7 Steps to Choose Hair Extensions Length

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hair extension length

Every brand and type of hair extension is available in various lengths. The most common unit of measurement of hair extensions length is inches.

While such versatility is great for choice, you need to understand what extension length suits your actual hair length. It’s an important consideration on its own. 

As an extensions technician, I wouldn’t go for any length impulsively. It’s better to avoid wasting money on a good time. 

In this post, I will guide you on how to figure out the right hair extensions length.

Let’s get started.

Hair Extensions Length Chart

The length chart below shows where measurements of 12 inches to 30 inches will sit on your body. 

Length(inches)Length(cm)Straight HairWavy HairCurly Hair
12-14”30-35cmShoulders to upper backChin length to shouldersEar length to chin length
16-18”40-45 cmbra strap to shoulder bladesUpper back to bra strapsShoulders to upper back
20-22”50-55 cmMid backShoulder blades to mid backBra strap to shoulder blades
24-26”60-65 cmLower backMid back to lower backMid back
28-30”70-75cmWaist to hipsLower back to waistLower back

In a summarized form, the lengths of hair extensions in terms of height are as described.

  • 12-14″ is fairly short hair
  • 16-18″ is mid-length to shoulder length
  • 20-22″ for longer shoulder length
  • 24-26″ for waist
  • 28-30″ for hips
Hair Extension Length Chart Striaght vs Curly vs Wavy
Hair Extension Length Chart

Hair extensions longer than 30 inches exist but are not common. They’re considered special and customized on order. That’s because they have much greater weight than your hair and are likely to cause tugging and hair loss. 

Moreover, it’s hard and time-consuming to blend extra long hair extensions to appear natural.

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7 Ways To Choose Perfect Hair Extensions Length

The length of hair extensions you choose significantly determines the results of your hair look. It’s one of the most important factors considered at the manufacturer’s level and during a salon appointment or consultation. 

1. Measure Your Hair

Well, you should start by knowing the length of your natural hair. Having that in mind will help you select the most appropriate length of hair extensions.

And the best way is to measure your own hair with a flexible tape measure while using your ears as the guide. That’s because the odds are the hair extensions will sit above your ear. 

Measure Hair Extensions Length

The measuring process is easy.

Take the measuring tape and place it one inch above one of the ears. Then stretch it out to the furthest end of your hair and take the reading. That would be your hair length in this case.

If your hair is curly or wavy, measure its length when pulled out straight. 

2. Calculate Extensions Length

After finding out your hair length, you will be able to calculate the most suitable length of hair extensions.

Before calculating, you should note that the hair extensions you add better be within 5 inches longer than your actual hair. That’s because that’s where the hair extensions will fall on you. 

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For instance, if your natural hair is 13 inches long, you can go for up to 18 inches of hair extensions. This recommendation results in a nicely blended and more natural hair appearance.

Also, do not get hair extensions that are way too longer than your hair. If your hair is naturally shoulder length or longer, you can choose super long hair. But if it’s shorter than shoulder length, you would better not choose a length beyond 20 inches

Moreover, your natural hair should be longer than 4 inches. If not, it will be hard to blend the hair extensions. Your hair will likely expose the fake additions, especially the clip-in extensions.

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3. Your Height

Your body height will heavily be a part of selecting the extensions length appropriate for you. It will determine how gorgeous you will look in hair extensions.

The question is whether they’ll make your height more noticeable. Will they make you look shorter or visibly taller?

You can only tell that with what length of hair extensions you choose. Let it not magnify your height but look as natural as possible.

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Short or slightly short ladies should go for extensions that are not more than 16 inches in length. 14 inches or longer hair fits ladies with an average height.

Lastly, tall ladies can go with any length of hair extensions as long as they do not choose anything longer than 30 inches. The hair extensions will be heavy and annoyingly uncomfortable. 

4. Styling 

If you are looking to be explorative with different hairstyles, ask yourself if the styling will reduce the length. There are hairstyles you may want but require some trimming and layering. 

You need to know that the longer your hair extensions, the more chances to style however you desire. To be on the safe side, go for hair extensions that are longer than you want. 

hair salon

5. Curly or Wavy 

Curly or wavy hair extensions do not have the normal length as straight hair. In most cases, they are 2 inches shorter than straight hair

So, if you decide you want such a hair type, you should not go for the length you initially planned to get. You should choose 2 inches longer hair to avoid disappointment. If you want 16 inches of curly or wavy hair, take the 18 inches one with you.

When it comes to smaller curls or waves, go with 4 inches longer hair instead. 

hairstyle types

6. Start With Short Length

If it’s your first time trying out hair extensions, start with shorter-length hair to have an easy time. Longer hair extensions require more care than shorter extensions.

As you get used to the proper care for short hair extensions, you can upgrade slowly by slowly to longer hair extensions.

You will gradually adjust to the new hair routine until you’re experienced with hair extensions. [1]

It’s safer; rather than starting with long hair, which you’ll find stressful and fairly unmanageable. 

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7. Cost

You’ll realize that the prices of hair extensions vary with the length of hair extensions. The greater the length of hair, the higher the prices will be. 

For instance, an 18-inch Remy hair extension costs more than 14 inches of hair. You may find that 18 inches costs around $100, while 16 inches is around $60. And probably 16 inches is what suits you after doing some calculations. 

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Let’s reason in this manner. It’s better to go for the 18 inches because it will allow you to adjust the length. That’s in case the 16 inch was not the most correct. Therefore, you can trim until you achieve the right length measurement. 

The difference in costs is too minimal to consider a loss. It will save you from spending another lump sum on new hair extensions. Or, simply, if you have two hair extensions length in mind, opt for the longer one.

A women show hair extensions length

FAQs about Hair Extensions Length

What is the most popular length of hair extensions?

The 20-inch length is the most popular length of hair extensions. You can wear it comfortably as it transforms your hair into a long luscious crown. Its ends lie below the bust level.

Apart from the beauty it supplements, it’s versatile enough such that you can curl it, and it still remains adequately long. 

Why the extension length are two-inch range such as 20-22″?

Most hair manufacturers trim the ends of the hair strands within a two-inch range, for instance, 20-22″. That’s to ensure their customers get nothing but thicker and more appealing hair extensions. They relieve you of trimming the ends when installing the hair, shortening the installation time. 

Should your bundles be the same length?

It’s not a must. It all depends on your preferences. If you want voluminous hair of the same length from top to bottom, your bundles should be of the same length.

But you can opt to layer down the hair bundles starting from shorter to longer bundles. For example, you can start with 14 inches, then 16 inches, 18 inches, etc. That means you will purchase different lengths. 

Author: Charity Nasike


Charity Nasike is a passionate wig wearer and basically has diverse knowledge related to wigs' care and maintenance. When she's not writing, she's either in the kitchen trying out new recipes or on social media advising fellow ladies tricks to apply on their wigs.

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