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How do I Glue Hair Extensions?

Gluing hair extensions requires precision and care. Start by selecting the right adhesive, designed specifically for hair extensions. Clean your hair, avoiding conditioners that may hinder the glue's bond. Apply a thin layer of glue to the extension, then press it onto a small section of your natural hair, close to the scalp. Want to ensure a flawless finish? Keep reading for expert tips.
Christine Hudson
Christine Hudson

Hair extensions are used to change a person's appearance by making his or her hair look longer and fuller, or by adding color. It is common for women who desire to quickly have longer hair to use hair extensions to achieve the desired length. These extensions can be clipped, glued, sewn, or woven into a person’s natural hair. To glue hair extensions, you will need extension wefts and the proper glue, which can usually be purchased at beauty supply stores.

Glue hair extensions adhere best to hair that is freshly washed and completely dry. Unless using specialized extensions that are wavy or curly, extensions generally work best on hair that is first straightened. Wavy, curly, and textured hair extensions typically are designed to accommodate all hair types.

A stylist putting in hair extensions.
A stylist putting in hair extensions.

It usually is easier to manage hair and place the hair extensions after separating the hair into smaller sections. Once the hair is in sections, you can then begin working layer by layer from the bottom up. A long-handled rattail comb can be helpful in parting the hair and managing any tangles. Cut the weft of hair to the width of desired hair sections, and apply the bonding glue along the top of the hair wefts. Finally, press the weft to the hair about 1/2-inch (about 1.27 cm) away from the scalp.

Hair extension glue can be dried using a hair dryer.
Hair extension glue can be dried using a hair dryer.

This process can be sped up by using heat, such as from a hair dryer, to dry the glue for 30 to 45 seconds. The number of extensions needed varies by how much bulk is desired. Most professionals that glue hair extensions prefer to use wefts that are 1/2 inch (about 1.27 cm) or less wide, and place them on small sections of the hair all over the scalp. This helps create a more natural look and makes the extensions easier to style and care for.

Some types of hair extensions are made with glue already applied to the tips. These are called "pre-tipped" and require an extension iron to melt the glue and connect it to the hair. This makes them easier to apply in smaller sections all across the head and reduces any possible mess. Another type of glue hair extensions requires hot glue and a glue gun, and is generally performed only by professionals in a salon.

Most glue hair extensions will last up to three months before needing to be touched up or re-applied, but should be checked every few weeks to ensure bond integrity and avoid any damage to the hair. To voluntarily remove the extensions, solvents to dissolve the glue can be purchased at most beauty supply stores. Special care instructions are also generally provided to avoid damage to the natural hair.

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Discussion Comments

I've seen non-professionals braid-in hair extensions. It is a fascinating process and there are no glue hair extensions required. Hair extensions are, in a sense, knotted or tied at the scalp to hair that has been divided into small sections. The real or natural hair and the extensions are then braided as one shaft.
Glue-in hair extensions? Does anyone really complete the process at home without a professional? Sounds daunting and a little bit dangerous.
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    • A stylist putting in hair extensions.
      By: RTDS
      A stylist putting in hair extensions.
    • Hair extension glue can be dried using a hair dryer.
      By: macbrianmun
      Hair extension glue can be dried using a hair dryer.