Least Damaging Hair Extensions: How to Choose the Right One for Your Hair

Deciding to invest in hair extensions is a pretty big commitment for some. With so many types of hair extensions to choose from, the choices can be overwhelming. The goal for hair extensions is to provide length and give yourself a new refreshing look. However, nothing is refreshing about removing hair extensions only to be left with damaged hair full of breakage. Here is how you can save your hair and buy the least damaging hair extensions for your next style. 

Do hair extensions damage your real hair?

Let us start by stating any type of hair extensions can damage your real hair if not taken care of properly. However, hair extensions have come a long way since their early days. With advancements in technology and materials, it's now possible to find extensions that look and feel natural and are also less damaging to your hair. 

Whether you're looking for temporary or permanent extensions, there are options available that won't leave your hair looking and feeling damaged. Each type has its own pros and cons, and the damage caused by each type varies depending on the quality of the extensions, the application process, and the maintenance routine.

Clip-in Hair Extensions

chesnut brown clip in hair extensions

Clip-in extensions are the simplest and most temporary type of extension. They are attached to your hair using small clips and can be easily removed without damaging your hair. Clip-in extensions are a great option if you're looking for a quick and easy way to add length and volume to your hair without committing to a long-term style.

Clip-ins are considered to be the least damaging type of hair extension because they also have the least permanent installation process. They don't require any heat or chemical treatments and can be easily removed when not in use. Unlike tape-ins, wefts, microlinks, or bonded tips, simply open the clip and remove your hair from the root. Simple and no fuss and no mess. 

However, we do not recommend sleeping or shampooing your hair with clip-in extensions installed. Both options can cause hair breakage and damage. If you are new to this type of hair extension we suggest reading how to clip in hair extensions for more details. 

Tape-in Hair Extensions

Tape-in extensions are applied by sandwiching a small section of your natural hair between two tape-backed extension pieces. The tape is specially formulated to be gentle on your hair and scalp, and the extensions can be easily removed without damaging your natural hair.

They are relatively gentle on your hair, but the tape can cause damage if not removed correctly or if left in for too long. Additionally, tape-in extensions can be difficult to apply and remove without professional assistance. Understanding how to properly remove tape-ins can be the difference between if it damages your hair or not. 

To safely remove tape-in extensions, start by consulting with the professional hair stylist who installed them. If you are performing the takedown process on your own, it’s best to use something like a tape-in extension remover to reduce breakage and make it easier on yourself. 

Micro-ring/ Micro-link Hair Extensions

Micro-ring also referred to as micro-link extensions are semi-permanent types of hair extensions that are applied by clamping small sections of your hair onto the extensions using tiny rings. They are considered to be less damaging than fusion extensions, but the rings can cause damage if not applied or removed correctly. Additionally, micro-ring extensions can be difficult to maintain, as the rings can become loose over time and the extensions can slip or slip out.

Fusion Hair Extensions

Fusion extensions are a permanent type of hair extensions that are applied by fusing the extensions to your natural hair using heat or a chemical bonding agent. They are considered to be the most damaging type of hair extensions, as the heat or chemical treatments can cause damage to your natural hair. Additionally, fusion extensions can be difficult to remove, as they can only be removed by cutting the extensions away from your

Sew-In Weft Hair Extensions

Sew-in extensions are semi-permanent types of hair extensions that are applied by sewing weft hair extensions into braided sections of your natural hair. Alternatively, most stylists will sew a hair net on top of the braided cornrows followed by sewing the weft hair extensions to the net instead.  This process further protects your hair from damage.

They are relatively gentle on your hair, but the braids can cause damage if left in for too long or if they are too tight. Additionally, sew-in extensions can be difficult to maintain, as they can become tangled and matted over time.

How to Choose the Right Least Damaging Hair Extensions

When choosing hair extensions, it's important to consider the quality of the hair, the method of attachment, and the length and volume you're looking for.

Choose high-quality hair: High-quality extensions are less likely to tangle, shed, and break, and they'll also look more natural and blend in better with your natural hair.

Consider the attachment method: Make sure the method you choose is suitable for your hair type and length. For example, tape-in extensions are not recommended for fine or thin hair, while weft extensions may be too heavy for some hair types.

Consider the length and volume: Make sure the extensions you choose are the right length and volume for your hair. You don't want extensions that are too long or too thick, as they can put too much strain on your natural hair.

Also Read: How Long Do Hair Extensions Last?


When choosing the best type of hair extensions for your hair there are so many things to consider. Think about your budget, your hair type and texture, length, and overall hair health and condition. If you are unsure which type of hair extension is the best for you, start by consulting a professional to help make the right decision.