Is 3 bundles enough for a full head?

When it comes to getting a full head of hair, one of the most common questions is “How many bundles do I need?” While the answer depends on several factors, many people find that 3 bundles is enough for a full sew-in weave on average length hair. However, those with longer or thicker hair may need more bundles to achieve their desired look. Let’s break it down further:

What are hair bundles?

Hair bundles, also called hair wefts or tracks, are sections of hair that have been machine-sewn onto a thin mesh strip. Each bundle contains a certain number of hair strands and comes in standard lengths like 12″, 14″, 16″, 18″, etc. Bundles are used for sewing, bonding, clipping, orfusion installations. When installed by a stylist, they create the look and feel of natural hair growth.

How many strands are in a bundle?

The number of strands per bundle depends on the type of hair:

  • Synthetic hair bundles – 40-60 strands
  • Regular or virgin human hair bundles – 80-100 strands
  • Double drawn or double wefted human hair bundles – 160-180 strands

More strands in a bundle means it will create more volume and thickness. Double drawn and double wefted hair is popular for achieving very full styles.

What length of bundle do you need?

The length of your bundles should match the desired length you want your installed hair to be. So if you want 18″ long hair, you need 18″ bundles. Go shorter if you plan to trim and customize the style. Here are common bundle lengths:

  • 12″ – ear length
  • 14″ – shoulder length
  • 16″ – armpit length
  • 18″ – bra strap length
  • 20″ – waist length
  • 22”- hip length
  • 24”- tailbone length

How thick is your natural hair?

The thickness or density of your natural hair matters when figuring out how many bundles you need. Those with thick, dense hair will require more bundles to blend seamlessly with their natural hair versus someone with thinner hair.

As a guide:

  • Thin hair – Less than 80 strands per square inch
  • Average thickness hair – 80-120 strands per square inch
  • Thick, dense hair – More than 120 strands per square inch

To measure your hair’s density, count how many strands are within a 1 inch square section. Multiply that number by the number of square inches your stylist estimates is covered by your hair. This gives you the total density.

What’s your head size?

The circumference of your head also determines how much hair you need. Those with larger heads need more hair than those with smaller heads to get good coverage. As a guide:

  • Small head – Less than 21.5 inches around
  • Medium head – 21.5 to 23.5 inches around
  • Large head – More than 23.5 inches around

To determine your head size, use a soft measuring tape to wrap around the widest part of your head above the ears and over the forehead. Record the measurement in inches.

How full do you want it?

The look you’re going for determines how much hair you need. Options include:

  • Natural density: Blends seamlessly with your natural hair
  • Medium fullness: More density than your natural hair
  • Very full: Up to twice as dense as your natural hair

Those desiring only a natural density can likely get away with fewer bundles. People wanting very thick, Kardashian-style hair will need higher bundle counts.

What installation method are you using?

Certain hair installation techniques like sewing require more bundles than methods like clipping or taping. Here is a comparison:

Installation Method Bundles Needed
Sew-in weave 3-5 bundles
Fusion extensions 2-3 bundles
Tape-in extensions 1-2 bundles
Clip-in extensions 1-2 bundles

As you can see, sewn weaves require the most hair compared to temporary methods using tape, clips, or fusion bonds.

What about closure pieces?

A closure piece is a section of lace with hair knots that covers your natural hair at the top of your head. Closures are often 2″ x 4″ to 4″ x 4″ in size. The number of closure pieces you need depends on the install method:

  • Sew-ins: You may only need 1 closure to blend with your leave out hair
  • Full head weaves: May need 2-3 closure pieces at the top for a seamless look
  • U-part wigs: Need a closure to fill in the U shape part
  • Full lace wigs: Don’t need a closure since lace covers the entire head

For sew-ins, some people opt for 5″ x 5″ L-shaped closures or full silk top closures for a more flawless finish.

How are bundles used to determine fullness?

As a general rule, the more bundles you have, the fuller and thicker the install will be. The average number of bundles used for common styles are:

  • Bob length: 2-3 bundles
  • Shoulder length: 3 bundles
  • Bra strap length: 3-4 bundles
  • Waist length: 4-5 bundles

To achieve maximum fullness, many stylists recommend doubling the number of bundles in the back and sides compared to the top and crown area. This prevents the sides from looking too thin or sparse.

For example, use 3 bundles doubled up to 6 in the back and only use 3 bundles in the top crown area for an overall total of 9 bundles. The top needs less for a natural look.

How many bundles for different head sizes?

As a general guide, here’s how many bundles are recommended for different head circumferences if aiming for medium fullness:

Head Size Bundles Needed
Small (<21.5″) 3 bundles
Medium (21.5″-23.5″) 3-4 bundles
Large (>23.5″) 4-5 bundles

Those with small heads can likely achieve a full look with 3 bundles. People with larger heads may need 4-5 bundles for adequate coverage and volume.

How many bundles based on density?

The number of bundles needed also varies based on your natural hair density. Here are recommended amounts if aiming for medium fullness:

Hair Density Bundles Needed
Thin 3-4
Average 3-4
Thick 4-5

People with thin hair can likely achieve good fullness with 3-4 bundles. Those with thick, dense hair may need 4-5 bundles to match their natural volume.

How many bundles for different lengths?

The longer the length you want, the more bundles you’ll need. Here are common recommendations based on length:

Length Bundles
Bob (chin) 2-3
Shoulder 3-4
Bra strap 4-5
Waist 5-6

As you can see, longer styles require more bundles. Bob length hair may only need 2-3 bundles, while waist length hair might need 5-6 bundles for adequate coverage and thickness.

How many bundles for sew-in methods?

For sew-in weaves, here are the typical bundle recommendations:

  • Partial sew-in: 2-3 bundles
  • Half head sew-in: 3 bundles
  • Full head sew-in: 4-5 bundles

Partial and half head sew-ins allow you to blend more of your natural hair, requiring fewer bundles. Full head sew-ins normally need 4-5 bundles to create the appearance of a full, flowing mane of hair.

Do you want extra fullness?

If you want really big, bombastic hair with maximum fullness, add 1-2 extra bundles to the recommendations above. So bump it up to 5-6 bundles for waist length hair or 4-5 bundles for shoulder length hair.

Stacking more bundles lets you achieve an ultra dramatic, voluminous look. Just keep in mind it will use more of your stylist’s time and hair so costs may be higher.

What about bundle deals?

Many hair companies sell bundles in convenient multi-pack sets of 3, 4, or 5 at a discounted price. This can help save money compared to buying individual bundles. Some common deals are:

  • 3 bundle deals (10″, 12″, 14″)
  • 4 bundle deals (12″, 14″, 16″, 18″)
  • 5 bundle deals (14″, 16″, 18″, 20″, 22″)

Look for a bundle deal length and number that closely matches your ideal hair length and needed bundle total based on the factors above.

Should you get extra as backups?

It’s a good idea to buy an extra 1-2 bundles that you can hold onto as backups in case you want to redo the style later on. Hair extensions are an investment so having extra bundles allows you to reuse hair and save money down the road.

Consider the stylist’s expertise

Always consult with your hairstylist and take their advice on how many bundles you’ll need for your particular head, length, thickness goals, and installation technique. An experienced stylist will know how to achieve the perfect fullness while minimizing unnecessary use of extra bundles.


Determining bundle amounts needed for a full sew-in involves considering your unique head size, hair density, desired length, installation method, and preferred fullness. While many find 3 bundles sufficient for an average head with medium density and shoulder length hair, those with longer or thicker hair may need 4-5 bundles or more. Consult your stylist, factor in your specific details, and don’t be afraid to go for extra bundles if you want ultra bombshell volume. With the right amount of long lush hair, you can achieve a showstopping sew-in style that makes a statement.

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