Hand Tied Extensions: All you need to know

Have you lately thought of adding some length or volume to your natural hair? Or do you simply want to just cover your hair’s growth between its odd transition periods? Well, I am sure that hand-tied extensions will do marvelous wonders for you!

Now, I know you may know of some of the best hair extensions to use. But at the same time, you find yourself always doubting the method to choose while attaching them.

Presently, there are several hair extension attachment procedures that you can pick from. Your choice will depend on the type of results you’d want in the end.

Is it length, volume, or just color? More importantly, is it safe for your hair?

This is where hand-tied extensions come into the equation. This procedure offers both easy and damage-free installation that adds more glam to your hair. On top of that, it can hold up for months, provided you give it proper maintenance as advised by your stylist.

Want to find out more? Read on..!

Defining hand-tied hair extensions

So, what exactly are hand-tied hair extensions?

Well, these are diversely made hair extensions (human or otherwise) that can get attached to your natural hair. Hair extension attachment is mainly done through sewing, heating, using glue, or even taping them in.

Now, in hand-tied hair extensions, the main installation method is by sewing the wefts in. Wefts refer to bands of hair grouped with fine linen material holding them at the top. The sewing in hand-tied extensions is always done by hand.

The wefts get sewn into a row of hair right through tiny silicone-coated beads. These beads reduce the level of tension the wefts will have on your scalp and hair during growth.

Once done, the extension will look like a seamless curtain of hair providing an even base all through.

Hand-tied extensions have received massive love from users who want to add fullness yet keep their hair healthy. They are very hard to notice even to the most prying of eyes and blend in with multiple hairstyles.

In other instances, you may find some people referring to this method as the habit extension method.

Now, the exact procedure of installing hand-tied extensions may slightly differ. But most times, it results in the same thing.

Are hand-tied extensions bad for my hair?

Absolutely not! There haven’t been any adversely negative professional reviews concerning hand-tied extensions.

All in all, the following are some things you have to consider when going for extensions. They include:


As you know, there are several other methods of installing hair extensions.

The hand-tied extension uses a nylon or cotton thread to sew in the wefts of hair. Hence, you won’t have to worry about upsetting things like debris (from using glue). This method also ensures that you won’t have to worry about damage from heat associated with heat attachment.

Aside from that, a professional stylist will ensure that you experience neither pulls nor discomforts.

To enhance this safety, you will find that most wefts have an even distribution of weight. It cuts backs stress due to weight pulling from particular sections on the weft’s band.

Type of hair

Naturally, the amount of damage from hand-tied extensions depends on the volume used. It also closely depends on the type of hair you have.

For instance, if you have thinner hair follicles, then you must practice caution when adding extensions. The reason is that more extensions will result in heavier and denser hair. At the same time, this may lead to thin hair breaking off. This is because of the excessive tension it adds to your roots.

Professional insight

On the other hand, you have to consider consulting a professional before doing anything. You see, a certified stylist experienced in hand-tied installations has more valuable insight.

For example, a professional could advise you on the type and volume of wefts you’ll require. All this boils down to stuff like your lifestyle or hairstyles you would want to achieve in the future.

When starting out, I advise that you use fewer wefts when adding more volume or length. Afterward, when you get accustomed to the extensions, you can gradually add the number of wefts. This helps in giving you experience and the best knowledge of how to maintain the extensions.

As you’ve seen, you don’t need to fret when going for a hand-tied hair extension. Just ensure that you pay attention to the 3 important factors that I’ve explained above.

Distinguishing hand-tied wefts and tape-ins

Let us look at the differences between hand-tied extensions and tape-ins. And as you have probably imagined, the distinction comes from their respective names.

1. Hand-tied extensions

To reiterate, hand-tied extensions involve a stylist attaching rows of wefts onto beads slid into your hair. This gets done by sewing the wefts through the beads using hands (figures, right?) with the help of a thread.

Now, the amount of wefts you will need depends on your hair length, density, and the overall results desired at the end.

Alright, so what about tape-ins?

b. Tape-ins

Tape-in extensions require the use of medical tapes to provide adhesion to your natural hair.

How does it work?

Simply put, tape-ins hold your natural hair in between two flat bands of extensions. These tape-ins are normally attached one on top of the other, sandwiching one section of your hair.

Once in place, the upper extension gets pressed onto the lower one, making a tight bond. Afterward, your stylist will repeat this process throughout your head until you get the desired outcome.

Also, as with hand-tied extensions, several things determine the number of tape-ins you’ll need. These include your hair’s density, length, and end goals.

Other differences to look out for:

There are glaring differences when it comes to other things like the time taken during installation. To some degree, this is also affected by the quality of your hair.

Generally, hand-tied extensions can take up to 2 ½ hours when installing. Tape-ins on the other end only take about 1 ½ hours tops.

On appearance, hand-tied extensions blend in more naturally compared to tape-ins. The attachment sites always come out tidy and seamless. That means that hand-tied extensions aren’t as visible as tape-ins.

The other difference comes in their density. Normally, hand-tied extensions come in much thinner wefts compared to tape-ins. This allows your stylist to add more density to your hair by stacking multiple hand-sewn wefts atop each other.

To accomplish the same result with tape-ins, you will have to attach the wefts in different rows.

How to install

Installing hand-tied extensions depend on your natural hair. Also, there is more planning involved to make sure that every weft gets attached at the right spot. Ultimately, this means that it’ll take you a long time at your stylist’s before you finally get to slay.

So, how is a hand-tied installation done?

  1. A stylist will first separate your natural hair into various sections.
  2. Afterward, they will slip in tiny silicone beads onto thinner sections of your hair. This happens one tiny section at a time along a selected row. It is the foundation upon which your extension will rest.
  3. The wefts get sewn onto the sections using the beads as a base. This ensures that the level of tension on your hair and roots gets minimized.
  4. Your stylist will continue sewing in the curtains of hair throughout your head. This will go on until when you’ll have achieved your desired look.
  5. In some cases, you may need to root your extension to seamlessly blend it with your natural hair.
  6. You are all set!

Totally flawless and visibly stunning!

Is it possible to style?

Yes, it is! More so if you go for 100% human hair extensions.

Hand-tied human hair extensions will easily fall under your regular hair routines. This means that you can heat-style, curl, blow-dry, and even straighten your extension with no damage.

Also, you can braid them, dye them, or hold them up in buns or a ponytail… The list is endless!

Can I use hand-tied extensions on my thin hair?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions when talking about hand-tied extensions.

Anyways, to answer that, hand-tied extensions offer a reliable remedy to thin hair. If you have naturally thin hair, then this process helps a ton when adding your much-desired hair density.

Worth noting too is that concealing bulky wefts may prove difficult if you have especially thin hair.

Note: Naturally thin hair is very different from the hair that’s thin from other underlying hair issues. If you suspect yours is not natural, halt everything and consult a trichologist ASAP.

Will a hand-tied extension work with my short hair?

Yes, it will. In some cases though, you may require a trained stylist to outmaneuver challenges that may arise.

Such challenges include concealing the short hair and prevent it from sticking out through the wefts. Remember our ultimate goal is to keep the extensions blended with our natural hair.

How much do hand-tied hair extensions cost?

The cost of installing hand-tied extensions will boil down to where you reside and your desired goal. Approximately, a stylist may charge you anywhere from $180 to attach a hand-tied extension. (I know – quite steep when you’re on a budget)

Now, when going for volume, you may need up to 9 wefts, depending on your stylist’s advice. This number can go up to 10 if you have finer hair.

As time goes, you will need to carry out some tightening (maintenance) as your natural hair grows. This can cost you anywhere between $90-140, depending on your location, style, and total rows requiring a touch-up.

Tip: Consult your stylist to know the best extension option that’ll work with your hair.

How to maintain hand-tied extensions

All said and done, installing a hand-tied extension is a form of investment. So, like all other investments, you must learn how to take care of it to ensure you get the best experience.

Alright, how do you maintain your hand-tied extension?

  1. Do not brush or comb vigorously as it may cause your extension to have snags and tangles.
  2. When cleaning, use only sulfate-free, gentle shampoo.
  3. Ensure that you completely dry off your hair and scalp after shampooing. This prevents the growth of mildew that can result in unpleasant itch and odor.
  4. Go for satin pillowcases if you can. Cotton options overly dry your hair which results in unwanted hair friction.

Tip:  Human hair extensions go through certain processes to give them their final colors and look. Inevitably, this means that they’ll fade after a while just as normal colored hair. To manage this, use some clarifying shampoo to get rid of product build-up. For toning, use semi-permanent professional color during each maintenance appointment.

Pros and cons of hand-tied extensions

This far, let us now look at some of the pros and cons of hand-tied extensions.


  • They offer a great way of adding volume and length to your natural hair.
  • They can adapt to your daily hair routine, including styling.
  • Lays flat against your scalp to make it virtually invisible.


  • The procedure and extension cost could be quite costly if you’re on a budget.
  • Not meant for every Jill’s hair.

Other alternative wefts in the market

Is there any other alternative to hand-tied or tape-in extensions? Well, yes there is!

If you want something that still offers flexibility but is more cost-friendly, then you can check out machine wefts.

What are they?

Machine wefts

Machine wefts include hairbands attached to a single seam to provide maximum density.

These types of extensions come in 30-inch wide wefts. They also come in 3 different lengths of 14, 18, and 22 inches in the current market.

The good news? They are more budget-friendly compared to hand-tied extensions.

What’s more, they can be also trimmed to match any head’s shape or size.

Machine wefts also offer more weight per section than most hand-tied extensions. This makes them denser yet still retains a more seamless attachment than tape-ins.

Wrapping up

Hand-tied extensions offer the best solution to getting easy and damage-free hair installation. How long your extension will last depends a lot on how you keep and maintain it afterward.

You have also seen the notable differences between hand-tied extensions and tape-ins. If you want a cleaner, more seamless attachment, then hand-tied extensions are the way to go.

In addition to this, the fact that you can style it however you want is a beautiful plus.

That is all from me today. I hope you had a blast!


Have you tried hand-tied extensions yet? Feel free to share and let me know your queries in the Comments Section below!

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