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Extensions – how gentle are tape-ins, clip-ins and bondings for the hair?

Extensions are now part of the standard repertoire of most hairdressers. Nothing lengthens or thickens hair faster than the artificial strands. But it comes at a price and is also not equally recommended for every hair. Tikbow clarifies the most important questions about extensions.

In fact, there are three different types of extensions: "Bondings" and "Tape-In" are two methods of permanent hair lengthening at the hairdresser, "Clip-Ins" on the other hand, can also be clipped into the hair at home for special occasions. Tikbow spoke with hairdresser Melina from "Melina Best Friseur" in Cologne about the advantages and disadvantages of the various hair lengthening methods.

The methods

In general, the hairdresser uses only human hair, explains the expert. The length and cut of the extensions are individually tailored, and another option is the weight or the number of strands needed. On average, you need about 125 strands to get a good result, says Melina. The thicker the natural hair, the more strands are needed for hair lengthening.


This type of hair extension is suitable for women who want to apply the extensions themselves as they please. There are now numerous online stores that offer a wide range of colors and allow the hair extensions to be customized on request. With good care, clip-ins can last up to a year.

Tape-In extensions

These extensions are strands that have an adhesive strip at the base, which is glued under the top hair in connection with the natural hair. These extensions are worn permanently, only with a solution that is drip-fed onto the adhesive strip, the strands come off by themselves when needed. The hair tangles can then be reused with a new adhesive strip so that they last for a long time.


These are thin strips of human hair that are welded into fine strands of natural hair. This method is also long-lasting, when removed, bondings are snipped out with the help of pliers.

Tape-ins und Bondings empfiehlt Friseurin Melina bei feinem Haar nicht länger als drei, bei normalen Haar nicht länger als vier Monate zu tragen.

Woman getting hair extensions
At the hairdresser’s you can have your main hair thickened and lengthened with hair tangles.Photo: Getty Images

The procedure


They are delivered as whole sections of hair and then clipped under the top hair of the entire head like a barrette, the procedure takes about 20 minutes. In the beginning, you should get help with the extensions especially at the back of your head until you get the hang of it yourself.


They are handled ähn similar to the clip-ins, but these are individual, 5-gram strähnen made of human hair in the best case, which are glued instead of clipped. The top adhesive strip is peeled off and then joined to the natural hair like a sandwich. The process takes about an hour.


Here, one gram of light strands of human hair are welded to your own hair. The duration of the application is about two hours.

For whom is what suitable?

All hair types can wear extensions, the lengthening adapts to any hair structure without any problems. There is good news for women with natural frizz who would like to try the straight look: Because the hairpieces are so heavy, their own hair is pulled down and thus automatically straightened. Also with curls, hair extensions generally blend in well with the structure.

How are extensions cared for?

Expert Melina: "The right care and suitable products are the be-all and end-all. You should never skimp on them. It’s no use investing a lot of money in extensions and then damaging them with the wrong care products. In general, products containing silicone should not be used for hair care, and clip-ins must be washed separately. Otherwise, extensions should be cared for in the same way as your own hair. Drugstore products, however, can contain too many additives that dissolve the adhesive, which is why the expert advises that care products should be selected for their quality. For optimal hair care, a hair oil is recommended, as well as heat protection before using hot air to dry hair and UV protection from the sun.

What do you have to pay attention to?

In general, chlorine or salt water will damage the extensions, so you should avoid swimming with human hair extensions. It is also recommended not to wash the hair upside down, as the extensions can become heavy and fall out when wet.

Extensions should not be colored, ideally you decide in advance on the tone you want. In most cases, human hair comes from India, where women have very thick, robust and healthy hair, the basic color of which is black. In a first step, the hairpieces are bleached, then dyed and finally laminated with a protective layer – a layer that is preserved only if you take proper care of the extensions and do without color, according to the expert.

Are there any risks?

Tape-ins und Clip-Ins sind nicht schädlich für die eigenen Haare, ganz im Gegenteil: Durch die Extensions werden die eigenen Haare weniger beansprucht (locken, glätten, föhnen) und können sich entsprechend unter den Extensions erholen und regenerieren. Das Wichtigste sei die richtige Pflege, sonst werde das Haar schnell strohig, so die Expertin.

How much do hair extensions cost?

Früher waren Haarverlängerungen mit beinahe vierstelligen Preisen oft unerschwinglich, heutzutage geht das deutlich günstiger: Einfache Clip-In-Extensions sind online im Shop schon ab 30 Euro erhältlich, wer mehr Wert auf Qualität legt, sollte je nach Gramm 100 bis 300 Euro für die Extensions einplanen. Mit Bondings und Tape-ins verhält es sich komplizierter, bei einer Beratung wird der Endpreis meist auskalkuliert. Im Schnitt werden laut Expertin Melina 125 Strähnen in 45cm Länge verwendet, damit läge der Preis für diese Art von Extensions bei knapp 550 Euro.

Which is the gentlest option?

Tape-ins gelten als die schonendste Methode der Extensions, da sie lediglich reingeklebt werden, auch die Entfernung zieht keine Probleme nach sich. Angeschweißte Bondings können laut Expertin gerne einmal ausprobiert werden, würden das Haar aber auf Dauer schädigen.


– with expert advice from "Melina Best hairdresser" in Köln