How To Wear Hair Extensions

We’ve discussed tricks to fight frizz and static and maintain a healthy scalp—now let’s talk about a surefire way to add extra volume and length. Say hello to your new best friend: clip-in hair extensions! While many options are quite expensive, we found a quality set for $100 that looks natural and will transform your look in a snap. Best of all, extensions provide extra support and reassurance when dealing with harsh climates like humidity and wind, guaranteeing every day is a good hair day.

So whether you’ve done the “post-bride chop,” tried the latest “lob” haircut, or did the “mom chop” after having a baby (or just want some extra length!)—adding extensions to your hair repertoire just got easier with our tips on how to buy, wear, and preserve them.

Before:

Tips To Scoring Quality Clip-in Extensions:

  • Use real hair extensions. They look more natural—our favorite brand is Fashion Source (a 14-inch set goes about $85, and check local wig stores! ). Tip: A great national resource for quality extensions is this one.
  • When picking a color for extensions, it might seem as though you can’t find a perfect match. But remember: The ends of your own hair do not match your own roots. Go ahead, try it! Hold up your ends to your roots. The extensions don’t have to match perfectly; they will blend. Tip: We suggest going a touch darker than your natural hair since they will be on the bottom layers where hair is naturally darker.
  • Ask to see all the extension packs of the same color because each one will look slightly different since they are real hair.
  • If you are having major color choice anxiety, buy the one closest to your natural hair color. You can always take them with you to your next salon trip to have them professionally colored.
  • Always take a friend with you when shopping for extensions. A second, trusted opinion can help you decide on a color and length that are right.

Most packs come with five to seven extensions: one wide one with four clips, a slightly smaller one with three clips, and three to five two-clip pieces.

Steps for Quick Application:

 

1. Curl your own hair with a half-inch curling iron to make loose haphazard waves. Don’t worry about perfect curled locks, just add some volume. Curling Iron Option One / Curling Iron Option Two

2. Brush out your extensions, then curl them. Hold your extensions tightly from the clip end in your left hand, grab small chunks and curl with the iron just as you would on my own head. Tip: Find the spot on your head where it’s easiest to curl your hair, and snap the extension there. Curl the extension while it’s snapped on your head and then pop it off so you can move it where you want later on. Brush Option One / Brush Option Two

3. Once each extension panel is curled, lay them on a flat surface. This will force the curl to set and cool in this shape. If you are worried about the curl loosing shape or want a tighter curl, spray a layer of hairspray on the extensions.

4. Apply the first extension layer with the three clip panel. Make a horizontal part across the back of your head from mid-ear to the opposite mid-ear, then clip the rest of your hair up and out of the way. With the clip teeth facing inwards, snap the far right clip right behind your ear, just below the part. Move over to the middle clip and repeat, then to the far left which should wind up just behind your other ear.

5. Apply the second extension layer with the four-clip panel. Begin by letting your hair down and making another horizontal part. This time from the top of each ear to the opposite ear top. Follow the same right to left pattern as the previous step until you have the section centered along your head.

6. Arrange and clip the remaining smaller extensions. Put one in the back (behind the end of your part) and one on each side of your head. Tip: You may need two pieces underneath a deep part.

7. Smooth and blend with a brush. After all extensions are clipped in, brush out the ends to blend your real hair with the extensions. If there are any wayward pieces that need to be re-curled, do so now. Hopefully at this point you won’t be able to tell where your hair ends and the extensions begin!

After:

Maintenance and Storage Tips:

  • Keep your extensions in a gallon-sized zip-lock bag. Lay them as flat as possible so they aren’t dented and tangled.
  • To refresh, you may need to re-curl the extensions or simply brush them out with a boar bristle brush.
  • Is one of your clips a little loose? Use a sewing kit to re-sew any loose clips back onto the hair panel. (Tip: Pick a similar color string.)
  • When your clip-ins need to be cleaned, simply shampoo and condition with the same products you regularly use. Afterwards, lay them on a super-absorbent microfiber towel to soak up moisture.
  • When they are mostly dry, use a big round boar bristle brush them through.
  • And the fun part? Name your extensions! You will feel like a new woman with them in so you plan for your alter ego to shine.

So now that you know how easy clip-in extensions are there is only one question left…What will you name yours? 

Additional Shopping Info: Nails / Similar Sweater Steal

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