A lot of women wonder about the difference between fusion vs micro bead extensions. Are you tired of your thin hair or does your hair never seems to grow? Get the thicker, longer hair you desire easily with hair extensions. Even if you love your hair’s length or thickness, hair extensions give you a chance to try out new colors or even styles. They are fun, damage-free, and temporary. Fusion and micro bead hair extensions are the most common options offered today. Not sure which type is right for you? Keep reading to learn the differences.

Fusion Hair Extensions

As one of the ‘oldest’ hair extensions available today, fusion hair extensions are still a popular choice. With a natural appearance and no damage to your hair, fusion hair extensions create a full head of beautiful hair. Keep in mind, they do have the nickname ‘glue-in hair extensions,’ but there isn’t any glue involved in the process.

The Fusion Extension Construction

Fusion hair extensions are strands of hair rather than wafts of hair, like tape-in hair extensions. Most fusion hair extensions have around 20 strands of hair in each extension. Brought together in a square tip made of keratin, the fusion extensions offer a natural appearance that blends in well with your hair.


Fusion hair extensions last an average of three to six months. How long yours will last depends on how fast your natural hair grows and how well you care for them. As your hair grows, the tip of the hair extension continually moves down, away from your scalp. We can lengthen the extensions’ life by moving the tips back to your scalp every few weeks, though.

Placing the Extensions

 Placing fusion extensions is simple. After choosing the placement, we melt the tip with a hot hair extension tool. The heat activates the tip’s keratin protein bond. This makes it stick to your hair. We carefully mold the keratin while it’s hot to give the extension a natural appearance. As the tip cools, it creates a bond with your hair.

Removing Fusion Extensions

Like any extension, fusion extensions require professional removal. First, we must break the keratin bond. We use a keratin bond remover (alcohol-free) to loosen the adhesive. Using the same hair extension tool used to place the extensions, we break the bond and slide the extension off your hair.

Caring for Fusion Extensions

Proper care makes fusion extensions last longer. We suggest using chemical and sulfate-free hair care products and avoiding heat as much as possible. If you do need to dry, curl, or straighten your hair, use heat protectant products first. Also use care when applying hair care products and brushing your hair. Try working from the middle of your scalp down to avoid disruption of the bond.

Micro Bead Extensions

Micro bead extensions are also a strand hair extension. Rather than a keratin tip, though, a bead holds the extension together. Micro bead extensions are a popular option for people with sensitive heads/scalps. If you react to tape-in extensions or can’t handle the heat needed for fusion extensions, micro bead extensions are a good alternative.

The Micro Bead Extension Construction

Like fusion extensions, micro bead extensions are strands of hair. The typical micro bead extensions have 20 strands of hair in each extension. Each extension is one gram of hair. The strands are brought together in a ‘bead’ that loops and locks onto your hair.

Micro Bead Extensions Last a Long Time

Micro bead extensions also last approximately three to six months. Like fusion extensions, it depends on the rate of your natural hair’s growth and how well you care for them. Like fusion extensions, as your hair grows, the beads move away from your scalp. Our stylists can lift the extension back to your scalp as needed, giving your extensions longer life.

Hair Extension Installation

Unlike fusion extensions, micro bead extensions don’t use heat. Instead, we thread a small part of your natural hair onto the bead with the extension. We then use special tools to flatten and loop the bead, making the extensions look like a natural part of your hair. You won’t see the tips or beads, as they are hidden underneath the top layers of your hair. We always style the hair so that the extensions look as natural as possible.

Micro Bead Extension Removal Process

Removing micro bead extensions is simple. You come back in for an appointment and using the same special tool, we uncrimp the bead. This allows the stylist to slide the bead right off your hair without causing any damage.

Caring for Micro Bead Extensions

Caring for micro bead extensions is much like caring for fusion extensions. Use hair care products with little to no chemicals including no sulfates. If you straighten, blow-dry, or curl your hair, protect it with heat protectant first and use the heat minimally. Also use an extension brush when brushing your hair to avoid disrupting the beads.

If you are ready to experiment with hair extensions, check out Chicago Hair Extensions Salon where we offer the best hair extension options at the most competitive prices. Our stylists will help you get the look that you love!