How Much Do Hair Extensions Cost? UK Guide
How Much Do Hair Extensions Cost?: UK Guide
In 2020, the hair extension market was worth £2.8B ($3.6B), with experts projecting that the combined global market for extensions and wigs will hit £8.1B ($10B) in 2023 - according to research found by Afro Lovely. But what do those figures mean to you?Keep Reading
We know choosing what type of extension method you want can be an absolute minefield, especially because there are so many options and factors to consider. At Stranded, we want our customers to make the best decision for them, even if clip-ins or wefts aren’t their final choice - that’s why we make educational blogs like this one
One factor you need to consider is cost, and not just the upfront cost of the hair. We’re talking fittings, re-fits, removals, maintenance, products … the list could go on. In this article, we will compare each type of extension in terms of cost and explain why certain features, such as human hair, can bump up the price.
- Temporary extension cost
- Semi-permanent extension prices
- Comparison Table : Hair Extensions
- Your next steps
Temporary extension prices
Temporary extensions are extensions you can wear as and when you please, with the added benefit of not having to visit a salon to have them installed or maintained. There are two types of temporary extensions - clip-in extensions and halo extensions.
Temporary extensions tend to be the cheapest of the extension methods, as you don’t have any salon or maintenance fees - you only have a set cost of the hair.
Clip-in extension prices
Clip-in extensions have been on the market for years! They’re a tried and true method that women keep coming back to. They’re quick, convenient, come in various styles and lengths, and most importantly, provide a secure freedom to wear whenever you want. These days, clip-in hair extensions are widely available in both synthetic and human hair.
Synthetic hair is cheaper than human hair, as it is made of smart fibres to resemble your natural hair but maintain a set style. Reputable retailers often sell synthetic clip-in extensions for between £25 and £40.
Beware of cheaper products, as these often use inferior quality fibres, have a real unrealistic look about them and a shorter lifespan (think cheap halloween costume wigs).
If synthetic clip-in extensions seem like the choice for you, we recommend checking out our 20" Wand Wave One Piece, RRP £34. Read our Wand Wave article, here, on how we created the unique salon finish and how it’s different to any other curl on the market.
Human hair clip-in extensions are a more expensive option. Made from the highest quality hair, these extensions behave like your own and look incredibly natural. Reputable retailers market human hair clip-in extensions for between £70 and £175.
Want to upgrade your clip-ins to human hair? We recommend our 20" Luxury Four Piece Human Hair Clip-in Extension, £165 RRP.
Halo extension prices
Halo extensions are relatively new to the hair industry. The exciting new way of attaching the extensions is easily disguisable, they are still quick and convenient, and provide the freedom of wearing extensions whenever you want to. Halo extensions are also available in both synthetic and human hair. However, most Halo products come with clips, so if you are trying to avoid clips all together this may not be the product for you.
Synthetic halo extensions are a cheaper option, giving you a pre-styled look that doesn’t break the bank. Reputable retailers market synthetic halo extensions between £20 and £50.
If you’d like to jump on the halo trend, we recommend checking out Lula Hair Co’s 18" Lula Secret Halo Wavy Hair Extensions, RRP £48.
Human hair extensions are the more expensive option with halos, but provide an authentic finish that behaves like your natural hair. Reputable retailers market human hair halo extensions between £65 and £230.
Want to look like an angel with a human hair halo? We recommend Halo’s 20" Premium Halo Extensions, RRP £209.99.
Semi-permanent extension prices
Semi-permanent extensions are professionally fitted extensions that can be worn for weeks on end. These are great for women wanting to wear extensions every day, without the hassle of having to remove them in the evening . There are four main types of semi-permanent extensions on the market - tape, pre-bonded, micro bead and weft.
For a fair test, we will be comparing 1 pack of extensions at 20 inches (other than 18” weft) for each method. All methods come in human hair, rather than synthetic hair.
Tape extension prices
Tape extensions tend to be the most sought-after method of semi-permanent hair extensions, with growing popularity across UK salons. The lightweight strips provide little tension to the follicle and the hair can be reused time and time again.
A pack of 20-inch human hair tapes typically costs anywhere between £120 and £175, weighing roughly 40 grams across different brands. Salons are recommended to charge around £50 per pack of hair for installation, and from £25 per pack of hair for removal and refit.
Without the cost of maintenance and salon-recommended products, 1 pack of tape extensions can cost around or upwards of £195. For a full head transformation, we recommend using 3 packs of tapes. Keep in mind that if your hairdresser is using a reputable supplier, you will only be paying for refits for the next 6-12 months before needing new hair.
If you’re stuck on the thought of tapes, we recommend North Professional Hair’s 20” Invisible Tapes, RRP £139. Find a stockist, here.
Micro bead extension prices
Micro bead or loop extensions are small strands attached to the natural hair with tiny plastic or metal beads, which are plier-ed shut to secure. Micro bead extensions are a technique that has been on the market for years, but is also one that salons are starting to outgrow for other methods.
A pack of 20-inch micro bead extensions typically weighs around 50 grams and costs anywhere between £90 and £150. Fittings can cost upwards of £70 per pack of hair, with removal and refit around £50. Micro bead extension services tend to be more expensive, as it takes a considerable amount of time to complete.
Without other services, 1 pack of micro bead extensions can cost upwards of £210. We recommend using at least 3 packs of micro bead extensions for a full head transformation.
Rolling with micro bead extensions? We recommend Clip Hair’s Nano Ring Hair Extension, RRP £85.
TOP TIP: Reach out to your hairdresser! They may be able to help you find a method that suits your hair needs and results in a great hair day, without pinching your purse.
Weft extension prices
Weft, weave or sew-in … they all mean the same thing! This technique has been on the market for the longest and is a trusted method for many women who’ve always had hair extensions. Wefts are installed by either being sewn into braids along the scalp, tight to the root, or sewn into micro beads (known as the Hollywood Weave).
A single pack of 18-inch human hair weft extensions, weighing roughly 100g, can cost between £80 and £160. 1 pack of extensions should make 4-8 wefts, and you need 1-4 wefts per row. At a minimum, you can get 2 rows out of a weft extension. Salons are suggested to charge £30 per row, with refit at £20 per row.
The total cost amounts to upwards of around £180, making it a cheaper option for professional, semi-permanent extensions - without added services or products. However, we suggest using 2 packs of weft for a full head transformation.
Have wefts weaved their way into your head? Check out our 18” Original Human Hair Weft, RRP £105.
Pre-bonded extension prices
Pre-bonded extensions, on the other hand, were the original form of semi permanent hair extensions before microbeads. Often pre-bonded hair extensions come with different types of tips, often referred to as U tips or Flat tips, instead of micro beads or loops. This technique is again more dated, with many salons phasing it out for newer methods.
A pack of 20-inch pre-bonded extensions, weighing roughly 50 grams, costs anywhere between £70 and £150. Fitting is recommended to cost £75 per pack of hair and refit or removal can be from £60.
Not including other maintenance services or products, 1 pack of pre-bonded extensions could cost upwards of £205. However, we suggest using at least 3 packs of extensions for a full head transformation.
Bonded with pre-bonded extensions already? We recommend Beauty Works’ 20” Celebrity Choice Flat Tips, from £109.99 RRP. Find a stockist, here.
Why are semi-permanent extensions more expensive?
Beyond the initial cost of the hair, going down the semi-permanent extension route continues to add more and more to your bill. But why?
Often with hair extensions, we see people try and turn their hand to professional methods to save money. We strongly recommend against this and to instead go to a professional. Stylists are masters of their trade and understand the problems you are going to face. This advice is priceless and is what you’re paying for, on top of the service.
Don’t skimp on your stylist - it’s their job to make you look great!
Why are human hair extensions expensive?
Why does human hair cost so much more than synthetic hair? Surely it’s just swept up off a hairdresser’s floor and sent to a factory?
Human hair is human hair - it cannot be fabricated on demand and comes from limited resources. Reputable brands have the highest standards when it comes to human hair, so it needs to be of exceptional quality. Terms like 100% Remy, double drawn, etc. mean that the hair you are purchasing is in almost perfect condition.
But also remember, human hair comes from a person. Someone around the world, typically in India or China, is selling their hair. How much would you sell your hair for? Reputable brands need to pay a fair price to the people who choose to sell their luscious locks.
Comparison Table : Temporary Hair Extensions
|Synthetic Clip-ins / Halos||Human Hair Clip-ins / Halos|
|Pros:Take out, pre-styled, cheapest of all hair exensions.||Pros:Take out, style like your own hair.|
|Cons:Can be very low quality and can have a short lifespan.||Cons:Often quality is not on par with permanent methods.|
Comparison Table : Permanent Hair Extensions
|Tape Extensions||Microbead Extensions||Pre-bonded Extensions||Weft Extensions|
|Price: £195+||Price: £210+||Price: £205+||Price: £180+|
|Pros: Most poular in Uk salons, can look invisible, quick.||Pros: Great option for thin hair, can look invisible.||Pros: Great option for thin hair, can look invisible, less tensions.||Pros: Cheapest method out of semi-permant options.|
|Cons: Can be quite expensive, need refis every 6-8 weeks.||Pros: Take out, style like your own hair.||Cons: Takes a long time to install and remove, being phased out of salons.||Cons: Not suitable for thin hair and can feel very heavy on the head.|
What are you going to do now?
Comparing the cost of different methods of hair extensions may be the first step on your journey, or it may be your last. We know that you could have a million and one things to consider before making a decision, but we’re here to help you get there.
In this article, you’ve learnt about the costs that come with different types of hair extensions and gained an understanding of how and why these costs build up. But where do you go next?
Our best advice is to reach out to your hairdresser. Talk to them about what you’d like your hair to look like, but also be honest about what your budget is. They may be able to help you find a solution that results in a great hair day, without pinching your purse.
However, if you’ve realised that professional services just aren’t in your cards right now, why not take a look around our website? From synthetic to human hair, one piece to ponytail, we have a vast range of clip-in hair extensions to match any look and meet any budget. Did you know we also offer free expert colour matching? Fill out a form, here, or purchase a colour swatch sample.