What Length Hair Extensions Should I Get 2024? Complete Guide To Choosing Extension Length

by Helen Sroski

If you’re asking yourself, “what length hair extensions should I get? 12 inches? 26 inches? This guide will help you select the right length!

Even though most people often think that getting hair extensions is an easy task, it is only when you decide to get them, you realize what a challenge it is. 

In order to get the correct length, certain aspects have to be kept in mind.

This article has got you all covered. It will tell you all about hair extensions, its types, the lengths that they are usually available in, aspects to consider when getting hair extensions.

Here I’ve also added a bonus section where I’ve answered some FAQs about hair extensions.

So let’s get into the details!

What are hair extensions?

Hair extensions are basically hair attachments that are fixed to the hair or integrated with the hair. They help increase the length of one’s hair, cover up areas of balding or in order to style the hair differently. 

There are two types of extensions available, in terms of material used i.e., synthetic and natural human hair extensions. 

But depending on the type of human hair used (Brazilian, Indian, Wavy, Curly, etc.) and the length and density of the hair, these extensions may come in a variety of combinations. 

What Length Hair Extensions Should I Get

Before I get to helping you choose the right hair extension length, it’s important to know what varieties of lengths hair extensions normally come under. 

Different lengths of commonly available hair extensions

Hair extensions come in different lengths usually ranging from 10 inches to 26+ inches in length to suit people with different requirements.

length of hair extensions chart

Here are some of the commonly available extension lengths:

10 inches:

These extensions are called ‘neck line’ extensions that sit just above the shoulders at the nape of the neck.

12 to 14 inches:

These extensions are called shoulder-length extensions that fall just below the shoulders and are often used for those who wish to add thickness to the hair and make it look more voluminous.

16 inches:

These extensions often reach up to the shoulder blades and are often called ‘armpit level’ extensions. 

Those people who are looking to increase the length of their hair often use these extensions.

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18 inches:

Similar to the previous extensions, these are called ‘mid-back’ extensions that are also used by people with shorter natural hair in order to increase hair length.

20 inches:

People who often do not want their hair short or too long, go in for these kinds of extensions called ‘lower-back’ extensions. They fall the way till half way down the back.

22 to 24 inches:

These ‘down to the bottom’ extensions are relatively long and are in between length between the mid-back and tail-bone length extensions.

26 inches:

These extensions are often called the ‘tail-bone’ extensions that are for those who wish to have their hair left really long. Any extensions further to this length are usually available on order.

Factors to consider choosing hair extension length

Your natural hair:

Considering the length of your natural hair is important when selecting the right extensions for your hair. 

Buying hair extensions that exceed 3 to 4 inches from that or your natural hair is always recommended. 

So for example, if your natural hair is at your neck level, then getting extensions that reach just below your shoulders will be ideal.

Your way of life:

Considering your way of life such as whether you wear extensions to just your workplace and to social gatherings. Or if you do any during other physical activities like while playing a sport or going to the gym. 

Longer extensions might just get in your way so it is very essential to get the right length. 

·Your natural hair colour

Well of course, since hair extensions are made to be “extensions” to one’s natural hair, they will come in different colours. 

The reason why you should choose the right shade is because even a slight shade difference can make it look like your hair is not natural and is fake and I’m that’s not what you would want, everyone knowing you’ve worn extensions. 

One of the best ways to match your extension with your natural hair colour is by going with the colour which looks most prominent on your natural hair while also matching the extensions by holding it to the ends of your hair, rather than at the roots.

12 inch hair extensions before and after

The hair extension texture:

As you can see in the above image, the texture (straight, curly or wavy) of your hair extensions too matter.

Straight hair falls flat and longer when measured as compared to wavy or curly hair that doesn’t fall flat but tends to curl up. 

Therefore, this aspect needs to be considered when measuring your hair extensions to get the right length.

Your height:

This is another aspect to consider because general hair extension measurement charts give you an average length of hair extensions.

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But the length of each person will differ as per your height which means the taller you are the shorter the extension will look, the shorter you are, the longer the extension will look. 

This will be a difference of a few inches, unless you are extremely tall or short. 

On an average hair extension chart measurements usually consider an average height of a person who is around 5 feet 5 inches or 5 feet 6 inches in height.

Your desired hair style:

If you choose a style that requires a lot of your hair to be chopped and not just a trim, then getting hair extensions of a little longer length will be ideal. 

This means that the amount of hair that will be cut off in styling the hair too should be considered when buying the extension.

Types of hair extensions available

1.  Clip-in extensions:

These extensions are quite easy to use and can be removed easily as they are extensions that come with a contoured piece that is attached at the base with a certain fabric. 

Then there are clips that are attached to this base and all you need to do is clip it onto your natural hair. These extensions come ready to use and are easy to use on the go. 

You needn’t have to go to a professional to get these clipped in; they can be even clipped in at home on your own.  

For those who are looking for very temporary styling using extensions, then choosing the clip-in style is recommended. 

Hair stylists often recommend these extensions as they are the least damaging to one’s natural hair.

Related: Best Clip In Extensions For Short Hair

2. Tape-in extensions:

20 inch hair length

 These extensions are similar to the glue-in ones as they are taped by glue of course. 

These extensions are typically fixed by a professional hairdresser as these tape-ins are fixed in alignment with one’s natural hair roots. 

The hairdresser will heat up the glue on the tape and then fix them for you, which means getting them removed will involve removing them using a glue-remover. 

This process will take some time to complete and does pose a risk of damaging your natural hair.

3. Sew-in extensions:

These kinds of extensions are those that are sewed in or integrated with the person’s natural hair usually by sewing them into cornrow braids with a thread and needle. 

This procedure can take a few hours and is usually done by professional stylists. 

These extensions or weaves can even last up to 6 to 10 weeks on a person’s hair, with regular salon maintenance.

4. Glue-in extensions:

These kinds of extensions are very often used as people find this method easier to place the tracks much closer giving the hair a voluminous look. 

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The glue-in technique is usually done in two ways either by directly applying the extensions with the glue onto one’s natural hair. 

This can pose a great risk to the natural hair as the glue can damage the hair over time. 

You can prevent this by first putting on a stocking cap and then attaching the hair extensions with glue over it.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about hair extensions:

1.  How can you measure hair extension length?

Well, measuring your hair extensions using a measuring tape from the root area to the ends (the tips) will give you the ideal length. Whenever hair extensions are measured (if in cases of wavy or curly hair), make sure to have the hair straight before measuring (refer to the image to get a clearer picture).

2. Can hair extensions be washed?

Yes, since hair extensions are considered to be used as part of one’s natural hair, it definitely requires maintenance. Washing your hair extensions just like you would wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner will suffice.

3. Can hair extensions be cut, styled or dyed?

Yes, using hair extensions means that you can get any style that you desire! They can be cut and styled as well as dyed without getting damaged.

4. Will your hair extensions get damaged if you sleep with them on?

 If you have forgotten to take them out that one time, it is okay, but sleeping with hair extensions on is a practice that is definitely not recommended because the chances of the extensions getting tangled and also tugging on your natural hair is possible and this can not only damage your extensions but also your natural hair, in the long run.

5. Can hair extensions ruin your natural hair?

Hair extensions do pose a risk to your natural hair as getting glue-in, tape-in or sew-in hair extensions can mean that the glue can come in contact with your hair if not applied properly or the sew-ins can tug on your braids over time, damaging the natural hair of a person.

The final takeaway

Well, if you want to get the perfect length of hair extensions, make sure to keep all these tips in mind when buying them. 

Also remember that in order for the hair extensions to last a long time, proper care and maintenance should be taken.

Also Read:

Best hair extensions for fine hair

Best hair extensions for short hair

Best hair extensions for athletes

Best hair extensions for braids

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