Ladies, have no fear! Hair extensions are some of the most exciting and fun beauty products to experiment with: using extensions, you can instantly transform your look and actually experience what a new hairstyle would be like in your usual day-to-day.
Traditional glue-in and weave types of extensions are difficult both to put in and take out (hello, physical damage), and it’s best to have a professional do either. The solution lies in clip-ins, which have improved immensely since their days as a Halloween party alternative to a bad wig.
Here’s a guide on how to put in clip-on extensions all by your resourceful little self (although help from a friend is very useful in this scenario – I recommend the one who helped you move or gives you rides to the airport, she’s already used to being exploited for her kindness):
- Find the right extensions. We recommend human hair clip-ins over synthetics, since they’re reusable and can be styled just like natural hair. Texture (wavy, straight, thick, fine) is the most important element in picking extensions, since color blends easily as long as you choose something relatively close – but curly or wavy extensions will never blend with straight hair. We like Jessica Simpson hair.do clip-in extensions.
- Prep the extensions. No matter the length of your extensions, you’re going to have to cut them to look natural. First, measure an extension by holding it up to the top of your ears and choosing where you’d like the extension to end. Then cut to that length. Repeat the process, measuring and cutting extensions all the way down to the nape of your neck, so that the ends fall evenly. (Use Step 3 below to figure out how many to cut at each length, and lay them out on a table so you can keep them straight.)
- Put them in already! First, put hair up in a high ponytail, leaving out a small layer of hair at the base. Spritz a little hairspray at the root of this section and tease the roots slightly to prevent the extensions from slipping. Then place the first clip-ins here, covering from side to side but leaving approximately 1″ room on both sides of your hair. Continue as follows:
– 1 1/2″ up from the lowest section (about even with your earlobes), with the same application as the first section;
-2″ up from that section (slightly above the tops of your ears), applying in 3 close layers for extra volume, since hair here is naturally thicker;
– On both sides of your head, at an even level with the crown, putting only 1 extension on each side at a 45 degree angle;
– And finally, one clip-in on each side about 3″ up from the tops of your ears, leaving at least 1″ from the front of your hairline.
- Trim if necessary. If you’re only wearing these for one occasion, you’re lucky – you have the luxury of trimming the extensions to blend extra well with your hair. If you chose human hair, trims should be easy – just use professional haircutting shears and remember that the blades of your scissors should always be at an angle to the lengths of your hair (that is, you can still cut a straight line, but make sure the scissors hit the ends diagonally – think flowers or kitchen-cut green beans).
- Take care of “your” hair. Some tips on clip-in extension maintenance:
– Don’t sleep in your clip-ins.
– To prolong the life of extensions, straighten after each use.
– Use a heat protection spray when heat styling.
– A complete shampoo and treatment can be applied once a month, if needed: apply diluted shampoo and very gently stroke through the hair from root to tip, keeping hands flat. Rinse with a shower head & repeat with conditioner. Keep the top clip part of the extension dry. Avoid tangles and allow hair to drip dry naturally overnight. Once dry, gently comb through the hair starting at the tips.
– Do not comb hair when wet.