lasting. They are best if you already have thicker hair.

Although you can put these extensions in yourself, you will still want to use a professional stylist to help you color match the extensions. As long as you’re caring for them properly, halo extensions can last for a whole year! They usually cost a few hundred dollars, which definitely isn’t bad considering their longevity.

Types of Hair

It’s not just the application you need to consider when it comes to hair extensions. It’s also the hair that goes into the extension. The two over-arching types of hair are synthetic and human hair. However, there are still two different types of extensions that come from human hair: virgin and raw.

Raw Hair Extensions

Raw hair extensions are made from real human hair that has not been chemically treated or altered in any way. The hair cuticles are still intact and uniformly aligned.

Because raw hair isn’t processed in any way, there are more limited options for hair texture. You will usually only be able to find straight and wavy raw hair extensions and sometimes curly. If you want a more specific style like kinky curly, you will have to buy virgin hair extensions. Typically, these are the most expensive extensions.

Real hair means more maintenance, but it also means more versatility. You can straighten it one day and curl the next. You can also customize real hair extensions to look more like your natural hair. You won’t get that same kind of experience with synthetic extensions.

Every bundle of raw hair extensions is a little different. For some people, this is a benefit because they know no one else will have their exact style. But if you tend to re-purchase the same extensions once your hairpiece has run its course, this can be tricky. You can’t be sure that the raw hair bundle you get will look exactly like your old extensions.

Virgin Hair Extensions

If you’ve always wanted silky soft hair, you can’t do any better than virgin hair extensions! These hair extensions have never been chemically treated or processed in any way. Just like with raw hair, that means no bleach, heat, dye, or perm treatments—just healthy human hair! You can customize virgin hair extensions after you get them to match your own color.

The thing that separates virgin hair extensions from raw hair extensions is that virgin extensions have been steamed. This process doesn’t harm the hair and never involves any chemical. The benefit of steaming is it gives you more texture and style options than you have with raw human hair. You can find more specific textures like deep wave and kinky curl, which makes it easier to match your natural hair.

The steaming process also helps with consistency. You get more uniform hair patterns. This makes it easier to replace your extensions once a set goes bad without completely altering your look.

Just like with raw human hair, virgin extensions look real because they are real. They also feel natural and are easy to care for. Simply treat them like you would your own hair, brushing a few times a day and washing and drying them. Just try to avoid products with alcohol or sulfates.

Because virgin hair has not been processed, it’s also not damaged. That helps it last longer. These extensions can last for a year as long as you’re taking care of them.

Synthetic Hair Extensions

Of course, there’s always the option of getting synthetic hair extensions, which aren’t made from human hair at all. Typically, synthetic hair extensions are made from acrylic fibers, polyester fibers, or a combination of both. Synthetic hair extensions are considered to be the most low-quality extensions.

People often notice the difference between your natural hair and synthetic hair extensions. Synthetic hair stands out because it’s generally shinier and it won’t move in the same way that real hair does.

The Problems with Synthetic Extensions

Synthetic hair extensions can also be difficult to care for because you can’t treat them like your own hair. You have to be careful taking heat styling tools to your synthetic hair extensions, as this can sometimes result in them melting. Some synthetic hair may be able to withstand heat up to a certain temperature, but you should always check the instructions before trying it.

Because your synthetic extensions might melt, you also need to be careful when you’re around high heats. If you’re in front of a bonfire or even cooking on a stove, you need to be careful. If your extensions do end up melting or burning, they can damage your scalp in addition to ruining your hairstyle!

Another problem with synthetic hair extensions is that they don’t allow your natural hair to breathe. This can make your scalp sweaty, creating the ideal environment for fungus and bacteria to grow. It’s always important to allow your natural hair to dry completely when you’re wearing synthetic extensions to prevent mold growth.

You might assume that because it’s artificial, synthetic hair can outlast human hair. But the opposite is actually true. Synthetic hair usually lasts two to six months depending on the quality.

Styling Your Synthetic Extensions

Synthetic hair doesn’t offer a lot of options when it comes to styling. Part of that is because you can’t generally use heat products. But synthetic hair also just doesn’t have the same kind of textural options that you can get with real hair.

Even the color matching of synthetic hair is off. You can’t get the same multi-tonal match that you can get with authentic hair extensions. This makes the hair look even more unnatural.

If you want curly or wavy hair, you can usually achieve buy synthetic hair extensions that already have this style. This can make getting ready in the morning easier. Your hair is already styled! However, synthetic extensions don’t have the same kind of versatility that real hair does. You have to choose between straight, wavy, and curly hair when picking out your extensions, whereas you can change real human hair day-to-day.

The good part about styling synthetic extensions is you won’t have to worry about frizziness or the weather altering the appearance of the extensions. If you’re a no-fuss kind of person, you might prefer synthetic extensions. You can open the hair bundle and start wearing them right away without styling or dying!

The Bottom Line of Synthetic vs. Real Human Hair Extensions

Ultimately, synthetic extensions are cheaper than virgin or raw hair extensions, but they lack quality. If you want hair that looks and feels real (because it is real!), you should definitely opt for virgin or raw hair. It may have a higher price tag, but it’s worth it!

Get Hair Extensions from the Best of the Best

With all these different styles and types of extensions, there’s truly something of everyone! And if you’re looking for the best hair extensions in Dallas, purchase through RIE Hair Boutique. We sell only the highest quality virgin hair extensions in a variety of styles.

Still undecided about what type of hair extensions are best for you? Our professionals would be happy to help figure it out! We can find you the perfect extensions based on your lifestyle and specific needs. Your dream hair is closer than you think. Call us or stop by our boutique today!