What Are Bonded Hair Extensions? All The Basics You Need to Know

Bonded hair extensions, often referred to as fusion hair extensions, keratin bonds, or pre-bonded hair extensions, are one of the more sophisticated techniques for hair extensions. I-tips, U-tips, flat-tip, and keratin fusion extensions are some names you may hear for them. Bonded hair extensions differ from traditional hair extensions in that they come in individual strands rather than in wefts. As a result, you must attach each strand of the extension separately to completely cover the head.

Each of these hair extensions have Keratin infused into or pre-bonded onto the tips of each strand. The glue needed for application won't need to be bought separately. Keratin, a naturally occurring protein that helps to build hair, attaches to your hair better and does less damage than traditional methods.

Hot and Cold Methods

In hot fusion hair installations, the hair extensions are attached using a heating device to fuse the keratin bond onto the hair.

In the case of cold fusion extensions, the hair is bonded using a bead that is clamped by a special pliers to secure the bond. Since there is no heat involved, this technique is thought to be safer for the hair.

Different Types of Bonded Hair Extensions Methods

U-Tip

Among the most popular forms of extensions used by hair professionals today are U-Tip hair extensions, sometimes referred to as "hot fusion extensions." They are also referred to as flat tips, which work better with thicker, healthier hair. U-Tipped hair extensions feature an end that curves like a fingernail and wraps around the strands of your hair. The keratin glue is heated and wrapped around the hair strand to attach them. U-tips are more durable than I-tips. I-tips, however, are more widely used due to their flexibility and simplicity.

I-Tip

I-tips use metal cylinders or flattened microbeads to attach to natural hair. Although they are occasionally referred to as micro links, they are actually different. I-tip extensions are great for people with thinner hair since they don't put pressure on the roots and blend in well with your natural hair.  I-tip hair extensions are excellent for giving your hair volume while maintaining a natural look. The keratin-tipped end can also be used for installations using cold fusion and hot fusion.

Through the use of a pulling tool, such as a hook or loop, they are attached to the hair. The hair is pulled through a tiny, micro ring using this device. Most micro rings are made from copper or aluminum. The I-Tip hair extensions are then inserted into these micro rings by the hairdresser. The rings are then flattened and pressed using specialized pliers that hold the extensions in place, and is referred to as the "compression" procedure.

Beaded Weft

A cross between the sew-in technique and bonded hair extensions are beaded weft extensions.  Beaded wefts are bonded hair extensions that  are long, continuous strips that already have little beads sewn into them. Using pliers, the beads are then clamped onto the natural hair to keep them in place.

Which Hair Types are Bonded Extensions For?

Thick Hair   

You may create practically any hairstyle using the hot fusion hair extensions technique or U-tips. People with coarse and thick hair are the best candidates for U-tips.

Fine Hair

The lightweight bonded hair extensions blend in well with fine hair textures. Additionally, because they are not as heavy, they can add thickness and fullness to fine hair, without being irritating to the hair.

Thin Hair

Since they won't put much strain on your hair roots, i-tips are great for people with thin hair. You can have the extensions done around the face and hairline to add volume everywhere instead of just simply lengthening them because the extension bond is undetectable. This is a fantastic alternative for people with thinning hair because the bond is so natural-looking and difficult to see. Since the bond is a lot more difficult to see, cold fusion method is more preferable.

How Many Bonded Hair Extensions Would Be Needed For Installation?

It all depends on the amount of hair you have. Bonded hair extensions come in packs of 25, wherein each strand weighs about one gram. You would typically need 5 to 6 packs or more for a full head installation because it requires a minimum of 100 strands and a maximum of 140 strands. Typically, 3 to 4 packs are required for a partial installation.

How To Care For Your Bonded Hair Extensions

Having bonded hair extension will require you to pay more attention to your hair than usual. If you want your extensions to last a while, you have to be responsible for taking care of them. Though it takes a lot of effort, it is definitely worth it in the end as you would see great results with your bonded hair extensions. It might take a few days to get used to, and could initially be irritating for you as it pulls your hair a bit. After getting your bonded hair extensions, make sure not to wash your hair for at least 72 hours to let the bond settle in.

1. Don't Wash Your Hair Everyday

It's not really a good idea to wash your hair every day if you're wearing bonded hair extensions. By simply shampooing your hair extensions every day, you run the risk of damaging the Keratin glue bond and your natural hair. It's recommended to only wash your hair twice a week. Avoid aggressively brushing your hair or using shampoo or conditioner on the bonds.

2. Use a Special Hair Extension Brush

To disentangle the hair and get rid of knots, it is best to use a specific kind of brush made for hair extensions. It is simple to brush the extensions with this because of the extremely soft and looped bristles. To avoid tangling your hair and to improve blood circulation, remember to brush it before sleeping and before taking a shower. Start at the bottom of your hair and comb all the way up. If your hair is still wet, you might find it easier to untangle it, but remember to be gentle.

3. Be Careful When Using Heat Styling Tools

Keep in mind that heat can cause your extension's bonding to weaken. To prevent damage to your hair when flat ironing or curling it, use a thermal spray protectant first. Also, stay away from applying direct heat to the bonds of your hair. Also avoid using blow dryers because they may damage or melt the bonds, which could cause your hair extensions to slip. Avoid using heat as much as possible because it can damage your hair. After a bath, let your hair air dry naturally rather than using a blow dryer.

4. Before You Sleep

Before going to bed, you should put your hair up in a ponytail, pigtails, or a braid. By doing this, you'll avoid pulling on your extensions as you sleep and keep them from tangling. Also, be  sure to dry your hair and bonds before sleeping. Never go to sleep with wet hair extensions because it is quite easy for both the roots of your hair and the extensions to become damaged.

5. Use High Quality Products For Your Hair

Just like your natural hair, bonded hair extensions can be shampooed and condition. Sulfate-free products should be used, and harsh chemicals should be avoided. When conditioning your hair, start at the ends and work your way up. Try to keep the conditioner away from the bonds to prevent them from becoming loose. Always pick products that are lightweight and won't build up. Your hair's look is strongly affected by the products you use on it.

6. Avoid Swimming

Your hair extensions and their tips are very vulnerable to damage from salt and chlorine. Remember to wear a swim cap to preserve your extensions if you intend to swim or go to the beach.

7. Follow Aftercare Instructions

Your hairstylist will provide you product recommendations and instructions on how to care for your extensions once they have been installed. In order to maintain healthy, gorgeous hair over time, make sure you follow the aftercare instructions your hairdresser will provide.

How Are Bonded Hair Extensions Removed?

To remove a hot fusion hair extension, you must first use a bond remover that has been specially developed to dissolve the keratin glue bond, and then you must carefully slide the hair extension off of the natural hair. If done properly, there shouldn't be any damage to the natural hair.

Cold fusion extension removal is a delicate process. Using the special pliers, you have to pinch the bead open first. After that, the bonded hair extension can be slipped off from the bead. You can then slide out the bead from your natural hair. It is highly recommended to let a professional do the removal process for you so that you can avoid further damage to your hair.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Are Bonded Hair Extensions Safe?

Keratin is bonded to your hair using heat, but when done by a professional, the procedure is very safe. There is less weight and strain on one area of the hair because the extensions are small and distributed evenly across your head. Additionally, because keratin bond is a naturally occurring protein, it is less likely to trigger any allergic reactions. Bonded extensions may also harm your own hair and scalp if they are done incorrectly. Bonded extensions have occasionally caused scalp burns or persons to lose patches of their hair. Because of this, it's crucial to only have bonded extensions applied by a qualified hairdresser who has experience with this technique.

Your hair's condition will be somewhat damaged by the majority of beauty procedures like perms and hair color. There will be some slight stress on the hair where the bonded extensions are attached, but it will be considerably less than with regular weft extensions.   In comparison to traditional adhesives with other chemicals, bonded hair extensions are lighter and use keratin, which is kinder and more natural for the hair. The keratin fusion bond is also more flexible, and your natural hair suffers less damage as a result of all of these factors.

How Long Is The Installation of Bonded Hair Extensions?

Installing bonded hair extensions can take three to six hours, depending on how many strands you need to be fitted. The level of experience of your hairdresser may also be a factor. It can take just as long to have them removed. It might take a while to install, but it will definitely be worthwhile.

How Long Do Bonded Hair Extensions Last?

If properly cared for, bonded hair extensions can last for three to five months or longer. Since hair naturally grows out, you would likely require touch-ups every few weeks at the hair salon. It may be necessary to readjust the extensions because they could move along with the growth of hair.

How Much Do Bonded Hair Extensions Cost?

The price of your extensions varies not just from salon to salon, but also depending on the number of strands you require, the length of the strands, and the quality of the hair extension. Bonded hair extensions aren't cheap, but they can have magnificent and outstanding results for your hair.  In addition to the cost of the hair, which is around $200, bonded extensions can range in price from $300 to $1000. Every three months, you would need to visit your salon or hairdresser for retouching.  Cold-fusion hair extensions are significantly better for your hair and are long-lasting, but they can be quite expensive. Depending on where you live and your hairdresser, these could cost you around $1200 to $3000.

Should I Do Bonded Hair Extensions On My Own?

We don't really advise doing bonded hair extensions on your own as they can be difficult, and could result in damaging your hair or hurting yourself. We recommend that you see your hairdresser to evaluate what kind of bonded extensions and how much is needed to produce the best results for you. In order to provide you the best results, they can make sure the bond is attached in the correct places and pattern. 

Conclusion

You have to remember that hair extensions are investments. Bonded hair extensions are semi-permanent, meaning they can last for a long time if taken care of properly. They are the most popular and most recommended method by most hairdressers because of how versatile they are and how effective they can be for your looks. There are definitely pros and cons to bonded hair extensions, but they are still one of the best hair extension methods today.

Pros

  • They give a natural look and blend perfectly with your hair.
  • They can last for a very long time compared to other methods.
  • They are flexible, meaning they are more versatile to style.
  • They cause less damage to your hair as they are lightweight.
  • They are the best way to get longer hair, which is why it is the most recommended way of getting hair extensions by hairdressers.

Cons

  • They require the use of heat and glue to install.
  • They take longer to install compared to other hair extensions.
  • They can't be installed by yourself. You will need the help of an expert hairdresser.
  • They are not reusable.
i-tip hair extensions

Fusion I-Tips

Use for hot or cold fusion
3.5 mm tip for microbeads
25 strands per pack
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u-tip hair extensions

Fusion U-Tips

Nail-like tip for hot glue
Wraps securely around hair
25 strands per pack
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Beaded Wefts

Beads pre-sewn to weft
Makes install & removal fast
4 wefts included per pack
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fusion supplies

Fusion Supplies

Everything you need for a successful installation of fusion hair extensions. Tools, glue, etc.

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