Weave vs. Hair Extensions: What Are the Differences?

Did you know hair extensions are one of the most popular beauty enhancements for women in the UK? The market for the hair extension industry has an expected yearly value of over £900,000! If you're looking to get into this hot beauty trend, you may wonder 'What are hair extensions?'

Weave vs. hair extensions, what's the difference? Read on for a guide to weaves and hair extensions, and find out the best choice to get the hair of your dreams!

What Are Hair Extensions?

Hair extensions are a beauty tool that adds length or fullness to your natural hair. Different from a full wig, extensions are pieces of hair that are glued in, clipped in, or sewn onto natural hair. They are not permanent and are easily removed to allow for maximum style, freedom, and expression.

Wearing hair extensions gives your natural hair more volume or greater length. You can add in wild colours or keep it as natural as you wish. Extensions come in all kinds of hair types, so matching your texture or changing it up is completely possible.

Extensions are sold and applied in sections. The most common types of hair extensions are clip-in extensions. You can buy these in full-length sections, clip-in ponytails, or fringes.

'Tracks' are sections of extensions without clips. A track gets applied by taping it into the natural hair or sewing it into braided natural hair.

Weave vs. Hair Extensions

So, what's the difference between a weave vs. hair extensions? Weaves are tracks of hair extensions that get applied to the head. Unlike easy clip-in hair extensions, weaves require more effort to attach.

Here's a breakdown of the difference between weaves and other kinds of hair extensions.

Clip-In Hair Extensions

Clip-in extensions are easier to install because they don't need any bonding or sewing to wear. The clip-in tracks or ponytail get attached with clips to the root of your natural hair. They provide extra length instantly!

The name of a bundle of clip-in extensions is a weft. Wefts need high-quality clips to stay secure in the hair and remain reusable. Clip-ins aren't designed for daily use, and they aren't designed to sleep in either.

The wefts should not get clipped to the same area of natural hair each time. The clips cause tension on the roots, so spreading this tension out prevents damage to your natural hair. They do require occasional cleaning, and it's recommended to use a protective product to keep the wefts looking great.

Tape-In Hair Extensions

These wefts are different from clip-ins because they last longer after application. Tape-in hair extensions attach with double-sided tape at the top of each panel of hair. Your natural hair gets sandwiched between two extension panels.

These are pretty gentle on the natural hair and add tons of beautiful volume. Tape-in applications last around one month, but the wefts are reusable. This makes them a great investment for your hair beauty routine.

Tape-in hair extensions are washable and get styled like natural hair. They are a perfect investment for someone looking to change up their daily style for a month at a time.

Weave Hair Extensions

As the name suggests, weaves are sewn into the natural hair. These are the most versatile and long-lasting versions of hair extensions on the market. They take the longest to apply, so an expert hairstylist is recommended!

Weaves allow you to change your hair colour, texture, length, and volume. Your stylist braids your natural hair tight to the sculpt in cornrows. Then the tracks of extensions are sewn into these cornrows for up to 12 weeks of wear!

Sew-in weaves are what's called a 'protective style.' They protect the natural hair by giving it a break from daily washing and styling. Sew-in weaves can take up to six hours to install but are a solid investment for those looking to grow out their natural hair.

Buying Genuine vs. Synthetic Hair

There are pros and cons to both synthetic and genuine human hair extensions. While human hair is the most natural, they are more expensive than synthetic versions. Genuine human hair wigs and extensions are very durable though, usually providing up to three years of regular use.

Human hair accessories do require more care than synthetic. Just like the hair on your head, it requires regular styling and maintenance.

Modern synthetic hair is not the Barbie doll texture of days past. High-quality synthetic hair accessories now are very similar to human hair in colour, texture, and movement. The best part about synthetic hair extensions is they're ready to wear right out of the package!

High humidity or windy weather doesn't affect the curl pattern on synthetic hair. It's also more affordable, which allows for buying hair extensions with more options to change up your look.

Storing Your Clip-In Hair Extensions

To avoid tangles and to keep your beautiful hair extensions in their best shape, it's important to store them properly when not in use. If you have multiple tracks or wefts, labelling them for the front, back, left or right side keeps them organized for the next application.

It's important to hang your hair extensions to keep them free of tangles. Using a hanging bag keeps them glossy, protected from dust, and organized. Keep wigs and extensions away from sunlight and heat, so a dark closet is ideal.

Order Your Ideal Hair Extensions Today

So, what's better, a weave vs. hair extensions? It all depends on how long you plan on wearing your style. At Riri Hair Extensions, our clip-in hair creates gorgeous new styles for every hair type.

Our affordable and quality products give you an instant whole new look! The Riri Training Academy also offers fully accredited courses to get you started on a rewarding career in hair extensions.

Shop our online store today and order for next day UK delivery! Your new hair is only a click away.

Written by our hair extension expert

Nancy Pinder

Nancy Pinder is our resident hair and beauty specialist at RiRi Hair Extensions. She advises customers daily in our Lakeside and Bluewater stores, helping them find the perfect look, length, and shade of hair extensions. Nancy also presents our TikTok live to thousands of viewers across the world. You can catch her on our TikTok every week here: @ririhairextensions_uk.

Featured product