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What are Pre-Tipped Hair Extensions?

By Christine Hudson
Updated May 17, 2024
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Pre-tipped hair extensions, also known as pre-bonded, are extensions which are manufactured with glue. This glue is applied to the ends of the extensions and becomes sticky with the application of warmth. These extensions are applied by being glued to the existing hair. They generally last three to six weeks with proper care.

Hair extensions are typically used to make a person’s hair appear longer and fuller and may even change its color without actually changing the hair itself. There are many ways to add extensions to the hair including sewing, weaving, and gluing them in. If one chooses to have the extensions glued on, the options typically available are using strips of hair wefts and applying the glue separately or warming pre-glued extensions while placing them where desired. Pre-tipped hair extensions are preferred for home applications because they are commonly not as messy.

Generally, pre-tipped hair extensions are available in many natural and unnatural shades. There is also synthetic and natural hair available, and most can be dyed to a particular shade if that shade is not available locally. Lengths vary and can be cut to whatever style necessary once they are applied. It is best not to cut the pre-tipped hair extensions until after they are applied so the cut will complement the existing hair, face, and head shape.

The most common method of applying pre-tipped hair extensions is to separate the hair layer by layer from the nape of the neck up. On each layer, individuals can place the glued end of the extension on the hair about 1/8 to 1/4 inch below the scalp. The glue then needs to be heated using a specialized heating iron or a blow dryer, and pressure needs to be held long enough for the glue to cool and form a strong bond. Care instructions vary based on the type of extension, but it is important for users to follow any instructions provided to improve the longevity of the extensions.

Each type of pre-tipped hair extensions has pros and cons. Synthetic hair may not be very easy to dye or style, depending on what it is made of, but it is usually less expensive than natural hair. Extensions made of natural hair may cost more, but are a bit easier to care for, style, and dye. The biggest considerations are the quality of the hair and glue and whether or not they will do more harm than good. Removal of extensions may strip the hair and cause damage, so it is important for individuals to consider this before taking the plunge.

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