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What are Pre-Bonded Hair Extensions?

By Janis Bennett
Updated Feb 02, 2024
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Pre-bonded hair extensions are pieces of hair, real or synthetic, that have a bonding agent pre-applied at one tip. The extensions are used to increase the length and fullness of a person's natural hair and can be cut and styled just like real hair. There are several types of these hair extensions, such as nail tip, rare remy nail tip, and stick tip. Each type comes in a variety of colors and textures.

Nail tip pre-bonded hair extensions are also called U-tip extensions. During the manufacturing process, bonding glue is placed at one end of the extension. A hair stylist attaches the glued tip of the extension to a client's hair with a professional heat connector clamp. This clamp resembles a thin hair straightening tool and has a built in lip to place the glue tip into. The hair stylist squeezes the top and bottom sections of the heat connector clamp together and applies pressure to melt the glue, bonding the client's natural hair to the extension.

Remy nail tip hair extensions are assembled so that all the hair cuticles are running in the same direction. This prevents tangles and keeps hair looking smoother and neater for a longer period of time. Remy extensions may also be more expensive when comparing prices to other pre-bonded hair extensions. These extensions are applied in the same way as regular nail tip extensions.

Stick tip, or I-tip pre-bonded hair extensions are also manufactured with the bonding glue at the end. This type of extension is different because of the way it is attached to the hair. A hair stylist uses small attachment devices called micro rings, micro loops, or shrink tubes to adhere the extensions onto the client's real hair.

Micro rings and loops are small hoops that match the client's hair color. The hair stylist clamps the micro rings or micro loops around the extension and the natural hair and then squeezes the ring tightly using a specially designed connector tool. The shrinkable tube method uses plastic rings that are applied in the same way, but are closed with a heat clamp to bond the plastic ring and the glue together.

The bonding agent most commonly used on pre-bonded hair extensions is keratin glue. This glue is formulated to prevent damage to the hair while providing maximum hold. As hair grows out, the glue can loosen and the extensions will need to be tightened or reapplied. Keratin glue is reportedly the safest glue to use for hair extensions. A hair stylist can remove the extensions with keratin remover.

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Discussion Comments
By gabriellajo — On Aug 05, 2013

I think hair extensions are the best alternative to a hair transplant.

By anon294042 — On Sep 29, 2012

I am in love with hair extensions! I have tried almost every method there is and I am in a constant search for news and progress in the hair extensions field.

By anon293634 — On Sep 26, 2012

I bought some pre bonded hair extensions on ebay and they just keep matting and becoming frizzy. I have spent a small fortune on different hair products trying to stop them from getting tangled and frizzed up and nothing is working.

I have tried different shampoos and conditioner and detangling sprays and moisture sprays and I have even tried Argon oil and Hair one and Wen hair products, which are pricey and are cleaners/conditioners in one without sodium etc.

Could it be that the glue tips were put on the wrong end of the hair so that the hair is upside down? Would this knot the hair up easily?

By Mae82 — On May 04, 2011

Does anyone know whether real or synthetic pre-bonded hair extensions are better?

I would like to make a sound investment but worry about how long they will last and how much care is required.

By Sara007 — On May 03, 2011

For those on a budget, what would be the best time of pre-bonded hair extensions to choose?

I would like to go from shoulder length hair to my mid-back.

By manykitties2 — On May 03, 2011

Pre-bonded hair extensions are great because they look very natural. With only a few strands of hair in each piece your stylist can easily add them to your natural hair in a way that flows naturally.

With the larger pieces, and clip in extensions the final result can sometimes look bumpy or unnatural.

I am most familiar with extensions being held in with keratin glue. I find the hair easy to wash and style and it really is easy to take care of. They do start to fall out after about 3 months, but can last as long as 5 with good care.

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