Does Hair Extension Damage Hair? Discover the Possibilities and Reasons Why

If you have afro-textured hair, one of the many pieces of advice you have received is to always wear protective hairstyles. And protective hairstyles involve using hair extensions to braid your hair. However, there is news here and there that using extensions will likely damage your hair.

If you have heard this several times, especially from people who have experienced damages from using hair extensions, you certainly have questions. And I know that you need answers to these questions.

So, before you throw out your hair extensions or delete those pictures of hairstyles you’ve always wanted to wear, read this article. You’ll get the answers you need to help you make the right decision.

Does Hair Extension Weaken Hair?

No, it doesn’t. Hair extension, by itself, does not weaken your hair. So, it will not damage your hair. However, there are chances that you have limp, weak hair after taking out the extensions. This can happen because of a wrong hair-to-extension ratio.

Indeed, big braids are not time-consuming and it gives your hair volume. On the contrary, it’s not a great pick for people with fine hair. The bulk of the extension compared to the weight of your hair doesn’t create a balance.

The extension will weigh down your hair and weaken the strands. This can progress into worse damage to your hair. Also, manipulative styling is neither a good option for people with fine hair. These styling options, no matter how beautiful they are, will leave your hair weak.

Can Hair Extensions Thin Hair?

Using hair extensions can be the reason why your hair is thinning out. In reality, on its own, having extensions on your hair cannot result in hair thinning. But the hairstyles you get with hair extensions can cause hair thinning.

Before getting braids, there are three major things to consider. They include the size of the braids, and how tight your braids should be. Wearing micro braids is not always a good option because it involves using more extension on a small section of hair.

In the end, you have so many braids that are equally weighing down the hairs on your head. Consequently, this undue tension on your hair and scalp can result in hair thinning and eventually, hair loss which may not be permanent.

Do Hair Extensions Pull Out Hair?

You may experience hair loss after taking out hair extensions, and this is because they were too heavy for your natural hair. The people who are most likely to experience this are those with very fine hair. People with this hair texture are very careful about how they style their hair.

If you’re using the wrong extension, if your extension was not installed correctly, and maybe it was too heavy for your hair, you’re likely to experience clumps of hair pull off your head.

However, this hair fall is not permanent. Hair will begin to regrow after some weeks, but you must not use hair extensions consequently to avoid worse damage.

Does Hair Extension Stop Hair From Growing?

No, it will not. Adding hair extensions is a way of protecting your natural hair from breakage and split ends. As the extension wrap your natural hair, its shields it from external factors that can damage your hair and affect hair growth.

Moreover, hairstyles like braiding with extensions and wearing wigs are classified as protective hairstyles. This is because they do not only have your hair covered, but they also allow your natural hair to grow.

Also, it keeps your hair away from frequent styling which may sometimes involve heat tools. And heat tools and afro-textured hair, type 3 & type 4 for instance, are not in the best of relationship. Too frequent heat styling can make your hair dry, brittle, and eventually break. All of which is bad for hair growth.

SEE: Does Braiding Damage Hair? Find Out if Braids Are Bad for Your Hair

Does Hair Extension Glue Damage Hair?

If you do not apply glue-in extensions correctly, they can damage your hair. This type of extension use adhesive to attach the extension to your hair. Also, it is not time-consuming as you can have your hair done in under two hours.

However, the glue is the problem. If not applied correctly and not taken out properly, you’ll have clumps of your hair going with the glue. Getting the glue off needs expert attention because it could be quite the work.

In addition, if you visit a stylist who does not have good knowledge about glue-in extensions, they may apply the glue to your scalp. This will lead to blocked follicles and consequently, you may have to face scalp infection.

Are There Hair Extensions That Won’t Damage Hair?

Yes, there are hair extensions that are perfectly safe for your hair and are least likely to cause any damage. They include:

1. Clip-in extensions

The clip-in extension is one of the safe hair extensions that do not damage the hair. Moreover, it tops the least of most stylists’ options of safe hair extensions.

The extensions come with clips that help you attach them to the roots of your hair. With these extensions, you can have your style changed in a matter of minutes.

Additionally, it’s easy to install and take off. And since you can always easily take them off at the end of the day, there is no tension on your scalp. One drawback is that people with thin hair may not be able to conceal the bulky clips.

2. Sew-in extensions

This type of extension is very popular. The weft of hair is sewn on pre-woven cornrows which your stylist braids in a specific pattern to suit your hairstyle. Also, while they are cost-effective, it may take a longer time to install sew-in extensions.

In addition, with sew-in extensions, it is likely to have your cornrows braided too tight, which is bad for your hair. And, if you wear these extensions for too long without regular care, you may end up with build-up and losing clumps of hair.

SEE: Best Hair Extensions to Change Up Your Style

3. Tape-in extensions

Another type of hair extension that won’t damage your hair is the tape-in extension. As the name implies, these extensions are installed with tapes. The tapes of hair are attached to small sections of your hair with your natural hair in between two tapes.

Getting tape-in extensions on your hair doesn’t take so much time, but it is not advisable for people with very fine hair. More so, it doesn’t provide a perfect blend with natural hair.

4. Micro rings extensions

Micro rings extensions are also safe to use and can be worn for up to three months. They employ metal rings with which the hair extensions are attached to small sections of your hair. The small sections of hair are secured by the metal rings to hold them in place.

One of the downsides of metal rings extensions is that the rings tend to slip off your hair. This can make the extension look uneven and untidy.

What Are the Permanent Side Effects of Hair Extensions?

Hair extensions do not cause any permanent damage to the hair. The damages only become permanent if you continue to wear the wrong extension, or wear it the wrong way. Some of the side effects you’re likely to encounter are traction alopecia, hair tangling, and itching.

In addition, heavy extensions can weigh down your hair and make your scalp itchy. They can also give you a headache and cause pain in your scalp.

How Can You Repair Damaged Hair After Extensions?

Use a nourishing oil

Damaged hair certainly needs moisture and this moisture cannot be gotten from washing your hair. Instead, invest in nourishing hair oils. Massage the oil into your scalp and hair once or twice a week. Over consistent use, your hair and scalp will become moisturized and healthy again.

Stay off heat tools

Healthy hair does not need frequent heat styling. Damaged hair doesn’t need heat styling tools at all, at least until the damage has been repaired. If you need to dry your hair after washing, use a microfiber towel or leave your hair to air dry.

Also, if you need to straighten your type 3 or type 4 curls, use methods that do not require heat.

Protect your hair

Invest in hair sunscreen to protect your hair from ultraviolet radiation, which can make your hair drier and prone to breakage. At night, you should also pay attention to your hair. Damages hair is delicate, so you shouldn’t sleep with it just anyhow.

Wrap your hair with a silk headscarf or wear a silk bonnet over your head before you go to bed. This will create a barrier between your hair and pillowcase, thereby eliminating the chances of friction while turning your head.

SEE: Want to Relieve Tight Braids? These Tricks Will Help You Out

Consume balanced diet

When you realize that your hair got damaged as a result of using extensions, some of the nutrients you need to replenish include protein, biotin, iron, and zinc. These nutrients contribute to the overall health of your hair. They make your hair stronger and prevent further or new hair loss.

Stay off hair extensions

Give your hair a break, especially from extensions and the style you wore previously. Hairstylists recommend at least two weeks interval between installing extensions. Based on how much damage was done to your hair, you may need more than weeks for your hair to breathe.

Most importantly, you should allow your hair to breathe and recover from the tension and likely cuts on your scalp.

SEE: A Must-Read on How to Save Yourself From Lace Wig Hair Loss


How soon can you use extensions after taking out braids?

Experts advise that you give a two-week break between using hair extensions. This period will allow your scalp and hair to breathe and heal from any damages the hair extensions may have caused.

Why does your hair itch when you wear extensions?

Your hair may itch when you wear hair extensions because your braids are too tight and are putting too much tension on your scalp. Also, it could be a result of the extension rubbing your scalp and resulting in cuts.

Additionally, your extension can cause itching because you most likely didn’t wash your hair before you had it installed.

Are hair extensions worth it?

Yes, they are. Hair extensions add to the texture and length of your hair. Adding extensions to your hair can also increase your styling options. Moreover, using hair extension is a way of protecting afro-textured hair from the damage that frizz and too frequent styling can cause.


Hair extension does not damage your hair, at least that has been established. If you have your extensions professionally installed, your hair will be in good condition.

On the off chance that your hair got damaged from using hair extensions, it could be because of the type of extension used or how your stylist installed it. If you love to wear jumbo braids with length, consider the texture of your hair before you jump on the style.

Hair to extension ratio, how tight your braids are, how your stylist installs the extensions, and the quality of extensions are factors that you should take into account. These will determine whether hair extension will damage your hair or not.

Thanks for reading.

Do you have hair-related concerns and need answers? Visit Africana Fashion for more articles like this.