Extension Guide: Pre-tipped Keratin Fusion VS Custom Fusion

There are so many factors in deciding which of the two methods I provide is best for you. In this blog I am going to do my best to lay it all out there for you including pros and cons to both methods and explaining why I charge different prices for each method.


Donna Bella Milan Kera-link Pro pre-tipped Keratin Fusion Extensions (Hot Fusion)


  • Stronger, longer lasting bonds with no slippage or shedding. As long as you don’t have a short top layer, I have clients who have worn their extensions for 4 months without losing a single piece.
  • High quality 100% human hair comparable to Great Lengths and Ultrastrands and in my opinion, better quality than So-Cap and Lox at a LOWER COST. Donna Bella 18 inch hair cost $38.75/20 pieces and 22 inch hair cost $50/20 pieces. Compared to other companies 18 inch hair often starts at $50 per pack.
  • Most clients need 3/4 head of extensions for length and thickness. Most clients do not need to go all the way up and this also allows for your natural hair to lay over and cover the extension bonds. 3/4 head stops around the temple area and consists on average of 140-160 individual extensions. At 18 inches, 160 pieces  is equivalent to 8 (20 piece) packs. 8 X $38.75 = $310 average cost of hair
  • Initial hair cost is slightly more for keratin fusion extensions but actually cost less because it lasts twice as long.
  • Since I do not have to make these extensions by hand my time is cut in HALF.  As we all know, TIME IS MONEY and therefore my service cost for keratin fusion extensions is $150 Less.
  • Since the Donna Bella Milan hair is sold in packs of 20 extensions and offered in 36 different colors (18 inch) and 13 different colors (22 inch) clients have the ability to mix and match colors for a multidimensional color at the same price as if you were a solid color.
  • Donna Bella offers FREE shipping on orders over $125.
  • If you are in a hurry to get this service done and my schedule always for your appointment, you may chose to pay for your hair to be shipped over night.

CONS (pre-tipped keratin Fusion)

  • If you have a shorter hair style and/or are just looking to add thickness that does not require 18 inch or longer hair, the excess hair will be cut off and wasted.
  • Kera-link pro pre-tipped extensions only come in one size, 1 gram per individual extension. If you have very thin, fine hair the Kera-link extensions can be cut in half but if you already have thick hair and are just looking for the longest thickest hair you can get the pre-tipped extensions limit the amount of hair you can apply. For example a 3/4 head of Kera-link extensions takes about 160 strands equal to 160 grams. Now compare this to a client of mine who I custom make each strand thicker than the pre-tipped kera-link extensions. We purchase 2 bundles of hair and make about 100 pieces. Even though I put 60 more kera-link extensions than the custom fusions, the weight of two bundles is approximately 227 grams and therefore results in thicker hair.
  • A tool is used to melt the keratin bond directly to your hair. This is completely safe on your hair when used appropriately by a licensed professional. However, if your hair is damaged and very fine it is then more fragile and susceptible to damage of direct heat. In this case, custom fusion extensions may be a better option for you.

Princess Hair Custom Fusion Extensions (Hot Fusion)


  • Completely customized to each clients hair (fine to coarse and thin to thick).
  • Available in 14 inch, 18 inch and 22 inch straight and various wavy and curly textures.
  • You get more hair, by weight, for the money. This means you either get more pieces (leaving some left to use toward your next service) or the ability to make each strand thicker if your natural hair allows for the extra weight. By using this method I can double the amount of hair in an individual pre-tipped Donna Bella extension. The end result of this is even thicker, fuller, more voluminous hair!
  • No direct heat. Adhesive is applied to hair with a special gun. No iron tool comes in direct contact with your natural hair.

CONS (Custom Fusion Extensions)

  • Hair is purchased in bundles opposed to packs of 20. This means you are limited to how many different colors you want in your hair because will need to buy an entire bundle for each color. To do a full head of extensions 1.5-2 bundles are required allowing you to chose 1-2 colors. However if you wanted a third color, you would need to purchase a third bundle costing you an additional $100-$170 depending on the length.
  • Since this hair is not factory pre-tipped and I will be custom hand-making each individual extension it nearly doubles the time. I set aside time in my schedule to make your hair before you arrive to have them put in. I charge $150 extra for this method to cover the time and bonding materials used to make  the extensions.
  • I required a hair deposit to be made for the total cost of your hair 1 week in advance. This ensures that I am able to go purchase your hair for you and fit the hair making time into my schedule prior to the service.
  • These bonds are more flexible but tend to breakdown over time. Use of oils and conditioners at the scalp and near the bonds will start to loosen your bonds and eventually cause slippage or shedding if you are not careful. These bonds can be worn out for 2-3 months (pre-tipped keratin last longer) but clients often come every 4-6 weeks to have “fills.” A fill is a term used for a service where I remove the extensions along your hair line and the highest row as well as any extensions that are visibly breaking down more, are slipping, or shedding. Then I replace those extensions with new ones. This ensures that your hair is fresh and always looking its best. Since your extensions grow out with your hair and your extensions might become visible as they grow out, it is important to replace these pieces on top and around your hair line to ensure that you are keeping your bonds hidden and undetectable.  Even though the pre-tipped keratin extensions last longer some extensions on top might need to be touched up after a couple months of growth if the clients natural hair is shorter or very thin on top.

Comparing Average Cost

3/4 Head 18 inch pre-tipped keratin fusion                                                                  3/4 Head 18 inch Custom Fusion

Hair = $310                                                                                                                             Hair = $270 (1-2 colors)

Service = $300                                                                                                                        Service = $450

Total = $610  (lasts 3-4 months)                                                                                       Total = $720 (lasts 2-3 months)

* Wearing extensions longer than my recommended time increases the risk of damaging your natural hair *

***Coming Soon***


Cold fusion is a new method, and is meant to be gentle for the hair. This method uses a keratin-based polymer to attach extensions to the root. As this method uses no heat, it is good for fine or thin hair. The polymer offers more flexibility than hot-glue, and results in more natural-feeling hair.

Cold Fusion bonding uses ultrasound waves that are transformed into mechanical energy. The vibration caused by the ultrasound energy is directed only to the area where the 100% keratin tip of the extension meets the client’s natural hair. This vibration crystallizes the bond, forming a strong, invisible and long-lasting hold. This occurs without using any heat, which can cause damage to the hair or a weaker and more visible bond.

The earlier hot fusion method, requires a special heated tool known as a hot fusion connector to melt the bond into the hair for it to adhere securely. The tool will not allow for extension to be added near the scalp due to the heat. With cold fusion, however, the bond is attached with a polymer that isn’t affected be heat. Cold fusion will allow for addition of extensions in the front of the head. With cold fusion, you can wash and style your hair as you normally would.

Other benefits include adding more volume to thinning hair. Women experiencing alopecia can now have hair extensions bonded directly to their fragile and thinning hair, effectively filling out scalp with beautiful real hair. In addition, topical hair re-growth solutions such as minoxidil can still be applied without concern.

One especially wonderful benefit of this new cold fusion technology due to its ability to bond very close to the scalp, is helping chemotherapy patients feel like themselves again, while looking more normal. Hair extensions can be bonded to the short and newly re-growing hair of people who have undergone chemotherapy, giving them a full head of real hair without the use of uncomfortable and noticeable wigs.

This Cold Fusion method will be available with pre-tipped AND custom fusion extensions. The hair options remain the same, but for an additional $50 the ultrasonic cold fusion tool will be used to apply the hair for stronger, longer lasting bonds that is better for your hair.  The main reason people chose to wear micro bead or micro link extensions over fusion is because of the NO HEAT factor. But the micro beads can often slip and/or shed and can often be bothersome when brushing. The Cold Fusion method does use heat but it only produces heat when the tool is closed on the bond for the 3-5 seconds that it requires. Once released and when not in use the tool is cold. This is much safer for both the stylist and client. The heat is much more direct and the bond cools faster allowing for a faster application closer to the scalp.

Ask Lindsay: Hydrogen Peroxide

Today’s question comes from middle school student, Cassie, who is conducting research for her school science fair. Due to the age of this recipient I redacted any personal information that may identify her to the public.


My name is Cassie [redacted]. I am a student at [redacted]. For my science class we are required to do a science fair. I have always enjoyed doing my hair and others hair, so for my question I chose, ‘How does the amount of hydrogen peroxide used in a hair highlight treatment affect the final color of the hair?’ If you could answer that question for me I would be extremely grateful. Thanks for taking time out of your busy day to read this.

Cassie [redacted]


Hi Cassie!

To answer your question, the amount of hydrogen peroxide (or developer as we refer to it in the salon) can vary depending on the lightener (bleach) you are using. Always check the mixing instructions on the bleach packaging.
Often times the ratio of bleach to hydrogen peroxide is 1:1, for example 1 ounce of bleach mixed with 1 ounce of hydrogen peroxide. However, like I said, this ratio varies.
For example, the bleach I like to use is called Goldwell Silk Lift High Performance Lightener. They are a German company and use the metric system in Europe. They instruct 35 ml (equal to approximately 1.2 ounces) mixed with one 25 gram scoop of their lightener (equal to about .882 ounces). As you can see with this company the mixing ratio is close to equal parts but not quite.
Although using the correct mixing ration is very important, it is also important to understand that there are 4 different levels of hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide developers are oxidizing agents and are measured in volumes.
The volume refers to the amount of oxygen that would be removed from a peroxide solution if the molecules were broken into components.
In the United State we use four different Volumes: 10 volume, 20 volume, 30 volume and 40 volume. The higher the volume, the more lift you can achieve. Higher volumes are stronger and can be more damaging to the hair. It is also important to know that it is not advised to use higher than 20 volume on the scalp. Allowing 30 or 40 volume developers in contact with the skin can cause burns.
To understand the results of a highlight service you need to factor in the hair you are working on. When referring to the lightness or darkness of natural hair color we use a scale of 1 to 10 and refer to them as levels.
Level 1 is the darkest black. Level 10 is the lightest natural blond. An unnatural “bleach blonde” with the appearance of a white blond is described as a level 11 or 12.
Many bleaches claim they can achieve up to 7 levels of lift depending on the developer used.
10 volume (or lower) is usually used to deposit color on the hair without changing the level of lightness or darkness.
20 volume is used to lift 1-2 levels.
30 volume is used to lift 3-4 levels.
40 volume is used to lift 5-7 levels.
These are generalized results and some hair may be more or less resistant.
Here is an example:
    Someone with black hair wants highlights. If lightener (bleach) is mixed with 40 volume developer (hydrogen peroxide). The results will be between a level 5-7. These will not result in a pretty blonde highlight. Most likely the bleach hair will look red or orange. If you are lucky to reach a level 7 it will still look very yellow. If this black haired client wanted red highlights, a second process involving the application of a level 5 or 6 red semi-permanent color could be applied to turn the highlights an even red tone.
Here is another example:
    If a client with light brown hair, level 6, wanted light blonde highlights you could mix the bleach lightener with 30 volume developer to achieve a level 9-10 highlight.
Also know that hydrogen peroxide developers are not only mixed with bleach but also with permanent color, or tint as we refer to it in the salon. If a clients hair is what we call “virgin hair,” hair that has never been dyed or received any other chemical service, you can use permeant hair dye mixed with the proper suggested ratio of hydrogen peroxide to lift the hair as well. For example if the client with light brown hair, level 6, had never died her hair, she could achieve a blond highlight by mixing 30 volume hydrogen peroxide developer with a level 10 permanent hair dye.
I hope my explanations and examples have helped you to understand how hydrogen peroxide effects a highlight service. Formulating hair color is complicated and is dependent on many factors. Knowing all the factors and how they effect one another is very important and is exactly why hairstylists like myself must be properly trained and licensed to perform these services in salons.
I hope I helped you, Cassie! And if you have any other questions please feel free to email me again. Just wondering, when is your science fair? Is this a written report? Do you have to provide a visual? Maybe if you let me know what you are planning to present I may be able to make some suggestions :)
Good Luck!
Lindsay Victory
Ps. Sorry I practically wrote a book! There is a lot to know!